How can you share your story to connect with an audience? What do you want your listeners to take away? How do you get others to see the value in your product?
Join hosts Jeffrey Sass, Sharyn Konyak, and Olivia Valdes as they answer these questions and more on episode 3 of Lead With Your Story – a space for entrepreneurs and creators to share their experiences.
Sharyn explains that storytelling allows companies to forge a deeper connection between their product and potential consumers and that emotional connection can prove profitable.
Listening to guest speakers’ business ventures and journeys, the hosts provide on-the-spot feedback and valuable lessons on efficient storytelling.
The anecdotes and experiences shared varied in demographic, business structures, and industries, but the more stories shared, the more clear it became that there was, in fact, a commonality between the researchers, artists, and analysts – their ‘why.’
Why did you start your business? Why do other people need your product or service? A recurring theme seen in entrepreneurship old and new, is the push for innovation coming through frustration, a problem not yet with a solution. Jeff advises listeners to make the problem clear and work backward from there, striving for transformation, not a transaction.
You never try to get someone to buy your product – people don’t buy products, they buy solutionsSharyn Konyak
Before wrapping up, the hosts again emphasized authenticity and the importance of leading from one’s personal journey in business and marketing, and only then will investors, developers, and consumers see the value.
Listen to the stories shared by our audience, in the full session above!
And welcome everyone to another edition of lead with your story. We do this show every Monday night at 6:00 PM Eastern time. And Sharyn Konyak who’s there on stage with me is really the host of this show. This is Sharyn’s creation and it’s a lot of fun. And, I’ll let Sharyn I’ll introduce myself real quick and then I’ll let Sharyn tell us how lead with your story works.
And, uh, I’m Jeff sass. I’m the co-founder and COO of.club domains, and also COO of pod.com. And I also host a number of, uh, rooms here in, in startup club where I’m one of the administrators and it’s my pleasure to be with you and Olivia welcome, Olivia, glad you could make it a modest way. Olivia, to [00:01:00] know you are now half human, half clubhouse, Ian.
Welcome. And I see Gary is in the audience, I guess. With your giraffe and Ft. Congratulations on that. So, Sharon, I’ll hand it off to you to tell us how, uh, lead with your story is going to work and we’ll get the show going. Awesome. Glad to see everyone here. It looks like we have a pretty robust room, which is nice.
Looking forward to seeing a lot of hand raising happen, not happening and bring onto the stage. Um, can you hear me okay. I just got a poor connection. Yep. Hear you fine. Okay, good. Um, so we created this room to give entrepreneurs and founders and startups, an opportunity to be able to tell their story in a safe space where they can, uh, you know, work through the process of storytelling because storytelling.
Has become a very, very, [00:02:00] uh, profitable and a very effective way for brands to get the attention in the marketplace of customers, of investors. Uh, and the like, and it’s because stories are really conversations, right? There are conversations between the storyteller and the audience. And if you do a good job and creating an engaging narrative, then the audience becomes invested in your story.
They become invested in you as you know, the character or, or the, the main, uh, the protagonist, the main focus of the story. And they are invested in the outcome. And it’s in this investment, in this idea of common ground, where connections are really made and relationships are built, and we know how important relationships are, uh, especially in the, in the branding world, in the marketing world.
And, um, the ability to create a solid relationship. Starts we believe with a story. So, um, what we’d like to do is invite you to raise your [00:03:00] hand, come up on stage. Uh, the drill is it’s a three-minute drill. Jeffrey has been kind enough to keep a clock. Uh, as soon as you come up, just introduce yourself, uh, with your name and then we will start the clock.
And in three minutes you have the chance to tell us your story. At the end of the three minutes, we’ll hear a little buzzer. And, um, I think it’s more like a little chime and that will tell you that your three minutes is up. We ask you to try to stop right there, where you are. That’ll be helpful to you also to know how far you’ve been able to get in that three minute time period.
Um, which seems really long, except when you’re talking, it’s goes by super quick. Uh, and so then. Give us that opportunity to then give you some feedback and hopefully we can help you tell a better story. So, uh, feel free to raise your hand and come up on stage. This is a really a safe place. Uh, remember also with the little red dot there that shows that [00:04:00] you are being recorded.
So you’re giving us permission to record you. And there are, I believe Jeffrey replaced to correct? Yes, we have the new clubhouse feature replaced turned on. So you’ll be able to share this room afterwards or listen to it again. And then we’ll also be posting recordings email@example.com. And we also have as one of our panelists tonight, Olivia Valdez, Olivia, welcome you.
If you want to say hello real quick. And while you’re listening, while Olivia is saying hello, uh, as Sharon said, if you’d like to come up and share your story and participate in this fun exercise, raise your hand, we’ll bring you up and then you’ll have your, your three minutes of fame, Olivia.
Okay. I think Olivia might’ve stepped away up. She’s on the phone. Okay. I got a back channel. She’s on the phone. No problem. So who wants to start with their story? Raise your hand. Now, last [00:05:00] week we had a lot of people come up and share some really interesting stories. So, um, let’s get started. All right.
Well, Sharon, if no, one’s going to raise their hand yet. I’ll start with, uh, I’ll. I’ll give my shot at a three-minute
Sharon. You there mute unmute.
Yeah. I actually saw a couple of hand raises and I was trying to bring some people up, but I don’t know if that’s not working for me or. I accepted a few hand raises too, but they have not joined us one stage, so I’m not sure. Oh, we’re having technical difficulties tonight or not, but here we go. I see some hands now let’s try it again.
Let’s see if we can get a cue. Oh, here we go. Yay. We have a taker, Anthony. Welcome. Hey, how y’all doing tonight? Awesome. [00:06:00] Great. Thank you all for, uh, giving me a moment. Uh, my name is Anthony Clemons. I’m the co-founder of peer review.io. We are a company that’s focused on bringing, uh, researchers together with projects and bringing projects to the researchers who are looking for some, uh, my story really starts with me being a doctoral.
And, uh, I was taking my, uh, coursework online, looking for folks to collaborate with and really trying to make a solid go at being a great researcher. The problem was finding good people to collaborate with. Uh, and one of the things that I noticed was it was really, really difficult to kind of reach out and find folks and, uh, you know, build a rapport and a [00:07:00] network effectively, you know, when you’re taking coursework online.
So that gave me pause to think that that was a, uh, that that’s a problem that needs to be solved. So I took the plunge to become an entrepreneur and began pure view as a way of basically allowing people to post their projects that they would like folks to collaborate with on and give the ability for people to explore the profiles of people who might be interested to collaborate on projects.
And, uh, we are in the, uh, early stages of developing the MVP and we are hoping to be publishing that MVP as a SAS, uh, within the next few months. Uh, I’ll, I’ll tell you, we have done a significant amount of market research between academics and, uh, [00:08:00] uh, other researchers, you know, w and a variety of think tanks.
