Posts tagged shark tank auditions
Shark Tank Auditions - Low On Gas High On Hope
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NO GAS AND NO CASH

Last week I received an invite to attend a Shark Tank audition in Brooklyn. The problem was I realized that I didn’t have the gas or the cash to get out there. It had been a slow week and I found myself on several occasions having to scrap together the money just to complete my delivery rounds. This day was no different. All though I had enough fuel in the tank to make my delivery rounds, that was it. I started looking for anything in my small apartment that I can sell quickly. Over the years in moments like this I have sold furniture, camera equipment, stereo equipment, cleared out my piggy-bank (which I did earlier that week) just to get through that day. My only hope was that the funds pending ($20) in my bank account (from an earlier electronic payment) come available in two instead of three business days. Other than that I am fresh out of cash and ideas.

PANHANDLE FOR IT

When I launched this series with the panhandling entry I said the following about the expereince…

I FELT EMPOWERED KNOWING THAT IF I EVER HIT THE KIND OF ROCK-BOTTOM THAT PUTS ME OUT ON THE STREETS THAT I WOULD NOT BE ABOVE DOING WHAT IT TOOK TO SURVIVE.

At this point panhandling seemed like my only option but I was too scared and embarrassed to seriously consider it. Those crippling thoughts of fear struck me like a panic attack (which I think I had that night). Then I thought…

if I am not willing to stand by the lessons learned during this series then I may as well come to terms that this entire “Survival Tales of a Founder” series is just a marketing stunt.

So I started to lean into my fear until I knew that I had to do it. I motivated myself to the extent that I knew that even if the bank funds became available (which they did before dawn) that this is something I had to do. Fear and doubt were my enemies, humility and persistence my allies.

AN “A” FOR EFFORT

The morning came and it was time for me to set out on another leg of this life changing journey that is entrepreneurship. Along with setting a goal of raising $5, I also had to complete my delivery rounds in time to get to the audition by 1:30pm. But I realized that accomplishing these goals did not matter as much as trying to accomplish these goals. It is true what they say about an “A” for effort.

I will leave you with this quote…

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.
— Theodore Roosevelt

THANKS.

TREVOR - FOUNDER FREE YOUR ARMS - DELIVERED WITH ❤️

TUNE IN TO @FREEYOURARMS ON INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK FOR OUR LIVESTREAM SERIES DELIVERED WITH LOVE. AND PLEASE CONTINUE TO PAY IT FORWARD BY PURCHASING FROM OUR SHOP EACH AND EVERY FRIDAY.

TO HEAR THE MUSIC THAT INSPIRED THIS SERIES CHECK OUT THE DELIVERED WITH LOVE PLAYLIST

Shark Tank Auditions Part Three - The Evolution Of Expectations
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YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT THE THIRD TIME

On Wednesday May 1st I will be making my 3rd attempt at landing a spot on the popular TV show Shark Tank. The first time I auditioned was in 2015 the first year of our company. I was fresh out the gate with this luggage storage disruptor idea with billion dollar expectations. Oh how the times have changed. Now you can find me panhandling on the street for money. Despite the cold harsh reality of what it actually means to be an entrepreneur tightening its icy grip around my dreams, the pursuit continues. However just so you know, I am not doing this because I want (all though I can use) funding (as you can see by my blog post Why Should Billionaires Have All The Fun? ). Instead I am doing this audition as a way to measure my personal and professional growth. Let me explain…

GET YOUR HEAD OUT THE CLOUDS

In my last audition I was but a step away from making it to the show taping in L.A. After my initial application submission on the Shark Tank website, I received an invite to audition in person at a private venue for diverse entrepreneurs (which I am doing again this Wednesday). I was fortunate enough to make it past this first hurdle and within a week recieved a call from one of the show producers asking me to submit a video audition tape, (which you can see on our YouTube Channel. ) This would be followed by an email from that producer…

Once delivery of your submission, it's usually about two weeks or so that the producers will reach out if they're interested in moving forward with you.

