Sh#t happens.


A couple of weeks ago over Hick House bbq, our 17-yr old son, Riley, reminds me to contact his close friend Nick's parents who are successful retail entrepreneurs. Rats…had I forgotten again!? Thank God for Ri's memory in addition to knowing how important building relationships is to launching startups. 

"We'd welcome the opportunity to create an event around you,” I type, "since a huge element of AE is providing our entrepreneurs with exposure to those who’ve come before them.”  

Mistake #1: I get Nick’s mom's email address wrong and it bounces back. Googling, I find another address and hit resend. Mistake #2: Nick’s dad shot me actual email.  Deeper google search. Oops, I mistook Nick’s mom altogether for another woman.  Both own stores within miles of each other in the Valley, share the exact same first and last name, but alas they are distinctly different people. 

I report back to Riley that I wouldn’t blame Nick’s parents for thinking me a careless bozo who doesn’t even seem to care enough to get their identities correct. [Insert eye roll]. This kid’s heard all my startup mishaps - from having my tech platform's code held hostage by evil developers because I botched up a contract, to cashing in my 401k to pay off an Amex card that financed our food supply. In context, this one ain’t so bad. 

These days, I try not to sweat the small stuff.  By doing so, I’m able to encourage our AE entrepreneurs to look at the the sum total of their herculean efforts to ignite a spark of inspiration into an actual company.  Sh#t happens, always. It’s the attitude and intention we bring to bear that counts in the end. 


Julie Engels
Executive Director of AE