Freedom Skate Day 17: Wellesley and Mass Challenge

Sept. 22, 2010

I had the opportunity to speak at the Mass Challenge global startup competition in Boston on Wednesday! It went incredibly well! I spoke to a group of hardcore entrepreneurs who were all working on various innovative, exciting, and promising startups. My main sponsor for the tour, APV, had connections there, since one of the ventures it helped get off the ground, Chromatan, is a finalist in the competition. What an amazing crowd at Mass Challenge! They had so much innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, and they totally got the connection between individual freedom and entrepreneurship

20 Mini Speeches…

I also found myself at Wellesley College on Wed. I was scheduled for a lunchtime presentation there. Unfortunately (or saw I thought), the school was celebrating its annual “Lake Day” at the same time, so most everyone decided to go there. We made an executive decision, after talking to the staff at Wellesley, and went down to meet the students where they were. Instead of giving one long drug-out speech, I ended up giving about 20 mini speeches. That’s ok! Sometimes, we think that an experience “should” be a certain way, but the true opportunist finds something valuable in everything. Remember that.

Your Excuses Suck! – Creating the Opportunity

There was a saying painted on one of the walls of the old Insights Group building where I used to hangout to talk about big ideas. 😉 It said simply: “Either I will find a way, or I will make one.” That statement should be carved on your bed post, written in soap on your bathroom mirror, played on your stereo as you drive, etched into your contact lenses or glasses, and generally displayed everywhere you go. It is the quintessential attitude of the successful person. It’s so much easier to make excuses as to why we can’t succeed. It’s even easier to make excuses as to why we shouldn’t try! “I don’t know enough.” “He didn’t even leave me a contact number; how can I respond?” “It’s just not worth the hassle.” “I failed at something similar last time; why should I bother again?” These are all convenient excuses. And we should notice something here: we often are relieved to tell them to ourselves! Why shouldn’t we be? It takes so much extra effort to go beyond what we are used to or comfortable with. Mostly, it takes comfort with uncertainty, possible failure, and ambiguity.


Strive to rid your life of excuses. If you can learn to put it on the line and be resourceful, looking for every possible way to achieve your goals, you will find that you are far smarter and more creative than you knew! Nothing will be impossible for you. It just depends if you want to ask “why” or “why not?” 😉


- Austin S.

“The Freedom Skater”

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