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What Startup Weekend reminded me about life

I attended Startup Weekend for the first time this year. I was always curious about it but for some reason I never did it. So this year, as part of my “living abroad” experience, I decided to do it, and finally signed up for the Strasbourg edition.

A lot happened during the weekend, as it is expected when you are given an ambitious goal and put in a room for 54hs with a group of 10 motivated strangers from different parts of the world. However, that’s not what I want to talk about.

Yes, we learnt a lot about business modeling, pitching, and many other useful tools and concepts, but in my case, I learnt more about myself than anything else. Or maybe I didn’t learn it but just remembered it, if there’s a difference.

What you’re doing is important, but actual happiness is who you do it with

I started the weekend thinking that having a lot of people in my team was an advantage. Couldn’t have been more wrong.

In this particular case (Startup Weekend), it took us longer to agree in every decision, but in a broader outlook, the people who surround you are the ones that get you through the process. They should be the ones that complement you, empower you and pull you up when you are having a rough day.

Attitude makes the difference

You are the one who decides the outcome of every experience, because you are the one who puts meaning to it. Who cares or you didn’t win? Or better yet, who cares if you did win if you weren’t trying to learn on the first place?

And attitude is powerful. People get hooked on it if you have the right one.

Thinking about the outcome first

And building your way to it.

At Startup Weekend it meant keeping in mind the aspects we had to cover at the final pitch, because having to explain the project in 5 minutes makes you focus on the essentials. Define the problem, market, solution, how it works, MVP,… and so on.

But I believe it also applies to life. This doesn’t necessary mean knowing where you are going all the time (because let’s face it, if you’re on your 20s, you’re part of the massive confussion called “being a millenial”). It means seriously asking yourself ackward questions like what things are important to me? who do I want to work with? who are the people I can’t imagine living without? what impact do I want to make in society? And just by answering one of these question, you can frame your decisions in something that makes sense to you.

When I started writing this post I meant to talk about entrepreneurship and the event in itself, but I ended up talking about life. I guess it’s just another realization from this weekend: I can’t separate entrepreneurship from personal beliefs because entrepreneurship is a way of looking at life.

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