Surround yourself with people smarter than you
As a young entrepreneur, I have much to learn.
Vision. Product. Fundraising. Process. Positioning. Etc.
Fortunately, the world is plentiful with people much, much smarter than me. As such, I’ve always wanted to learn from the brightest I could possibly meet.
Some never replied. Some never showed up. Some led me astray.
But the vast majority surprised me.
Many have spent countless hours giving invaluable advice, direction and support—investing in me—something more powerful than any checkbook could do, though some even pulled that out too.
Ultimately I’ve discovered the burden is with the student, not the teacher. One’s desire to learn simply cannot be overlooked.
Like when I reached out to a fellow Longhorn who changed how the world communicates online and offline. Now, I’ve learned more from him than anyone except my parents.
Or when someone I grew up admiring asked to meet the next afternoon in San Francisco so I flew across the country just to drink tea with him. Now he uses my product for his travel.
Or when founding partners of the world’s most impressive online travel company took me under their wings, believing in my vision and ability to disrupt travel the same way they did a decade ago.
Cheers to being the dumbest in the room, but that’s no matter. One fine day I hope to be the smartest thanks to all of them.
I'm a designer turned entrepreneur, as well as a judge for National Geographic and guest professor at The University of Texas. I've served as a council expert for the U.S. State Department and on the host committee at the United Nations. More »