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The Final Presentation

The Final Presentation

Mark Wilcox presenting his final project
Mark Wilcox

The (gulp) final presentation

The room at Central Wyoming College is packed full of people I know and respect. Hard-hitting players in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.

I’m first up to bat to pitch my business idea before my new peers as someone walking into an entrepreneurial life.

I begin.

The flaming vortex of life should calm down after this presentation. It has to. But right now it’s raging in my belly.

Not long into my presentation, I hesitate about something I was planning to say. The hesitation turns into a 15-second internal battle that ends with me editing out a whole section on the fly.

Dang. Not good. I use part of these 15 seconds to recollect myself, breathe deep and relaunch my presentation. Though I sweated it through what felt like an incredibly long gap, the presentation comes together.

This is what we worked toward for 10 weeks at the Start-Up Institute. To give bright minds in the community an idea of what we’re doing. To drum up support. To launch publicly, really. ”

It feels good to be talking about my company. My self-knowledge of Upstart Road has grown exponentially in the last few weeks, especially after several 2 a.m. scrambles this past week preparing for this presentation.

As Sandy puts it, this is the first time class members put on their CEO shoes. I’m wearing mine after the gap in my presentation passes.

I still sweat for days before I can look at the feedback handed to me from audience members. After the difficult lead-in to the final presentation, I don’t want feedback, either good or bad.

I just need a well-deserved break.

Everything has led up to this. That freedom is something I’ve needed and craved as a busy guy with five kids. To have the freedom to build a business and schedule my own life is a dream I’ve chased for some time.

Now as the boss, I can take that break to recharge before I charge into my business.