As an aspiring entrepreneur I have come to realize that the world is my work space. There is no idea too big or too crazy that with the right drive, vision, and passion, cannot be accomplished through hard work and dedication.

Many of you may have read that and may shake your head in disagreement, but hear me out.

After experiencing just one day in NYC visiting startup companies, learning culture, and talking to employees and founders, I have come to realize that everyone has a different life vision, but everyone also wants to bring meaning to their lives.

Whether it be to go work for someone else or to start your own venture and invest in yourself, if you have the passion, motivation, and belief behind your actions, you will see the successful results you are hoping for.

Aha Moments

After visiting companies such as: Squarespace, General AssemblyNight Agency, We Work, Afrika Tikkun, Defy Ventures, and Scott’s Pizza Tour, my entire outlook on companies and their unique cultures has led me to my first of many “ah-ha” moments in my young entrepreneurial career.

This “ah-ha” moment occurred multiple times throughout the day, but started at Squarespace. It was truly the first time I have made the connection between the fantasy billion-dollar companies I read about all the time, and the physical space in which they create their craft. Being a student in the formal education system throughout my entire life, I have always felt disconnected from the “real” world. (The world in which money is made through life changing products.)

It’s the Culture

GeneralAssembly_logoAfter seeing how much effort it takes to start with an idea and grow it on a massive scale, I realized that this is only possible by creating an effective and empowering brand and culture. This was very evident in companies like Squarespace and General Assembly. They each had open floor plans for collaborative efforts, and stressed that their employees can work together efficiently to create the best solutions for the customer experience.



Where I noticed the first drastic shift in my entrepreneurial mentality was when I (including the Entretech group of Syracuse University students) had the chance to meet with the founder of the creative digital advertising company, Night Agency.

Meeting Darren

Darren Paul is very similar to me in that he has always had the motivation to start his own venture. He was lucky enough to meet his long-time and current business partners while at Syracuse University, and they were able to collaborate and start a venture directly out of college.


What truly amazed me about Darren was his relaxed manner, ability to communicate effectively when answering questions, and even something as simple as his eye contact. He understood where we are in our lives as students, and was able to give us some priceless and incredible advice as if it was common knowledge.

Darren told us he dove into his biggest mistakes when first starting the company, which was hiring the wrong talent. He looked for hard-skilled employees and did not take into account the employee’s visions for the company’s future. He then stressed the importance of seeking out individuals who can share the same vision and passion he has for the future of the company. Darren also mentioned how creating quality work is more important than taking on a larger number of projects and not making them outstanding. We were able to visually understand this concept through some incredible social campaigns he shared with us that were created for clients of Night Agency.

Inspiration: Scott

Scott Wiener of Scott's Pizza Tour

Scott Wiener of Scott’s Pizza Tour

I lastly want to mention the single-handedly most inspiring individual I may have come across yet. His name is Scott Wiener, and he currently heads an entrepreneurial venture unlike any I have ever seen before. Scott’s Pizza Tours was an incredible New York experience, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

New Outlook

However, it was really Scott that changed my outlook on what entrepreneurship is all about. I have never met a  man more passionate about the craft of pizza than Scott. Everything from his enthusiasm, his background, and his ability to capture an audience amazed me beyond belief. At the end of the tour Scott shared some information with our group that absolutely changed my outlook on what entrepreneurship is about. Scott is not an overly wealthy man (yet), but he turned his obsessive hobby and passion into something many could only dream about.


The thing that separates Scott from anyone else I have ever met is that he created a business about an obsession of his and he thoroughly (I can’t stress this enough) enjoys educating people about his passion. He has found a way to not only like what he does on a daily basis, but love what he does on a daily basis.

Scott also has one more aspect that sets him apart from the masses, he gives back to his community. He is a firm believer that businesses are built by the community and that giving back to it is the right thing to do. Even though he continues to pour all his small but excess profit back into the company to make sure his tour is the greatest it could be, he also founded a non-profit charity to fight hunger starting in NYC (but has dreams to make it a nationwide cause). Scott mentioned how last year he raised $30,000 to feed more than 150,000 people. This is a cause that he stressed needed more active individuals and I quickly volunteered to bring the initiative to the Syracuse Campus.

My Takeaway

My takeaway after experiencing Scott’s Pizza Tour was that if you have an overwhelming drive and passion for a certain topic, pursue that topic and become an expert in it. Scott’s ability to pursue his odd passion and be an incredibly happy, and fun loving, human being while making a decent living is an absolute stab in the back to people who believe it isn’t possible for them to pursue their dreams. Also, having the heart to give back to the community is truly what entrepreneurship is all about; using your power to influence others to make the world a better place.

Whether in the future I succeed enough to start a company such as Squarespace or one such as Scott’s Pizza Tours, I was able to learn an incredible and invaluable lesson about entrepreneurship today from Scott. Pursue who you are and what you know and love best in the world, and you will be successful. 

Have you got an entrepreneurial dream to share? Or a comment about these companies? Please talk to us through the comments here!