For me this was two weeks of constantly checking my emails (“does this thing work?”), reaching out to previous show contestants (“how quickly did it take for them to call you back?”), and even sending follow up emails to the producers (“Did you get my video link?”)

I was a mess.

LOOK AT ME THE BIG STAR!

In each of my previous auditions I had delusions of grandeur of making it on the show so that I could prove all my doubters wrong. This included my ex’s, my family and friends, my competitors, people who ignored or rejected me, even people who didn’t celebrate or encourage me at a level that I thought was sufficient for my efforts. I had a Michael Jordan-like drive to make enemies even where they were none if it gave me even the slightest edge. It was all about look at Me! Me! Me! See how I made it!

GROW UP

There is something about building a business that humbles you. It is survival of the fittest (state of mind). It weeds out unnecessary baggage, trashes all your hangups, and purges the extraneous and unnecessary. Despite what I thought I knew about entrepreneurship through pop-culture (Steve Jobs/Bill Gates/The old Robber Barons/go down the list), my reality was much different than the myth. It seemed to me that it was more likely that if you were fortunate enough succeed in business, that it was in spite of your baggage not because of it. Vanity, pride, fear, self loathing, selfishness had no place in my business, I needed to not only survive, I needed to grow. I haven’t had the fortune of having kids yet, but I imagine that it has a similar effect on ones growth. If growing your business is what is important, then trivial matters fade into the background. This has been my experience.

GROW DOWN

Now that I have auditioned twice before over the lifetime of my company, looking back at the trajectory of my growth from the first audition (where I was convinced that Free Your Arms was destined to be the next Airbnb), to today’s version of Free Your Arms (as a company that connects with each neighborhood, each shop owner, each customer, as if it was our only neighborhood, customer, shop owner).

I have “grown” from having dreams of global domination, to bringing a small town community based approach to the big city.

Here is an excerpt from one of the early versions of the business plan for our relaunch this past February. It cites the experience of my parents “Clyde and Dallis” (immigrants from Trinidad and Tobago to New York City (Where they had me), to now living in a small town in Florida called Spring Hill) as an example of what we lost in big cities and with technology. (At the time The Shop was called “Our Small Town”)

Decades before Airbnb or UBER, Clyde and Dallis were always happy hosts
to anyone in need of a room or a ride. From family visiting or migrating to NYC, to the troubled children of friends and family, to students studying abroad. There was always someone in that extra room. And those visitors had to look no further than Clyde's Yellow Cab for a ride to or from Church, work, the airports, you name it. And yes sometimes guests or passengers would offer payments as compensation for time or fuel, but always there was something beyond the monetary exchange that made this less a transactional experience and more a communal one. In return guests would help with the cooking, the cleaning, the yard work, picking up groceries, or just contributing to the daily dialogue that formed the fabric of their home and community.

As time has passed this organic support system has slowly been replaced by a digital one. Now if you need a ride you call an UBER, when you need a place to stay you find an AIRBNB, when you need items picked up from the grocery you use POSTMATES. All great services that have made most of our lives easier, but for the Clyde's and Dallis' of the world, they are finding themselves increasingly isolated as that old support system erodes around them.

OURSMALLTOWN restores that old support system and provides communities on the fringes of technology with the tools that help them bridge the digital divide, transforming what was a purely a digital exchange into a more communal one.

Some might look at this downshift in expectations as a step backwards, I don’t. I know that if I am doing something (for the right reasons) that matters that it will connect with even the toughest critics (or judges in this case). This audition is just another hurdle to gauge that growth.

THANKS.

TREVOR - FOUNDER FREE YOUR ARMS - DELIVERED WITH ❤️

TUNE IN TO @FREEYOURARMS ON INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK FOR THE LIVESTREAMING OF MY AUDITION DAY ON WEDNESDAY MAY 1ST. AND PLEASE CONTINUE TO PAY IT FORWARD BY PURCHASING FROM OUR SHOP EACH AND EVERY FRIDAY.

TO HEAR THE MUSIC THAT INSPIRED THIS SERIES CHECK OUT THE DELIVERED WITH LOVE PLAYLIST