Being a Founding Partner of Zingerman's, I have been speaking publicly for over 30 years. I have never felt very comfortable in this role. I recently had the great fortune to receive a couple of coaching sessions from Entre-SLAM on the art of "story telling" and I am now looking forward to the next time that I am called upon to present to an audience. The Entre-SLAM team has a marvelous ability to convey understanding and explain what makes a good story and a good delivery. I feel a sense of confidence that I never had before. If you are a novice or a pro, Entre-SLAM can sharpen your skills and make your next presentation a whole lot better.
PAUL SAGINAW, CO-FOUNDER ZINGERMAN'S COMMUNITY OF BUSINESSES
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN
Hello wide-eyed & expectant entrepreneur!
You are about to embark on a challenging but rewarding journey. Make no mistake, no matter how certain you are that you have your sh*t together, you will have a moment where you fell overwhelmed or incapable during the coming weeks. Get comfortable with that fact now.
If I can offer one piece of advice it is to trust the process. There will be deliverables that you can write/create in your sleep. There will be others that require soul searching and teeth gnashing. Neither is more right or wrong than the other.
This experience is a gift and, for me, the gravity of that gift was delivered not at the easy moments but in the hard ones. Be willing to be humble. Be willing to revisit your assumptions (what you may consider your 'knowns'). Be willing to think creatively and to think beyond what is possible today or next year. Be willing to dig deep, get personal and put it all on the table. You will get out of this experience what you invest. And if you're going to give it 10% you'll only reap a 10% reward (and why would you waste your time on that?!). Do your future self a favor and set aside time each and every day to work on this. It is worth that time (and more) but start with a 30-45 minute block : whether it is your weekly meeting with Christa, your journal entries, your homework, or your deliverables... it will take this time each day and more.
Finally, understand the tremendous gift of time that Christa is investing in you. You won't understand the half of it until Summit day but know that she is your fierce and tireless advocate. Respect her investment and step up yourself. If she asks for something, deliver it. If she sets a timeline, honor it. We make time for what we value. If you truly value this experience you will make time for it.
With love and wishing you luck,
KATHRYN DOORNBOS, REDEMPTIVE CYCLES
Thank you Christa for now being the voice in my head reminding me to get up and keep going. I always say, if only for teasing out the BHIG, this whole process was already worth the price of admission.
Gratitude to AHA for launching this initiative. As founders busy with the everyday things, it is difficult but valuable time to take to zoom out. Thank you for the opportunity and the support.
And to my fellow entrepreneurs, so much inspiration to know that you are out there, working toward something you believe in, for the greater good.
LEAH LIZARONDO, 412 FOOD RESCUE
Yesterday was so inspiring! I’m grateful to have shared with everyone eekMD’s work and truly child-centered approach to preparing the next generation of children who are confident and capable of advocating for their own health (in this case, those dealing with life-threatening food allergies).
Thank you to all involved at the American Heart Association, especially Christa & Entre-SLAM, for all of your hard work in developing us and our ideas, for putting together a summit that inspired and helped us all believe that yes, it is possible.
Thank you for inviting eekMD to be a part of this invaluable growth-accelerating experience. eekMD will leave this experience richer for having experienced your kindness, caring, generosity, and expertise. We will continue to grow and serve the next generation of empowered thinkers, doers, and leaders, who truly understand and are equipped to leverage all that it means to be healthy.
With deep gratitude,
DR. APRIL INNIS, FRIENDZ LIKE ME AND EEK MD
Thanks to my participation in the American Heart Association, Urban Business Storytelling Competition, my confidence levels are on steroids. And it feels amazing. I created the Eat Away Hunger program four years ago and targeted young children to feed. We were funded by a small grant through a youth leadership organization. I wanted to expand my program and become a 501c3, but didn't have the courage to put myself out there so I stayed in my comfort zone. Three weeks into this competition, I started the paperwork to become a non-profit and was bold enough to apply for a DC Diverse City Grant and the Obama Foundation Fellowship. I wouldn't have done any of those things had I not been involved in this competition.
SHARON BUTLER, EAT AWAY HUNGER
Christa is an awesome, caring person who helps get the brand story out of your head and into a conveyable message or pitch.
JACK SIMON, EPK PAGE
Thank you for having and hosting the Entre-SLAM! It was extremely advantageous to discover what my service will mean to the consumer ahead of launching my service. During this two-day event, Christa worked overtime meeting with me one-on-one to refine my 'WHY' and I will be forever grateful!
Founders/entrepreneurs with socially responsible initiatives need this kind experience to allow for their business to take audit from professionals. I learned that a founder's reason for starting their business is just as important as the business itself. For me, this event was extremely impactful and one I will always point to as being the catalyst for our success!
DIA HICKS, SWAGGER SCAN
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA
My Entre-Slam experience was wonderful. I learned something about corporate storytelling and was pleased with the story you help me craft. I also thought the addition of body movements enhanced the storytelling; which I probably would not have done without your coaching.
DONNA BEASLEY, KAZOOM BOOKS
I would like to say that my Entre-Slam experience was phenomenal. I felt that online course for my pitch was exceptional. I appreciated the telephone coaching calls, they were very helpful in my pitch preparation. I also appreciated the critique session the day before to fine tune our pitches. The venue was amazing and very well organized and professional.
