Startup Diaries: The Power of Getting Your Intentions "Out There"

Leah Goold-Haws with Lawrence Umukoro, Head of entrepreneurship training in South Africa Leah Goold-Haws tells The NextWomen how putting her intentions ‘out there’ has brought her some amazing opportunities.

As I mentioned in my previous post (which you can read here) my initial entrepreneurial ventures – running my marketing firm LGH Marketing / Strategy and launching my board game, Know Opportunity – have taken me well beyond my initial expectations.

I continue to be amazed and grateful for the unique opportunities that are presented to me along the way. Most recently among these was the offer to participate in a TEDx conference as one of the presenters. My topic was on global connectivity in the 5 minute format. It was an exciting challenge and I was able to describe many of the experiences I’ve shared here on The NextWomen.

When I was developing the board game, my biggest motivation was a desire to showcase the ease with which small start-ups can access a global market; needless to say, the TEDx topic was right in line with these views. At the event, I connected with another TED speaker, Andy Stoll, who had flown out to California from Iowa to speak on entrepreneurship and globalization. He and I enjoyed a lot of similar viewpoints and Andy and I are now in the midst of discussing co-authoring a book on rural communities, innovation and the global community.

Speaking of global, as part of the board game development I had created a 36 week curriculum to accompany the game in order for it to be used in the classroom setting. As I type this post, I am actually a passenger in the car en route to meet with an entrepreneur from South Africa who had requested one of my games and played with a group of 12 entrepreneurs in South Africa, videotaping the experience and then recording commentary from the other entrepreneurs afterwards.

Lawrence Umukoro heads up entrepreneurship training in South Africa and works with the school system as well. He is in California this month and so we are meeting up in the Bay Area to discuss possibly licensing the game in his region.

As I type these things down, I almost can’t believe it all myself! And yet, when I started this journey it was very specifically with the intent to reach a global market. I think I am on my way.

Besides all of these exciting events, I was just recently appointed to head up an effort to connect regional college students with global trade and logistics training and internships – based in part on my experience in developing curricula and consulting with global clients. This latest development is a happy marriage of my two key interests – education and global connections. I have had the opportunity through this assignment to connect with sources such as the United Nations for data and research, to the World Trade Center for insights and feedback.

As the old adage proves true, so much of business comes back to who we know.

I have often felt lacking as my rural community can feel very disconnected from the bigger world. This new position has given me a renewed appreciation of the many ways we now have to access one another and build our networks virtually.

So, what does all of this mean as a business woman and someone interested in continuing to grow my personal expertise and my business ventures? I think it means that I am heading in the right direction, that by putting my intentions “out there” that I have begun to foster relationships with people and institutions that can assist me along the way; that I may be in a better position to assist others than I have previously been and that our impact in the world can be as big or small as we choose to make it.

I have gone from serving local clients to giving seminars and workshops to a broad audience, from managing marketing campaigns to developing products, from reading about global commerce to shipping products overseas.

Next steps, getting ready to transition from a very boot-strapped company where we control and manage every bit of growth ourselves to expanding into an organization that can bring along the right advisors to lead us on our way to bigger growth and development. I’m looking forward to it and looking forward to sharing insights and ideas from my fellow NextWomen.

Leah Goold-Haws is the Creative Director/Strategist for LGH Marketing/Strategy, working with government agencies, nonprofits, and community outreach committees to create collaborative messaging strategies. She consults with small business & start-ups through the Small Business Development Center including workshops on how to successfully market a business. See more about Leah and learn how to connect with her here.

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