I also could have titles this post: Why Every Man in the World (and some women) are insanely jealous of me
Yes, you read that title correctly. I have been up to some super secret stuff lately and have been absolutely dying to tell you about it.
First things first. I am currently a finalist in a contest with Go Daddy where if I am the winner I will get paid 6 months salary to quit my day job and persue my dream of designing and selling my jewelry full time. Please help me be the winner and quit my boring job and focus on my Crafty Little Gnome jewelry and blog. Go here now!
Okay okay. Now for the details of one of the most exciting things that has ever happened to me. Just before Thanksgiving I got a random email from a casting company. They were looking a female entrepreneur with a side business to cast in a national paid television commercial. I filled out the form in the email and sent it off. Then I took my dogs for a walk. By the time I got back I had already missed a call from the casting company. They wanted to do a Skype interview with me.
We Skyped later that week and they asked me questions about my jewelry business, my blog, my day job and my family life. They said they would be in touch in a couple weeks. I didn’t hear anything from them before Christmas so I just wrote it off as a fun thing that happened and didn’t think much of it.
In the first week of January I got an email titled “Go Daddy Contest” It was from a director named Kenny Jackson and it was another form to fill out for some kind of contest sponsored by Go Daddy. The winner of the contest would get 6 months salary to quit their job and persue their dream.
Kenny and I had another Skype interview the next week. If I ended up being a finalist in the contest I would be travelling to the East coast in two weeks to pitch my small business to the executives at Go Daddy. It was all very hush-hush top secret stuff. Kenny and I talked about the same sort of stuff I discussed in my first interview. I was told I would hear if I was a finalist by the end of the week.
On Thursday night I was checking my email right before bed and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the email title. “You Are A Finalist” I looked at my husband and said “oh my God I am going to have a heart attack and die!!!” He was concerned and thought something bad had happened. I said,
“I am a finalist. We are going to the East Coast!!!!” I called my mom and dad and woke them up to tell them the good news.
I had a week to prepare and get ready to pitch my business to the executives at Go Daddy. I am not going to lie. I have never in my life felt so stressed out and full of anxiety. I kept telling my family that I was going to have a nervous breakdown. They wouldn’t tell us much about the contest at all. I didn’t even know where we were going until about 3 days before we left.
I will fully admit, I am super shy. I don’t like talking to strangers about myself (yes I know I have a blog where I do that every day but in person it is different. I swear, the internet was created by introverts for introverts) In real life being forced into a room full of strangers and talking about myself is my absolute worst nightmare and now I had to do it, and it would be shown if front of potentially millions of people!
I got an email 3 days before we left telling us that we would be travelling to Charlotte North Carolina. We were told to bring business casual wardrobe and lots of visual aids to give our small business pitch to the Go Daddy executives. That’s pretty much all I was told. Everything was still hush hush.
On Saturday morning at 2am my husband Rob and I drove to Seattle, hopped on a plane to Chicago and then finally arrived in Charlotte at about 5pm. A car picked us up at the airport and drove us to the Courtyard Marriott in Concord NC. Our driver (who didn’t know why we were there) told us if we had time we should check out the Charlotte Motor Speedway down the street. This got the idea in my head that we were going to be doing something a little bit more exciting than just pitching our business idea in a boardroom setting.
We settled in Saturday night and on Sunday we had our one on one on camera interviews. I was a nervous wreck. It was so awful I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep and had serious jet lag. Luckily the interviews only lasted about an hour and then we were meeting with all the other contestants for dinner. We went to a funky Italian restaurant and finally got to meet everyone! What we would be doing the next day for our business pitch was still top secret but I was pleased that everyone was so nice. I was afraid that everyone involved in the contest would be mean to me for some reason. But seriously, everybody was so nice and sweet and it was a huge relief.
Okay, now onto the part you are actually interested in that took me forever to get to. Monday morning Rob and I were sent to the make up room in the hotel to make sure we were looking fab for the camera. We were told to go downstairs to the lobby and wait to get picked up to be driven to where the business pitch would take place. The other contestants were there waiting and one by one we got in a van, drove off and never returned! Sounds really creepy but it was exciting.
I was contestant #2. We got in the van with all our gear for the presentation- weren’t told where we were going and then driver brought us to the Charlotte Motor Speedway! We go out of the van and there was Kate, our host for the event and cameras filming us.
Kate told us that we would be giving our pitch at the speedway and then we were ushered inside to the Media room to wait.
One by one the other contestants showed up and we had to wait again for our turn for the pitch. I was set up with a microphone attached to my clothes and finally we were told to grab our bags and get on a golf cart. It was time!
The golf cart brought us to the edge of the racetrack. Kate was there with the camera crew waiting for us. There was a table set up and Kate said. “Ok you have two minutes to set up for your pitch!” “GO!”
We scrambled to get everything out of the bags and set up. Here is the funny thing though. Kate told us afterwards that the two minute thing was actually BS. She didn’t have a timer! After the “two minutes” were up Kate says “Ok, are you ready to see who will be judging the contest?” and then, I am kidding you not: A Go Daddy racecar rips around the corner right in front of us and out pops Danica Patrick! HA!
Kate tells us that I have three laps around the track to pitch my business to Danica. They gave me a fire suit to put on, told me to grab everything I could and get my ass in the car.
As I was getting into the car Danica says OK, once your seatbelt is clicked in we are off and your time starts.
So we ripped around the track going 125 MPH and I had to pitch my jewelry business to Danica. Looking back it was hiliarious. We are speeding around the race track and I’m sitting there talking about my jewelry
“Soo.. this is a necklace I made… I work from my home in Everson Washington… I make little necklaces with messages inside… blah blah blah” I tried to hold my stuff up to the cameras inside the car. It was pretty funny.
The ride was FUN. Normally I don’t like rollercoasters of things of that nature but being in the passenger seat was a blast. When you are going around the corners the G-force hits you and it feels like your stomach in in your throat but other than that it was great.
We got out of the car after three laps, had a short photo op and I got a little signed race car from Danica. Let me just say this about Danica: She seemed so super rad. Really sweet, but a total badass. She is tiny. I am only 5’2” and when I was in my barefeet I felt like I was towering over her. I think she was probably half my weight as well. She is extremely beautiful in person and apparently she said that I did really well thank you very much. I could go on all day about how awesome all that was. So amazing.
After the pitch was over I could finally relax for the first time in two weeks. The rest of the trip was great. We had dinner with the other contestants and got to celebrate the whole experience together. We made some new friends from all around the country and I hope we get to see them again one day. Our flight got cancelled because of weather so we got to spend an extra day in Charlotte. We even took a quick road trip to South Carolina. I’ll tell you about that next week.
But for now VOTE FOR ME!!! Head on over to thebigleap.comand vote for Crafty Little Gnome!