So, let me just start by saying: sometimes I’m a loser. It’s a hard reality to accept when I go into something thinking that I’ve done a great job and people let me know that I’m not as good as I thought I was. When you enter a contest, you’re essentially seeking the validation of man/others to tell you that you’re good enough and you put a lot of stock in people’s opinions of you. You get the “no” when you so desperately want the “yes” and can’t understand why you weren’t good enough to win the contest. Then something happens that reminds you that winning doesn’t always look the way that you think it should.
Sometimes you have to put yourself out there
In January, I attended the Courage to Earn MORE Retreat in California. Courage to Earn is a community of entrepreneurs finding the courage to earn income in following their dreams and purpose. The retreat is an opportunity to spend 3 days bonding and focusing on our businesses. We always come away from the weekend with actionable plans to grow our companies and communities.
When we (yes, I dragged hubby along every year lol) went this year, there was something different that happened. Comcast CA sponsors our retreat and in 2020, they threw in a pitch competition for extra measure. For introverts such as myself, this was uncomfortable at the least. I discovered that we would have to do our pitch in front of everyone attending the retreat.
*cue nightmares from the 6th grade Student Council elections*
I didn’t want to do it at all. I didn’t believe that I would have a good enough pitch. Nor that our ideas were even worthy of being supported. We have a lot of things that we want to do to enrich marriages but don’t feel that people always see the value in our work or believe in our mission.
When the day came to present our pitch, we had some glitches. We weren’t the best prepared and I was a little flustered with the tech problems that we had but we went forward anyway. So when it came to finding out who actually won, I wasn’t surprised when we didn’t make it to the second round. We came back into the room and I counted that there were not enough chairs for me and Jermaine; there were 5 winners who were invited to go back to the second round for more questions.
I wasn’t a Comcast winner…
I can’t lie…for a moment, I was heartbroken. Taking nothing away from the winners, I did applaud and celebrated with them the amazing things that they’re going to do.
- The first-place winner of $2,500 was Caroline Gavin-Jefferson, the founder of Parents of An Angel. Her business was created out of a heartbreaking loss. Her platform will help other families who are having to endure the same tragedy; it will also enable those around them to be a better support system.
- The second-place winner of $1,500 was Virginia Duan, the founder of BrAzn AZN, the only intimate retreat for Asian, Pacific Islander, & Desi Americans (APIDAs) creatives and influencers.
- The third-place winner of $1,000 was Elisha Wilson-Beach, founder of The Mom Forum. With her prize money, she is investing in moms and their self-care through the Mom Selfcare Series; this is a series of 5 events designed to build community, promote well-being, reduce stress and provide moms with the tools and skills needed to support a healthy self-care practice.
Read the full article from Comcast about the Courage to Earn More Retreat Pitch Competition here.
our loss was still our gain
There was a surprise happy ending to this whole process. We didn’t win the competition, but we still won. This whole experience was a reminder for me to hold on to my faith. Was I disappointed that I didn’t win the competition? Yes, I was. Was I mad at the women who did win? Hell NO!
I’m so incredibly proud of my friends! They are doing such amazing things within their communities and I’m just thankful to know them. I love being able to support them in what they’re doing. I regularly share their content and tell others about their work. I’m proud to know that Comcast believed in them enough to fund their projects that will have an impact on so many lives.
In everything, there is a lesson and I’m going to share what I learned through this experience:
to be bold.
I have a phobia of public speaking because of the terrible job I did in 6th grade. Yes, I talk to my therapist about that… But what I have to remind myself is that I have to be bold in my mission and in sharing what God has given me to share. Even though we didn’t win the contest, there is a whole other group of people who are aware of our work.
to Celebrate others.
We all have a purpose. None of us are here to do the same thing, but we should be able to celebrate and support those who are moving forward in their purpose. One of my favorite quotes is by James Keller. Understanding that “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle” helps to remind me that my light doesn’t dim when I celebrate someone else’s light. Also, it sucks to look like a sore loser.
learn to learn from your mistakes.
The feedback that I received showed me what we could have done differently to win the pitch competition. It was incredibly valuable information. When we move forward and look to partner with other companies, we know how to approach the conversation with a winner’s mentality. If we’d never found the courage to put ourselves out there, we’d probably still be cowering the shadows. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall; it matters how many times you get up and try again.
you need to practice for the big leagues.
Some people are born as natural speakers. I’m not one of them. My husband, despite all appearances to the contrary, is the extrovert in our marriage. He is very comfortable talking in front of groups. If it were up to me, people would know everything they need to know through telepathy! But that’s not how the real world works. If I need things to grow this ministry, I need to be able to open up my mouth and ask for it.
Closed mouths don’t get fed. Matthew 7:7 says to “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
Sometimes when man says no, God says yes!
All in all, we had an incredible experience. I couldn’t be happier for my friends who won. I’m so thankful for how Comcast is supporting women entrepreneurs. They are putting their money where their mouth is and investing in communities all over the country through Caroline, Virginia, and Elisha.
But that’s not where the story ends…
I truly believe that the women who won were deserving of the prizes. Comcast chose causes that they believed would have the biggest impact.
Even in our human disappointment, God was still working behind the scenes…
After we came home, we were informed that someone was so moved by the work that we’re doing, they decided to anonymously donate $500 to us to host our marriage retreat! Two other women who are working in the Christian and marriage spaces as well were also gifted with $500 to do their events.
Even though the 3 of us didn’t win the official competition, we had confirmation that we were moving in the right direction in our respective businesses. It was a true blessing and a surprise. I’m still in shock that it happened.
It was confirmation that when God calls you to do something, it’s our responsibility to simply respond. He will make the way clear for what He wants you to do. You merely have to go.
John 14:13-14 reminds us that “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
Has there ever been a time when you lost something in the moment but won in the long run? Let me know in the comments below!