It is so easy to say 'no'. What might be possible if we had the courage to say 'Yes!'? Guest blogger, Erin Elaine Casey, shares a few thoughts that might inspire you to think of an idea to bring to Mashup Weekend . Do yourself a favour - say 'Yes' and register right now. Enjoy!
The courage to say 'Yes!'
By Erin Elaine Casey - Writer. Editor. Writing coach.
This morning, I found myself explaining Mashup Weekend to a friend. A bunch of interesting people with different strengths, viewpoints, and skills all show up on Friday night and work in teams on amazing business ideas over the weekend, where they get praised, prized, and go home for a really long nap.
She thought it was cool, but her first comment was, “I don’t know… You’d have to have a really good idea, right?”
“You can have a half-baked or even quarter-baked idea,” I said.
“The whole point is that it’s an IDEA. Not a business plan. Not a strategic direction. Spreadsheets are not required. You don’t need a folder full of market research. The other people there are going to help you figure all that stuff out.”
“I’d feel stupid. I don’t know anything about business or technology.”
“NOBODY knows anything about these business ideas! That’s just it – they’re new, they’re solving a problem that doesn’t have a solution yet, sometimes a problem people don’t even know they have.”
So, what I’m hearing from her is no. No to taking a risk and exposing your idea to criticism. Fair enough – Your idea is just a hatchling. It might even be an egg! It’s not easy to let it out of the nest. I get it.
But it’s SO EASY to say no. No, I can’t play hockey on the neighbourhood pick-up team. No, you can’t have another cookie. No, I don’t think I would like to learn the samba.
No, I don’t want to look silly/talk in front of people/say what I really want out of life.
But think about what could happen if you said YES! I herewith present a couple problems solved by folks who said Yes!:
Many companies have employees who work alone in remote areas. This can be both dangerous for the employee and a liability for the company. Newfoundland company Sentinel Alert created a wearable technology that sends a signal when a worker has an accident or is in jeopardy.
Parking at a meter can be a pain, especially when you have to leave a meeting or get up from your meal at a nice restaurant to go feed it. Fredericton-based HotSpot Parking cooked up an app that lets you pay for parking with your smartphone.
These are both solutions to real-world problems. You don’t have to be a programmer, software engineer, or commerce grad to pitch an idea. Even if you have no clue how to actually build the solution you’re proposing or if the technology exists, that’s fine.
That’s why you come to Mashup Weekend - to build a team of people and explore what’s possible. Does your idea actually solve a real problem? Would people be willing to pay for your idea? Which folks on your team have the skills to help you start prototyping what your idea might look like?
We hear a lot of 'no' here in the Maritimes. No, there aren’t enough opportunities. No, you can’t stay here if you want to make money. No, we don’t have the skills to compete in the new economy. Just generally: No. We can’t.
I don’t believe it myself. We can. But we have to say 'yes' first. Yes is the first step.
What am I saying yes to if I sign up for Mashup Weekend?
Worst case scenario: A weekend full of ideas, fun, a good workout for your brain, new friends, and great food.
Best case scenario: A weekend that changes your life – new skills, new partners, a new business, a new career, maybe even a game-changing moment for your town or province.
When you say yes to Mashup Weekend, you’re saying yes to your province, your community, and most importantly to yourself. You might even be saying yes to the world.
So, if you’re wondering whether or not to sign up, ask yourself this: What kind of future do I want for myself and the place I love? And do yourself a favour. Register.
So, are you ready to say 'Yes!'? CLICK HERE to sign-up for Mashup Weekend now!
Have something to say about your business or organization? Erin Elaine Casey can help. A professional writer, editor, and writing coach, Erin’s passion for clear language and communication will help you clarify your message and connect with your customers and clients. Visit her website at erinelainecasey.com. “You’re smart – I make sure it shows.”
Working with over 1,000 Entrepreneurs starting and growing businesses from rural communities gives you perspective. Here is where I share the things I'm learning through my work with Mashup Lab. This is my Rural Perspective; I'd love to hear yours.