This week, some lucky people had the ride of their life. By requesting UberMENTOR, they were connected with one of Boston’s most inspiring leaders to gain valuable insight into their career, business idea, or life advice. It was all part of HUBweek’s series of events spotlighting Boston as a hub of innovation in art, science, and technology.
We teamed up with 17 thought leaders—entrepreneurs, journalists, executives, professors, and more—to give you the opportunity to have a 15-minute mentorship at the tap of a button. There were smiles, hugs, and even tears shared in these moments…
A young entrepreneur jumped right in, “How do I know if I should change my career to follow my passion?” she asked John Stephans, CEO of IdeaPaint. It’s a difficult place to be—in a great career path, but wanting to take the risk to start a new business in something you’re passionate about.
For many people working on an idea in their free time, it’s difficult balancing a full time job while pursuing a side project. Jeff Avallon, VP of Corporate Development at IdeaPaint, passed along some advice he was given back when he was contemplating taking a similar leap, “You’re procrastinating the opportunity with another job.” In other words, take a risk and go all-in to pursue your passion. He added that a typical pitfall is that startups tend to over-plan and strategize, “Your biggest risk is inaction.”
“The opportunity of a lifetime is only available for the lifetime of the opportunity.”
– Tony Parham, Managing Director of TKG Management Consulting
‘Act now, before someone else does’ was a shared sentiment across all of the mentors. It’s the defining moment that brought them to success.
Sometimes that big idea hasn’t happened yet, and some people wanted advice on how to pursue their next steps, how to find what really drives them. John Harthorne, Founder & CEO of MassChallenge, turned to his mentee and asked, “The real question is: what would you do if there were no consequences?”
One mentee turned out to be an Uber driver-partner who was a former lawyer looking for advice on what to do (besides drive with Uber in his free time). Dr. John Brownstein, the Chief Innovation Officer at Boston Children’s Hospital, suggested he utilize his current skills and break into the Boston startup community, helping them with their legal efforts.
At the end of the day, it was incredible to see how many people are sharing the same experiences as they navigate their careers and lives here in Boston. Balancing the practical with their passions, and striving to make them one in the same is something the mentors know quite well. It was truly inspiring to be a part of these mentorships, and we can’t wait to see the innovation that sprouts out of these new relationships.
“Don’t be afraid to try something new!”
– Shirley Leung, The Boston Globe
photo via @leung