For the last 6 months I have been surrounding myself with incredibly passionate entrepreneurs. Throughout this time I have come to know many of them (and their startups) intimately. It's with this constant connection to the startup community that I have been able to grow my own self (and my startup) and really connect with what makes me tick.
One of the big things that has become evident to me is the love I have for helping other startups. Being able to offer advice when applicable, help in design when requested and offer a supporting shoulder when needed has inspired me in so many ways.
Throughout that time I have been fortunate enough to get to know Andrew Birt, Adrian Stone & Nathan Sampimon (the powerhouse team behind AngelCube) and have recently been mentoring their 2012 startup teams in UI/UX design at Inspire9. Although it has only been 1 week with the teams, I can already say that the collection of entrepreneurs in this years program are going to be powerful players in this industry to come.
You see, when you offer advice to someone, you get to know what makes them tick. You hear what drives them forward and watch as they implement their various strategies to do what needs to be done. Witnessing this passion close up is infectious. It forces you to look at yourself and ask the same questions you do them. It's in those moments that you realise they are helping you immensely.
Whether they listen and action your advice or disagree and persevere on their own path is irrelevant - it's all learning.
That's the most important part.
Being able to learn from the people you teach.
And that's why I love helping startups.