I just returned from speaking to a class at the Community College of Vermontin Rutland. I was asked to speak to the Principles of Marketing class being taught there by John Hutchins, my friend, Snowtide shareholder, ex-Digital salesman, and father of a friend of my fiancée. It was my first significant public speaking “gig” since my high school graduation, and I had a blast.
For the hour I spoke, I presented a history of Snowtide, our marketing and product positioning strategies, and then weaved back and forth between general business and entrepreneurial strategy and what I suppose could be called motivational speaking. Rutland is a rural former mill town / railroad junction, much like the town where I spent most of my formative years (Palmer, MA), and I think (or hope!) a lot of my personal experience in how I came to believe in my potential to build a successful business is relevant to that kind of audience. Entrepreneurial attitudes, both in business and in life, can be the key to improving one’s range of opportunities, which can sometimes seem limited when growing up or living in a smaller, more rural community. I hope what I covered, especially in my discussions of confidence, tenacity, and the pursuit of excellence will help the students at CCV find their path to success and well-being long after they finish school.
On a personal note, I had a great time. I really enjoy public speaking, but rarely get a chance to “stretch my lungs” — I keep meaning to look up a Toastmasters meeting in my area, but it seems to fall off the bottom of my to-do list pretty consistently.