Live in a City That Inspires You
Having moved from Massachusetts to North Carolina to Texas (+ a short stint in London) all within the past five years, you could say I’m a bit of a nomad. If I’ve learned anything from all the moving around, it’s one simple thing: the importance of living in a city that inspires you.
Over the last couple of years, Austin has felt more like home than any other place I’ve lived. It’s hard to put into words, but to me, Austin has this incredible almost paradoxical energy where the people who live here are driven and passionate, but also kind and welcoming. They’ll surprise you with their knowledge, often just over a Shiner at a local watering hole.
I also love that I live in a city that’s clearly a growing mecca for the tech community, ripe with innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. What it doesn’t have is the cutthroat “I’ll stomp on you in order to climb the ladder” mentality that unfortunately exists in some other cities. You can be successful here without being a jerk. In fact, if you’re a jerk, you probably won’t make it very far.
Austin is an amazing city – that goes without saying. But what really makes it so special is that it’s a city that inspires. It inspires me to go outside of my comfort zone and be the best version of myself.
Personally, this means I can try something like stand-up paddleboarding and not feel total shame when I immediately fall straight into the water. Professionally, this comes in the shape of learning so much simply by bouncing ideas off the average Austinite who is smart, interesting, and a little nerdy.
I asked my fellow INKers to share how living in Austin (and Houston! – for Helen) inspires them personally and professionally. Check out their answers below.
The sense of collaboration here is inspiring. There isn’t that East Coast sense of cut throat competition which is refreshing and I think allows inspiration to really flow. I feel that way professionally on a micro level, here in the office and marcro, I don’t ever have the feeling that there is this ill-will out there amongst other firms. It is also refreshing personally, I can just be.
I also love Austin’s “come as you are” mentality, which is everywhere. Want to go out to dinner in your fancy dress? Great! But I can also rock out my Ohio State t-shirt and never get a second look. I think that works on a bigger level too, people are open to new/different ideas which inspires you to have more of them!
People are proud of living in Austin and tend to steer towards a more collaborative environment, rather than dog-eat-dog. There are also great escapes away from the office to work and become inspired. Whether you’re taking a mental break in the natural parts of Austin or listening to the sounds of people chattering about their latest innovation at a local coffee shop – both the urban and natural parts of Austin are inspiring for tech.
I’ve only been here a couple of years, but one of the things that sets Austin apart from the other places I’ve lived is how genuinely interested people are in what you’re doing. They want to know what you’re up to, and if they can help in any way, they’re more than happy to do so. And since they’re so into your passions, it only makes you that much more motivated to succeed.
Austin has it all. One of my favorite things about working in Austin are the inspiring new companies that are emerging. With hundreds of awesome people moving here everyday, you never know what type of company is going to pop up next. It’s exciting to live in such an innovative city. It makes you want to be the best person you can be. Personally, Austin is a great city to meet young, driven and fun people – who doesn’t love that?
Austin is obviously a great place to be in tech because it’s such a big tech hub – but that alone doesn’t do it. What makes Austin truly great for tech is the same thing that makes it so great for games or art or or music or skateboarding or whatever your passion might be. It’s the community. The people of Austin are so welcoming and genuinely excited that you are excited about the same thing they are. They want to talk to you about it, answer your questions, introduce you to other people, and just generally make sure you succeed in whatever it is you are trying to do. Austin has a compounding excitement effect. Not to mention the fact that the community is so diverse! You will inevitably find someoneinto the same things you are and there are so many new things to see and learn from everyone else. In short, our city is rad but the people are radder.
I live in Rosharon, Texas, a small town of about 1,200 just south of the sprawling metropolis of Houston. (Yes, INK has a Houston presence!). I live in the country but my close proximity to Houston means I can draw inspiration from both. Rosharon is quiet. It slows me down after a hectic day at work. Houston is loud and hectic and its diverse culture, great restaurants, and ever-growing list of new people and business and things to do is where get my fuel both professionally and personally.