As I walked to my desk at Angie’s List this morning, I asked about everyone’s weekend. Several of my young coworkers replied “boring”. As I downed my 3rd cup of coffee and burned through my emails, I reflected on how my friends in the fellowship had spent their weekends. Many had gathered at the Broad Ripple Kilroys on Friday night to support fellow Ashton Chaffee and watch Coat Chex make its debut on "Shark Tank!" On Saturday, fellows filed through our apartment in preparation for the final concert of our MegaTicket summer. Some spent Sunday at work, some continued triathalon or marathon training, some went to church, likely everyone caught at least a snipit of NFL Sunday. Everyone did something. There is simply no time for boredom during the fellowship.
I left Angie’s List this evening and headed straight to the Speakeasy to participate in the Informatics course with board member Mark Hill. When I arrived, our Fellow Development committee was well into an enthusiastic meeting, planning out career/personal development activities for the year.
David Becker, serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and DePauw University alumni joined us for the evening. Mr. Becker is most currently running First Internet Bank, RICs Software and DyKnow, as well as investing in several entreprenuerail companies in Indianapolis. He joked that every time he gets “bored”, he buys a new company. David’s advice to us is to dive into the industry and learn the business before starting your own. If you think you want to start a restaurant, wait tables for a few months. As I looked around the room, I took note of each individual’s responsibilities within the fellowship. While I work in operations for Angie’s List, I get experience in finance through the fellowship. Many involved in recruitment work in technical position from 8-5, yet get Human Resources experiences through the fellowship, and all Fellows are exposed to the nonprofit sector through networking and service opportunities.
David later emphasized babysitting as the true test of an entrepreneur. He explained that running a high-growth start-up is just like babysitting: you think you are walking into a house of low-maintenance, well behaved, children, and in a matter of minutes the baby is crying, the older brothers are wrestling on the carpet, and the neighbor’s dog has made it inside and is shredding the couch cushions. David’s solution to this dilemma is to hire the right people. He has never written a line of code in his life, yet he is dominating the tech sector in Indianapolis. He recognized his skill for marketing and sales early on in life and hired the best coders, customer service and organizational employees he could find. As I scanned the room, I quickly recognized the variety in my surroundings. Some fellows are very analytical, some very creative, some technical, some humanitarian. It is astounding how well the skillsets in this group complement one another. David prides himself on the number of his former employees that have since started their own businesses.
I recognized that I was amidst a golden opportunity at this very moment. The fellowship offers the opportunity to explore a distinguished post-grad job 40 hours a week, helps develop professional skills through Fellowship responsibilities, and grants unlimited access to an extremely high energy peer network.
Tomorrow, I will attend our monthly meeting; Wednesday I may grab a bike ride and a beer with Katie Hayes and Molly Sender; Thursday I will finalize the details of an event I am planning for work; and the weekend will arrive before I have had time to take a breath, let alone time for boredom.