Directions w/o Direction

Many Unrealized Collaboration Opportunities

November 4th, 2016

It’s nearly 6PM and I’m deciding to write the post now for fear of not being in the mood later tonight.

My morning started with a phone call with Karen, my entrepreneurial friend from Baltimore. She scheduled a call to give me feedback on my new newsletter. In one of my posts I asked for feedback and Karen was kind enough to give me feedback!

She loves what I’m doing, what I’m sharing, what I’m writing, what I’m experiencing, what I’m learning. Lots of great content. My challenge now is to slim down. Be more specific with my intentions. What do I want the reader or subscriber to do?

She suggested simplifying things, boiling the newsletter down into more nugget-sized information. My audience is entrepreneurs. This is a very busy target audience. They don’t have much time. And I’m sending them a lot of content. So if I focus instead on a simple task, a simple idea, or a simple step, then that will go far. That will get people engaged. The challenge that I’m currently facing is a user experience challenge, which is her area of expertise. Always thinking about the end user.

She also provided some great feedback for my landing page. There isn’t enough information. Why would people connect with me? What do they get? The value proposition needs to be more clear and toward the top. Also, I need to tell a story. Long copy sells. Explain the challenges and how you are overcoming them. Use UI Breakfast as a model, it’s very clear what is being offered.

Also, consider giving something away. What are you good at? What do you have experience in? Well, I have lots of experience as a student entrepreneur. Karen suggests that I write more about those experiences and what I learned. Consolidating all of this information into a free E-Book. Talk about the hard truths of entrepreneurship. Eventually, I could develop exercises. Worksheets. Packages. And charge for consulting or coaching. Who knows, but lots of possibility here.

Great convo. Really helpful. Awesome ideas. I look forward to reconnecting with Karen in person once I return to Baltimore. It’s been really fun collaborating with her, really positive energy. Lots to learn from her. Someone I can imagine working with more closely in the future.

After the call, walked down to the ImpactHub with Salmine (another Watson scholar). At the Hub, Salmine and I discussed our ideas because we have interest in applying to the Summer Institute together, working as a team. Salmine wants to help female entrepreneurs. I want to help entrepreneurs invest in a healthy mindset. So, we can combine those causes & interests. We would create a new venture, with a new name. Its mission is below:


We were happy that we came to this simple conclusion, since we could both learn & accomplish what we wanted under this mission. The application for Summer Institute does not open until January, so we have time to flesh out the concept. The problem, solution, business model, etc. Everything that we have been working on this semester.

During the afternoon I met with Ryan who is the founder of a company called Building Brains, you can learn more about his company here. I have bumped into Ryan 3–4 times in Denver & Boulder, whether volunteering or attending local startup events. In previous discussions we talked about possibilities of working together, organizing Startup Grind & FuckUp night meet ups in Boulder. So we got together to continue the discussion.

Ryan was curios whether I would be interested in working with him as a Co-Director for Startup Grind Boulder. The commitment to start a new chapter is pretty simple: one meet up / month. Similar to FuckUp nights. It would involve finding a spot. Getting sponsors. Recruiting speakers. Marketing the event.

Ryan is interested in doing this because it would create opportunities for him to contribute & immerse in the Boulder startup community. After learning more about it, I became interested for the same reason. Plus I would have someone to work with on a creative and fun project. I think Ryan will be a great ally of mine here in Boulder.

Next, a phone call with Carter, the CEO of Ideator. Last time I spoke with Carter was last year over Spring Break, in San Francisco. I called to learn about his progress with Ideator, to give him an update on FailUp and my journey after graduating, and to inquire about job opportunities at his company.

He informed me that he is currently raising $$ and will be looking to expand his team early 2017. He will have a couple positions that he will likely be looking to fulfill: sales/marketing/ community managing. Seems to fit my skills. I informed him of my interest. He said if I was willing to relocate to San Francisco, I should check in with him in about a month, when he has more information. Cool, will do.

As you can tell from today (& other conversations from this past week), I like to pursue many options at once. Keep knocking on doors. Building lots of relationships at once, exploring ideas for collaboration.

Soon I will be headed with a few Watson scholars and friends from the ImpactHub to a bar for some food and drinks.

3 Things I’m “Greatful” for

  • Karen, supportive, fun, and awesome in so many ways
  • Ideator, working to solve real problems in the entrepreneurship space
  • Startup Grind, what a cool global community!

Video of The Day