A few weeks ago, a friend forwarded me information about a contest to win the opportunity to climb Kilimanjaro with some of the worlds most successful contemporary entrepreneurs with a major technology incubator called The Summit! Like OMG could there possibly be a more perfect contest for yours truly?
A trip where I get to climb a mountain that previously kicked my tail,
with mentors, investors, and other entrepreneurs
who are likely trying to change the world,
and Do Good
and even more importantly of all..... DO WELL?
I've realized in the last year that doing good is easy, doing well is a lot harder!! So.... I went in full force. I filled out the application, wrote charming stories about my own experience. I even did what I often tell my students and coaching clients to do. I found all the top execs and sent THEM emails letting them know precisely what I could and would bring to the mountain.
AND GUESS WHAT!?!?!?
It worked! I made it from 2100 to the top 200... Or so I thought.
I was asked to submit a one minute video about my company in 72 hours and why I should climb and I promptly did. I had a terrible week that week because of all sorts of unexpected personal drama, and let me tell you - it was hellish to figure out how to be compelling, but I think I figured it out. Here is my submission.
Then, I decided to ask for more details. I wanted to know what "WINNING" meant. Thank you Charlie Sheen.... It turns out, WINNING means I have the opportunity to purchase a spot on the climb for the not so bargain price of $5500. My climb just six months ago was less than half the cost.... The email I received from the organizers was a bit of a surprise. My best friend who had forwarded me the information replied simply.
"Well that's disingenuous."
What became even more disingenuous is realizing that every single person who voted for me then received an email suggesting that they too could apply. There are no real deadlines and there was no top 200. The company is in fact developing a robust and likely effective marketing database. Yes, there will be a climb. That part's entirely true.
So now I'm in the running, but the truth is I cannot afford to put that much of my new company's start up fund into a luxury adventure trip. Yes, I need mentors. Yes, I need investors. Yes, that experience could likely change my life, but no - it's simply not a prudent pursuit.
What it did help me better understand is that when you are starting a company, there are lots of seemingly enthusiastic opportunities that might not pan out. At any given moment, momentum might seem like it's coming from one side or another... As the CEO you really do have to give almost everything a shot, and be willing to learn from it if it doesn't come to fruition.
If you feel like voting so I can win the popularity contest, that's cool too ;-)
I learned more about my company's goals, more about my audience, and precisely how passionate I am about getting this thing going! So, all in all - it gave me a call to action and you know what, I seriously do think I can build a company as valuable and offering the impact of our good friend Oprah! Let's do it!