In June, Nell Merlino’s program, Make Mine a Million$ Business – dedicated to growing 1 million women owned businesses to the $1 million dollar mark came to Seattle. I was busy promoting the program through WBO because I thought it was a great program and had heard about it from one of our marketing consultants a couple of years ago. On one of the informational calls I participated in, I realized that Alchemy actually qualified to apply to the program. We had one week to get our packet together and our whole team scurried around and got our materials submitted in the nick of time.
Amazingly enough, we became a finalist! Alright! That meant that I had to prepare a 3 minute pitch that gave info on our company and talk about why we should become an awardee. 16 finalists arrived at the Seattle Center to rehearse together the day before our event. It was a little like American Idol. The “mock judges” panel included Merlino herself, Hilary Blair (acting coach from the Denver Center of the Performing Arts), and a number of other “experts” who were working on the event watched our presentations and critiqued us. All of the 16 of us were mortified by the end of the day, and knew we had to go home and work our butts off to deliver something great at the next day’s event. We also got the line-up of what order we would deliver our pitches. As luck would have it, I would be first. Gulp. Needless to say it was a late night.
The event the next day was spectacular – the key note speakers (including the Governor) very inspiring and there were lots of give-aways for participants including stuff from JetBlue and Dell and American Express, FedEx, the Seattle Storm, Starbucks. Then came the competition. I went first and thankfully NAILED IT as did almost all of the other finalists. The audience had a sheet with all of our pictures on it and they voted on the top three who they thought were the best. There were also a panel of judges there from women owned businesses in the PNW. In the end, after much suspense and more key noting, eight awardees were chosen and Alchemy was one of them! Wow!
This adventure has only begun to unfold for us with all of the contacts, networking and amazing packages to help us grow our business from a team of great sponsors including OPEN American Express, Dell, Cisco, FedEx to name only a few. One of the coolest parts were the other awardees that I met there. All of these women are so amazing that I feel like Alchemy has just stepped into a bigger room. Thanks to all of you that encouraged us to participate! What a blast!
Please check out the M3 website and if you know other women business owners that you think should apply, please pass the info on to them. Let’s help Nell Merlino hit that 1 million goal! www.makemineamillion.org