Showing Up as an Entrepreneur

Last leg of a sprint triathlon in Bath County, Virginia, 2009 "Love and work…work and love. That’s all there is."
- attributed to Sigmund Freud

On day one of Handshake 2.0’s second year, I am pondering Z. Kelly Queijo’s post, A Tree Grows in Blacksburg, and her contemplation of an entrepreneur’s determination, and the post by Jim Flowers stating, “It's not that I don't believe in the possibility of a four hour work week.  It's that I wouldn't want one."  Flowers quotes Jonathan Mead:  “Work is sacred.”

I was asked last night at Handshake 2.0’s anniversary celebration, “How has your company done so well in just one year?”

To me, the number one reason for the successful first year of Handshake 2.0 is context.

We operated in a context of expertise through the advisory network at VT KnowledgeWorks, the collegiality offered by Presidents’ Council, the collective expertise of a burgeoning local technology and entrepreneurship initiative, the financial resources of friends and family (Thanks, Mom and Dad!), and the individual resources of gifted people.  Writer Z. Kelly Queijo comes to mind.

“Yes, Anne, but what about you? How’d you do this?”

I consider myself an entrepreneur – I’ve started a high-growth company, not a lifestyle business – and I can attribute our development towards being a high impact company with “extraordinary revenue growth plus expanding employment” to the context in which the company was born and lives.

Me?  Yes, I am determined.  Yes, I’m probably a believer in work being sacred and in work and love being the essence of who I am and why I do what I do.

But if I had do identify my part? 

I show up.

Over and over and over again, I show up.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I do sprint triathlons and frequently come in near the end.  Why am I fourth in the standings – in our state in my age group - in rankings that weight consistency?  Because I keep showing up.

I know a guy who’s been retired for ten years and sets his alarm clock for 6:10 AM each day. Weekends, too. He shows up each day, early, for what work and love and life can offer.

I guess I do, too.

More Than Ever
Rackspace Tech Showcase - Attaain, Inc.


  1. Happy Anniversary, Anne, and congrats on your progress.

    I think Woody Allen said 80% of success is just showing up, you do so much more than just show up with all the energy, creativity, insight and enthusiasm you put into your work, as evidenced by the quality of your various forums.

  2. Debbie Palombo says:

    This guy you know sounds like a guy I know…Bob Giles! Like father, like daughter. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. And this tree grows in Blacksburg, too!

    Congratulations on both of your anniversaries, in WORK and LOVE!

    Your Tampa Connection

  3. Yes, Tampa Connection, you are exactly right. Beautifully put, too. Thank you!

  4. What a lovely comment, Bob. I cannot write often enough of my gratitude to you – the first link ever to our site from you, the first online conversation I ever had with you. You showed me how it worked, and that it worked. For that, my appeciation knows no bounds.

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