Like It or Not, This Was an Opportunity to Learn about Entrepreneurship

How can I as a self-taught, aspiring, entrepreneur, pitch to a Zoom call full of experienced Athletic Trainers (ATs), instructors of entrepreneurship, and business leaders? I can either impress everyone or sink like a brick.

Think of the AT Fishbowl™ as a local version of the television show Shark Tank. Athletic Trainers who have an idea for a business can present their idea to a panel of “Sharks”. 

The sharks are Athletic Trainers who are experienced business owners, and guests from other professions, such as legal and marketing.  I was appointed to be on the first episode of the AT Fishbowl™, along with two other Athletic Trainer entrepreneur guests.   

The sharks wanted the first episode to be a success. They want the AT Fishbowl™ to host other Athletic Training entrepreneurs in future episodes to present their business ideas.  

At first, I was excited to pitch a business idea to other Athletic Trainers, but the more I learned about the AT Fishbowl™, it began to sound like work. 

  • There was a pre-screening.
  • There were email threads. 
  • There was coaching.

All the extra time, replying to the emails, the pre-screening on Zoom, and then one-on-one time to be coached, was more than I expected.

I declined the offer to be coached.  For Athletic Trainers who are new to entrepreneurship, this is a great opportunity to learn the art of pitching an idea.  I already had my pitch honed. I had been self-studying small business development since 2017.  

I was told that I “better not embarrass” the shark!  I was getting annoyed with the whole thing.  It seemed like more work than I had asked for, and I just did not want to do it at this point.  

Even though I had my pitch perfected, I had never actually developed my business idea.

Developing my business idea was the part of the AT fishbowl™ I was looking forward to. I never had a reason to develop any of my business ideas before the chance to present them on the AT Fishbowl™.

I knew I was going to be asked questions from the sharks, about the specifics of my business. I needed to expect the questions, and have answers prepared. I searched on the web for businesses, that are like the type of business, I was pitching.

I studied the way the businesses presented their products. I observed the way the businesses structured their products. I observed the pricing of the products.  

That is one of the hardest parts about starting a business.
Narrowing down the ideas into products or services and presenting them in a way that people will want to purchase or use.

It turns out all that extra “work” I was dreading, helped me develop a clear vision for the type of product I want to provide. I would have never done that without having the expectation to present an idea to the AT Fishbowl™.   

I kept telling myself this when I was becoming annoyed with the extra time I spent.  You must go through the process to learn a lesson.  

Whether I liked it or not, this was an opportunity to learn something more about entrepreneurship.

I am self-taught: my pitch was different.

It spoke directly to the sharks and the audience. It solved a clear problem.

I was not sure that my idea was going to be well received and I was pleasantly surprised.

I watched my audience as I pitched.  I could see them shaking their heads in agreement.  They laughed and smiled along with my pitch.  There was great dialogue. I got expert feedback from the sharks, and supportive comments from the audience.

It was the first Episode of the AT Fishbowl™.

The host Athletic Trainer sharks were pleased! The sharks were excited at the end of the live episode. On Twitter the sharks said, “the inaugural AT Fishbowl™ was better than expected!”.  There was a great turn out with about 15-20 in attendance.  The plans for future episodes will be held monthly.

If you have an idea for a business, and you would like to pitch your idea to some of the leaders of Athletic Training entrepreneurship, visit the host shark on Twitter and send them a message.

 © Lindsey Rozinski 2021

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