WOW! One of the first words that pops into my head at the start of my day. First of all, I had no idea if I was going to make it off the couch this morning. To make a long story short, I have been quite ill since Sunday, and of course, I completely freak out because I have no idea which direction my presentation is going to head.
Just who are the sharks (haha obviously I watch way too much Shark Tank)?
Brent Wheelbarger – First of all, Brent joked he was the dolphin out of the shark tank. 😉 That is completely opposite of what he truly is- which is a brilliant, young, innovative, ambitious entrepreneur. I think he was a great candidate to be shark, because he has achieved what we aspire to achieve post graduation. What exactly does he do? He is the owner of Trifecta Communications.
Armand McCoy– Brent brought along Armand, and I thought that was such a outstanding choice. Armand is the Account Manager at Trifecta Communications, and believe me that is a tough job. Not saying that I have experience with that, but after learning a little bit about what they do, boy do you have to have some serious knowledge to do that as career. Armand is so eloquent and sharp when asking my classmates about our companies. He is truly a very educational shark.
Finally we have…
Pattye Moore – This lady is a goldmine. She not only co-authored a book with Ad-Mastermind Scott Aylward, Pattye was the President of Sonic Corps., and now serves as Chairman of the Board for Red Robin Gourmet Restaurants. Pattye is a such a tremendous help to our class. The way she asked about funding or how a certain structure within our plan is going work is so spot on. I learn so much from watching these presentations.
The Pitch – (cue JAWS theme) Haha, no it is not that bad. Truly when I first walk into that room, my stomach has these enormous knots. I do not know whether they are from me being sick, or nerves – probably both. So, my Professor sets up our Powerpoints and Prezis, and the Sharks walk in. I get even more nervous. I am thinking, “Oh, boy. This is real. There is no running out. This is it.”
Kathy (my wonderful Professor) introduces the panel, and then states, “And first up we have Stephanie.”
Here goes nothing… I get up there, say name and my what my company is… then start playing that “There are some things success is not” clip from Fame. I told them that speech basically embedded my mission state in company. The fact that she states success is not fame, money or power is what I am all about. I want to find artists who are singing because they love music, and because they want to touch other people’s lives.
Then I get into my competition and SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis. At this point, my Prof starts counting me down. In my head I go “Oh, crap!” This is like one of those horrendous pitches on the Shark Tank or Celeb Apprentice. I made the mistake of not timing out my presentation.
In addition, I was not that articulate. I was super repetitive. I went in circles, and at least to myself I was not that clear. Oh, and here we go the clincher… The money part. This is where a lot of my classmates and I struggled. The sharks asked almost everyone about their budget. Biggest piece of advice, if you want to ask for money from investors, you better know the ins and outs of those financials like you would know your diary.
The positives – Hopefully, the sharks saw that I was passionate about my project. This company has been my baby since day 1. I am so love with the idea of working so hard, and finally saying… “Hey, here is something I believe in.” I am hoping my public speaking class paid off and I avoided my habits of not making eye contact, the “ums” and “uhs,” and the excessively talking with my hands.
All in all it was a magnificent experience. I am truly proud of all my classmates. It is such a shame I missed half of them due to illness, but trust me I wanted to be there. Thank you agan to the lovely sharks! You gave a wealth of knowledge to all of us today! Finally to all of you, DO NOT STOP DREAMING. Honestly, I never thought my company was something I was going to launch after graduation, but after having such a wonderful reception from these great artists and mentors, I see it becoming a reality. Believe, have courage, and do not let anyone or anything stop you from accomplishing more than beyond your wildest imagination.