Ian Folau is a well-adapted serial learner and has always had an itch for entrepreneurship. Born and raised on military bases, it was no surprise when Ian enrolled in West Point and then joined the Army. During his deployments, Ian found that he was looking for ways to fill his spare time. How he did that was unique. Ian read business books and began a number of companies the were running in the States while Ian was still half a world away overseas. He fell in love with the life of a business owner, and the risks and rewards associated with entrepreneurship.
“The passion comes from the idea of trading something that I’ve built for somebody’s money,” Ian says. “And it’s just convincing them that the trade is good enough. It’s in their favor. They’ve worked hard for their money. I want to build a product or give them a service that they love so much, they’re willing to give me that money that they earned.”
Once he left the Army and earned his MBA from Cornell University, Ian was able to get a taste of the world of venture capital when he co-founded a company called Gitlinks. It was there that Ian learned how small wins in business can really add up, especially when you’re suddenly dealing with investors and you have people to answer to.
Eventually, Gitlinks was acquired and today, Ian works with LMI Ventures, where he serves as an advisor helping other military veterans secure financing for their ventures.
On this episode of Find Your Mission, hear all the lessons Ian learned starting one business after another, and what it means to get a small win and turn it into something big.
Find Your Mission is presented by WeWork in partnership with Dell.
Thank you again to WeWork! Veterans in Residence, a partnership of WeWork and Bunker Labs, is a six-month startup incubator and leadership program that provides veteran and military family members the community, business support, and workspace to help launch and grow their businesses.
To learn more about WeWork and the Veterans in Residence program, visit we.co/veterans.
Also, thank you to our friends at Dell. Dell offers small business advisors to help any small business owner manage and understand all the ins and outs of technology in their small business. To speak with an Advisor today, Call 877-BUY-DELL or click here.
This podcast was created by the team at Mission. If you want to hear more from Mission, be sure to check out Mission.org.