And they all agree that this is something that’s necessary, not just because it’s, you know, bringing, uh, more, uh, less homogeneity in terms of research to a variety of fields, but also because the increased I’ve jumped defecation of higher education has reduced the amount of networking and capability that these adjuncts have to be able to publish good research.
So this is a space for everyone to come together nationally, internationally, and basically create efficiencies in any field that they want to for publishing good research. That’s it. Thank you all so much. Thank you, Anthony, you have 13 seconds left. So that was pretty good timing wise.[00:09:00]
Did you want to add something to, for your 13 seconds, Anthony? Are you ready to go? You can, uh, you can find us a peer review.io and we would love for you to register your interest so that, uh, we can begin networking and, uh, uh, send you a newsletter once profoundly published. Thanks.
Awesome. So, um, I think obviously, It’s really interesting that you talked about that you did some, some market research and, uh, we’re really trying to like be forward-looking in terms of, um, the market, because it’s obviously a difficult situation right now with every, with the sort of hybrid nature of things.
I’m sure you’re running into that even with researching, because you know, there’s definitely issues where people are onsite versus offsite and the logistics of all that. So I’m sure that’s created a whole nother level of, of, [00:10:00] um, complications for you bringing this idea to market. Um, but I think that the idea of, you know, trying to find an opportunity to bring people together and collaborate is super important.
And especially when we’re talking about research and projects that, um, maybe in the realm of innovation that, um, a lot of times you almost feel like. You create almost an, a vacuum. So those things I know as a writer, that’s one of those things that winds up being a plague to you is that you, you, uh, you’re in this, um, almost an individual pursuit, but it’s, you’re not alone obviously in it.
So I’m sure you run into that as well, right? Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. So, um, I like the basis of it. I think that one of the things that you can do to improve your messaging is to make it clear, upfront exactly what it is, uh, that the [00:11:00] platform provides because, and you also want to make sure you do it in a way that’s sort of very, um, Easily understood.
Don’t fall into the trap of, of, uh, academic language and trying to explain it, try to, to make it as simple and easy as possible for people to explain. So getting really clear upfront about what it is that the, uh, MVP or, you know, because you’re going to use it as a SAS. You want to make sure you’re really, really clear that people know what to expect when they sign up.
And I’m assuming, are you just like in beta right now? Uh, we’re not even in beta yet. We’re still in the process of developing the, uh, the, uh, wireframing for the, for the, uh, model and developing the back end database requirements. Yeah. So I think what it would be really helpful to do is sort of really backtrack a bit and come really [00:12:00] clear with what you are messaging is who one of the things we always talk about is note, make sure you know exactly who you’re talking to your customer avatar, what is your actually talking to, um, and then speak to them in a language.
Not only they understand, but that can easily be communicated. So, um, take it from that standpoint and then build up from there and say, okay, these are the people I want to talk to. This is what I want them to do. And this is why they need to do it. This is what’s going to be the transformational thing. Um, if you’ve been with us on previous, um, rooms, You know, one of the things is transformation, not transactions.
So you don’t want people to say because no one wants needs another piece of software and another, or another app. You never hear anybody going, Hey, you know, I just really need to download another app, but what they want is a transformation, right? They want to problem solve. They [00:13:00] want something and they need you to explain to them why their life is going to be transformed as a result of downloading your app or getting involved for, um, if that’s helpful.
Absolutely. Thank you so much. Thank you, Anthony. Thank you, Sharon. Oop, we had, uh, we had someone else ready to go, but we’ve seem to have lost them. Um, as mentioned, this is lead with your story and if you’d like to come up and take three minutes to share your story and then get some feedback, um, feel free to raise your hand.
Um, Anthony, the only thing I would add to what Sharon said is, you know, So Sharon’s point about, you know, demonstrating a problem that you’re solving. I think you talked about, you know, how you got into, um, peer view from your own experience, um, as a researcher, but I think, you know, maybe you could spend a little more time on the problem, you know, really making it clear what the problem was that you faced.
Um, and then I think we always want to try to work backwards from the end. So [00:14:00] think about what, what do you want the listener to your story to feel or do at the end? So when you had the 13 seconds left and Sharon said, what do you wanna do? You added a little bit of a call to action, you know, gave them a place to find more information.
So think about upfront know upfront know when you start the story, how you want to end the story. I think that’s really important and helpful. Great.
And I think another teaching point, you know, here for anybody hanging out in the audience and listening and, um, is that the emotional connections are the ones that we want to make. Right? When we are in a position of, uh, being vulnerable emotionally, or being like dialed into something emotionally, that’s where we’re really connecting.
Right. Um, you’ve heard the story. I mean, you’ve heard the quote before that it’s much easier to change an open mind than a closed mind. And so, um, taking the opportunity to use your story, to open someone’s mind and to give them [00:15:00] make an emotional connection with them is going to really propel your story forward.
And it’s also going to give the listener a reason to lean in and leaning in is ultimately what you want to do. Any opportunity for you to get your audience to lean in is going to be a winner.
Thank you, Anthony. Excuse me. Um, we had some people raised their hands, but then when I tap with them, I don’t know what happens. So I don’t know if we’re having technical issues, but let’s try again. We’ve got a few people with their hands up and hopefully we’ll get them on stage to share their story.
Here we go. Welcome. Hey. Hi. Great. Brian, do you want to tell your story when you start talking? We’ll start the three-month. [00:16:00] Yeah, so I will lead with my story. Um, and I know I should jump right into it as guy Kawasaki says, but I am not, I haven’t really been in this room too many times, so I don’t know the format, but three minutes, I’m two minutes and 40 seconds in.
So I’m Brian. I am the co-founder of buddy dot arrow. And before I tell you about buddy dot arrow, I’ll tell you where I came from. Um, I was 12 years old in 1997, when the internet came out, when the.com boom started and, oh, it was so cool. I started seeing people, sell their companies for tens and hundreds of millions of dollars.
And I said, there’s no doctor lawyer school for me anymore. I’m getting into this internet thing. And I just really have been following the trends with e-commerce and fast forward, I started brokering these airplane parts when I was in my early twenties. And, you know, I could, I could put an airplane part in a box and send it to an airline.
And make 3000 or $5,000. And I was like, this is great. [00:17:00] This airplane part business is so cool. Uh, airplanes are so cool. Uh, let’s see. You’ve probably got two minutes left. So, um, I, I, I, I started realizing immediately in this aviation parts business, it was very antiquated and there wasn’t a platform, you know, connecting the buyers and the sellers efficiently.
And I decided, you know, 10 years ago, I wanted to build that platform and fast forward, it’s pretty effing hard to build a marketplace platform and, and reach critical mass. As I’ve learned through my journey, I’ve been through some accelerators, I’ve received, received some pre-seed funding. And recently with our last venture capital investment, I, I bailed on trying to build this critical mass platform marketplace, and we pivot it and now re are building.
