Do or do not. There is no try. – Yoda
All of us in some form want to leave an impact on someone or something. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t want the satisfaction of making a difference. I would argue most of us lay out a time-consuming and complex plan on how we plan to accomplish this.
What if you made an impact on someone’s life without realizing it? Without even REMEMBERING it?
Let’s rewind about three weeks ago. It’s Friday night or my first ever Girl’s Night to be more specific. It was supposed to be three of us and a friend brought someone else along I’ll call Kim for this post. We introduced ourselves and started chatting. At one point, she leaned in close and told me we’ve met before.
“What? No, we didn’t.”
“Yes, we did,” she proclaimed. “Actually, you inspired me to become an entrepreneur.”
My jaw dropped. “When? Where?”
She went on to explain how we’ve briefly talked at a party three or four years ago. I was gushing about how I was about to start my Company. She said I was the first woman in technology she had met and she was so motivated by our conversation, she left her corporate job and started a web development shop right here in Philadelphia. At one point, she pulled out her phone and showed me that she still had my number saved from that night.
I was completely transfixed during our conversation, amazed that I had left an impression on someone without thinking twice about it or even knowing it. That I could have that kind of influence in such a small period of time.
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. How many short encounters do we miss out on everyday that can truly transform someone’s life? How often do we ponder how our words and actions can leave a mark on others? Making a difference seems like a daunting task. As I’ve recently learned, sometimes it’s present in the small things.
At one point or another, we’re told to keep a notebook of our startup ideas. A place where we jot down the newest product/service concepts that pop into our heads. My battered one is shown above.
I started mine during my DreamIT Ventures days in 2008. I recently came across a digital version I compiled a couple of years ago and I became amused reading through them. According to my file proprieties, I haven’t updated it since September of 2009. It’s understandable because it’s around the same time I found my CTO for 123LinkIt and started building our alpha product.
I remember being one of those entrepreneurs that was afraid to share my ideas in fear of them being stolen. I’ve learned so much since then. I thought I’d take a moment to post some of the ideas I didn’t pursue. Here they are in no particular order – the good, the bad and the ugly!
As a sidebar, I currently hold the record for most “Innovative Idea Competition” placements at Temple University with three wins consecutively. The ironic thing is I entered 123LinkIt, the concept I finally chose to pursue two years ago and it only received an Honorable Mention. I actually predicated the outcome on Twitter. However, the good news is I ended up winning First Place and $10,000 in cash and prizes in their annual “Be Your Own Boss Bowl” (the equivalent of a Business Plan Competition). I outline the process and win in more detail here.
Inventing a tangible product and getting it out to market is on my bucket list. Here are some ideas I’ve had:
Yes, most of these ideas if not all now exist. Like one you see? Go ahead and “steal” it. I know I’m missing more and I’ll add them to the list when I recall them.