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In 2016, I was in my second year as a Startup Founder. I found myself constantly busy meeting people, learning how to wear all sorts of hats, absorbing information, selling, and branding, all while enjoying some good ole’ ramen noodles.
While learning new things is beneficial and needed, I’ve always learned best by doing. I needed to get involved in something I could put to practice right away. I wanted to be a part of something where I could still be interacting with the community. I didn’t want a traditional activity or networking event just to slap my name on. I didn’t want something to bump my status or get me networking points, but something that would really hold my attention.
I started volunteering for Startup Grind. I had met the former Director at my co-working space and attended my first event. Fun fact about me, it is rare anything can hold my attention at one time. I am an extreme multi-tasker, in constant need of additional stimulation to stay focused on one item. I was hooked. This was no ordinary “advice” talk. There was no presentation. The speaker was not prepped. I was witnessing raw honesty from founders that had made it. They were sharing the sides of the startup life no one ever talks about, their personal truths, their “grind” to get where they got.
I could get behind this. I started volunteering in every way I could. From setting up chairs, to getting food, checking in guests, marketing the event….next thing I knew I was applying to be a co-director. I was in search of incredible founders in my own backyard to interview, convincing them to share their stories with my community.
Next fun fact: I’m not the best public speaker. Yes, I get nervous, but I also have one of those soft-spoken voices that I have completely given up on ever getting louder. I’ve reached max volume, folks. It doesn’t get better. I’ve been told on multiple occasions I’d make a great voice for a child cartoon character. I digress…
Startup Grind allows me to continually speak in front of an audience where I can face my fear head on regularly. I don’t think butterflies will ever go away, but there’s an excitement now. The excitement I feel for my audience because I know just how big of a treat they’re about to get from my guest speaker.
I’ve learned so much through this experience. I’ve made so many amazing connections. You can attend an event near you at https://www.startupgrind.com/events/