Just because we're quiet around here doesn't mean we are not getting closer. These past six months have been a whirlwind of activity for us. It's hard to fashion in my mind that it was only back in June of this year that we decided to work on this idea. While it had always been brewing in the back of our minds, our traveling had inspired us to take action. We started with a much larger idea, requiring far too much capital, and then lil' Lonestar Taco came blazing into our lives when we were searching for a simpler beginning.
Shortly after Lonestar was born over coffee at our kitchen table, we entered the Brooklyn Public Library's PowerUp! Competition. We saw it as a great opportunity to get us motivated in finishing a well-researched plan and that the prize money might be a great way to rally support from friends, family and our neighbors. It seems like it has been working.
We found out we were 1 of the 13 finalists out of over a 100 submissions in the early Fall. Then, on December 12th, we got up early, packed our food, computer and marketing materials and headed over to the Brooklyn Public Library's Business Library. We arrived an hour and twenty minutes early. We spent a good 45 minutes cooking up miniature versions of our Carnitas, Bean & Cheese, and Chorizo & Egg tacos with fresh made corn and flour tortillas, wrapped them up and set in a chaffing dish, ready to reveal post presentation as samples of our menu.
We had spent a solid two weeks writing, re-writing and editing our presentation. By the time we stood in front of the judges, it was old hat. We gave our presentation and we felt really confident about it. That wouldn't have been possible without the support of hundreds of individuals and the organization brilliance of our Business and Marketing Manager, and my wife of over five years, Tracie Lee.
She is the star of our show and made everything look easier than it really was. Tracie I love you and we couldn't do this without her passion, love and support. We'll find out on January 10th, 2012, with everyone else, who won the competition. We wish everyone the best of luck, being surrounded by so many brilliant folks in the borough of Brooklyn, we feel lucky to have made it this far.
Our presentation felt strong, because we had already been grilled by a list of advisors and friends whom we'd shared our plan. Brave souls who had taken time out of their crazy busy lives to read over the monstrously long thing and share their wisdom and feedback on how we could make it better. And then an even smaller group spent more time listening to our preliminary presentation and offering further suggestions and observations.
Future entrepreneurs, we can't underestimate how important it is to seek help in everything you do, even if you think you are an expert at something, ask others that have come before you. You'll be surprised with how generous, thoughtful and insightful people are and just how much more they have to give than you expected.
Then the friday, two days before our PowerUp!, presentation, Erica Dorn, the Business Development Officer for Acción USA, our micro-lender, emailed us and invited us to speak at a press conference for a new bill that would encourage more micro-lending to small businesses throughout the U.S.
I had expected to miss the event as I'd had a prior commitment to run my first race ever with the New York Road Runners for that morning. Tracie wrote up a speech that evening and was ready to rock by the time I got back home. Luckily, I had time to go see her speak and I can share her inspiring speech. Please take a minute to turn up the volume and crowd around the iphone, blackberry, ipad, laptop, or whatever and take a listen to my inspiration, my joy, my number one love, my wife and partner as she shares a bit of our vision.
Happy Holidays Everyone!!