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Dave Smith - CEO i założyciel TekScape IT

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- My name's Dave Smith. Name of the company is TekScape IT. I ran away from home at 15 years old. It was about 10 p.m. right before my 16th birthday I broke into the Boy Scout's house. I opened the window and I went in the window and I closed the window. That's called breaking in, unfortunately. I slept on the floor there. I eventually went back home about a week or so later. I get a knock on the door, my mom's like oh somebody's down here to see you. It's the police, they handcuffed me and then drove me to the station. I cried my eyes out, I was terrified. I'm 16 years old and I'm sitting in jail for five days. I had this delinquent friends that I was hanging around with and I'm like, I'm done with them. (laughing) That's the end of that. I'm like, I don't want to ever go through that again. That was a changing point in my adolescence. And the other changing point is when I graduated high school because I barely passed and then at the end of high school as I'm getting my diploma, I say to my mom, I'm like top of the world, ma! I was super excited about it and two or three days later nobody cares. You know, nobody cares about me succeeding anymore. Because when you're going through school the teacher's primary job is to make sure their students get the grades that they need to get, that's the goal. As soon as I got out of it, nobody cared anymore. It's kind of like a shock. And I went to my mom after that, I said, can I go to college? She's like you're out of your mind. I'm not gonna pay for you to go to college. You got arrested and you barely passed high school. Do you think I'm gonna give you any money to go to college? Where it dawned on me and I'm like oh my god, I gotta do this on my own. I gotta figure this out on my own. How do I do this without having help? So that's where it began and that's how it kind of started. I was doing data entry, I was a stock clerk. And then my step father passed away. That was kind of the final piece. I said alright I need to do something big now. I'm gonna make bigger decisions in life. I'm not gonna be lackadaisical and live in small town Connecticut and grow from small town Connecticut, I needed to make much bigger decisions. I need to take challenges. I'm gonna move to Boston, I'm gonna start a company. I'm gonna move to New York City. I'm gonna go there without any friends and live in a studio apartment and just believe in it. My father we used to have a saying, can't never did nothing. And it's the most broken English but what he was trying to get across and I didn't realize until after he'd passed away is that if you say that you can't do something you've failed before you've begun. You have to continually push forward past the point and never say that you can't do something. So that value that he instilled in me throughout my entire childhood is what gave me the ability to know that I was gonna be successful and believe in myself. If you don't believe in yourself you're not gonna be able to stick your neck out there and say okay I need double the credit line that I need 'cause I know that I'm gonna be able to develop this business. You just have to believe, and you have to push through all the failures and the people that say they can't do it. Every aspect of your life creates a decision in which pushes you on a certain path that ultimately gets you to where I am today, sitting in front of you. I'm happy to be here but if I didn't have any of those life challenges beforehand, I wouldn't have perspective to sit here.