For the first time ever, I stood up in front of over 100 people and told them about my vision.
For 5 years, I had been dreaming – creating a vision and learning everything I need to know about my passion.
For 3 years, I had been creating – creating and selling my product to those around me.
For 6 months, I had been preparing – preparing plans, crunching numbers, designing graphics, promoting, writing, editing, and refining.
For 14 days, I had been practicing – practicing speech cards that were written and revised an unknown number of times.
For 4 minutes, I pitched – pitched to a board of 9 investors with the hope of funding my business.
The process of putting myself out there and pitching was an eye-opening experience for me. It helped me to take one of the next steps in my business, learning how to convey my idea to others and get them excited about it.
The most interesting part of this experience is the progression of my nervousness. I was so nervous and stressed the entire day of the pitch. I was working to get my materials together all day, stressing about time and worried about how it would go.
I got ready at home, putting on a black dress and heels, and a little makeup. We left, and (terrifyingly) got stuck in traffic for 45 minutes. Thankfully, I got there before missing anything big.
We had a little networking time beforehand, and I spoke to a few people. At that time, I also had to interview. The interview went well – I felt confident.
We arrived to the auditorium, where I chose my seat for the night. I was fourth to pitch – this is really, finally going to happen. I sat, with a little nervousness in my stomach and a little cloudiness in my head, until my first three peers had finished pitching.
It’s time: I get up, walk down the stairs, get mic-ed, grab the clicker, and before I know it, my name and business are being introduced, and I’m walking up to the front of the room, where the first slide of my PowerPoint is projected on all three of the giant screens.
I take a breath. I look across the investor panel, and my nervousness is gone. This is what I love most. Let’s do this. Surprisingly, all my nervousness faded. I knew this was right. It felt incredibly natural.
And so, I pitch. 4 minutes of pitching, and 1 minute of questions later, I’m returning to my seat, this momentous task now a part of the past.
This was a big lesson for me in terms of fear and confidence with my business. At that point, when I sat down, it didn’t matter what the results were – I felt good about my performance. I knew that I did my best and that I can only go up from here.
Being a business owner is no cake walk – it’s really hard. One of the hardest parts for me has been putting myself out there. This was a giant step toward that. I’m proud of myself for taking this step, and I’d like to thank everyone who has gotten me here, including you for your support.