Hope Horner, CEO & Founder of Lemonlight

"Brace yourself - it's going to be an overwhelming experience. Some days, you will be overwhelmed with excitement and hope, others, you will be filled with desperation while you question everything around you. The trick is to know that days will pass and your current situation will change. Surround yourself with mentors and advisors that can give you an outside perspective and sound feedback along the way. No matter what, keep moving forward."

Han Jin, Founder & CEO of Lucid VR

"Every beginning is hard, because you have to create momentum and move the huge rock in front of you. Instead of thinking through hypothetical challenges, focus on the most short-term hurdles and tasks while having a really big vision in mind. Everything in between in the range of months or quarters can only paralyze you from actually taking action. Don't overthink, just jump in and figure things out along the way." 

Stephen Garten, Founder & CEO of Charity Charge

"As a young social entrepreneur in the lively city of Austin, Texas, I take great pride in the work that I get to do. I founded Charity Charge not only as my way to give back, but to make it incredibly easy for others to do the same each and every time they use their credit card. So naturally my greatest feelings of success follow my conversations with our partner nonprofits and cardholders. Each of them has a powerful story to share and a deep connection to the charitable causes that they support. It is unbelievably gratifying to see that our cardholders are using the tool I created to further our mission, and more importantly, to empower their favorite nonprofits. As more consumers adopt our card, more nonprofits benefit from cash back donations, and to me, there is no greater reward than doing the right thing and enabling others to do the same through everyday giving."

Sheeza Shah, Founder & CEO of UpEffect

"The most exciting part of my work is helping revolutionary social entrepreneurs solve today's most pressing problems. I find a great sense of joy in contributing to these world-changing journeys and playing my part in making our home a better place. Beyond that, watching small seeds and passionate ideas bloom into a business is incredibly rewarding. I also think learning how to embrace failure and building the strength to rise again is a skill I wish I learnt earlier in life - it equips you for almost anything." 

Vijoy Rao, Founder of Magic Room Brand

"There's a lot of rewarding things about being an entrepreneur, but perhaps what I find consistently energizing on my journey is knowing that you're not working on something, but TOWARDS something. When you're able to find an overlap between knowledge, passion, and a market opportunity - and then able to dedicate time, energy, and focus to building that vision - it's never boring. Ever. Supporting eco-consciousness and being a part of other people's passion for music creation is a special privilege, and it's something Magic Room Brand doesn't take for granted."

Mark Horoszowski, Co-Founder of MovingWorlds

"Entrepreneurs don't only create businesses - they also change the course of the systems they operate in. Using market-based ways to create social progress is very motivating, but the most rewarding aspect of my job is seeing when our work positively influences the direction of the entire industry we operate in. Knowing that our work is positively changing entire industries, and even our economic system, is a real champagne movement."

Joe Lannen, Founder of Tree Tribe

"The most rewarding part of being a social entrepreneur is combining your passion with your business, while helping to make the world a better place. Tree Tribe plants 10 trees on every sale, so even on the tough days when I'm feeling overworked, I can smile knowing that every day we're adding more trees and positive energy to our beautiful planet. Making a positive impact fills you with natural energy and purpose - great vibes to carry with you in your entrepreneurial journey. Enjoy the adventure!" (Cambodia, pictured with all of his belongings)

Nicole Staple, Co-Founder of Brideside

"Before I started my company, I thought that fulfillment and motivation would come from watching your idea morph into a product that becomes bigger than yourself. While that's certainly an amazing part of the journey, I have found that the most rewarding part of entrepreneurship comes from my teammates who take a bet on you and your vision. I have the deepest gratitude to those who show up everyday, despite the turbulence, uncertainty and inevitable defeats, to commit to the marathon of building a big company. My colleagues, hands down, have been the driver of success for our company and have granted me the privilege to observe and learn from their talents. Their friendship, hardships, commitment and eternal positive spirits are what I will never forget."

Justin Cooke, Partner at Empire Flippers

"There's a ton of hustle that goes into being an entrepreneur. Working long days and nights is par for the course. Over time, though, you bake processes and teams into your business that make it about much more than you. One of the greatest joys I've had as an entrepreneur is being able to mentor the many different types of apprentices we've hired along the way. Helping to guide them and shaping our company culture is a big part of what keeps me going years down the road."

Lauren Schulte, Founder & CEO of The Flex Company

"The most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur is seeing the impact of our mission: to create body-positive and life-changing experiences through the products that we make and the conversations that we have. Women spend almost a quarter of their lives menstruating, and if we can help them feel even slightly less ashamed about their body, we’ve accomplished our mission. This is the core of everything we do, and the reason we're excited to get out of bed every day and talk to every woman (and man) we meet about menstruation."

Amber Allen, Founder & CEO at Double A Events

"The most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur is the opportunity to innovate and work on projects that I'm passionate about. Focusing on a field that is your Circle of Competence helps you stand out among the competition and transforms the work environment into a place you love to go, which is imperative when you consider the long hours it takes to be a successful entrepreneur."