The Technicolor Dream Proposal

Wielding an impressive arsenal of dry-erase marker colors, I took to the whiteboard.  I was determined to turn my scattered thoughts into an organized, technicolor dream program guide regarding business sustainability.

Our team was meeting for discussion on how to bolster current programs with the end-goal of more effectively assisting our graduates reach sustainability.  I was given the opportunity to present my brainchild before a group who collectively have launched way more businesses than years I have spent on earth.

My confidence level was sky-high.  I mean, I was four weeks into this fellowship- of course I thought I was a business expert.

Sean explaining to the crowd why he chose the red marker for this section.

Sean explaining to the crowd why he chose the red marker for this section.

I glided flawlessly through the first set of magnificently illustrated bullet points.  Moments later, I started noticing holes in my proposal- points that were not realistic or not relative to our clientele.  I paused, realizing that my dream program had elements of a nightmare.  Turning to the team, I put forth a sheepish smile, knowing this beauty’s end was imminent.

We tore it apart, color by color, until we had a working model that made sense and could be used as a solid framework for future program development.  It no longer resembled my initial brush strokes, but it was better- and that’s all that matters.

This experience was both humbling and satisfying.  I realized that the feeling of having your work criticized by others is similar to the feeling a business owner experiences when he or she puts out a product and receives mixed reactions from customers.  This experience is good- it allows us to improve our work/product so we all receive better results next time around.

Always seek feedback to improve something.  If you can’t get feedback, just try adding bacon.  Bacon makes everything better.


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