One year ago, I went to one of the concerts, I will remember my whole life. It was U2 performing in the Olympic Stadium of Athens. While «I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For» was sounding, I wanted to call a very special person, the person I was falling in love with. It had the taste of being a teenager, the same sweetness and anger, full of dreams.
During the following months this special person, saw me presenting myself to the entrepreneurial community as a wannapreneur and finally young entrepreneur, saw me stating his question (Why should somebody abroad come back to Greece in crisis?) to the Primeminister of the country, being offered a place at a leading University…and sending him greetings through a radio night show on the web. Shortly: Loving what I was doing.
It was a time, when people told me that I was wrong, crazy, unreasonable. Yes, I was and still am. People are used to name things to put them in little boxes with names, and I could not understand the whys yet. While listening to U2, I was just who I was, same for him, who was believing in me.
In the «traditional» business world, I needed to use a title, or whatever was naming, what I was doing, in a fancy way. Being just me was not enough at that time, but proving them wrong and making it happen always is, for the right people to be beside you.
During the last year, I was pitching my ideas, my work to some known entrepreneurs in Greece (and some outside Greece), or people that call themselves entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial spirits. Feedback was most of the time, quite turning me down, telling me that I am too young to know, that I am a communication person and not a business person (Is not a lot of business operations based on communication?) and that I should not try to get into shoes too big for me and focus on the romantic blog posts I was writing in Greek on (That was an interesting statement, I have to admit).
I started traveling for work and leisure in order to open myself to new things and to implement better thinking out of the box, without patterns that kept my focus in the wrong direction.
In Berlin, I experienced that all the comments, I was told as feedback, simply were not true. Silicon Allee was in its first steps and became a reality for the entrepreneurial ecosystem some days after my departure from Berlin. 6Wunderkinder and their Wunderlist became a part of my everyday work flow. Silicon Allee and 6Wunderkinder are an inspiration of strong will and flexibility, both assets needed in the business world.
In spring, I met Sophia, Olia, Andreas aka Loft2Work and people that had no reason to believe, in what I was saying. In the end, I was just a girl talking a lot and very passionate about entrepreneurial culture and social entrepreneurship. Meanwhile. I joined the team and I am very excited to build up, one of the country’s first social businesses.
This summer, I met the team at STARTEurope, while they were running the preparations of the upcoming European StartUp Festival, StartUp Week 2011. Again, there was no reason to trust a young woman, who was not running a company yet at that time. But they did and supported my efforts during the last two months, difficult weeks, working on a vision of entrepreneurial culture.
Today we heard a lot about Steve Jobs. If the Jobs era teaches us something, than sure it is about how important culture is, whether it is corporate culture or mentality. He thought us that passion is not only a buzz word, but “«following your heart and intuition» is not sentimental but a whole life theory.
It is the first time, I see my name printed with «Social Entrepreneurship» written below on an invitation, I felt as an honor. These days, I also got some organizations and companies supporting my efforts and during the last weeks I got also some entrepreneurial inspirations on board of it. It will be announced soon and it is just a small step forward but I enjoy the journey, even if this means that I have to be patient a little bit more than I thought I could. be.
This post was my way to tell the story behind two simple words like «Thank you» to all those who support and believe.
Returning to the romantic story I was mentioning at the start: The special person came into my life at a point, I was not well. He was watching from a distance and he intervened. Maybe unconsciously but he was there, letting me be just me without the mails, calls and meeting, just me, and reminding me that if I do not enjoy the journey, it might not be my journey and that I had to believe in it first. We lost the connection, but he came back into my life as a friend, when I was more than just ok, having won my various struggles and «simply loving what I was doing». Making it happen.
If you really want something, and really work hard, and take advantage of opportunities, and never give up, you will find a way. -Jane Goodall