The first influencer marketplace for aviation, where we make short mini podcasts with aviation professionals, uh, and help aviation [00:18:00] brands. So the problem we’re solving is we, the problem is that aviation organizations can’t authentically reach their customers on demand. And we’re bringing this influencer marketing that’s already existing in other industries, but we’re bringing it to aviation in a really classy, authentic, informational way by creating many podcasts with experts and brands.
And then we have a novel, unique value proposition where we distribute that content on to LinkedIn and onto the organic feeds. And that’s kind of where my journey is at the moment we, we I’m so happy to say after not being a coder, you know, trying to find my technical co-founder, we have finished our iPhone, Android, and web.
Well officially today. So it may be in a couple that, you know, may officially this week, you know, we’ve been in beta, we have 90 users, but officially we are launching version one at the end of this week, early next week, our platform’s [00:19:00] done and it’s finally time to put the cart in front of the horse and onboard influencers and get this platform started.
All right. Three minutes are up right there. Good job, Brian. Uh, Sharon, you want to go first? And Olivia, if you’ve got comments, feel free to chime in as well. And then I’ll wrap.
Yeah. Brian, I know you said you hadn’t been here before, so you were just sort of getting thrown into it. I think he did an awesome job, uh, as a first-timer, um, One of the things that, uh, I sort of took a peek at my watch and you really got to the meat of it pretty far into it. Um, it’s important to tell your personal story and make a connection story.
But, um, I do know sometimes that we have founders in here who have, uh, sort of like had a circuitous route to where they are now. And, um, just remember if you’re telling that part of it, make sure [00:20:00] you make that a really clean connection between the two things and, um, make it a connection that has a positive or an upside.
Um, I think, like you said something about we build on something, um, You know, isn’t obviously the best way to frame it. So you might want to readjust the, the verbiage of that to be clear about, you know, we pivoted because we saw the need in the market had shifted dramatically or something like that. Um, being careful about how you frame certain things.
Um, and in terms of call to action, I’m not sure that I felt one at the end. So, um, maybe identify what you expect. Uh, if you heard Jeffrey before, you know, we talk about this building from the, from the bottom back forward and [00:21:00] what you expect the listener of your story to do with it. If you’re looking for investors, or if you’re looking for people to sign up for your beta or something like that, you know, you want to be sort of clear about that.
Um, you know, as you close your store, Yeah. Um, Brian, I agree with Sharon, a couple of things too, that came to mind, first of all, congrats on using a dot arrow, um, domain extension, which is very cool. Um, it’s a little bit of a double-edged sword because people aren’t that familiar with it. So I do think you may want, and it, and it’s a little bit tough on the, um, radio test.
Cause when I first heard you say it, I thought you said buddy dot arrow, and I actually wrote down arrow. And then as you got into discussing what you did and that it was airplane related, then it, the light bulb went off and I realized it was arrow. H E R O. So you may want to, um, um, spell it out when you tell it the first time.
So people understand, you know, and you can even make [00:22:00] that kind of a cool thing. It’s saying, you know, there’s an extension for things around, uh, aeronautics, then it’s dot arrow. And that’s what I’m buddied on Arab. Um, the other thought I had was the, uh, The, um, yeah, Sharon sort of indicated, get, you spent a little bit too much time on the things you didn’t end up doing and not enough time when the things you are doing.
So I thought you were leading up to talking about this parts platform. Um, so I think you, you, you want to shift the focus, put more emphasis on the current project and less emphasis on the original project was Sharon sort of said, the other thing I’ll mention, and this is just a general comment when you’re public speaking, when we all public speak, remember that the audience doesn’t know what we’re going to say.
The audience doesn’t know when we make mistakes. So, you know, I know that this is new in that you didn’t know the format and you had your three minutes, but when you’re in that situation, don’t take some of your time up by saying, oh, I only [00:23:00] have a minute left or I have too many. In other words, the audience is not paying attention to the timer.
I am cause that’s my job here on this show, but the audience is just listening to you and that just takes them away from your story. When you kind of break, break that fourth wall from your story and say, oh, I have got another two minutes left. So I try to avoid doing that as much as possible. Just stick to your story, which you were doing a good job of telling.
So that, that would be my feedback. Great. Well, Sharon Jeffrey, I give you each two point. You each gave me two points that I completely agree with in a completely valid. So if I’m familiar with the format, I pop back down to the audience now and I say, thank you back on the audience. Um, if it starts to get crowded up here or you can hang out, but yes, thank you for playing a lead with your story.
Appreciate it. And good luck with your business. It sounds like, oh, the other thing, now that you reminded me, everybody made a note. The other thing that I think would be helpful, Brian too, is when you described what you’re currently doing and having this platform. For [00:24:00] aviation influencers. It might’ve been good to give at least one example, you know, of that.
And even if you didn’t want to use someone’s actual name, maybe give a more tangible example of, you know, we have this influencer or this person who had a blog and we were able to turn that into this mini podcast and then we got it on LinkedIn and they saw this result from that, you know, some type of a tangible example maybe would have made it easier for people to understand exactly what the, I love it.
I love it. Yeah. Um, our first pilot customers to make that very easy. And again, thank you. This has been, you know, very making sense, knowledgeable critique. So it’s, it’s spot on and thank you. Thank you, Brian. Um, Olivia, did you have anything you want to add or otherwise we’ll go on to our next player, Katie.
Yeah. Um, just a quick thing. Um, I think we also need to think about our tone of voice and how fast we’re [00:25:00] speaking, because that also, um, helps connect with our audience when we’re trying to tell our story, not just the words, but like how you’re saying it. Um, so yeah, I would just great, quick, quick clarification.
Are you, I know I talk fast a lot. Are you alluding to me speaking fast, Olivia or you’re just talking to macro. Yes. I think it was just a little too fast, but again, you were pressured by the time and everything. So, um, I don’t think it’s a big deal. It’s just like something we need to consider when we’re telling a story for the first time.
Great. Thanks again. I’m going to silence my mic, Jeff, and you can move on to KJ. Thank you so much. Thank you KJ. Welcome to lead with your story. When you start your story, I’ll start
- Are you there? If you are on mute yourself? If not, we’ll go on. All [00:26:00] right, let’s go on to, oh, there you are. Okay. All right, salad. Just wait. We’re going to let KJ go first and then you’ll be next. Okay. Um, hi, my name is KJ sharp. I am the CEO and development specialist for sharp turns sharp with an E uh, LLC performing arts and personal development.
Um, I started my business maybe about seven years ago now and we do social consciousness, theater, and I’ve written, directed and produced. Um, At least five different theater programs and then several other events we did to bring people together to talk about issues in their communities, in their home lives, in their, um, families.
So the way I got started when I was a kid, I was very shy and [00:27:00] I’ve wrote all the time. I was a writer as a kid, and that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wanted to be a writer. And so I won a lot of awards in school and everything. And, um, but things kept happening in my life. There, there was a thread that went through my life and by the time I was in my, um, early fifties, I lost my.
Oldest son, my first born and that changed the trajectory of my life. I had to deal with a lot of complicated grief. Um, there was a lot of sustained trauma, a lot of mental health issues that went along with that. And so as I was doing theater already and teaching and everything, I decided to write a play called crazy and that play and writing.
