Surprising Insights from Networking

Last week I attended a local entrepreneurship discussion and mentoring event to dip my toe in the water, do a bit of networking and learn a thing or two about the topic for the night which was accounting for small businesses.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but found myself unprepared for what turned out to be mostly a chance to chat one on one with a handful of local entrepreneurs to ask for their advice.

While the business idea I have been working on now for about a month is crystal clear in my mind I listened to myself stumble to describe it time after time that evening to people who didn’t understand the problem I was trying to solve or the market I was planning on selling to.  It would be easy to dismiss this as their problem for not grasping my brilliance, but the harder truth is that good leadership requires the ability to articulate a vision that anyone could get excited about, let alone understand.

The next morning I went for a long walk to really sort it out and had some massive a-ha moments.  Somehow it hadn’t occurred to me that the website I was building was for crowdfunding.  This insight allowed me to further refine my pricing strategy enough to build some financial forecasts. And I hope the next time I have to explain my vision they’ll at least understand it, but hopefully they’ll be able to grasp the importance and excitement of it as well.

I went expecting to get a few tips about using quickbooks, but ended up with a lesson in leadership.