One of my tasks today is to make a list of five or so people in the Austin area who I really look up to and want to ask for help. I used to think that having mentors was a privilege that only young people can have, but now I understand it’s for everybody. When I look back on my life in Portland, my mentors were the ones who made all the difference. There were Brett and Amy, two genius filmmakers whose humor and tenacity taught me so much about running a business. And Jenn, my boss at the NELA Center. And about half of my classmates at the Northwest Institute for Social Change, even though they’re my age. And my big brother Marius, proof that gods can walk around on this planet in human form. And a whole host of other people who have easily and gracefully inspired me with their ability to live creatively and help other people in the process.
I’m missing that element in Austin, so I’m going to do some digging today. On my short list is a woman named Linda, who works here; and the awesome people who started Center 61. And even though he lives in Portland, I really, reeeeeeeeally want to talk to Stephen Marc Beaudoin, who started the best nonprofit ever and appears to be friends (of the Facebook variety) with about half of my friends.
If I can snag interviews with people like this, I’ll post them on my blog so you can read the words of people who have actually started stuff, and aren’t just attempting to. I’ll report back soon!