Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Urban Entrepreneur

This is what I did on Monday afternoon:



Thanks to 100 Urban Entrepreneurs and the flawlessly crafted business proposal I submitted to the organization two weeks ago, I was chosen as a semi-finalist and had to present a 60 second pitch to not only a panel of judges, but a room full of spectators. I had barely 24 hours to prepare for my big moment. And when the time came, it was pretty nerve wracking. Not because I fear public speaking [it's actually not that bad] but because I felt so out of my element. I initially said no, because I'm vehemently against any kind of "fame", and having my face "out there" behind anything other than BlueShame made me feel queasy. But I acquiesced because I felt that turning down an opportunity like this would hurt me more than it would help me. So I swallowed whatever was holding me back and faced the challenge head on.

I didn't win... My new friend Alyxaundria did. But I was truly okay with that because I knew I wasn't going to win going in. It wasn't negative thinking, I just knew deep down in my gut that my idea was too ambitious for the 100UE organization. I got the idea that they were looking for business ideas that were safe and very profitable. A social network for the moodiest people on the planet artists is hella risky and may even seem unnecessary to some. But how many people believed in Facebook when Zuckerberg ran with the stolen idea? Love it or hate it, we all know how Facebook turned out. So of course The Urban Art Wall is a risk and a gamble, but rarely is a business free of all that.

I learned a lot from the event though. I learned that nerves and fear are useless. I learned the importance of an "elevator pitch", which is basically what me and the nine other contestants did in front of a room of 200 or so people. I learned how important it is to identify your ideal customer and figure out your intended audience. It wasn't until I walked offstage that I realized a social network was not an ideal investment for the older crowd I was presenting to. I learned that taking risks is beneficial because putting yourself out there brings about new opportunities. I learned that there are many other young minorities out there with huge ambitions like me, no matter how different we and our end goals are. And of course, I was reminded that networking is, no doubt, king.

In the end, 100UE decided to award all 10 contestants with mentors. I can't wait to meet mine and I'm crossing my fingers that they are knowledgeable enough to teach and influence the all-knowing Lady Blue. Because you already know what will happen if they aren't on point... *drops the mic and walks away*

The day wasn't all "disappointment" though. On my way home, I got a call from a major TV network who expressed serious interest in collaborating with me and my blog. What major TV network you ask? The one we usually refer to as the acronym for Music Television.

Yes... Yes really.

I have nothing else to say about that except... Holla at me.

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Be succinct and keep it classy :)