Two years ago I did the most audacious thing I've ever done in my life: run three Mashup Weekends simultaneously on the same weekend in three rural communities in Southwest Nova Scotia. Many said I was crazy (and they were probably right - a little) but I pulled it off and it was one of the biggest successes of the year. Luckily I was able to find some rock-stars to help me bring Mashup Weekend to life, people like Erin. Erin Elaine Casey is an entrepreneur - oh, and she is also one of the most brilliant creative writers that I've ever met. In this guest blog post from 2014, Erin talks about Mashup Weekend and the 'Top Five Reasons' you need to register right now. Enjoy!
What is this 'Mashup Weekend' thing, anyways?
By Erin Elaine Casey - Writer. Editor. Writing coach.
I love my job. I’m a writer and editor. I believe that creating your own job is probably the most financially responsible thing you can do at this particular time in Nova Scotia history, so that’s what I did – I started my own company. Right now it’s just me, but I’m hopeful it’ll be more than just me someday. I sell my services anywhere and everywhere, I help out my fellow entrepreneurs, and I get to learn a whole bunch of different things every day.
Lucky for me, I’m part of the crack team promoting Mashup Weekend. I’m supposed to help you understand what the heck it is and why you’d want to do it. So here goes.
What is this Mashup Weekend thing, anyway? Why would I spend an entire weekend hanging out with people I don’t know, sharing my business ideas that I secretly think might be really bad, working my butt off, drinking too much coffee, and possibly being the oldest/nerdiest/shyest/youngest person in the room?
I know what you’re thinking: I’m not an “entrepreneur”. I’m not a “business person”. I’m not sparky and full of glittering new thoughts that have never been thought before. I don’t have a business degree or a bookkeeping course. I wear sweatpants. I don’t tweet.
I am sort of uncool.
What could possibly be in this for me? Other than awkwardness?
Well, let’s put our worries aside and think about this, shall we? We’ll make a list. People love lists. We’ll call it
The Top Five Reasons to Register for Mashup Weekend Right Now:
1. Mashup Weekend isn’t just for entrepreneurs, or people who think of themselves as entrepreneurs. We can all explore building businesses around solutions to problems we see in our province and in the world.
2. Making a living in rural Nova Scotia is not easy. We have to be creative, dream big, and get out of our own way.
3. Small businesses don’t have to think small. We can create products, services, knowledge, and expertise to meet demand across the province, the country, and around the world.
4. When we get together, we lift each other up. This isn’t Dragon’s Den. It’s more Sesame Street – cooperation! Where else are you going to find the people, the time, and the space to cook up an amazing business idea from scratch?
5. Great food, awesome people, lots of fun. We’re doing this thing with or without you.
Notice anything here? A pattern? It’s “we”. You’re not alone, you’re not the only one, you’re not out there improvising an interpretive dance by yourself.
You’re with YOUR people – people who want to share their ideas, talents, and skills with YOU. These are the same people who love their villages and towns and want to build something that lasts: a long-term solution to a struggling economy.
So, if you think it’s cool to solve problems, share ideas, work hard, and be part of a team, Mashup Weekend is definitely for you. It’s also for you if you’re a little scared, a little shy, or a little worried about the future.
It’s about business, but mostly it’s about us – Nova Scotians – wanting to do something new, something better, something to write home about. Without actually leaving home.
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.