WALTER MENDENHALL, MALE MOGUL INITIATIVE
I had my first meeting with Christa and after hearing why she was looking to help all these companies grow, I was sold that a goal that noble can only make a positive impact. With the ask of a reasonable program fee and a few weeks of my dedication, the trade off was fair. I was challenged to think in ways I had not about my own procedures and reasoning. Excuse Me Officer is a better company because of the amount of growth I’ve discovered over the course. What better way to commence such a monumental mind shift
CHANNING HARRIS, EXCUSE ME OFFICER
I'm super grateful for Entre-SLAM in helping my company get an even better footing with prospective clients, especially since we were so new. Being a participant and coming in 2nd in that one event you convinced me to enter helped open up doors with two acquaintances who were at the event who are now clients. I'm pretty confident Entre Slam played a big role in me landing them as clients. They've also become friends, which is invaluable. If it wasn't for Entre Slam, neither of those (clients and friends) never would have happened. It is an invaluable tool for networking in a fun and non-boring network event, learning about other companies, learning from other's experiences, and for promoting a philosophy of the (local) business community helping each other out.
RICHARD CHANG, NEW FOUNDRY GROUP
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN
"Of all the networking events I've attended over the years, I've never encountered one that is truly cross-cultural and open that enables seasoned entrepreneurs to share their stories and first-year entrepreneurs who are unsure or uneasy in a new crowd be able to engage in a relaxing way. Entre-SLAM effectively serves both audiences. Our business has gained valuable exposure, and we've developed over eight new business relationships as a result, some of our strongest. We're excited to see how the program expands from here."
ANGELA BARBASH, RE-VALUE
"Entre-Slam has been great place to develop the power of storytelling within a business context, as well as make valuable business connections. As a winning storyteller at Entre-Slam, I was gifted with a free consulting session with Leslie McGraw of Les Go Social Media Marketing and Training. Several years ago, I created the Social Media Learning Lab, a social media learning incubator for small businesses, but I did not have the right team to keep it going. I approached Leslie about a possible partnership with my organization because she has a deep understanding of social media strategy and has helped dozens of clients through her business. Our tentative relaunch date is Spring, 2014!"
DEB NYSTROM, SOCIAL MEDIA LEARNING LAB
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN
"Okay here is the deal . . . I had a Fabulous Time!! What fun and Yes So Out of the Box. You have hit a Nerve and I do believe that Entre-Slam will be very successful. Entrepreneurs and Soloprenuers are always looking for the community of support in some fashion. Both groups love to share their passion with like minded folks, and the down time and fun allows this atmosphere. With this event it shares that we have more common ground than we realize and it is shared in a fun and eventful way. Not to mention the "Golden Nuggets" that you can pick up in the process of every story shared. My handy dandy notebook has been updated with nuggets from last evening. I'm definitely Planning on attending the 28th and grabbing a few to bring with me! Thanks Christa for reaching back and remembering Soloprenuer Souls like myself, you were a Rock Star on the Mic and throughout the entire evening. I look forward to seeing you again soon! PS: What a great town to build from. . . I've always loved Ann Arbor!"
YVETTE TERRY, HBB
"I loved the Entre-SLAM event! It was inspiring, fun and entertaining. The room and audience size was perfect - people could come and go without disrupting the flow. The music was good - instrumental guitar that was supportive but not dominating and added to the energy of the presentations as well as create a festive atmosphere. The MC was really funny, warm and personal but not over the top and kept us laughing each time he came to the mic. The speakers were interesting and varied - the 5 minute time limit worked well and kept things moving. I liked finding out about all the different businesses and people's journeys. The format with small groups scoring each speaker worked well and was always supportive which would encourage people to tell their stories in the future. The offering of samples of food is such a good idea. People could find out about local food businesses and enjoy delicious tastes throughout the event. The venue employees were friendly and didn't mind giving me just water, and gracious and professional when a glass of water got spilled - they cleaned it up right away with no complaints. I met people and connected with friends throughout the evening and had a great time. Thank you! Jeanne and Christa - congratulations! You have created a positive, fun event where everyone wins! I'm so glad I came and will recommend it to others in Michigan."
JULIE AUSTIN, JULIEAUSTIN.COM
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN
"The diversity of entrepreneurs and the engaging nature of their stories was a wonderful surprise! What a unique, entertaining setting to learn from those experiencing the highs and lows of independent business in Ann Arbor and SE Michigan. I'll be back!"
ANN CURTIS, ANN CURTIS GROUP
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN
"You brought together a wonderful, fun group of smart folks to share about their lives, struggles and successes. Christa is delightful. She certainly challenged us to see another side of the military. This was like a church experience - in the charismatic venue. Keep up the good work, cause I know there as a lot of work that went into that."
MARIJO GROGAN, SPIRAL HEALING
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN
"You two and your crew did an outstanding job with the event. The organization, the promotion, and the execution were all top notch! It was really fun to be part of it and I hope to come to the next one as well. Keep up the great work."