More seasoned entrepreneurs know the downside of doing business at lightning speed for too long: They run a great risk of losing the fervor that originally fueled their entrepreneurial engine and built something life-changing. That's why it's so refreshing to see that unspoiled passion in young entrepreneurs who are just beginning to grow their businesses. We asked four student entrepreneurs, who will be competing in the EO GSEA U.S. National Finals next week in Tampa, Florida, what advice they would give to entrepreneurs who have not yet found their passion - or those who have lost it.
Leave Your Comfort Zone
"Keep trying new things. Those people who are stuck doing the same thing each and every day are missing out on a world of opportunities. The first step is to leave your comfort zone; push yourself into healthy situations where you could learn more about others - and ultimately about yourself. I think if you continually do this, you'll find the right fit and meet amazing people along the way who are just as driven as you."
Luke Sophinos, Founder & CEO of CourseKey
There is No "Right" Option
"Sometimes I worry whether I am choosing the 'right' career path or business decision, but then I remind myself that there is no one right option. I think a lot of people put this barrier in front of themselves, and what they're really saying is, 'I don't trust in my ability to succeed outside of a set course.' If you are passionate about something, work hard, and seek out advice, you will learn that you're capable of amazing things. Don't let your biggest barrier be your self-doubt."
Hit the Books
"Read. Read. Read. I really believe reading will give you guidance at any stage of your career. Not only are you discovering new opportunities, but you're also learning more about what really drives you. I think you'll find that reading also connects you to other people - when I share something I've read that really interests me, I end up passing on that excitement to others. For me, learning is motivational. And that motivation is contagious."
Andres Cardona, Founder & CEO of Elite Basketball Academy
Fall in Love with a Problem
"I love the quotation by Uri Levin, the co-founder of Waze: 'Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.' I'm motivated to run my company because I'm fascinated that there's not a strong platform for students to buy, sell and discover. If you open yourself up to opportunity and create an environment that identifies problems and solutions, I really think passion and creativity will eventually find you. It might take a while, and you'll need to take risks and surround yourself with other driven individuals, but you'll stumble across a problem that changes your life for the better."
Alexander Jekowsky, Founder & CEO of Ulyngo