It’s past time we remixed the entrepreneur archetype. The tried-and-true definition of an emerging or aspiring business owner feels tired. The modern entrepreneur is a mover, shaker and doer who’s not content with simply breaking all the rules. Our 52 trailblazers featured in the October issue are rewriting the rules, tearing them up and doing it all over again. It’s creation at its purest, because the fruits of one’s hustle are not actualized overnight or by following one jet-lagged recipe. It’s no longer adequate to measure entrepreneurs by the brick-and-mortar spaces they manifest or the jobs they create. Those are all important elements but fall short of what it truly means to build something — often with blood, sweat and tears. Whether you’re revamping the vintage clothing industry, introducing a fresh dining concept, cultivating an advocacy-focused creative agency or advancing the cause of equality for the LGBTQ+ community, the only thing that matters is freedom — the freedom to march to the beat of your own badass drum. Read our full rundown of trailblazers here.
A few years ago, Brent Kroll opened up Maxwell Park wine bar in Shaw and quickly became a success. Then in 2020, Kroll opened a new location in Navy Yard. His work, with wine, people, and the community, solidified his bars as staples in the local wine bar hop.
Advice that keeps you hungry
Don’t assemble your days for where you are, assemble them up for where you want to be.
What your day is incomplete without.
Saying something nice to someone.
Your power outfit remix
My buddy Max crushes this. I think whatever a power outfit is, you walk it, talk it or don’t try it. My power outfit has shifted to wine T-shirts, sneakers and not wearing a sommelier pin. My background is mostly suits. Now, I feel great about wearing tees and talking about wine, so I think it still fits.
What every entrepreneur needs
I see the best rule of thumb as being able to accomplish and/or teach anything you ask of others. This is something I will forever try to be better at. The most important part of it is to understand that people work and are motivated differently. I can’t coach everyone the same and it’s on me to communicate and try to set people up to succeed. It’s a big part of why I wait on guests at the bars.
Enjoy this piece? Consider becoming a member for access to our premium digital content. Support local journalism and start your membership today.