Preparing for a business competition is hard as a new founder. Fully aware that you are still learning on the job and making adjustments on the fly, you feel a bit uneasy presenting your company to an audience of strangers. You hope they see your passion and vision, but it's on you to tell the story and business model in a convincing manner.
Thanks to my wonderful classmates and fellow female-founders, as well as my favorite adjunct professor at Darden, I was prepared to confidently tell the Goose & Willow story and vision on the day of the competition.
However, I felt extremely uncomfortable, vulnerable, and inadequate as a prepared. I kept telling myself to push through, reminding myself of one of my favorite quotes by Teddy Roosevelt.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
I was thrilled to win the audience choice and honorable mention awards, totaling $10k in prize money that will enable me to grow throughout 2022.
Read more here: https://news.darden.virginia.edu/2022/05/18/uva-darden-students-dominate-uva-entrepreneurship-cup/