In 2010 I met the most amazing woman! She was smart and confident and resonated Expert with every breath. I soooo wanted to be like her… And HELPFUL! No one had helped me as much as her, esp in my biggest struggle…
Long story short I came to know her and found out she had gotten her Masters Degree from Columbia University a place I really wanted to attend.
I wanted to become an expert in tech/communications because I felt that was my biggest strength as a visual creative… I applied … got accepted … AND … Da dump dum da … No $ …
So its last fall and I was heart broken as school started, I wasn’t teaching, I wasn’t going to school, and the BIGGEST environmental event of my lifetime … On my favorite holiday (International Peace Day) in NYC… was about to start…
I donned my high heels, slid comfortably into my size 14 dress that i was so excited i fit into, and was driving to Kalispell to attend the Glacier Start-Up Weekend event when I pulled over on the side of the road about 1/2 way there to make an entry in my journal that day that started out… “a little peice of me will die this weekend I only hope something beautiful grows in its place …”
I’d been listening to a large assortment of podcasts lately. One of my favorites, Antrese Wood’s the Savvy Painter had an interview where her guest talked about how to rock a networking event. He simply said you need to act as if you are the host, be helpful, as people enter greet them, shake their hand and see if there is anything they need to know. If you don’t know the answer find out. People will look to you later and remember your kindness.
I know this amazing advice helped me rock the Glacier Start-up weekend last year. It made me feel more comfortable in a situation I wouldn’t normally, usually I’m the wallflower in the back by the door observing and staying quiet. Throughout the weekend, I felt more comfortable connecting with the other team members and as I offered to help, or talked about the different things I saw in going on, I was able to make others see we were all going through similar challenges etc. I also found help for my challenges as I spoke with others about theirs.
I can’t say enough about the coaches, and mentors and volunteers that weekend. I learned so much, I cried when I never expected I would, was challenged to step outside my comfort zone, worked with people that are completely different from me and together we were able to create an amazing campaign that dazzled the judges.
This event changed my life, it gave me courage and conviction that I am on the right path after years of struggling. Even though this last year has been a challenge to say the least I am so glad I participated in the Start-Up Weekend and can’t wait to do it again this coming October!