I seriously can't believe that the Made in FredVA Business Plan Competition is already almost here. (If you haven't been following along in the blog this month, check out more info). To be honest, when I signed up for this I didn't know what I was signing up for. I thought I would just put my business plan, make a quick video and that was it. I had no idea there was a huge presentation and then Q&A portion. Apparently this is a much bigger deal.
And I am honored. I mean, it's pretty cool, right?
But seriously, I'm kind of starting to freak out.
I'm not the kind of person that vomits or has a panic attack from nerves when it comes to speaking in front of people (at least not usually). But it definitely takes me out of my comfort zone. I'm normally a pretty introverted person unless I'm around my close friends and family...then I don't shut up. Speaking in front of people just takes a lot out of me. I wish I was more like my mom who is one of the best public speakers I've ever heard. She's entertaining, professional, funny, loud...all of the things that make a great speaker. While sometimes the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree, unfortunately this particular apple fell a little bit further than most.
BUT, I think I'm ready. Monday was the dry run. I gave the presentation to a small panel and they gave me really great feedback. So it wasn't quite as nerve racking, and it was a good experience. They asked good questions, made constructive comments and I definitely feel more prepared.
Regardless of how Thursday goes, this competition has been great press for Twila. It's gotten me in touch with a lot of great people, it's forced me to take a look at these gift boxes and decide what it would take to make them profitable, where to move forward with them, and it's pushing me out of my comfort zone! Which are all really great things.
Monday morning, the finalists were featured in the Local Paper, the Free Lance Star, and it had a profile of each of us. There are some pretty cool businesses and ideas in the mix! I grew up in Fredericksburg and it's crazy to me how much this community has improved over the years. I mean, I was here when Central Park used to be a golf course and Southpoint was just a bunch of land. There is so much life, so many ideas and so many people who care about this community that it makes me very proud of my hometown, and I'm very excited to be involved in any way I can be.
If you're around on Thursday evening, I would absolutely LOVE to see you at the competition. I believe it's modeled after the show 'Shark Tank,' so I give a 5 minute presentation and the judges ask me questions, then after all 4 finalists present, they announce 2 different winners: the winner of the $10k money and then a $500 prize to the people's choice.
Thank you again for the constant support on this (and everything else!). Ya'll are rockstars! And I couldn't do it without you.
Wish me luck!
Photos by the fabulous Hope Taylor