I've also learned that not only is this a B2C play but also a B2B play. Companies can offer our services to their employees. Happy employees means productive employees is the messaging I'm hearing from HR representatives. So as the journey continues so does the interesting avenues and adventures of people to engage with.
Which takes me back to pitch practice. When giving any presentation, you should always know your audience. What do they care about and how do you grab their attention in 30 seconds, especially investors? They are looking for the " impress me". I've seen hundreds of pitches and listened to several each day. Ideas are a dime a dozen. B2Cs aren't my area of interest as they don't usually make money like a B2B does. Next -
-Size of the market?
-Time to market and market adoption rate?
-Can I make money quickly?
-Is it a lot of money?
-Is the entrepreneur able to drive results?
-Why are they the best at this?
It seems simple enough, but when you hear 15 people cover the same questions. You have to figure out which one stands out as giving you the most confidence to ensure your money is in great hands with a great return. And the other unspoken factor is the hidden bias. We all have them unfortunately. The only way to break through this is to play the game of emotion versus intelligence. AKA the stronger the emotion the stronger the memory so women - drama is actually helpful in this arena. You don't have to be a 20 something white male talking techie jargon to get the funding.
My play is my story...my parents died when I was in high school. My in-laws went through a tough time of cancer and dementia before passing away. My entire adult life has been a big rocking roller coaster of emotions without a strong family support system. There is so much you go through emotionally during the loss of your parents. However, I've learned so much over the years of being emotionally drained and still try to perform a full time high pressure job while being present with the family. Was I great at it? No, but I do know that keeping up with things before they become a crisis is the best way to survive the storms. My team of Program/Project Managers knew this well. We had a brand statement called ACCE which stood for: Accurate, Connected, Cadence and Extraordinary. So for families, if I can take on the first 3 - Accurate, Connected and Cadence so that they can live Extraordinary lives - then I've succeed. That will be my definition of success.
So why me? How can I be the best of the best at doing this? One of the things that stands out most in my mind, is when I was at Cisco, I took a personal brand assessment. It had people compare me to a dog and a car. The car one stood out the most to me as the number of people put down Honda. I was like a Honda because I'm not flashy but I was very reliable to get you from point a to point b. One funny response was Kerri is like a mac truck. She carries a big load and is coming through to the destination no matter the obstacle. My years at Cisco, I did learn so much about leadership and will be forever grateful because of that. John Chambers would tell us the things he looked for in great leaders. One of them has always stuck with me, never confuse hard work and results. Hence, I do set goals of what the next set of milestones to achieve to move forward to the next to ensure the results are coming true.
This past week, I was able to present to investors and about 100 people. I am grateful for all the feedback to prepare me for the next pitch. Thank you for going on the journey with me. I do want to thank NC IDEA (@ncidea, @ideafund) and Tech Breakfast (@TechBreakfast) for allowing me a platform for which to practice and receive feedback. The pictures are from Tech Breakfast and James Gaillard, IBM (@JGaillardIBMRTP) on twitter. It is a great journey thus far, and I'm excited about the future.