It actually saved my life. And so I figured how can I help other people? I had also gone to school for psychology and, um, behavioral [00:28:00] science and sociology. And so I thought to myself, how can I help other people? How can I do psychology by proxy? And so we did it in the form of social consciousness, theater.
Then Kobe came, but before COVID something else happened, um, at this time, about two years ago. Yeah. About two years ago today I became suddenly disabled. I was told I had a rare disease that it’s like one in a million people get this disease. I got, I was the lucky one. I was the chosen one. And I say, I’m lucky because when I thought that this thing was the end of my life, because it flipped my life upside down.
When I thought it would be the end of my life, it actually opened up for me an opportunity to write full time and to change how I did my [00:29:00] business. So instead of just doing, um, theater and events, I now get to do performing arts as therapy and. People who are like me, because I was suddenly
time’s up, but no worries. But you had our attention for sure.
Oh, thank you. Jeffrey. Did you want to take the shirt? Sure. So, so first of all, I hope I hope that. You’re doing better, um, with, uh, with the illness and everything else. And I’m sorry for your loss and that, that trauma. Um, I thought a couple of things that were really good. Um, first of all, I love, uh, the name sharp turns since your name is sharp, and I thought it was very good that you said sharp with an E.
So, you know, if someone’s trying to find you now, they’re going to [00:30:00] spell it correctly. Um, so that was very good. I, I think you have all the elements of a great story, but I feel like they’re, they’re not organized in the most effective order in the most effective way. Like you had so many compelling things, um, that you’re able to talk about.
And I think, you know, as a playwright, you want to think of your, your story more, the way you would think of a play. And so, you know, when you think of a play, you know, I took a, I was a theater major in college and one of the best sort of storytelling, marketing lessons I ever learned. I was taking a class in directing where they explained to us that, you know, you want to think about what’s that final moment in a play.
When the lights go out and the curtain drops, the play is over, what is it that you want the audience to be feeling at that moment? And then work backwards from there. And then every single scene in the play should be contributing to that moment. And if it’s not, the scene [00:31:00] should either be cut or rewritten so that it is contributing to that final moment.
So I feel like you should think of your short story, even though it’s only three minutes as a play, understand what that final moment is. And I think the structure could be more compelling. Like all the elements were there, but I felt like it was disjointed because they were in diff they weren’t in the right order.
If that makes, makes absolute sense. Yeah. And one of the things that we sometimes struggle with when we’re writing obviously is like, where’s the beginning, right? Where, where, where do I want to start? And I felt like you had a bunch of different beginnings. And so, and it’s also very important to like, sometimes people are like, well, I need to start at the beginning.
Like literally like, like when I came into being and how things happen from there. And sometimes, you know, while there might be compelling pieces of the narrative in there, they don’t drive our story forward in the, in the [00:32:00] compelling way that we need it to. And so we have to sort of like take that lens and back up and see where is where’s that moment that’s like that transformational.
I hate to sound like. Broken record, but where’s that transformational moment. And, and for you sounds like, you know, it came with the, and again, I’m sorry for your loss as well, but the painful loss of, of having to deal with a child, I mean, that’s something no one ever wants to deal with loss is hard enough, but then when you’re dealing with something so, you know, close, and so, uh, you know, where you can’t really get a grasp on it, sometimes it’s hard to get that sort of perspective.
And I think that, um, maybe getting that perspective and stepping back from the story could be helpful. Um, I agree with Jeffrey, I think focus, um, it needs to be something that you just take a look at. And, um, the other comment [00:33:00] that I had is I was, I kinda leaned in right as the second, you started talking about social consciousness theater, and, but I thought you were going to take it to a D from a different, um, A different way.
I thought you were going to talk about like some, uh, social with everything that’s been going on in the world. Um, you know, the black lives matter movement and Asian, uh, hate crimes and all of those different things that have been going on. I thought you were going to take that kind of social consciousness part of it.
And then when you kind of pivoted and said that it was more psychological, um, I got a little bit of whiplash if you will, in terms of knowing where we were in terms of the context. So, um, I think defining that upfront and, you know, again, we talk also about having a hook, right? So if you had the hookup front and you said, you know, like one day I woke up in the most horrific thing happened to me and it [00:34:00] turned my world upside down.
And when you say that, then all of a sudden people are like, Uh, okay. What, and then, you know, you can go ahead and build from there and then you can clarify the focus of it. Um, and that the social consciousness part is, you know, how to deal with grief or how to deal with loss and, and those kinds of things.
I hope that that is very, very much so I am, uh, I am, uh, I tend to be a good writer and a horrible speaker. So this was me trying my hand at good. Well, you did very well. It just, um, we’re just trying to help you do even better.
If I can add something, um, it would be, um, I would like to share, so like a, like a quick technique that in branding we use for brand statements and that is, we need to focus on the, what the [00:35:00] why and the how, so you can talk about your story and have those three points, very clear why you’re trying to share your story, that that could be helpful for.
Okay. Thank you. Great. Thank you so much. KJ, Sala. Welcome. When you start your story, I’ll start the clock. Hi, good morning. Um, I wanted to ask you first, is this room only for you guys or all over the globe? This is all over the globe. Um, clubhouse is a very global, uh, service. So we have had, um, people in the room from all over us.
There are no geographic seller. I, my name is Salah. I got my master degree. I received my master degree from Chicago, and then I got my PhD from Texas university. And then I moved to New Jersey. I spent two years there right now. I have a [00:36:00] start up company for, uh, my startup is to develop a tool for, for real estate companies to use.
So basically, uh, I designed this software. We Porter and Android apps for companies in Egypt. We have a new 20 cities. Uh, one of them is called the capital new Cairo capital, the new capital, and we have 20 cities and every city has at least, maybe like 100 apartments splits. So I designed a web portal for other companies to use, but right now, I had some problems because I wanted to use the meta verse, uh, like I wanted to use augmented reality and the virtual reality.
So, eh, you, before you buy your apartment, you need to enter the apartment and the check, the bathroom and the kitchen and see the couch and see the bathroom and see the living room, the [00:37:00] bedroom. So we can check your apartment, uh, before you really buy it. Okay. Right now I am trying to convince other companies, real estate companies to buy my product.
My program is helped to convince them, to buy my product because not every real estate companies, they have it guys. So basically I started a new company for information technology company, a software company it’s called the software, AI artificial intelligence software. Company to develop, uh, we portal for real estate companies.
I’m sorry if you understand what I’m talking about. Absolutely. Okay. So now I wanted to convince real estate companies to buy my product. This is for a second. I have hard time to do the augmented reality. The meta verse, like mark Facebook, [00:38:00] new company, it’s called the meta verse. I’m trying also to use artificial intelligence to build the building.
