By Espree Devora (Founder, Save Business Time) Attending South by Southwest for the first time back in 2009 was like being in the nerd version of Willy Wonka’s Wonderland. Everything was a stimulus. Gary Vaynerchuk showering his audience with entrepreneurial inspiration and outlandish profanities. Start ups launching their new products.
South by Southwest Interactive was, and still is, a candy land of the very best people, technologies, influencers and, at times, affluent hustlers like Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, riding around town on his Delivering Happiness bus.
People ask me all the time "When did you become an entrepreneur?”
I didn’t become one, I was born one. I remember regularly walking to the movies with my father when I was a little girl, no more than maybe 7 or 8, making up stories about what kinds of businesses would thrive in each empty office building we passed. There wasn’t one specific day that I became a business owner; I just followed my heart, doing what made my adrenaline rush every moment of every day, for as long as I can remember.
Now I get the privilege of looking back and learning from all the amazing mistakes I made and magical successes I experienced. Everything from forming my brand identity, attracting my first customers, building a team, raising money, discovering a business is a solution to a problem and my favorite realization - when I go after my dreams, I can help others to achieve theirs.
I have given many talks to audiences ranging from USC MBA to CBS and attended as many and more. What I found most frustrating was most speakers shared concepts and theories, never actionable steps a person in the audience can walk away with that afternoon and implement in order to better themselves and their business.
I was determined to make sure my first panel was, without question, one of the most useful talks people who attended had ever experienced. After the session came to an end like music to my ears everyone came up to us telling us how it was the most helpful panel they had attended.
How could I not want to deliver even more than I had before? So, I asked myself for SXSW 2012, ‘what is the panel I would have wanted when I first started?’ That’s when “How to Get Your First 100 Paying Customers” popped into my brain and I reached out to my network at bigMETHOD, Mixergy, Staff, Lujure and AppSumo to be a part of a dynamic panel.
Everyone talks about once they have 40,000 or 500,000 customers, but what about that first 100 where you have no past to dictate what actions will be worth it? That’s when the journey of starting a business is the most intimidating and nerve racking. So when my SXSW 2012 panel did not make the final cut for official talks I just couldn’t let this topic fade away.
Noah Kagan, founder of AppSumo, was incredible and suggested we have the panel at his headquarters since he’s based in Austin. All the panelists were on board and then the journey began to put together “The Most Important Panel You’ll Ever Attend: How to Get Your First 100 Paying Customers” happening March 11th at 9am and no badge is needed. If you want to be a part of our journey and receive some of the most valuable insights from highly successful entrepreneurs then join us by clicking here.
For more information on the panel “The Most Important Panel You’ll Ever Attend: How to Get Your First 100 Paying Customers” go here.
Editor's note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below. About the guest blogger: Espree Devora is the Founder of Save Business Time, a guide of web-based business tools to save professionals time inspired by all the web based tools that saved her 1000s of dollars and tons of time while building her sports company, ZexSports. She has taught seminars in interactive content and social media at International Association of Skateboard Companies, USC Business and Management School and CBS. . Follow her on Twitter at @espreedevora.