Interestingly enough, after my pitching competition Colluide and I grew to be a bit more well known within the entrepreneurial community in my college. It never ceased to surprise me when a random person would stop me on campus to ask me about my idea. One the most memorable people to talk to me about my idea was the previous year’s winner of the business pitch competition. He was interested in talking about a potential partnership depending how far I was in my startup journey. Establishing that contact was vital for my growth to the next stage in my startup. After talking with him I was brought back to my proverbial question of whether I should seek seed money investments or bootstrap it until someone values Colluide enough to work with me through a partnership or provide funding.
After hearing his story of receiving funding it seemed like a stroke of luck to attract an imvestor. Luck is an important part of building a business, but not something that I could replicate. We took the time to discuss my business ideas and business strategy. His feedback was impeccable; his every word oozed passion and experience in entrepreneurship. Of course, he could not answer whether or not I should seek investments now or bootstrap, but he could give pros and cons for each option. With all this advice he asked me if I had a business plan and embarrassingly I had to decline. I had thought about it before, but since I decided not to seek invests I deemed it unnecessary to waste time building a business plan. He quickly informed me of the importance of having one; in networking with professionals people may surprise you with an interest for your idea. Even though, it is not a guaranteed investment it could lead to one; hence the business plan is good to have. In the spirit of investments I asked for feedback about my pitching, in order for me to facilitate that process. His feedback was harsh but as realistic and as hard as it was I thanked him for it.
The students were not the only entrepreneurial resources available at universities, but the faculty and teachers provided a vast source of expertise in the topic as well. I learnt about the background of my audit professor and I discovered that she had multiple business and experience working with other companies. In time I reached out to seek her for advice in building my business and get help with my pitch. Almost every Friday we would have a phone meeting to discuss my progress in working towards my business plan.
“Never underestimate the resources within your own networks”
Her biggest contribution was helping me to lock down idea of building a strong business plan to show potential investors or partners the foundation for my business. We would have constant conversations about the important facets of a business such as my target market, revenue model, marketing strategies and funding ideas. I think she liked my passion, innate knowledge for entrepreneurship, and my unwavering desire to never give up. Recommending the product,Liveplan to help me build my business plan was a fantastic help to being fully prepared as a business owner. Remembering back from my Audit class and her final project she also recognized my creative marketing techniques. One of the most impressive things I gained from her is her tenacity and fortitude.
Her last lesson to me after giving me well earned ‘’A’’ in her audit class was the subliminal message teaching me that entrepreneurs can have it all. Understanding her background revolutionized my belief of work-life balance. She travelled to many countries for business and pleasure, stayed fit through running and cycling, fundraised to support cancer, taught to colleges and organizations due to a love of teaching, and had her own business for independence. A lot of my preconceived notions about letting outside forces such as work and relationships hinder freedom were blown away by her free spirited lifestyle. Grabbing life by the horns, constantly learning and seeking new challenges and even commoditizing some of her hobbies were the epitome of work-life happiness. Up to this day I look to her for mentorship as she is the biggest game changer that I have ever met.
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