And then before customers the buy the apartment, they need to get into the apartment and the move on and check if they like it or no. So I have some technical problem to design the software. Okay. I’m done. I’m finished. Can you give me advices to sell my company or to let other people buy my product? So Salah, first of all, I think you have 12 seconds left.
So you did very well on the timing. Um, and I think you did a good job of explaining, um, what your product is or your vision is, and the problem. And I have to tell you, I have a personal story that that’s very much related to this, uh, which I’ll share with you, which hopefully will be helpful. But many years ago, literally in 1997, [00:39:00] I was in the video game business.
And we, the company that I worked for, we had a license to use the doom engine. If you remember the doom video games. And that was one of the early first person shooter games. So it wasn’t as detailed as virtual reality or the metaverse is today, but it was very immersive and you can walk around and the game industry.
At that time hit a hard time. And it was a tough time for games and the company I was with actually filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy because another company that owed us a lot of money went out of business and we couldn’t get paid, but we had a few developers and we had this technology. We had this idea, guess what our idea was.
We could take the game engines that we were using and have our game designers recreate in this doom engine homes and apartments that were trying to be sold by developers before they were built. And we could let people walk through the home virtually, as you [00:40:00] described in the metaverse using this technology, we had a business in 1997, it was called VR tech, V R T E C H VR tech.
And the challenge was the technology was pretty good. You know, we had our game designers. The homes. And we actually sold, we did a test with a few developers and we actually had a couple, they purchased the $750,000 home that hadn’t been bought yet just by sitting in front of the computer and walking, as you described walking through the house and seeing all the rooms and seeing the layout, the challenge we had was very much the same challenge you’re having today.
Believe it or not. Back in 1997, the technology was good. It worked, it sold homes, but the developers did not want to pay for it, you know? And it cost us a lot of money to map out with a D with a designer to map out the floor plan of the home and recreate the colors and the designs and the textures. [00:41:00] And so it was costly to do, and the developers would not pay for it.
And that was the challenge. And I think all these years later, that’s still the challenge that you’ll probably face is that, you know, how do you. The developers to see the value and, and pay for here. And there are a number of, of, of businesses in that space. So I think the advantage you have, and you did a good job and your story is tying it into the metaverse.
Cause that’s a hot item right now. So, you know, you might be able to get more attention now than you would have a year ago, because everyone’s talking about the metaverse, but it’s definitely a challenge, um, to get developers, to pay for this kind of technology. At least that was my experience back in the nineties, how can I events for them to be, they have a lot of money and the, we have new cities in the middle east, but how can I convince them, convince them to give me money to develop the product on the company.[00:42:00]
I use AI use artificial intelligence. So, so like, if I can give you a little bit of feedback, um, you never know. Try to get someone to buy your product because people don’t buy products, they buy solutions, right? If any, anything you, anything you own, anything you look at, they are, you didn’t buy it because it was a specific product.
You bought it because it was a solution. It solved a need that you had it, you know, scratched a niche. It, it gave you the opportunity to, to get rid of a problem, gets you out of pain and get you, uh, pleasure or whatever paradise gets. You get you to a better. So what you have to do is you have to sell them a solution and you have to do it in a way that’s personal.
So I think, you know, what’s, it can do is look for some story experience, princes experiences that either you or someone, you know, uh, [00:43:00] in dealing with finding a place to live, had to go through. Uh, you know, uh, let’s just say for instance, you were moving Sharon,
Sharon, excuse me. Are you telling me to, to make one, one product for one specific company or I should make a generic product to everybody will buy it.
I think what Sharon is trying to say that, um, if you’re trying to pitch someone, you should focus on the benefits of your products and like what problems is solving more than selling the actual product does that?
Okay, so let’s say, so they make it a generic product to anybody in the globe to buy it. Well, I think we have other cities in [00:44:00] other countries as well. They can buy this. Or should they make it only for one big company? And that’s it? I think it depends initially you may have a better shot of getting one.
If you can convince one big company that has plenty of money, that the Metta versus exciting now, and this is going to be an opportunity for them to stand out and stand above the competition by having your technology. That might be the way to go. I think, um, at this point, and then eventually you can take that technology to other people, but get one backer, um, to believe in it and, um, help you launch it.
We have to get on to the next contestant because we have a number of people on stage. Thank you, Sally. I hope this was helpful to you and thanks for bringing back memories of my experiences back in 1997, um, Ross Vaughn, welcome to lead with your story. When you start your story on. Hello. Thank you.
Welcome. Um, hi, my name is Roseanne and I am [00:45:00] 21 years old. The young man who lives in Romania. I am a student at the university of architecture in Romania in the third year. I’m also passionate about photography since 2014, and I tried to make a full-time job out of it. Uh, but a university stuck me because there is a lot of work to study and I don’t have enough time.
Now I have started to lay the foundation of a business concept to relate to, to a furniture design and production. The furniture should be produced by Romanian craftsmen with my design class craft. Some men who have a tradition in the history of Romania and who are very. Um, this work, uh, now I’m, uh, at a time when I don’t know which patch to choose.
Uh, sometimes I mistaken pictures, um, photos, and so Bo broke to me, uh, and income in the past in-state college, a university doesn’t allow me to [00:46:00] have an income at the moment because I need to focus on my study. Um, finally, uh, if you want to see my work in photography, you can check my Instagram profile or you can find it in my, uh, description here on, uh, uh, on this platform.
Thank you. Uh, I know at that time I was shorter than three minutes, but, uh, it’s my first speech in front of strangers and I hope that it was. I think you did very well, especially for the first time. And yes, you had about a minute and 20 seconds left. Yeah. Ron’s fun. Well, welcome. And thanks for taking the opportunity to come up here.
Um, you know, it’s hard. No one, no one said no one said it’s easy. So, um, we do appreciate everybody who comes up here and, um, know that when we give you feedback, we’re [00:47:00] doing it and in the kindest most intentional way in helping you try to, uh, to improve your story. Um, but I think one of the things that could help you is, uh, getting some focus in terms of where you want your story to go, where do you want it to start?
What do you, what do you really intend for your listener to take away from, uh, your story and. Uh, there was some confusion for me in terms of the focus of the intention of it, you know, where you are, you I’m interested in getting people interested in Romanian furniture building, or are you interested in photography?
And I wasn’t really clear, uh, what direction you were going in. So, uh, so I couldn’t get invested in the story from that standpoint, if that’s helpful. Okay. Thank you. Uh, instead I want you to get an advice advice from you, uh, because, uh, in [00:48:00] this moment of my life, I don’t know what to choose between a photography or a design furniture design.
Uh, The university tells need that is better, uh, with, uh, furniture design, but, uh, my past and my passion, uh, does need that, uh, uh, photography will always have a place in my heart. So it’s quite difficult for me to choose between them. So maybe that, that dilemma can become more of the story. So when you tell your story next time, maybe that becomes the challenge.
