Different minds who reminded me to keep going...

Written by:

Katie Mehnert

Entrepreneurship is the hardest job I've ever held.

Give me my former six-figure cash and stock deal and business-class flying privileges on the right day and I might race out of my door. For nearly six years I've toiled on a passion to drive equity in the energy workforce. It started with a passion for more women in our industry. And then it didn't take me long to realize I wanted energy for everyone. In fact I got drunk on a plane next to an older bubba who changed the course of my career, and well, the industry.

The most rewarding place to work on the planet is energy.

We nurture, provide, and lift economies. It's a complicated value chain with lots of intricacies financially and politically. We don't do this work devoid of risk or harm. One day I'll be gone but every night I shut my eyes to sleep, I know that every bit of my day in my energy career was spent doing meaningful work.

Speaking of meaningful work, this little pet project "website" (a term my husband used to call it) that launched in 2014, has grown to become a community and force of nature. It was a cocktail napkin idea that kept me up nights and days. I finally took the plunge and cashed out my stock to start it. I had a vision, and not a clue on how but a will that drove me to figure it out. It's has taken me to Congress. It's created courage in me to call things how I see them on climate change, the energy workforce, and why both matter. It even drove me out of a comfort zone to talk the alpha economics of a diverse workforce. (Alpha generation economics and gender lens investing?) I digress.

You're going to embark upon an epic idea or dream one day.

You will be faced with the choice to open the door and step into the unknown or to keep the door shut. You'll be tested to take your own worth and sink every bit you have into yourself. That's the stock you need to own the most of: YOU.

And once you open the door to explore that unknown, you will want to give up.

You'll lose friends you didn't need, you'll attract trolls, have unsavory things published, and life may even hand you a bad gig. Know that before you get started to surround yourself with different people, mindsets and beliefs. I promise they will keep you going.

Here are some of my favorite moments and people who reminded me that when I just about "done", that my work was making a difference. Thank you to all of you who've come along for this ride.

An interview with the "Dude", Jeff Bridges about energy, climate and all sorts of topics.

My daughter Ally. Yeah, you could say she's been my true north.

Randi Zuckerberg who taught me to laugh more at myself and my colleagues from Shell who always have my back.

The bestie who never fails.

"It's not the lucky. It's the relentless who win." My mentor Jeffrey Hayzlett, former CMO Kodak and CEO of C-Suite Network

Deanna Jones always has the right answer for me at the right time.

Sheryl Sandberg for encouraging me to ask "What would you do if you weren't afraid?"

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