Lessons from Entrepreneurship Front Lines: Presentation for Nevada Small Business Development Center

Paddy waits for a throwOne day as I was walking the perimeter at Hydrant Club I noticed a group of folks standing out by our signature Hydrant gazing through the fence at the verdant green grass and pups playing. As is generally the case, I engaged them in a chat and found out they were from the City of Las Vegas licensing and permitting division, and they were taking a walk of downtown to check out some of the new businesses that had come online.

Seeing they were curious, I offered them a full tour of our newly unleashed facility and found myself engaged in a nearly hour-long talk all about what it had been like to start a business here and how I had found many of the City resources to be quite useful.

A month or so later, my phone rang. It was Jim Rickett from the City, asking if I would be willing to speak to a group of small business owners – the majority of whom were in the pre-opening stages of their own small businesses. It’s always flattering to be asked to speak. It’s even more so when you find out that of the hundreds and hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of new businesses with new licenses that have been given in the last year, they chose you to be the one to speak.

So this morning, waking even earlier than usual, I found myself at City Hall for a 7am gathering as the featured, keynote speaker.  Considering the brutally early start (we began at 7am) it was remarkable to see close to 60 entrepreneurs in the room! That the vast majority of them were “pre license” stage (aka haven’t formally formed their businesses yet) was amazing! When I began the process of preparing to open The Hydrant Club I was lucky to have some resources at my fingertips – from some basic counsel from my business partners, The Downtown Project to comprehensive and spectacular support from my attorney, Gina Bongiovi.

Not everyone is so lucky.

It was an honor to share my experience and even more so to see the superb response that’s come in just the hours since the talk.

So, for your listening pleasure … my unscripted, extemporaneous keynote from today …