By Liz Traison, Tirtzah
Sometimes, when I think of myself as an entrepreneur, I picture Crazy Old Maurice from the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast. If you remember, he has big hair and even bigger ideas – not too unlike myself. Though it’s been years since I’ve watched the movie, the things that stand out to me are that he was an inventor, a dreamer, and that he had to fight an uphill battle to get people to take him seriously.
As a young professional, it’s easy to feel the same way. Our ideas and dreams can get lost amid the bureaucracy and “the way things are done”. As a young entrepreneur, the stakes are almost higher; the dreams are bigger, loftier, and the willingness of our communities to necessarily take us seriously can be mountainous because we’re young, because we’re inexperienced, because we don’t know how. These are the shadowy clouds that loom over us, but, if we’re willing to ride out the dip, and not let anyone keep us from dreaming big, the reward can be so much greater.
I have always been a practical dreamer. When I was 11, I dreamed I could be a hippie, so I became a vegetarian and took my mom’s record player out of the basement (and subsequently ended up working in Jewish Outdoor, Food, and Environmental Education). When I was in high school, I dreamed I could save the world. And while I might not have saved the world - or even really come close, I did bring awareness to my community about the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. As a health coach, it’s currently one of my dreams to help people eat better, because I believe that when you eat well, you feel well; and when you feel well, you’ll be more empowered to make a change in our world in need of mending.
Today, with the help of PresenTense, I’m working on a new dream, and this time it has a name: Tirtzah. Tirzah will serve as a platform to offer mentorship, guidance, and career growth for women working in the Jewish professional world. What started as a dream, as merely an idea for a way to help improve something I saw missing in my community, is slowly but surely turning into a reality.
So to all my fellow young entrepreneurs out there, I want to extend my support and congratulations. Keep making timelines and networking meetings. Dream bigger and reach higher. I believe and I hope you do too, that it’s because of, not in spite of, our age and experience, that we can accomplish real change. The world needs people like us to think thoroughly and deeply, to dream big, about how to make it better.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
For more details on Tirtzah – wait patiently. They are coming soon.
PresenTense NYC Fellowship
Igniting social change in the NYC Jewish community.