This past summer I had the opportunity to intern abroad in Quito, Ecuador. I built financial reports, prepared guest-houses, lead short term missions teams, and I played lots of soccer. Upon arriving in Quito, the organization, Inca Link International, designated the first 10 or so days to training. Have you ever seen the show the Amazing Race? Well, Inca Link’s training was basically the amazing race. The other interns and I would be given a clue to begin our day in the morning and the rest of the day was spent searching after clues throughout the city. Often times we would be given the destination but not the directions to the destination. Through this process, we became comfortable asking anyone on the street if they might help us with directions. We became comfortable taking public transportation. We became comfortable feeling lost. We became very comfortable being uncomfortable.
Wendy Mascio spoke about this notion of being comfortable being uncomfortable. She emphasized that her willingness to do something out of her comfort zone has repeatedly led to more opportunities. These “uncomfortable” opportunities have fueled her growth as a business woman throughout her career. I could connect with Mrs. Mascio’s advice because of my summer experience in Quito. My Spanish got better throughout the summer because of my willingness to speak it without knowing if I could carry the conversation to completion. We (my teammate and I) traveled and saw beautiful parts of the country because we were willing to trust our ability to be independent in a foreign country.
I hope that I can continue to push myself to be comfortable being uncomfortable while working through Venture Lab. When we first explain what we want our product to be and how we want it to be made, it is sometimes an uneasy feeling because you don’t know how other people will react. Will they like the idea? Will they shut it down? However, as we stay patient, we often find that those first few uncomfortable moments are worth it as we have made strides in enticing businesses to invest their time and resources into our product and idea. Wendy Mascio’s entrepreneurship story and advice served as a great encouragement to me.
Dale Reese ’17