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On Friday, February 16th, it was a pleasure to sit on a panel for WEST of Windsor for their Leadership and Community Development Program for Newcomer Youth Entrepreneurship.

The panel was comprised of Frank Abbruzzese, President of AlphaKOR, Blake & Lindsay Angier, Artistic Directors & Owners of Dance Barre, Ali El Gamrini, Owner of Pushers Collective and Stacey Dillard, Owner of Kavari.

It was a good make-up of business owners sharing our experiences, both good and challenging with the students at WEST.  The students were attentive, laughed and asked questions.  They were eager to learn more about what entrepreneurs do every day as part of their responsibilities.

The panel included diversified companies that ranged from a start-up home business, small/medium companies that have been around for several and many years. Besides the students, all of us on the panel learned a lot from each other.  Part of the entrepreneur journey is to learn something new every day.  I took back some ideas from Ali, Stacey, Blake & Lindsay and thank them for sharing their stories.

Our stories were different of how we became entrepreneurs and one thing was common:   follow your passion and be happy with what you are doing.   It is not a job!

We shared a bit about our businesses, why we decided to become an entrepreneur and what we liked about our career.   Some of the questions asked included challenges faced and lessons learned, if we could go back to give ourselves advice, what would it be and what training/education would we recommend to the students.

Thanks to the students and the team at WEST for making it an enjoyable and educational session where we all took away some good information and advice.  Taking time out of our schedules to help others and give back is part of an entrepreneur’ journey.   Make time to share your story, ask questions and learn from as many as you can along the way.

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