Start:ME Spotlight:

Chris Wedge

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Organization

Sons of Pitches FC

Community

East Lake

Bio

Wedge, as Chris likes to go by, is the first Start:ME alumni to mentor in the program they graduated from. A class of 2016 participant, he has successfully grown Sons of Pitches into the strongest in-town adult soccer league. A soccer nut, you can often see him out playing as reserve or coaching Carvers' High School Soccer Team.

You were a Start:ME participant before becoming a mentor. What is being on the other side of the table like? How has your experience in the program framed how you mentor?

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"Having been through the program and grown my business from nothing taught me valuable lessons on how to strategizing and bootstrap based on a business' size."

It's been very exciting. Being successful at a business for the first time is like a baby eating ice cream for the first time. No matter how much that person grows up to like ice cream, there is nothing like that first time. As an entrepreneur, the closest thing to it now is to see others take that first big step. Although there are lots of highly qualified mentors on specific subjects in the cohort, I believe having been through the program and grown my business from nothing taught me valuable lessons on how to strategizing and bootstrap based on a business' size. Just as important, is how to adjust your strategy once you are successful. I believe it's after initial success, that a business is most in danger.

You're a big believer that entrepreneurs are everywhere. What advice would you give to someone who is passionate about something but doesn't see themselves as an entrepreneur nor sees a way to turn their dream into a reality?

"My advice is to gain knowledge from experience and mentorship to the point that your decisions seem like the most nonrisky thing to do."

Whether you have a nine to five or not, we are all in business for ourselves and have to make similar decisions as any entrepreneur each day. So, don't put the title of "entrepreneur" on a pedestal. Conceptualizing it can lead to false assumptions and bad decision making, like entrepreneurship is for risk takers. My advice is to gain knowledge from experience and mentorship to the point that your decisions seem like the most nonrisky thing to do. And never forget to reflect on your success and failures equally. I would recommend reading, "Bad Blood" for anyone second guessing their qualifications. It is a great great book of the consequences of focusing on titles.

How would you rate Start:ME Program Associate Jacob�s ability on the pitch?

Baker_BlackandBillingual_1

He's determined and it shows through his lacking skills.

He's determined and it shows through his lacking skills. Your work ethic to get back on defense stands out. Having someone committed to playing to the last whistle is a nuisance to opposing sides.

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