Photo credit: My friend Jonathan House, avid skydiver and Agilist. 

I just got back from a meeting at a local entrepreneurship mentoring group where I totally got my fill of startup adrenaline rush.

I loved it.

My name is Hala, and I'm a startup adrenaline junkie.

Let me back up a little.

I was invited to participate this week in some project review sessions for some local Salt Lake City startups. These startups represent the current cohort of entrepreneurs being mentored by a group called Foundry SLC. 

The Foundry was established a few years ago here in Utah, and has helped some companies achieve amazing growth. The Foundry's model is being emulated by universities and other groups across the country and even internationally. 

As part of the project reviews, mentors and advisors listen to the entrepreneurs present their company ideas, including the problem they are trying to solve, the market they are solving it for, and why they think they can solve it. 

Our job as mentors and advisors is to provide constructive criticism. What that translates to is coming in and poking holes through the proposed solution, the proposed business model, and even the assumed target market. This is done only with the best of intentions: helping these smart, driven entrepreneurs focus on the most important questions they need to answer NOW.

It is So. Fun. 

As you can imagine, I may have been more than a little giddy to have had the opportunity to give guidance and help out with the reviews. 

Afterwards, I walked out into the co-working space and saw others brainstorming, collaborating, networking. I thought to myself how much I loved that type of environment. I started to fantasize about spending late nights working downtown in shared spaces with smart people, where we would collaborate to the sounds of good music, and the promise of good food just down the street. 

I let myself dream for a few minutes, then I came back to earth. 

Brainstorming, "bouncing ideas around", working together, and collaborating with smart people in cool spaces are great ways to re-energize and get that startup adrenaline rush we all love. But when you're trying to make progress, one of the key things you have to learn is balance. 

Figure out how to get energy boosts from connecting with your local entrepreneurial community in ways that don't hinder your own progress. 

For me, that translates to treating participation in local entrepreneurship events as dessert; a treat that I consume in controlled doses and at the right time. (But it's a treat that I'll definitely still consume, hopefully for years to come.)
You might be better than I am at this, but I know that I have to watch myself so that I don't replace my main meals with the yummy, instant gratification of dessert. 

Does this resonate with you at all? Does it remind you of someone who might need to lay off of the startup-adrenaline, and focus on finishing something they started? Click "Share" below and spread the love!