The first full day of panels, workshops, and mentor sessions is done. There was more information presented than I could record. I know I have collected enough for several weeks of posts.
After my the Next Level workshop with Stacy Parson and Susan Cooney and Epic Office Hour with Erica Minnihan I had another realization: It's time to pivot. When I say pivot, I mean it's time to refine my vision, message, and goals for this site.
I started this blog with an idea of what I wanted to say about start ups. I thought a good general story of the team, product, and funding was a great path to travel. That choice brought me this far to Celebrate 2015. It has captured the attention of several people who have told me they appreciate my approach and passion. Several founders have expressed their joy over someone taking the time to tel their story correctly.
The Value of Self Awareness
After the Next Level workshop, I realized how much I understand about myself. I know what I'm good at, and I know where I can get better. I also know what kind of visual I give off. I have a firm understanding of what I look like and sound like. Working as a referee and umpire for 15 years has taught me all about perception.
My passion for the "why" has led me to believe my best path at this juncture is to focus on product, market, and fit when I tell my start up stories. In reality, it's about where I'm at in my evolution as a start up writer.
Right now I am building the right user base. I have a product and some unique value to offer the market. Now I just need to build an audience and find a way to deliver consistent results like many other start up companies.
The Value of Being Shamed
After my Epic Office Hour with Erica, I found myself fully unprepared to speak with someone of her caliber. I thought I had a grasp on vocabulary and a few basic ideas. I thought I had smart questions ready to ask.
And then I opened my mouth.
I thought I could skip over the market validation step all start ups need to fight through. I thought I could jump straight to funding and get into that world by just saying a few fancy words and dressing nice. Erica was very nice and professional. I could see in her responses to my questions exactly how much I wasn't ready to sit next to her. I have the video. I will put it on the site when I upgrade. I'm not afraid of looking bad if someone can learn from it.
The Value of Being Resilient
No one gains anything by me just laying here and begging for sympathy. No one follows people who are victims. My value lies in being strong and cataloging my story here so you can learn. Instead of trying to get into a market where my current product doesn't fit, I'm now working to fit into the market in which I know I can thrive.
That's what makes a start up successful. Mistakes happen and choices don't work out. Staying faithful to the vision and embracing the grind will pay off in the end. I have great support and plenty of people rooting for me. There are plenty of changes coming. Creating value for you and connecting with the start up community at large takes time. I don't plan on giving up anytime soon.
The Value of Moving Forward
As I move into day three, I plan on focusing on smaller groups and mentor sessions. I'm finding the best content and knowledge are found there. I recorded a pitch coaching workshop today. It was full of great information from Kathleen Hale. She is a founder twice over and a trial lawyer. If anyone knows anything about the technique of speaking it's her.
Stay tuned for more fun.