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  • Writer's pictureLiz Duerholt

Top 3 lessons from ATBX Week #3

Three weeks ago Redefin'd moved into our new home at the ATB X entrepreneurial accelerator program sponsored by ATB Financial. For the next 3 months we will be part of this fast paced business boot camp, sharing a co-working space and expanding our network with 20 other courageous businesses owners.

Beyond getting our logo on the wall (which was awesome), we get free office space, office supplies, a printer and a yoga room.

Day 2 was jammed with Xpert sessions on branding, using the lean canvas and harnessing social media. The lunch break had us all balancing plates of food and shaking hands as we connected in person with our individual business mentors who will be our business gurus through the duration of the program. During a quick 20-minute speed dating style intro that followed, we were convinced that Vidya and Shannon of ATB X found us the perfect match in our mentors Marcy Krafft and Tony McGrath of TAC Consulting Calgary. The day rounded out with another Xpert session and by the end, there were more than a few glazed looks. It was fantastic.

The first lesson, the scope of which is just beginning to sink in, is the importance of your why. Why are you doing what you are doing? Do not confuse this with what you do, or, how you do it. This has become the hardest question I've ever been asked.

After much iteration we're still not clear. Are we "breaking the cycle of trauma through kinship and innovative community engagement" which is what our website says, or are we "transforming hopelessness into hope", or maybe we're just about working with "young people at risk of being awesome".

Lesson 2, know how to ask for help. This is focusing in on how to make the most of our time here. We are literally surrounded by resource upon resource every day. There are experts at ATB, our mentors, the experts that come in for training sessions, the people in our cohort. Help is around every corner. Understand that although they may have been, or are in same boat, they cannot know what we need until we ask. This sounds as easy. it's not. You have to plan for it.

Lesson 3, have a to do list. This actually is a necessity because of the resource abundance outlined in Lesson 2. A list keeps you focused. You'll be learning a lot of new things and you don't want to get taken too far off course.

The risk for this is high. Watch for it. It may, in fact, be why I'm writing this post. I should probably consult my to-do list.

That's it for insights from the middle of ATB X week 3. We'll be in touch with more on our lean social canvas and the development of our why. Unless, of course, something shiny comes along.

Liz Duerholt

Founder and Executive Director


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