Caleb (Left), Coleman (Middle), and I.
Anaheim Convention Center
Los Angeles, CA.
Post International Career Development Conference Thoughts,
I’ve been back from ICDC for a little over a month now and I can confidently say that I have thought about the results every single day since it ended. My team was sadly not recognized as International Finalists at our competition and as a result we took a sad and depressing flight home the next morning.
The moment I realized that we were not finalist my heart definitely skipped a beat. I just remember staring at the stage and seeing student after student accept their medals for the competition that I planned on winning. The competition that my team and I work tirelessly on to be the best in the world at. Hundreds of hours were spent staring at a computer screen, talking over skype, practicing our presentation, and answering questions from our mock judges. We recorded hours and hours of feedback from our judges, and as a team we went back through and broke down the feedback and made our plan better each time. We thought everything we were doing was full-proof. We had presented in front of real life investors, entrepreneurs, and business experts. We were the hardest working teenagers you could find around. Passion, competitiveness, and obsession ran through our blood for many months. And at the end. We lost. We went all the way to THE Los Angeles, California and presented our plan to perfection. Just to lose. We came back to the small rural town of Farmington, Arkansas with nothing to show for.
However, that’s just how it felt for 24 hours. When I looked back I realized something that was more important than any award. And that was… I was proud of myself. I told myself I was going to do something and that no one was going to stop me and no one did. At the end of the day I was a motivated 16 year old that had a passion for business and creating. I assembled the most intelligent and hardest working kids I knew and we got to work. The work got us farther than anyone would have imagined. I remember telling my mother months before the state competition that I would win and go to the International Conference in April. It went right over her head and she told me I didn’t need to miss that much school. But, I knew that if I executed the plan perfectly that competing in the competition would teach me something that school never has and never will. And that is experience. Attending ICDC was not only the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but it has completely changed my career focus going into senior year. In the midst of developing my franchise business plan I noticed that I had a passion that I never quite knew. That passion is entrepreneurship. I had always felt that tick in the back of my mind, but ICDC gave me the passion, confidence, experience, and motivation to chase my dreams. I’ve got a long way to go, but every story has it’s beginnings. And this is mine.
“It’s not really that much of a big deal – you brush it off and you come back. Defeat is the secret ingredient to success.” – Conor McGregor