Over the last 10 weeks I have been taking a Tuesday evening class in digital marketing provided by the Philadelphia based non-profit, Entrepreneur Works. It was fantastic. I learned so much and it inspired a lot of “aha” moments about the future of Mother Butter.
Last night was our cohort’s graduation and subsequent pitch competition, and I am humbled to share that I am quite proud at the moment. Mama bear here won first place and a big check (literally)/grant for $5,000!
This is my first time achieving a grant. It is not my first grant application or pitch. Admittedly, I was starting to get a bit cynical and sadly I had allowed my many failures to make me feel pretty down on myself and even doubt my vision. But last night revived me and the achievement was the push I really needed as I face year three in business.
If you’re someone with a vision who has started down your path but have been hitting bumps, I want to share with you that every step—whether it is a stumble or a beautiful long flung well balanced lunge—is going to help you get to where you’re going. Why? Because with every step you’re learning more about yourself, and the more you truly know about yourself the more control you have when it is time to score that goal.
Here’s what I am proudly reflecting on today:
- I was so prepared. Not only did I know how to put my pitch together because I’ve done this so many times before, but I knew my pacing, how to remain focused within the just 5 minute time allotment and I knew how to ask for the funds and express how they would be used.
- I took care of myself before the event. Kimchi soup and a sushi lunch; a good brisk walk, some box breathing. I made sure I was supported at home (Grammy to the rescue) and I dressed up… (first time in heels in a long long time)
- I acted as my own coach all day. First thing in the morning I began hearing those whispers of why I wasn’t going to win, was undeserving, etc., but I caught myself—I shut down those voices by literally talking out loud to myself. Pumping myself up, curse words and all, not allowing myself to go low but to remain high (and yea, if anyone had been in the house they’d think I certainly was). I was Mickey to Rocky, like a true Philadelphian.
- I had learned to rename the nervous feeling that washes over me in the moments leading up to a presentation. When that very familiar wave of blush, a warmth over my head and uneasiness throughout my body occurred, I renamed it or rethought of it as “transformation” or “excitement”—internally I simply appreciated the sensation and continued to pump myself up.
- I wholeheartedly believed in myself and what I was pitching/talking about. There’s nothing greater than that.
I didn’t know they were announcing the winners right then and there, nor did I imagine I would be handed a literal large check! So so fun, so appreciated. I will pay that forward one day in pushing another entrepreneur on and through. We need that. For now, I know you may think this is a small number on a big check but for one, that’s not the point and for two, just you wait to see what I turn this baby into.
Thank you Entrepreneur Works, Comcast and Citizens Bank!!