The CEO of world’s leading startup incubator 1776 Evan Burfield says you can make a big difference if you keep going even when you desperately want to quit.
Can passion create a brighter future for the world? Of course! It drives one man to link all the forces that can contribute to improved health systems, transportation, and food production on a global scale.
Evan Burfield is the CEO and co-founder of 1776, a startup incubator that connects entrepreneurs from all over the world with executives and people in government. The initiative encourages entrepreneurs to unlock their potential and turn their groundbreaking ideas into reality.
Evan says everything started in his youth when he was captain of the rowing team. His passion made him push through pain and discomfort. He managed to turn them into pure drive.
‘Be willing to push through even when you want to quit if you’re gonna get anything great or interesting or exciting done in the world.’
Now he has a key role in world’s evolution and emphasizes the importance of getting all the genius minds together.
Do you want to stay focused even in difficult situations? Learn to do that now and remember to share it with your friends and spread the passion.
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Moustafa: Hello everyone and welcome back to Passion Sundays, the best way to end a week and start another. Our guest today is the co-founder and CEO of the world’s leading incubator that focuses on solving big government challenges – Evan from 1776!
Evan: Hey! Great to meet you!
Moustafa: Thank you very much for being here! What an opportunity to grab you while you are in town. What I want to know is tell me more about what you do and how does that relate to your passion.
Evan: Yeah. What we do at 1776 is focus on new ideas, new innovations, new businesses that are tackling these kinds of big, complex challenges. How do we transform the way transportation works in our cities? How do we transform the way in which our food gets made and gets delivered to us? How do we make healthcare much more accessible and help us lead longer, healthier, lives? These kinds of problems where you need a great entrepreneur with a great idea who can build something nobody’s built before which you also have to engage regulators, policy makers, executives of big health systems, right? Groups here in Dubai like RTA that are coming at things with a different perspective. So we are trying to bring all those together so we can all get to that amazing future we grew up reading about and imagining as kids happening a lot faster.
Moustafa: So I see your eyes glowing when talking about that future as kids. I guess this is your passion of bringing that dream into reality.
Evan: Yeah, totally. I think it’s… You know, I grew up like many of you reading science fiction and all of these things and sort of divide all this up into like…Are we gonna end up…Is my daughter going to end up growing up in a world that looks more like Star Trek or more like Mad Max, right? It feels like work this incredible flexing point in history and all these new technologies coming together, we have such an interconnected world that the kinds of decisions that we make, our ability to bring people together is gonna determine which path we really end up evolving and going down.
Moustafa: I love it! And you have a role to play in that.
Evan: I do. I have a great role to play in that. And part of what I love about it is really helping all these different people unlock their potential and get access to opportunities to get their ideas, to make them real. We work with these unbelievable entrepreneurs all around the world and we also work with incredible people in government, right? People here in Dubai who have this big vision for what Dubai can be and how Dubai can the future. All of them want to get there but none of them can do it without coming together in the right ways and that’s what we’re trying to do at 1776.
Moustafa: I love it! And if we are talking about such a journey…It sounds beautiful where you are today, but I’m sure it started on a bumpy road somewhere along the way, got tough sometimes.
Moustafa: How did you find your passion in those times?
Evan: Yeah, for me, you know I often think of the fact that so much of what I do now, from a leadership standpoint whether it’s leading my organization or helping to bring all these different groups together is about being able to just stay focused and persevere when it’s uncomfortable, when it’s difficult. When I was younger, before I ever did anything in technology, anything of this stuff, I was actually the captain of my rowing team. And rowing, right? You see it on television. It’s an unbelievably painful sport. The entire purpose of the sport is you start rowing, and it’s you were exhausted your muscles ache, you want to quit, you so desperately want to quit. The moment you start, you have to push through it and the training is long and the training is boring and it’s just this uncomfortable stuff and I have taken this in a certain sense. Like I grew up steering myself to absorb that pain and discomfort to ultimately focus on that incredible experience at the end when you get to cross the finish line and everyone cheers and it’s wonderful. I think much of life has that same dynamic. You gotta be willing to put the training in, you gotta be willing to push through even when you want to quit if you’re gonna get anything great or interesting or exciting done in the world.
Moustafa: I love it! You got to be able to push through. That’s what passion is all about!
Evan: Yeah! You have to!
Moustafa: Thank you very much! It has been an awesome interview.
Evan: Thank you!
Moustafa: I appreciate it.
Moustafa and Evan: Passion!
Moustafa: What do you think? I would really love to hear your opinion. So if you found this episode as interesting as I did, leave your comments on the blog below and do share it with your friends. And if you’d like more tools, tips, techniques and exclusive interviews that I only share on my website, got to Moustafa.com. And until next episode, live passionately!