Guest Blog by Thomas Goodin, Young Entrepreneur and Alumni of Young Enterprise Scheme and VentureUp
Justin Milano was the first speaker for the 2017 Project Connect series, presenting at AUT on the Four Pillars for Entrepreneurial Success. Justin helps entrepreneurs build thriving companies. As a serial entrepreneur and executive coach, he uses a unique blend of business coaching and leadership psychology to help entrepreneurs create breakthroughs and fulfill their maximum potential. The following blog is the experience of Thomas Goodin who attended the event.
When the U.S. Embassy New Zealand and Matt Stenton from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) offered me the opportunity to hear from serial entrepreneur Justin Milano, I couldn’t refuse.
I am just starting my journey of entrepreneurship, having been involved in the Young Enterprise Scheme for two years, winning a couple of competitions and taking part in an intense six week long business accelerator (VentureUp). Alongside my extracurricular activities I have recently completed my first semester at the University of Auckland studying Economics and Finance.
After two years of being involved in anything and everything I can be in the entrepreneurship space, I am the proud co-founder of small business that generates jobs for digital natives called LucidUs. In my two year journey I‘ve had many ups and downs, as well as running into more dead ends than Wile E. Coyote. Failure is the blood of modern entrepreneurship, with lean and agile theories being the only way to survive in the fast moving markets of tomorrow – but failure is far easier on paper than it is in real life. Often it is impossible to see distant success in a cloud of failures, and I personally have struggled with maintaining my motivation through these times.
Justin is the perfect example of someone who has learned from his failures and will continue to fight through them until he achieves whatever wild goal he has set for himself. Hearing some of the huge roadblocks Justin has faced and overcome motivates me to do the same, particularly as he explained how failures are the base of his success and how he dealt with the stress of being an entrepreneur.
Justin taught me the difference between anxiety and fear, namely that anxiety is the feeling that keeps you up at night thinking how the stroke of a pen could be the demise of your business. He stressed that anxiety is fed by negative business cultures of not feeling like anything is satisfactory – which made me realize that we need to celebrate victories more within our small startup, regardless of the size of these successes.
Finally, Justin confronted the ‘tall poppy’ syndrome faced by New Zealanders – the perceived tendency to discredit or disparage those who have achieved notable and public success. He added the comparison that the USA has an obsession with being brilliant and standing out. Moving forward I want to create a culture in my team that encourages success instead of hiding it, expressing that we are brilliant and making sure that our work naturally reflects that.
Overall I had a great time, met some awesome people and I can’t wait to implement my learnings in the workplace!