So, you know, cause that the way you just described that was very compelling. And maybe that’s the way to tell your story. Yeah. I was going to say, I was going to say the same thing. Like I think that’s, um, it’s, it’s a beautiful dilemma basically, because one thing doesn’t mean that you [00:49:00] can’t do the. Um, I personally do a million things because I have a million passionate, like I’m passionate about so many things.
Um, I don’t think you have to choose one to be able to do both, if that makes sense. Yeah, it makes sense. But, uh, university, um, uh, nights, uh, uh, in the nights and in the day and all the time and 24 hours. And, uh, I have no free time to, uh, I don’t know, to take photos to, to do something with my patient. This is the data for me.
Yeah, but sometimes there’s a, there’s a way to find that intersection between the two things and perhaps that, you know, that could exist for you. The intersection between the two things, maybe your passion [00:50:00] for photography is taking beautiful pictures of custom made furniture in, in beautiful settings and taking it, uh, and creating a platform where artisans can, uh, showcase some new design or something like that.
So that could be the hook. And that could be the way you sort of weave those two stories together and create an, you know, an opportunity and create interest for the audience. Thank you, Ross van. I hope this was helpful for you. We have about nine minutes, nine minutes left. So we’re going to go a little bit over, cause we have a few people on stage, but we will get to everyone who’s currently, um, on stage.
And if you had your hand up and didn’t know. Onto stage this week. We hope you’ll come back and join us next week for another edition of lead with your story. And with that, let’s go to Steve. Steve, when you start talking, I’ll say,
Steve, are you there [00:51:00] unmute yourself? If you want to tell your story,
it’s just the fact that doesn’t last to K two. We have gotten everything. We, we always fight for the money, the power and everything. Love doesn’t last. Why is that? I just want to know why it’s hard to be chartered and. Bruised on the left. Correct? I don’t know. I’m just in a state of depression right now, so I need help.
Sharon, were you going to say something
Alicia? Well, Steve, I think, um, [00:52:00] I thought you were going to tell us a story about, um, love being difficult, which I think we can all relate to. But if you are, you know, feeling in a state of depression right now, you know, we strongly recommend that you reach out. There’s a lot of organizations, phone numbers you can call to get help and speak to someone who’s who’s professional, um, to help guide you.
All right. That’s helpful. Thank you. But don’t feel, um, you know, don’t feel alone. Everyone goes through periods where we feel. Lost and depressed and love often is a trigger of that. So there’s help out there for you. And I strongly urge you to, to reach out to one of the organizations that provides that professional.
So let’s at least thank you, Steve. Let’s go to Brooke next, Brooke. Um, when you start your story, I’ll start the clock. Hi [00:53:00] everybody. Um, I am Brooke obviously, and I’m a co-founder and CEO of, uh, idea.co. That is E Y E D E E R. But firstly, um, I have a few questions for everyone here. Have you ever had an idea?
You didn’t know what to do with, but maybe, maybe you’ve got lots of ideas, but you’ve got trouble keeping track or you’re not sure which one would be more successful. As an architect, my job is all about problem solving. And even when I’m not working, um, I’m solving problems. I’ve had lots of ideas, some are simple others, more developed, more, some are completely out of the box and a little bit crazy, but many of them, I just didn’t know how to bring to life, or I didn’t have the time to pursue, but I still felt that they had value.
And that is why I have developed idea a digital ideas, exchange one location for ideas, any ideas, providing a secure volt for every user, for ideas that they’re [00:54:00] not ready to share an idea portfolio. And an idea is ranking for every idea is connected to your LinkedIn CV, showcasing your creative problem, solving skills, a feed of all the latest ideas, allowing users to geo locate geo, locate their ideas and share it with a local or global audience.
And. Allowing ideas to find like-minded individuals, be it crowd support co-founders or investors idea will also allow anyone to buy, sell, and trade in those ideas that they think might be invaluable in the future. The startup ecosystem is globally worth $3.8 trillion. Likewise, it is estimated that the global gig economy is worth 347 billion with a projected value of 455 billion.
In 2023, we are aiming to tap into both these markets with idea by utilizing blockchain technology. We hope to provide users with confidence, not only sharing their ideas, but [00:55:00] also selling NFTs or NFT shares in an night to provide alternative funding solutions. We’re hoping to make idea the one-stop shop for anyone with an idea or anyone wanting an idea.
The place to go to find links in ideation and startup related podcasts, courses, articles, grants, the place to gain better access, to be more visible with the idea we want to democratize the process of ideation. We aimed to unearth ideas that were otherwise languished, undeveloped providing one global crowd brainstorming platform.
And as they say, if two heads are better than one, imagine what the millions of heads could achieve. That it was great. 21 seconds remaining. So you timed that out very nicely, very nicely done. Brook.
Nicely done, Brooke. Welcome. I see you’re a party popper, so you’re new to, um, clubhouse as well. So we wanted to welcome you to the room and to clubhouse. Um, [00:56:00] awesome job. You were right on time, perfectly as well. Uh, one of the things that I thought you did really well was that you took the benefits and you focus them outward.
Instead of focusing, focusing them on your product, you focus them on what solutions they were going to offer, what they are going to provide for people. Instead of saying, uh, we have a product that does X, Y, Z, it’s our product serves this market, or does this thing for other people. Um, I was a little bit confused about who your end, uh, con your story was focused towards.
An investor or was it the end user? Because I felt in the beginning that it was an end-user you were talking about people who are going to use the platform, other, uh, startups, founders, or, uh, or idea generators. And then most of the, probably about three quarters of the way through then I thought it shifted more towards an investor message where you were looking for [00:57:00] people who are going to invest in the platform.
So maybe you can clarify that for me. Yeah. Probably a little bit confused on that at the messaging at the moment, myself, because we’re in the process of trying to look for investment. So yeah, maybe that’s something that I need to refine a bit more. Yeah. I had to smile. Um, Brooke, because I had a business partner who always said idea, you know, when he talked about ideas, know.
Set it as if the word was spelled I D E R it was always idea. So, uh, he was an idealist, um, a while back. So I thought that was, um, clever. And I liked how you kind of branded the people who would use your platform as idea wrists, but you know, the spelling, um, you know, is something that you’re always going to have to deal with as you did.
And I know we do another show on Wednesday nights called the name game, where we focus on naming and branding. And if, if this were [00:58:00] that show, I’d be asking you since ID or the way you’ve spelled it as somewhat unique to begin with. Perhaps you could have gotten the.com and not just the.co and just getting something that’s.
So it’s pretty easy, a little bit easier to find idea. Um, that would be one comment. Um, the other thing that stood out to me is, is kind of late in the story. You mentioned blockchain, and, um, to the extent that that. Is going to be a part of the platform. I might’ve brought that up a bit sooner, especially if that’s how you are going to kind of maintain the authority and ownership of ideas that are posted on the platform.
So people have that level of comfort, um, that, that their ideas can be shared and that people will know who was the first person who presented an idea. So if that’s how it is going to work, I would bring that up sooner rather than later. Cause it came up kind of late in the story, but overall, I thought you did a great job.
