By Athena Simpson
Since I delivered my first lecture on Monday, it's probably time to share my new position as a part-time Entrepreneurship Lecturer at The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin! It's a pinch-me kind of moment that hasn't quite settled in.
I'd fallen in love with teaching and mentoring entrepreneurs while in London. Hilariously, I'd reluctantly agreed to mentor young entrepreneurs at Livity in 2014 (believing I didn't have anything to offer) and was immediately hooked.
In the time following, I had been able to teach, advise, and mentor hundreds of founders across the UK. I honestly can't think of anything that had more of a positive impact on my own motivation and business than getting the privilege of the time and energy of so many amazing future entrepreneurs.
That was the most difficult thing for me to leave behind in London when I left in 2019 to go on my circus adventure life sabbatical. I'd been pondering what I wanted to include in the next phase of my life and career and in the days before I left I asked a professor friend of mine how to get into University Education and, after hearing his explanation, put it on my 'bucket list'.
Three years later, here I am lecturing at one of the best Business Schools in the country with my very own course, and 37 bright and brave souls who are entrusting me with their education at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey.
On Monday, I taught my first class, and started with how to get into the mindset of an entrepreneur, because let's face it, it's one of the hardest journeys that exists. With the prevalence of the unsustainable and toxic hustle/failure/work-aholic narratives on social media that personally impacted me and so many great founders I know, I wanted them to hear what I wish someone had told me at the start of my entrepreneurial journey.
I stayed up late Monday night, reading their reflections from the lecture and was smiling and laughing through the tears streaming down my face as I saw their ambition, intelligence, motivation, and belief that they can control their future. What a gift. What an honor. What an exciting 2023 this will be.