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Posted by on Jan 24, 2019 in business, Economy, Work | 0 comments

Who am I? The Identity of an Entrepreneur

Who am I? The Identity of an Entrepreneur

What really motivates us as entrepreneurs? I ask the question because in the past 6 months, I’ve started to notice some disconcerting cracks in my own character. In 2018, as an entrepreneur, father and husband, externally, things have thrived. Internally, however, I’ve struggled. I’ve noticed my patience has gotten shorter with my kids. I haven’t been the kind of husband I want to be. My ability to deal with stress almost seems to be diminishing. I’ve felt spiritually fragile. As I’ve tried to understand what’s happening inside of me, I’ve come back to the question: what is really motivating me to build, grow, and achieve? What is driving me? In 2013, I started Denver Institute for Faith & Work. It was exhilarating. We pitched the idea to a handful of donors. They started giving and we took off. Beginning in January of 2014, we hosted over 600 people at 6 events over 7 months. More donors came, and we eventually hired a communications director and event director. In 2016,...

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Posted by on Aug 9, 2018 in business, Economy, Work | 0 comments

Faith and Entrepreneurship

Faith and Entrepreneurship

  Two weeks ago I shared with our newly formed “Entrepreneur’s Forum,” a quarterly gathering of founders and early stage investors in the Denver area. The topic was faith and entrepreneurship, and I laid out what I thought were three starting points for thinking about entrepreneurship as a Christian: Creation, Fall, and the Great Commandment. Here’s the audio. Eventually, the audio and the Powerpoint will be available on our new learning platform at Scatter.org. Enjoy. http://jeffhaanen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/18JUL24-Entrepreneurs-Forum.m4a  ...

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Posted by on May 23, 2017 in business, Economy, Work | 0 comments

Am I an Imposter? The Weary Souls of Entreprenuers

Am I an Imposter? The Weary Souls of Entreprenuers

  Banks Benitez said it perfectly. When I was interviewing Banks about his work as the VP of Global Expansion at the Unreasonable Institute, a start-up school for social entrepreneurs, one of his founders shared about what it feels like to be an entrepreneur: “It’s like I just joined the very front of the parade and people are cheering me on.” He continued, “Today it seems like entrepreneurship is almost this embodiment of the American dream. You have this small idea and then you figure it out along the way and you grow and become really wealthy and successful – and you’ll also solve a global problem. Everybody wants you to become like Tesla, and the world is cheering you on…” But on the inside, being an entrepreneur is fraught with emotional pain and difficulty. One of his founders said in a post-experience survey, “I don’t deserve to have this platform. People don’t really know who I am, and once they really find out who I am they’re going to be...

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Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 in Nonprofit | 0 comments

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams”: An Interview with Randy Samelson

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams”: An Interview with Randy Samelson

  “I have a dream!” It wasn’t only Martin Luther King, Jr. who said those words. Every entrepreneur – whether in a business or a nonprofit – has dreamed of building a great organization and accomplishing an inspiring vision. But most of those dreams hit a few speed bumps on the way. And too many dreams are often left to “someday,” and never see the light of day. Randon (Randy) Samelson, the founder of Counsel & Capital, has spent a lifetime around Christian leaders. His new book, Breakthrough: Unleashing the Power of a Proven Plan, was written for dreamers who want to actually see their aspirations accomplished. In this interview, Samelson shares about his career as an investor, a strategy for accomplishing any vision, and why King David’s own plan to build the temple should guide those who still dream today.  What in your personal work experience motivated you to write Breakthrough? I’ve spent much of my life surrounded by Christian leaders, visionaries, and entrepreneurs. Almost all have had great and noble dreams. But...

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Posted by on Feb 28, 2014 in Work | 2 comments

The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma

The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma

  I sat in the car, waiting for my next appointment. I was about to meet with two CEOs back-to-back. My bag was filled with literature for my start-up. And I was ready to take the stage. That’s what it feels like, becoming an entrepreneur. Taking the stage. After months of work, day and night, you put yourself out there to sink or swim. You believe in your idea whole-heartedly, almost to the point of being surprised that others don’t see as you do. But in the midst of the risk, the excitement, a temptation can worm its way into our hearts: I am my idea.  Several months ago, I remember speaking with a pastor in Boulder who works with young tech entrepreneurs. The temptation for entrepreneurs is to so wholly identify with their new start-up that their soul becomes bound up with the new venture’s success. This is the entrepreneur’s dilemma. Usually one of two things happen: (1) We are successful. We get the venture capital, our insane...

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