Entrepreneurial Spotlight Print

Dave Wilkin, Founder of Ten Thousand Coffees on the Power of Networking

It’s no news that networking has the power to propel a business and career. But sometimes, the process can be disjointed and, frankly, awkward.

Recognizing a need to facilitate this connection, Dave Wilkin created his enterprise platform, Ten Thousand Coffees, to facilitate cross-team collaboration and mentorship. His goal? To empower budding leaders to be more innovative and high-performing through diverse relationships. With clients like PepsiCo and RBC, Wilkin has shown that genuine collaboration can drive real results.

Q & A

How do you stay focused?
I stay active, eat well, and do work I care about.  

Why should people consider being mentors?
The best way to learn is to teach. If you’re not actively helping others, you’re not learning. There’s never been a time when more experienced professionals can learn as much from the “next generation” — this truly makes mentoring a two-way street. 

What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Get obsessed with problems, not solutions.

What is the lesson that took you the longest to learn?
I think something that took me awhile to understand was to enjoy the tough and intense times. It’s important to remember the opportunities most people would kill for.  

What do you look for in a leader?
A great leader has humble expertise and is always willing to learn. 

DAILY GLIMPSE

8AM: I like to keep myself open for a coffee with someone new or a colleague to catch-up on a more creative level. Having your first meeting over a coffee with someone inspiring is such a nice way to start the day.

9AM-6PM: Working with the team — whether it’s with our sales and partnerships division in NYC or our product and engineering team in Toronto.

6PM: I’m always booked for something active — yoga, HIIT class, or something new. 

730PM: I’m often out for meetings or with clients over dinner. Exploring a new restaurant with great food is always a highlight of the day. [Otherwise], I’ll use the evening to catch up on a lot of the “thinking” work that a busy day doesn’t typically allow for.

I'D RECOMMEND

BOOK

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant 

Inherently building a company that is a category creator is tough— this book normalizes a lot of what I believe I get knocked down by the day-to-day grind. It's hard to do something for the first time, and people are designed to resist change and innovation. This book has helped reinvigorate the importance of pushing hard and always believing.

PODCAST

Masters of Scale by Reid Hoffman

Masters of Scale is an absolute bible for anyone building or growing a technology company. I've listened (and re-listened) to every episode with my leadership team. 

APP

Headspace 
My daily goal in 2018 was to meditate every day. I've kept that going thanks to Headspace. For those that know me, I never thought I could sit down and [do it]. Now I rely on it — there's a reason people have been practicing mindfulness for thousands of years.