How I Won £1,000!
Last week we received some great news - I’d won £1,000 as part of a business accelerator programme I’d been invited to join! It was a shock and a delight to receive the email to hear I’d won, along with another local business, and as with all things on this journey of building a business, the experience was filled with lessons learnt, so I thought I’d share some with you...
So this was a 6 week programme that really required a big time and energy commitment. At the start did I feel ready, and prepared and like I had the time to do this? Erm no, but I said yes anyway! Because I’ve learnt that I’ll never be ready, I’ll never have enough time BUT if I put myself in the way of opportunity, in my imperfect, half done, not ready, but willing to learn state, then something good ALWAYS happens.
I’ve done this time and time again and I think it’s something you have to do as an entrepreneur. You’ve got to grab opportunities even if you don’t feel ready, what’s the worst that could happen? A little bit of ego damage? Not looking like you have it together or not prepared? I always try to see the potential connections to be made and the benefits to be gained in something, it’s definitely a say yes, work out how you’re going to do it later, type of attitude (which has worked out ok for me so far!). I was listening to a podcast with Richard Branson the other day and he was talking about the early days of setting up Virgin Records and how this was his approach, and how it has been all through his career, so maybe this is an entrepreneurial trait?
So we’ve been thinking about investment in our business for a while now, and pondering whether it’s right for us or not. I mean, I know next to nothing about the whole area, apart from what I’ve read and listened to (a couple of recommendations for books on this are Jaime Schmidt Super Maker and How I Built This Podcast with Guy Raz).
But I want to learn and so this seemed like a really good opportunity.
So I said yes to being on the programme
The webinars and online sessions started and the Whatsapp group started getting active and we were so busy in the office, I think at the start we were still homeschooling...I wasn’t making it to any of the sessions. Agh!
I did make it to one webinar on attracting investment and it was great and I bought the book, David Pattison's The Money Train.
So worth it already, but I still wasn't making it to most of the programme - life was just too busy!
But the faithful people running the programme kept in touch with me, and a couple of days before we were meant to present our pitch to the group, I had a decision to make; was I going to get involved and do something, prepare a pitch even though it would be extremely rushed and imperfect and I would risk looking like an idiot? I decided to go for it. In the end I had an evening, to get something ready. I was given loads of help from the team and in a couple of hours, had the framework of a pitch ready. I delivered it at the practice session and got some great feedback.
Then 48 hours later, with a bit more honing, I delivered it during the live open day to a Zoom room of investors, and other business owners. And it went ok! I got some really helpful feedback and I’d made the first step on our journey to looking at getting investment.
I’d learnt so much, just from saying yes to something that was going to put me out of my comfort zone, cause me a bit of extra work and possibly make me look stupid.
Saying yes to stuff, making yourself accountable to external deadlines, making connections and talking to people about your business is always good, you never know where it’s going to lead. I didn’t let the ‘not feeling ready’, or good enough or prepared feelings hold me back. Don’t let the ‘I can’t do a perfect job’ feeling hold you back from doing things.
The whole experience was so positive but it was imperfect. I was meant to be involved in a whole load of sessions that I just couldn’t get to, not ideal. I developed the pitch in the space of about 3 hours, not ideal. My pitch was reading off a sheet, not ideal. But I was there, in the ‘arena’.
A couple of weeks later, I got an email to say I’d won a share of the prize - £1,000 from the British Business Bank to spend on getting more support for investment readiness.
I just wanted to share my experience with you all and let you know that you can just throw yourself into the arena, you can be totally unprepared and imperfect and last minute but if you are authentic, you put your true self out there and you are open to learning GOOD STUFF WILL HAPPEN!!!!
I am sure there are loads of these types of things regionally. Ours was for Leicestershire and you can find out more here.