Can I just say, WOW?! It’s not exactly the first word that normally comes to one’s mind after a 4 hour night of sleep, waking up to a day full of meetings, proposal writing, blog writing and the Friday hustle.
But for this Baltimore Entrepreneur - who spent last night in a room full of 75 amazingly talented and crazy intelligent people – that’s exactly what I’m thinking. WOW!
Startup Soiree kicked off last night at the Pixilated Headquarters and the energy was contagious. The excitement and buzz just couldn’t stop and wouldn’t stop! Seriously, check out Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, SouthBmore.com and The Daily Record to see for yourself.
Going into our first StartupSoiree event, I didn’t know what to expect. Why? Because there has never been an event like it here in Baltimore for entrepreneurs. I didn’t know what my big take-away would be, I wasn’t sure if everything IntrinsicEvents and Pixilated had dreamed possible would actually happen. But it DID and it was AWESOME!
As I was driving home reflecting on the night, it hit me. (And no, I’m talking about the Jailbreak Brewing Co. beer or the Nutreatious fantastic taquitos). I left last night recharged more than ever before in my business because of PRIDE.
PRIDE IN YOUR CITY
Ethan Giffin, #BmoreFounder of Groove , started off the night by stating, “"This city is so ripe...not even being from Charm City I'm so proud to bring attention to this place". Immediately upon finishing this statement, the Startup Soiree crowd began to cheer, hoot n holler, and ramp up the energy.
It’s amazing to see what Baltimore is doing and fostering in the entrepreneur world and Ethan reminded all of us to take such great pride in this amazing city we live, work, play, love and do business in.
PRIDE IN YOUR WORK & WORTH
Entrepreneurs strive for the day they are able to have an intimate, valuable, and memorable conversation with the leader in their industry. Last night, I had the privilege of meeting the insanely creative and driven business woman, Stephanie Bradshaw, #BmoreFounder of Stephanie Bradshaw Designs. During our conversation, she asked, “What is your biggest struggle in your business and growth right now?” To which I answered, having enough time, money and resources to execute on the Clients’ events we have, build new business, and build our business to where we want it to go.
Her advice to me was so simple, eloquent, and real. “That’s great, but always make sure you take pride in your work and your worth. You are talented, your Clients are important, and you need to show that to the world.”
Stephanie went on to talk about how in our industry, It’s not a competition when you have your brand and pride in your work and worth. In our industry of wedding and event planning, as well as our careers in entrepreneurship, it’s time to stop being in competition with one another and stand out. Be you, be a category of one, and take pride in all your work, and ultimately what you are worth to your clients.
It was the exact thing I needed to hear in that moment as I struggle with growth in our business. It brought me back to my brand and why it’s so important to keep your pride in your work and your value at the forefront of every day.
PRIDE IN YOUR PEOPLE
Another awesome thing that happened last night was finally meeting someone that you’ve been talking with via social media. For me that was Chris Jeffrey, #BmoreFounder of Order Up . As we were talking about branding and culture and new market growth, I referenced the first time I saw his street team of people during Fells Point Fun Festival hustling and getting the word out about his company and the expansion into Baltimore. His face immediately lit up, he smiled really big, and said, “That’s awesome, my people are awesome.”
Chris showed such pride in his people last night and the culture he has built. As I mentioned in my last blog post, people are the most valuable asset next to time in any startup. Take pride in your people and you will go so far in our entrepreneurial world.
PRIDE IN YOUR TALENT
Eddie Wingrat, #BmoreFounder of Flowers & Fancies, ended our night by thanking the Startup Soiree team for a wonderful evening. Eddie is an older gentleman who has been around in the Baltimore community for a very long time. He wasn’t sure if Startup Soiree was going to be the right place for him to be, as he isn’t exactly in Start Up mode. However, bringing it back to pride in your city, Eddie went on to tell us he was so impressed by the talent in the room. The room was filled with Online Food Delivery, Online Booze Delivery, Photobooths, Event Planners, Make Up Artists, Photographers, App Developers, Marketing Gurus, Chefs, and Floral Companies – quite the range of talent.
Everyone in the room had a sense of pride by being there, pride in their talent. Everyone no matter what their talent was invited to the event, they were accepted into the event, and they shared their talent with the community around them.
PRIDE IN YOURSELF
With any event, a debrief is always critical. And Patrick Rife, #BmoreFounder of Pixilated couldn’t have had a better After Action Review than this… “We did it. We had a vision and tonight, we made it a reality and we should all be so proud.” And you know what I am. I am so proud of our city, of our talent, of our work, of our worth, and of all of YOU who came out last night. Thank you for reminding me why I do what I do every single day.
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