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Video transcript

I'm TA McCann I was the founder and CEO of gist I've actually been sort of an entrepreneur since I was a kid I think I started my first business when I was 11 first was grass cutting and yard work and then it was boat maintenance and then it moved to one thing to another and it always been really good at math and physics and I'd asked a bunch of mentors like what should I do with that and they said well you should go to Purdue and you should get into engineering and then you can figure it out from there I think college is a lot of figuring that out what is my own way what of this do I enjoy the most and so for me what I enjoyed the most was the ability to combine a lot of different technologies and to do that where I was interacting with people my first couple of jobs were really around robotic systems and building that but with a real focus on the customer and being in the field when I was young and I wanted to do this round-the-world sailing race I literally wrote a letter to somebody is saying hey I'm really thinking I'd like to do this round-the-world race I don't know what I don't know where to start and I gave my skills and I gave my impetus and these guys got back to me and one thing led to another and I joined an America's Cup team and we're going the America's Cup and then I sailed around the world and another America's Cup so I think a lot of it was charting your own course taking initiative and asking for help it takes a bit of courage but at the same time I think creating a set of relationships and having some sense of where that you want to go is the key it's like in sales I mean you always have to ask for the order the order doesn't come to you and so that courage and that ability to ask I think is a pretty critical factor for any entrepreneur you have to ask people to come and work for you have to ask people to believe in your idea you have to ask them to help you to get to whatever goal you're going after and so developing that at an early age and continuing to refine it is a pretty critical skill the two things I'll give advice on is one pick something that you really like if you pick a content area that you really like it barely feels like work and you're always around people who also care about the same things that you care about so pick a content area robotics or it's engineering or it's arranging flowers it doesn't matter but pick something that you really really enjoy talking out number two is really focus on your discipline because discipline is what keeps you going when you run into all the roadblocks which are going to be there I was talking with some guys the other day about building product and I said the most important thing you can do about building product product is make progress you just have to keep making progress and there will be stumbling blocks and there will be pitfalls but you have to make progress the discipline of learning and executing and that I think is such a critical factor and when you find the tenacious entrepreneurs they just won't quit and that won't quit part of it I think really starts to separate people