You Can't Because...Why?

I just got back from San Francisco where I was invited to the StartUp Health Summit. The conference was for two days, I was invited for one but I was out there for five days so that I could spend time with friends and well. If I am flying across the country the least I could do was spend time getting to know the people and their culture. When I travel without my family, I always miss them, but I know I will see them soon, and I just love visiting new places and mixing business with pleasure. This trip was a bit different, I wasn’t really sure what I was in for. A business acquaintance, Wayne Kimmel, founder of SevenSix Capital, said I would love it and I definitely value his opinion, so off I go. It was a last minute thing but I was able to arrange to stay with very good friends of mine for a few nights in the Walnut Creek area and then found a lovely AirBnB apartment in the Mission area for three nights. My husband was able to rearrange his schedule to take care of our son, so the stars were lined up and I was heading to California.   

Once I had everything booked and organized, I began looking deeper into what this event was all about and what I was in for. I do this often: I jump in head first, on a leap of faith and then I uncover the details. I am a gut-feeling person, so if I get a good feeling, I just go for it and ask questions later. In this case, I found out I really did not understand what this was all about, but still knew it would be exciting and I would meet great people.  

In a nutshell, the StartUp Health Summit was all about bringing together entrepreneurs who have moonshot ideas on how to improve the health of 7.5 billion people with investors, who could help support their dreams. There were also fireside chats with many wonderful experts from large corporations all over the world giving you advice and words of wisdom. Some individuals were invited on stage to give their 2 minute pitch, which I found fascinating and impressive. In addition to that, many people set up times and tables on another floor to come together and present their ideas and pitches. I was blown away how organized it was and also on how many brilliant and life changing ideas that were presented. Talk about putting yourself out there. These individuals were so brave and determined. Most of the individuals came with a very touching, personal story which set them on a path to change things for the better.   

When I walked in there, the second day, the last 4 hours, I thought...what the heck am I doing here? I have not discovered an app to make healthcare easier and more accessible to all, or an advancement in technology so we can detect and prevent health problems. These people are brilliant and wonderful humanitarians.

But then the light bulb went off and I knew why I was there. I provide people with a system that only takes 1 to 3 minutes a day to get into a positive mindset. No matter what you do or who you are, there is nothing more important than how you feel. Anything I can do to help prevent more of the serious stuff, well, that is a moonshot in my opinion.

After listening to many inspiring presentations, the networking began. The room filled with very confident and determined individuals, wanting to meet the right company/ investor to help their vision soar high. It was like Shark Tank on speed. I must admit, it was a bit intimidating, but I was up for the task. Although I didn’t know anyone walking in, I would come out with some wonderful connections and insights. I took a deep breath, walked into the ladies room and immediately began introducing myself. I began my bond over something we curly hair girls care a lot about - what products do you use on those beautiful curls? That was it, my in, and instantly I had connections and something us gals could chat about. The crazy thing, my new friend Deb that I met in the bathroom, would be my sidekick for the night and here is the big kicker, drum roll please…she lives just a few minutes from me back home in my small town in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Come on, what are the chances? It was meant to be and crazy at the same time.

The rest of the night was magical and I met people from all over the world and made a special connection with a women from Singapore, which of course I now have to visit. And to top it off, I stood a foot away from the Talking Heads, which played to closeout the Summit.

As I sit with my wonderful family in my cosy home and ponder on what will be the outcome of my trip, will my connections really pay off and was it worth the time and money? Was it worth the anxiety I felt leaving my family?  The answer is yes! No matter what the final results will bring my way.

I am truly grateful for my journey in San Francisco and will continue to ask myself and others…you can’t because, why?

Sandy Weston