It was very well structured. You [00:59:00] spoke well. And, and of course you kept it with.
Thanks Jeffrey, my first, my first attempt. So yes, I’ll take on those notes. I’m a little bit nervous. No, you did great. Um, thank you for, uh, joining us tonight, which want to try to get through, um, the remainder of the contestants or players or participants. So next up we have flow flow when you start your story.
I’ll hello everyone. Thank you for having me on this space and I’m sharing my, my story. So Jeffrey, I will start with introducing my name and you can start the collective. Um, so I’m just, I want it to just flow from my heart so I don’t have anything written, so we’ll see how it goes. Here we go. Hello, everyone.
I’m Flo, thank you so much for holding this space. I invite you to come [01:00:00] share the space in my heart. As I share with you my homecoming self story, I have been a woman who struggled with self-esteem almost all of my life, and there are moments when I still do today. Often people have seen me as too much, but then deep inside, I still often feel like I’m not enough.
I am someone who have experienced childhood trauma, birth trauma, um, PTSD, depression. I was suicidal when I was in my high school and only in the last 10 years that I was conscious and awakened, and really took the time to walk my path and get to know who is this person that I see in the mirror. When I was a child, when I was born, I experienced birth traumas.
I learned about trauma because I was born through a midwife. It was, I [01:01:00] was my mom’s first child and when she was 18 and when I was born, I was born with a deformity called imperforated anus and telling this story was a journey of feeling shamed that why was I born with it as imperforate anus means that the doctor has to create, um, a hole through my anus, the, the, the, the surgery was successful, but the healing process was that was where the pain was, will be.
That’s where all the shame came through. Um, If this is the first time even I’m sharing this story. So my life has a lot of like shame of self rejecting myself and my parents weren’t emotionally in my involved in my life. My father was in precedent and I saw that repeated in all of my relationships.[01:02:00]
Three years ago, I got married and this person have left my life. I left everything that I had in Chicago. I follow this person dream only to find myself abandoned. We, we left on good terms, but through that journey, I realized that I often ran away. I ran away. I thought I was running away from places and people, but really I was running away from myself.
And so with COVID. I have learned that we are fours to come home and do most of our stuff at home. But I saw that as a bigger message of a call to come home to ourselves today. I would say that. I still have trials and challenges, but you know what to feel home in myself, finish your sentence, finish your list.
[01:03:00] Yeah. So, but you know, lots of feels home in myself. There’s no greater pleasure than that. I do still lay in my bed and sometimes cry like lately I’ve been feeling lonely, but I hugged myself and I said, you know what, Lawrence, you did all that. You can, you are home to yourself. And ultimately that is all that matters.
So I am here. That is my message. That is my contribution and service to humanity to help you and support you in walking you back home to yourself. Thank you. Flow a little bit over, but, uh, you were, I felt like you were close to a concluding statement, so I wanted to let you. Yeah, Flo, thank you for coming up to the stage and for being vulnerable.
Uh, we, you know, we’ve talked about tonight a couple of times that the emotional messages are the ones that resonate with people when you move someone to an emotional state. Um, that’s when, you know, they’re more likely to lean into your story and, and want to really connect with you. [01:04:00] So thank you for allowing us to do that with you.
Um, and I thought you had a couple of sometimes, um, I get kind of hung up in sound bites and I thought there was a couple of really good sound bites in your message. Um, just sort of an overarching and, um, that you said sometimes I’ve been seen as too much, but I feel like I’m not enough. And I feel that’s a really compelling message when you’re talking about, um, S um, mental, uh, either mental illness or, or issues related to having to do.
Insufficiencies or, or inadequacies that we feel. So, um, it’s definitely a way for you to connect with people who I would think are your target, which is other people who feel like that. Um, and I also love the call to come home to ourselves and the connection that you made with [01:05:00] COVID and that we were sort of like forced into ourselves in COVID.
And sometimes that was the, sometimes that inner place is the place where the least likely to be comfortable. And I think that’s an also an awesome opportunity for you to, uh, to turn your message, uh, around and use that moving in, to look out.
You did very well flow. Thank you for sharing your story. Um, you did very well. We have, uh, two more stories before we wrap up tonight. Let’s go on to. Scott when you start your story. Okay. Awesome. Thank you for letting me speak this. Um, when I graduated college, not too long ago, I, um, wanted to be a large enterprise sales rep.
And, uh, the first place that would hire me was a company called Yelp. Uh, see a lot of people know what Yelp is. And so, uh, what Yelp maybe do is do a lot of cold calling and I called [01:06:00] local businesses. Frank’s hot dog shop or the big old place, whatnot where the business owners there and picks up the phone and has a conversation.
And we try to sell them yell bads, um, did pretty well. And I didn’t, I didn’t like it though. I didn’t feel like I was a part of anything. I felt like I was another cog in the system and I didn’t really want to be a part of it. So what I thought is I wanted to be a part of something where I could make an impact.
So I started applying to startups doing basically the same thing. Hey, I’ll go ahead and be an SDR for you guys. And I can do cold calls. I ended up getting landing a position and there, um, when I first started. My boss comes to me and he goes, here’s an email system and here’s a phone system. Now go ahead and start making dials.
And so I would tuck myself away. I would start making calls 80 90 calls a day, but now I’m not calling Frank’s hotdog shop. I’m calling Verizon communications. I’m calling a SAP, I’m calling Oracle all of these companies that didn’t pick up or anything like that. Um, and so I realized that that wasn’t working anymore that doing my cold call skills wasn’t happening.
[01:07:00] So I noticed that, um, all of these people that I was trying to go after had LinkedIn accounts. So I go and approach my, my boss at the time. And I say, Hey, you know, all these people have LinkedIn accounts. And so can you purchase me a sales navigator account? And maybe I could try reaching out to them. And I quote you.
He says, I have been selling large enterprise software for the last 25 years and not once ever set a meeting or anything like that on LinkedIn ever before. So I said very nicely, well F off, I’m going to go by LinkedIn sales navigator, myself. I did, and it started working. And I started understanding, uh, from a millennial standpoint, how to approach LinkedIn and social media in the eyes and the view of an SDR and a BDR, and started getting a lot of great traction so much so that I started getting really into it and making actually a name about myself in the Silicon valley area that I actually ended up developing my own software to sort of scale out my abilities.
Now I built this for myself and only really for me. And when, uh, one of my, [01:08:00] um, colleagues actually heard about this, who was a, um, a CEO at another company, he poached me and I then built out a team and scale this entire technology out that went really well. We got acquired by Microsoft, that previous company.
And then now what I’ve been able to do is now. Builds amped marketing and I am the co-founder and COO of amped marketing and that’s, uh, mktg.com. So amped a and P D MKTG. And what we do is basically we’ve built a scalable lead generation and marketing software, uh, specifically designed for LinkedIn. And it’s been super fantastic.
