Yesterday I had the privilege to speak to an audience of 350 members of the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at the 755 Club at the Braves Stadium. I was asked to tell my entrepreurial story, talk about doing good in the community, and get them pumped up. #nopressure
Thankfully, I had a topic that I’ve wanted to talk about for a while so this was the perfect setting for it. The theme of my talk was “Dream big, then get to work.”
I talked about the many times in my life that I set big goals, people told me I couldn’t achieve them, and then I got to work proving them wrong, motivated a little bit more by their doubt. The stories I told were:
- A doubles match when I was 16.
- Year two of Spunlogic, getting turned down by 15 banks. I ended up self-funding, the old fashioned way.
- Year four of Spunlogic, being told by a bigger agency that “if you work a little harder, maybe I’ll hire you guys to come work for my agency”. We ended up flying past them a few years later.
- After rejecting the CEO of Agency.com’s offer to buy Spunlogic in January of 2007, him telling me “you are making the biggest mistake of your career, and you’ll never get a better offer than this for your business. Ever.” 14 months later we sold for over 5x what he offered.
- The many people – with hearts in the right place – telling me we couldn’t pull off 48in48. We did.
- Currently, everyone telling me I can’t make Homegrown work (my concept to teach homeless men and women to write computer code).
If people are telling you that you can’t accomplish something, get to work and prove them wrong. But you have to put in the work.
And if no one is telling you that you can’t accomplish something, maybe you’re not reaching high enough.