Great song. Totally irrelevant towards this post. But it is hard to comprehend that it has been one week since VFA Bootcamp ended. To be fair, in the time since then I have driven a little over a thousand miles and moved out of my room in Providence and my house in Chapel hill. However, those 5 weeks seemed to last an eternity but pass by in an instant. It would take far too long to try and talk about everything the camp entailed, so I think a series of snippets and snapshots would do it best.
1) The Credo
My career is a choice that indicates my values
There is no courage without risk
Value creation is how I measure achievement
I will create opportunity for myself and others
I will act with integrity in all things
I believe in the credo more now than I did at the beginning of training because I have found VFA to be an organization that is consistent with its values. I believed that when I came in, but after spending 5 weeks with the staff and my fellow Fellows, that belief has only been reinforced. It is rare that I have been able to say that I am a part of a group comprised of genuinely good people, and this is one of those times that I have the privilege to say that.
2) The Experience
When people ask what I learned during bootcamp, I am at a loss for words. I usually go with a standard response of, “They tried to fit business school into five weeks.” Which is true to a certain extent. But it was so much more than that. It was a never-ending series of opportunities.
It was the chance to talk to people who have done this, and both succeeded and failed. The chance to learn from experts in their respective fields. The chance to hear how so many people were envious of the situation that I am fortunate enough to be in now. The chance to fail, in large ways and small, and learn from each of our failures. The chance to start to form a network that we will be a part of for the rest of our lives. The chance to develop the skills, the drive, and the passion we will need to make sure that the network we create is worth being a part of. The chance to spend way too much time together. The chance to make pancakes bigger than the plates they are served on.
The chance to have some really fantastic conversations until way too late in the night or early in the morning. The chance to invade a bar and sing karaoke (often badly) while cheering each other on. The chance to wake up at god-awful-o’clock and drive a friend to do a triathalon that he wasn’t actually registered for that he decided to run two days before said race. The chance to push your limits and acknowledge your limitations. VFA Bootcamp gave me all of those opportunities.
3) The Advice
There have been so many different bits and pieces of wisdom that have been given over the last few weeks, and here is a selection of some of the quotes that have stuck out the most to me.
“Just because you are good at doing something doesn’t mean that you should be doing it or continue to do it.” Eileen Lee
“You have to become diagnotistic experimentation machines. Be relentlessly optimistic and ruthlessly skeptical.” Jeff Lawrence
“If you want money, ask for advice. If you want advice, ask for money.” Andrew Yang
“70% of MBAs are useless in a start-up environment. The other 30% are also useless, but they stop talking about their MBA and get stuff done.” David Tisch.
“Never bring doubt into the office.” David Tisch
“If you aren’t getting any push-back, you aren’t doing anything important.” Jeff Lawrence
“There is no direct path in entrepreneurship.” Liz Hamburg