And I, I appreciate you sharing it. Let me share my story and that’s that perfect. Just Justin, the three minute mark. Great. Sharon Nigel. I thought Scott, I thought you did it did a good job. Obviously you timed it out [01:09:00] well. Um, and I think maybe spend a little less time on the backstory so that you can have a little bit more time to talk about what amp is doing now, um, and, and make that connection to, you know, how you you’ve.
Up what LinkedIn, LinkedIn sales navigator and things like that can do. Um, you know, but overall I thought, you know, you had my interest as you kind of told your journey and, and I liked that you had both some failures in terms of, of not getting the cooperation from your previous bosses. Uh, two successes from that turning into a company that sold to Microsoft to leading what you were on today.
So I thought, you know, all the elements are there for a good story. Maybe spend less time on the backstory. So you have a little bit more time, um, on the current state of affairs. I appreciate that. Thank you. Yeah, that means a lot that I love my story. Um, but yeah, I definitely didn’t spend a lot of time about [01:10:00] ants, uh, on what we are specifically designed to do, but we are flourishing and we are just about to close our first round of funding.
So if people are interested, feel free to add me on LinkedIn, you just type in Scott Wright and marketing and Google me, and you can add, and by the way, instead of the abbreviation for marketing, there is a, there is a.marketing extension. I actually have a.marketing name. I use, um, several.marketing names in my business, and one leads to my book, but you might consider trying to get amp.marketing.
Um, and then it’s spelled correctly. Yeah, Sharon, uh, I agree with you in terms of the backstory. I think, you know, we say all the time, like. Step back from your, uh, from your story and see who it is that you want to communicate with and what you want them to do at the end. So, um, giving the backstory sometimes helpful, but sometimes it just sort of leads the [01:11:00] listener away.
So you want to lead them into the story. And instead of away from the story, worrying about what the specifics were about your backstory, um, and only look at the relevant parts of it and how it led you to be where you are today and why it’s important to them also think about sometimes like, why is it important for them to know that?
And if it’s really not important cutout, great point, that’s a great point. And yet, um, I try to not focus too much on my story. I just extremely thankful for I’m at, but you’re right. And when preparing to talk right now, I actually made my backstory a little longer than it needed to be. So, uh, but I appreciate.
Thank you, Scott learn by doing right. That’s what we do. We ha we, you, if you don’t try, you never have the opportunity to fell forward. So thank you, Scott. So we have one more, um, storyteller tonight. Um, Samim welcome to lead with your story. I’ll start the clock when you [01:12:00] thank you, Jeffrey. Um, I guess the theme is 1997 today.
So I’ll start with saying it was 1997 that we left Yemen, my family and I, I was just a 19 year old at that time. Uh, we lived as refugees to Australia and to start a new life or two suitcases and a thousand dollars in my father’s pocket. Um, but it was okay and we managed to live a very well. Uh, however, me being my, the person who can not stop somewhere, I happened to find love with somebody who ended up to be in Canada.
So I had to leave Australia again as an immigrant to Canada, this time with one suitcase and only 500,000 my pocket. Um, but I’m very happy to say that life went well and I managed to pull it off. We had a good family. I have my wife, two children, home car, everything I would have dreamed of when I was back in Yemen, I already achieved.
But in 2014, something terrible happened [01:13:00] a civil war, a broken Yemen. We thought it was going to stop like it did in the last few years in the past, but this one kept going and going and going. I managed to connect with one of my friends around 2017, who was my childhood friend back there. And he told me that, uh, his children and his family never had the fridge on for over a year.
They haven’t had running water for over a year. From that night. Every time I put my kids to bed, I couldn’t really stop feeling sad and sorry that I cannot do anything about it. There was no banks, there was no financial systems. There’s no way I can support them. So I asked them, what can I do for you?
And he said, there’s nothing we can do. There’s no method method. So I said, I’m going to make something. If I cannot find something I’m very happy to share with you guys today, the story of Sandy ground, this was the story behind it. Uh, Cindy Graham is a global gifting app that we created from scratch. I put the return retirement money on the line three years of my life [01:14:00] on the line on this.
And I’m so happy to share with you that in September we launched, and now there are 52 countries that people can use it. There are over 500, 800 brands available. You can simply send the gift card, local brand to anybody around the world without fees instantly less than 60 seconds. It might sound too good to be true.
You can download it and check it out for yourselves. I guess the best thing you can do for me is to give this gift to somebody else as well as I did it to my friends and everybody else around the world. And, um, I’ll be very thankful for anything you can do to support this company and bring joy and happiness to people who couldn’t be receiving, receiving it before.
Thank you. I’m so mean. And I’m completely 23 seconds left. That was really, really well done to me. You had a very, um, pleasing and soothing voice and pace and tone. And I think you obviously, you structured your story extremely well. You ended it almost exactly a three [01:15:00] minutes and what you’re doing, um, seems like a terrific clause, um, that I hope everyone listening will, will check out.
And, um, can you spell Cynthia Graham for us so we can find it correctly? Yeah, absolutely. It is a C E N. I G a R M. It is also in my profile, the information, and I’m happy to answer any questions you can DM me or Instagram me, anyone, anywhere I’m Elizabeth. And I thought you did very well, um, of leading from your own personal journey into the cause the why and the mission of Cindy Graham.
So I thought he did very, very well good one to end on. Yes. I mean, I really love that as well. And I think that you have a really strong hook and you made a strong connection with your audience there. Um, I really liked how you went from the, we had a suitcase with a thousand dollars and then I moved to a suitcase with $500.
I would, um, [01:16:00] say that if I’m going to give you some, some constructive feedback and some help that maybe you could take that thread and lead it through. To the next thing and that, um, maybe you want to offer the opportunity to have to fill someone else’s suitcase up. And maybe that can be the way that you, um, tie all that together.
And so the center grand platform gives an opportunity for someplace, for someone who has an empty suitcase to fill it up. Amazing. Thank you. I love it. Great feedback. I’ll use it for sure. And I appreciate I give you credit for a chair. Thanks. No problem. Well, that was a great way to end with a very strong story from Samim.
Um, we went a little bit over time tonight, but this was another great episode of lead with your story. It’s always really inspiring to hear the different stories. And I hope that the feedback that Sharon and I and [01:17:00] Olivia share with you is, is useful and helpful. Um, and as a reminder, this was, was recorded and the replay will be available.
So you can find the replay. Uh, episode over at startup club here in clubhouse. And then eventually you’ll also be able to find the recordings over it, startup.club, which is the website for startup club, Sharon. Any final words before we close? Just, I like to remind everybody that our stories matter and you know, if you’re sitting in the audience and you think no one wants to hear your story, I suggest that maybe you should think again, um, go ahead and take a deep breath and come up to the audience and give us an opportunity to hear your story.
Give us an opportunity to be, to be changed or to be, uh, connected with you in some way. And we’d love to be able to do that. So thank you everyone for raising your hands. We had a great night and we look forward to seeing again, thank you, Sharon, and thank you everyone for listening and participating. [01:18:00] And, um, we look forward to hearing you lead with your story again in the future.