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3 Take-Aways from StartUp Fest

Large events are a magical place. We often dread going to them because “we have so much work to do,” but once we are there, we feel like we have levelled-up.

StartUp Fest in Montreal was no exception...keep reading if you agree.

For those of you who don’t know, StartUp Fest is a festival for company founders to listen to amazing keynote speakers, meet amazing people, pitch their ideas, and network. It was hosted on an island with a 1 minute ferry ride from Old Montreal. Could you think of a better place? I can’t...props to the StartUp Fest organizers for pulling that off. It was an entrepreneur’s dreamland.

I learned so much from being surrounded by people doing unimaginable things, literally reshaping the world we live in.


Even over all of the technical knowledge about going to market and how to get products in front of the right people through a sea of other products...

I learned 3 fundamental skills that really shift the way we look at business AND life.

We are all people

There were world class speakers at the festival from execs of all the big trendy businesses like Facebook. I remember talking to one about her speech and she said that she didn’t think it went well at all. She set ways to track if she was successful and she didn’t get any of them. From no one crying to not getting a standing ovation, she missed her mark and was very defeated about it. Her story really struck me because I thought that these world class speakers nailed it everytime and had an unshakable amount of confidence. Her speech was amazing and everyone that I talked to agreed, but it did not meet her standards and she was seeming quite vulnerable about it.

I realized that even the most (seemingly) put together, confident, and successful people are still just that...PEOPLE. They still need help, they still have moments of feeling not good enough, all all the other things that we all experience.

I have always been nervous to offer help to these types of people because I thought that they didn’t need it… it’s just not true, we all need it!

People are a lot more willing to help than you think, you just have to ask

I was lucky enough to join a bus taking entrepreneurs from the east coast. The entire bus ride we bonded and shared stories about everything from life to business. What was very interesting for me to see was how the dynamic shifted between everyone and people they deal with often.

During our everyday lives and scurrying around running our own businesses, we stop to say hi and ask how business is, but that is usually it. Once we began talking about deeper things, people became much more comfortable to ask for help and provide help.

I asked a few people who I constantly saw around the city, but never really connected with about why they thought this happened and what they said surprised me. They said, “nothing changed, you just didn’t ask or help so we couldn’t help you.” The east coast is known for its kind and close knit environment, but for whatever reason we don’t share what we are really going through or really need help with. I learned that these people have always been around and willing to connect deeper, I just needed to ask.

Be yourself.

Who has heard of Willie G? If you haven’t you REALLY need to. Check out his pitch for his company Party on Demand… you’ll see what I mean.

He is a wild character, but mostly, he is rockin’ being himself. He was the MC for the big pitch competition at the festival and was full of energy up on stage. Like many people, I went to talk to him after because his energy was so infectious. He is a very excited and high-energy guy, but also seems to be very much himself. The way he talks, he is obviously concerned about helping others, but makes his own footsteps and is unapologetic about it. He is the kind of guy that you can really admire, and it is because he does not hold back.

I should also note that “being yourself” doesn’t mean you need to be as high energy as Willie G, you just need to find you. I am certainly not at the same energy level as Willie G, I just need to remind myself to shine as me! When we try to please everyone we end up not pleasing anyone and most importantly ourselves.

The headings may seem basic, and I am almost certain that you have heard them before, but PLEASE let them sink in. As founders, business people, people living on this planet we are here to help others, be kind, and shine as ourselves...that’s how you create a movement!

What movement are you creating?

If you're ever feeling like it's all too much, feel free to reach out. We are always up for a chat.

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