Small Gestures and Big Impacts.
Giving first, adding value in small ways, and doing my part to change the world.
The other day I got a thank-you note from a founder I had helped. The note was to let me know that they had won two pitch competitions and the help that I gave on the content organization and flow of the pitch was helpful.
It was an awesome feeling.
The coaching sessions and how we got connected were an example of the awesome power of how networks work. A friend that is running an accelerator asked me to do a pitch coaching session for him, and as a mentor it was easy for me to do. Show up, listen to some pitches, and suggest feedback. I offered to review individually the pitches of the members of the cohort, and a few took me up on it. One of the companies then intro’ed me to a friend, and I did a few calls to review her pitch.
The coaching sessions were not super involved and I did not do anything groundbreaking. I listened and gave some comments on the flow of the pitch, pointed out a few things that were not as clear as they could be, and then coached the founder on delivery.
The suggestions I offered were to slow down a bit. She was super smart and a fast thinker/talker, and as a result it took some work to digest the pitch when she delivered it. The pitch was already good, but her machine gun delivery was exhausting, as if you were not paying attention and actively trying to follow you could get lost.
Now that she has used my feedback (and the feedback of others I am sure) to win some pitch competitions, I can imagine that her confidence in her ability to raise money for her venture is increasing.
The ‘warm fuzzies’ that I get result from the fact that her startup will change lives. It is in the healthcare space and it will actually help people.
And this is how this whole ‘thing’ of helping startups works. I put in an hour or so of my time and added a little bit of value. How much value is hard to define. An hour of my time may or may not be crucial to the success of the startup. In many cases it is the thousands of small value adds that eventually tilt the scales to success.
This help is the same type of help that I have given to hundreds of companies and now probably thousands of founders.
This behavior is duplicated thousands of times by thousands of people involved in the greater startup community. A small drop in the bucket multiplied by thousands of mentors helping thousands of companies who will impact millions of lives. The additive nature of the constant small value adds turn a drop into a river and eventually an ocean of impact.
And this is why I do what I do.