Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Nick Hughes, Founder of Founders Live, located in Seattle, WA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Founders Live a media company and global ecosystem of entrepreneurial inspiration, education, and entertainment. The Founders Live movement includes unforgettable and live-streamed 99-second startup happy hour pitch competitions held in select cities, which create local founder celebrities and burst additional open pockets of creativity and entrepreneurial activity around the world.
The Live monthly events coupled with a growing online network where curated articles, videos, live-streamed expert talks, technologies, tools, and member chats help create world-class entrepreneurs. Our vision is to grow the next globally recognized entrepreneurial brand - which raises the tide for ALL startup regions but specifically 2nd and 3rd tier markets - to ultimately power the pulse of early-stage entrepreneurship and creativity around the world.
Founders Live is currently expanding across the world, reaching approx 120k people, and is currently Live in almost 100 cities in 32 countries, including Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Madrid, Spain, Nairobi, Kenya, and Jakarta Indonesia, and is launching 2 -3 new cities each month.
By the end of 2022, we'll be operating Live monthly events in 100+ cities, reaching hundreds of thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs and urban trendsetters each month, with projections to reach millions globally within a few years. You can read more about us on this link.
Tell us about yourself
Initially, I wanted to make a positive impact on millions of people around the world. But I was working in an industry that really wasn’t aligned to accomplish that, so I shifted into technology and the startup ecosystem around 2010.
In March of 2014, I decided to put on an event and bring people together to have fun and celebrate entrepreneurship in Seattle as a fun pitch competition. That was the first event in Founders Live history, it went well, and we just kept gathering every month with new startups pitching and more people attending.
Things changed when after speaking with entrepreneurs around the world, I discovered there are so many talented people around the world - hundreds of millions - who are simply not served and very much overlooked. They aren’t afforded the opportunities for success and a more fruitful life creating new businesses and innovations.
So Founders Live is here to bring them the connections in the global network of entrepreneurs, the education and information to help them become better founders, the resources and access to the capital they need to grow, and lastly, the global exposure to be discovered on a global scale.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Bringing a concept to life from scratch, starting it in Seattle, WA and 7+ years later seeing it spread to more than 100 cities and 30 countries, impacting people all across the world. It’s truly fascinating to see people you don’t even know and take hold of a vision that started in your head.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
As a leader, most things start and stop with you. This is a good thing in general, but it can be one of the hardest things since there’s no one else to point fault at. The buck stops at you!
Also, I’d mention that lots of people come and go. If they aren’t owners/cofounders, they are less committed and most likely are looking for different things in their professional life. So it’s important to understand people will move in and out of business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
What’s the purpose? What’s your reason? You must have a driving force within you that leads to a higher purpose and mission to survive all the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. If not, it's too easy to quit and move on to something else.
Work with great people. You are only one person and have limited capacity. Surround yourself with others who are experts in their own ways and who all to the collective greatness of your team.
Understand it takes longer than you think - and that is a good thing! It simply takes a long time for truly great things to develop and grow, and during that time, you will develop and grow as a person. This is good!
Don’t forget that what might be the worst thing for you and your business is too much success too soon, and when you are not ready. So enjoy the process and grow along with your mission and your business.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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