- Social Media
- Active Citizenship
- Good Giving
- Corporate Responsibility
- Be Fearless
Fellows Friday is a weekly series on the TED Blog that profiles one TED Fellow each week. We have asked the Fellows to answer our question below to share their knowledge and advice with other social entrepreneurs, innovators, and changemakers who are coming up with big ideas that can change the world.
At age 17, Ben Gulak invented an electric motorcycle that was named “Invention of the Year” by Popular Science. He’s now working on a snowmobile-ATV hybrid. Though being a full-time student and running two businesses has meant a lot of sacrifices -- including his favorite TV show “Dexter” -- Ben says the rewards are well worth it.
Stephanie: There are many aspiring social entrepreneurs out there who are trying to take their passion and ideas to the next level. What is one piece of advice you would give to them based on your own experiences and successes?
Ben: It’s funny that you ask that. I get a lot of entrepreneurs and inventors emailing me or contacting me on Facebook, saying, “What should I do?” It sounds really corny, but you have to follow your passion. You’re going to sacrifice social life, you’re going to sacrifice sleep -- you’re going to end up making a lot of sacrifices to make it work. If you really, really love it, you just have to find a way to make it work, and it’ll pay off.
Don’t let other people tell you you can’t do something. If you really want something badly enough, just figure out a way. Go talk to people, make the phone calls. It takes a lot of time and effort. That’s where you really have to believe in what you’re doing. It can’t be sort of a part-time thing. You have to be 100 percent behind it.
Read the rest of Ben's Fellows Friday interview here.