2017 was the first year we introduced our scholarship.

The underlying goal of this scholarship is to give students the financial resources to start and experiment creating a business on their own without having to spend their own money.

Ultimately, it is up to students to determine how they choose to spend their award.

Our first winner of this year’s scholarship has been awarded to Jeremy Gould of Northern Arizona University! You can read his winning essay below.

The Importance of Entrepreneurship

Jeremy Gould of Northern Arizona University

Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of society. It takes the values of the modern American Dream and puts them on the forefront – using guts, tenacity, intelligence, and a nice heaping scoop of luck to try and make it in the world. Those that ‘make it’ go above and beyond, becoming pioneers in new industries and laying down new rules that define society. Others may not make it to the moon, but still land amongst the stars. Every successful entrepreneur, however, has a core set of values that makes them strong and passionate, both on the inside and the outside. We’re going to take a look at those values and see how we can apply them to everyday life.

The first major value that entrepreneurs have is tenacity. The definition of tenacity is ‘The ability to grip firmly to something.’ Entrepreneurs have to have a ton of perseverance, never giving in and never surrendering their dream. They get rejection more often than acceptance in what they do, both from the market and from their peers. Yet they take the rejections at face value, changing what needs to be changed but never changing who they truly are or giving up their goals in life. They’re stubborn and strong-willed, driven to succeed.

This drive is powered by passion. Entrepreneurs have a great passion for what they want to do in life. This passion is the initial fuel for their fire, the thing that makes them do what they want to do. This passion continues on their journey, and while it may abate here and there and rise and fall like the tides, it’s still the backbone of an entrepreneur’s dreams. Passion starts the journey, and it is there throughout the whole journey in the background, pushing the entrepreneur forward and onwards.
Vision is another major part of the entrepreneur. Vision is what causes them to keep going forward and to lead with style. They have a goal in mind, and they can see it clearly. Vision is what causes them to keep going. If passion is pushing them to go forward, then vision is what is pulling them towards the future. It’s what causes the entrepreneur to bend rules and to throw ideas at the wall and see what sticks. Ultimately, it’s the endgame the entrepreneur has in mind.

Finally, all of these traits would be nothing without confidence. Confidence in what you do, confidence in how your carry yourself, and confidence in how you react to new circumstances. The greatest entrepreneurs have always had great confidence and charismatic personalities. It’s confidence that gives you the tools you need to lead a team on your journey, and it’s confidence that keeps you from getting down. While all of these values are what help pick you back up after rejection, it’s confidence that keeps you up and rolling with the punches. You know you’re going to succeed – it’s only a matter of when, rather than if.

So how can we reflect these values into our lives today? Here’s the thing – values are learned as you on your journey, not traits you’re born with. They are signs of maturity, and you naturally are going to learn them as you go on. You can train them, though. Putting yourself out into the world is going to help learn these values, and often self-reflecting can help you realize where you may be struggling and where to improve. Experience is what helps shape us into who we are – it teaches us lessons both good and bad and prepares us for going onstage with your idea and showing the world who you can be.

In the end, these four values are common traits that entrepreneurs share. It’s what kick starts their journeys, and they’re what keeps them going until the very end. These traits can be learned and used, and most of them are learned through experience. Without these values, an entrepreneur is sure to fail. With them, however, an entrepreneur has the world.

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