Que sera, sera, (Moving forward after the GAIN SOUP event)
So this week I had the pleasure of pitching at the final of the 2016 GAIN “Soup” event held at Plymouth University, and as is usually the case when I have events such as these, I spent the previous weeks leading up to the event hard at work preparing myself and my pitch, in the hope that I could convince the large group of people at the event that my business/idea was something worth backing.
Long story short, unfortunately I didn’t win.
Now I have the tendency to, in certain cases where I really want something to go well but it just doesn’t, beat myself up through the belief that it was through me not being or doing something good enough that I didn’t achieve what I was hoping for. Not gonna lie this trait probably contributes towards a lot of the positive and negative things that make me who I am (such as providing me with the motivation to want to continue to improve and strive to create the best performing products that I can whenever I get held back in the progression of a product/project I care alot about).
So, right on cue after the SOUP final, I began listing out all the things that I may have done wrong in order for me to potentially come 2nd/3rd/4th (as I still don’t know exactly what position I finished in for the event) this time around. Maybe it was because I didn’t do as well on the pitch as I should’ve (forgetting what I was going to say at 2 points when I was pitching), or maybe it was because I didn’t do a good enough job networking with people after the pitch, or maybe it was because people simply don’t like my idea for a solar charger you can use around the house and think it is not something worth backing.
Out of all of the things that I did ponder over contributing to things not going my way, that last one was what hit me the hardest. If the reason why I haven’t yet managed to win a competition in which I have to pitch my product, was because the idea itself wasn’t good enough and isn’t something people are interested in, then i’ve just wasted 3 and a half years of my time, and a fair amount of money working on this.
I’m sure that if you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking that following this line of thinking is a vast overreaction to simply not winning a competition, and looking back at it now I would probably agree with you, but to be fair i’m sure I am not the only person out there who looks for a deep underlying reason for things not going their way, it can be second nature for people such as myself to want to find out “the truth” behind why things happen (although admittedly I do tend to be slightly dramatic in my search for this answer).
Now fortunately the thing that helped bring me back down to earth (thank goodness), was a talk I had scheduled to attend later that same day, taken out personally by an experienced businessman in Plymouth called Mr Edmond Davari. Listening to a man who built up a restaurant empire in my local University located city over 30 years, just to lose a lot of that empire in the financial crash of 2008, and was willing to start again despite deeming himself “a failure at the time”, really helped to lift my spirits and belief about everything going forward. Alongside the confidence to work harder on my business and my household solar charger going forward, attending this event helped to remind me of one of the truths about being an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, and even more so when you are just an aspiring entrepreneur like myself, you are allowed to “fail” or maybe not reach certain expectations numerous times, but you only have to really succeed once (well maybe a few times more than once) in order to be deemed successful.
Not winning the SOUP competition doesn’t make my idea any less good than what I and numerous other people have told me it could be, it just means that on the day, it wasn’t viewed as being as good as the winning idea (which to be fair on the winning business Peninsula Honey, providing people with the opportunity to adopt their own local bee-hive for more environmentally friendly honey is a great idea). In order to prove to people that my idea and product is a great one, I just need to keep working hard improving and developing the SDock into the best product it can be in time for when I actually launch it, which is exactly what I am going to do moving forward.
As the song which I really could’ve used to calm my nerves before and after pitching at SOUP goes, “Que sera sera, whatever will be, will be, the future’s not ours to see, que sera sera”.