Accelerator Diaries: Edugrowth week 9 – Outside the Comfort Zone

By April 22, 2017Uncategorized

One of the most rewarding aspects of running your own company is the personal growth that you experience along the way. That growth comes in various forms including the new skills you learn, the connections you make and the personal confidence you gain by steering your own ship.

That growth doesn’t come for free though. The price that you pay for all that good stuff is the discomfort you go through along the way. That discomfort takes many forms. It’s the uncertainty you feel performing a role that’s completely new to you. It’s the fear in your stomach moments before pitching to a crowd of people or a room of investors. It’s that awkward moment when you approach a complete stranger to ask for her feedback on your new product. It’s something you face every day and eventually, you do get pretty comfortable with being uncomfortable.

For myself, that discomfort has become more manageable over time. The further down the road that we’ve traveled with Prevyou, the more I understand that the fate of our business doesn’t rest on the one specific moment in front of me. It’s more an aggregation of the net results of hundreds of little moments. Understanding that has allowed me to take a more long-term view towards what happens in our business, which has certainly helped with the nerves.

What we learned

Leo and I have talked a lot about the personal growth that we’ve gone through. It hits home when we think back to 9-months ago when we were just leaving our jobs to embark on this journey. Those versions of ourselves feel so distance to the people that we are now like we’re thinking back 10 years ago or more.

For Leo, there has been one major fear that he’s been looking to tackle for some time now, the fear of public speaking. Up until now, I’ve taken the lead with most of our pitching opportunities, whilst Leo has been applying his design skills to creating slick slide decks. With a focus in the EduGrowth program on always being able to pitch it’s become apparent that we’re both going to need to be able to deliver our pitch at a high standard.

This means that Leo is going to be tackling that fear head on, and this week he did!

On Thursday Leo pitch Prevyou in front of a room full of mentors, investors and EduGrowth members, and he absolutely nailed it! Despite admitting to being extremely nervous throughout no one in the room was able to tell. Leo pitched the full slide deck for 5-minutes and finished up with some questions.The key takeaway was that it’s much better to face up to your fears and get them out of the way rather than letting them hold you back.

Leo from the Upstart Academy pitching to EduGowth members and investors

(Leo pitching to a packed house of EduGrowth members, investors, and mentors.)

What’s Changed for Us

The rest of the week was spent building content and redesigning the website. I’ve been locked in a room recording the Internship Accelerator course. This course is designed to be a step-by-step guide to help students create their own internship opportunities. We’re planning on giving it away for free to act as a lead magnet for our new service.

Despite the fact that it’s free content it still needs to be quality content. Unfortunately, in planning this course I drastically underestimated the time it was going to take me to develop. Originally we were going to release it as just a text course. However after producing the text version we realised that we needed to record videos because the material needed an extra element of explanation.

This meant the 10 text modules now need to be accompanied with 20 videos and slides – at least another week of recording.


Snapshot of the Internship Accelerator curriculum by the Upstart Academy

(an overview of one section of the internship accelerator course)

The Plan For Next Week

We’re really pushing hard to finish the Internship Accelerator course before the end of next week. I’m flying back to Perth for Easter on Thursday and want to upload all the videos before I depart (to take advantage of WeWorks lightning fast Wifi).

The other area of focus is the website redesign and relaunch. We’re hoping to have the new website ready to launch for the other side of the easter break. This will allow us plenty of time to market our new service, whilst we build the content behind the scenes.

It wouldn’t feel right to post a blog without at least one embarrassing photo of Leo! Here he is celebrating his successful pitch over a few quiet beers.

Leo from the Upstart Academy celebrating a successful pitching session