How Endeavor helped LeaseQuery get where we are today
Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Fireside Chat curated by Endeavor. Among those in attendance were Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn), Patrick Collison (founder of Stripe), and Eric S. Yuan (Founder of Zoom). I came away from the event feeling humbled and more determined than ever to pay back the kindness that Endeavor has bestowed upon us.
If you’re an entrepreneur and haven’t heard of endeavor, they are a world-wide entrepreneurship movement. At least that’s what it says on their website. To me, Endeavor is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping companies grow quicker and rise to their fullest potential – without a catch! They don’t take equity in the company, they don’t ask for a board seat, they don’t invest in the company. They are simply there to help you grow. Though the selection process is difficult, it’s also rewarding – whether you are accepted into the program or not.
I’ve learned a lot in the year I’ve been affiliated with Endeavor, both as a person and a CEO of one of Atlanta’s fastest-growing companies. We’ve blogged about LeaseQuery’s success before, and Endeavor has been a critical part of our journey. Here are just a few of the reasons why.
1. Variety of thought is crucial to success
As leaders of companies, we can get so consumed with running the company that we don’t step back sometimes to take a second look at the canvas we are painting. There have been times when I made a decision, talked it over with some endeavor entrepreneurs, and came away feeling like I had just dodged a bullet.
Through Endeavor, we’ve gotten advice that truly matters, which was invaluable for LeaseQuery. We are a bootstrapped company and as such do not have a formal Board of directors. One of the best things about being bootstrapped is that you have no one to answer to. One of the worst things about being bootstrapped is that you have no one to answer to. Endeavor set up an advisory board for us with talented individuals who have built companies of their own and were simply looking to give back. These individuals are truly altruistic, and they will forever have our gratitude.
2. It helps you to be humble
There is a certain amount of vanity that comes with establishing your own company, especially if you are bootstrapped. After each Endeavor event I attend, I come away humbled. No matter how big you think you are, there is a bigger endeavor entrepreneur. No matter how good you think you are, there is a better endeavor entrepreneur. For instance, an endeavor entrepreneur just raised 231M dollars. See the story here.
Given that LeaseQuery is based in Atlanta rather than Silicon Valley, it can sometimes feel as though we are a big fish in a small pond. Once we were accepted to the Endeavor program, however, I realized just how big the endeavor pond really is.
Not only are you networking with people at Fortune 500 companies, but you’re surrounded by other entrepreneurs across industries.
3. Some of the best thoughts happen outside of the office
I’ve always been a believer that inspiration can happen while you’re doing some of the most mundane tasks. During the most recent Endeavor event, we took a long hike during which I spoke with fellow CEOs, company founders, board members, and more about their roads to success.
I also got to speak with Todd Ehrlich, founder of BamFi, Kill Cliff, and Triserv, who took some time out of his schedule to come and speak with the LeaseQuery team recently. It’s been enlightening to meet with people who have experienced the same struggles that I have and have found unique ways to solve those struggles.
4. Pay it forward
You might think that you are good enough, but Endeavor knows you can be better. They provide access and advice to entrepreneurs and startups with a simple goal in mind – that companies will give back to their communities and pay it forward. We are huge advocates of Endeavor because we truly feel that they are an asset for companies no matter the size or industry.
5. Go through the selection process anyway
As I mentioned, the application process is intensive. At first, I was uncertain that we would be accepted. Thankfully we were, but even if we hadn’t been, I still feel that going through the process was also helpful.
They asked questions about our business, product offerings, and practices that I hadn’t even thought of. Once we were accepted, the team at Endeavor helped us implement structures and processes I didn’t know we needed.
I firmly believe that LeaseQuery would not be where it is today if it was not for Endeavor. The level of access we’ve gained, along with the advice we’ve been given, has been invaluable in our journey to scale LeaseQuery the way we have done thus far. If you or someone you know is an entrepreneur, I encourage you to apply for the Endeavor program.