As an entrepreneur, I am always forced to view and assess myself.
Recently, I’ve been focusing on two individuals: Travis Kalanick, C.E.O of Uber, and Hamdi Ulukaya, who is the founder and C.E.O of Chobani. Both are billionaires and are turning their respective fields on their heads, but they could not be more different. Uber is valued at roughly 70 billion dollars, but Travis and his company have started to earn a reputation of toxicity in the public eye. Hamdi, on the other hand, is an immigrant who has given 10% of his company up to his employees; 30% of his workforce is made up of immigrants.
The reason I bring up these two individuals is because I admire their accomplishments, but they also point me toward the kind of entrepreneur I want to be. I’ll be the first to admit that I can get bogged down by the bottom line, but there are moments when I understand that a job doesn’t always have to be a job. At my climbing gym in Austin, I believe that I have one of the best teams out there. I’ve studied numerous gyms in the U.S. and believe we are doing things differently. I’ve never been a fan of top-down management and that shows at our facility. I constantly get emails from employees about how to improve and I take them seriously. That said, I’m 26 years old and understand I have a lot to learn; it would be foolish for me to think I know it all.
There are examples of entrepreneurs on both sides of the spectrum and as a business owner you have a choice of how you want to do things. You can do good and make money and Hamdi is the perfect example of that. This seems to still be a pretty foreign concept, but I’m excited to explore it little more. It’s much harder to focus on company culture as opposed to the profit and loss statement, but if you are going to make it your life you might as well focus on both.
Anddddd I’ll conclude with our next episode of THAB with one of my favorite artists Jon Michael Frank. Jon Michael was the perfect guest because he forced me to get over myself and focus on the bigger picture. Most times I feel like a pretty shitty person and that’s why his art resonates with me so much but it’s also important to shift your focus back to what you are doing and make sure you are doing it right. Thanks for opening my eyes bud!