Quick Synopsis

Haven’t blogged in a while. Hot the worse ever writer’s block. So a quick round up to let you know what I have been up to.

Got a mention on Mashable. You can read it here:  http://mashable.com/2013/06/29/pakistan-woman-entrepreneur-2/ For a few hours, it was the HOTTEST story.

Whats Hot
Was invited to speak at Plan 9 for their Startup Series. That was fun. Speaking to a room full of techies about running a biz. I tried to do the potato trick I learned from Sharon Lechter during Project Artemis. Didn’t work too well. Will take industrial strength Mickey D straws next time.

The Potato Trick

Don’t you just love my editing skills!

With the incubatees ... and my kids.

With the incubatees … and my kids.

 

Was interviewed by a team of researchers from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and Harvard Kennedy School about “the constraints as well as opportunities women entrepreneurs face both culturally and systemically in Pakistan.” That was an interesting experience.

Got tons of CVs in my inbox for our internship program. That’s exciting but at the same time intimidating. I BADLY need an assistant. Anyone interested?

Ooh I almost forgot. Pulled off the first Google Business Group (GBG) Islamabad event in Peshawar, Pakistan. It was meant for women entrepreneurs but a bunch of guys showed up too.

GBG Islamabad
Am I enjoying all of this? Yeah. Sort of. Now when I tweet something a lot of times I actually get a response from other tweeples. Dunno really. Mixed feelings. Am grateful for sure – no doubt about that. I hope I am able to deliver now. Need tons of work for those tons of CVs. And I NEED CrowdFlower / MTurk. And what am I gonna do if the Paypal account I use gets blocked for whatever reason (it’s my friend’s)? What if all I am is a mere celebrity and nothing more?

At the Plan 9 Incubator I kept debating whether to go with a semi-formal presentation or just speak about my own experience – from the start. I went with the former. I mean what was I supposed to say – business just happens? One day you wake up and someone tells you you are a tech-preneur? You apply on the last day of a competition and you actually win it and are sent on the most inspiring, encouraging 3 weeks of your life? That every few months you decide to give up on your biz and just as you announce it to the world something huge comes along your way out of the blue? That if you are sincere and passionate things will just fall into place? That Mashable happened coz you don’t say no to free lunch and also out of curiosity to meet a guy you had no inkling about and just turned out he was buddies with Reid Hoffman and loved the way you used LinkedIn – so much so he mentioned you in his TedTalk? And of course who should be in attendance but a journalist from Mashable.

All of this is true but it’s too much of a fairy tale. Truth is I don’t know anything. I am not a techie person. I am not a business person either. But somehow here I am. How do you make that sound real and not utterly corny? Just that I have never cared enough about the fame or the success or the money although I can’t say I don’t enjoy it when it comes along.

OK now I am getting all confused again.

I leave you with this extract from Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s poem, The Invitation:

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

 

OK Byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Schmoozing

When you get invited to a US Embassy event to meet some guy working with the government, your reaction is?

Mine was … *blech

But today I was in GEEK HEAVEN I tell you.

So there is this guy called Alec Ross who is associated with Clinton and ran Obama’s election-winning Twitter campaign. Used to run a NFP. Wants to meet bloggers and ppl active in social media. The Embassy sends some bio that I skim through but all I see is “blah blah blah blah blah”. But I go anyway. I am soon moving to Peshawar (another story for another day … or  maybe not) and thought what the heck. I’ll go see the guy. And then I have never been accused of saying NO to free lunch. So that was a good incentive as well.

So I arrive at the Ambassador’s house. Am greeted by the Ambassador … had no idea who he was until much later during the conversation. Am introduced to this young-ish guy. We shake hands and he says, “Hi, I am Alec”. Me, being me, said, “Hi Alex, I am Maria”. KILL ME!

Small gathering – made me feel very fancy shmancy and important. Then Mr. Alec decided to come and sit with me and start asking about what I do. I give my very rehearsed pitch about WDL. And the usual “oh wow, how great, wonderful, excellent, fabulous” followed. Americans do that a lot, no? I have picked up on it too. “Mr XYZ, what do you do?” “I do blah blah blah”. Me: “Oh how wonderful!”

I was saying …

Yeah, I mentioned how I found most clients through LinkedIn. And he takes out his BB and says you know what – Reid Hoffman is my friend and he will be very happy to hear about this so I am gonna email him right now”.

OH 

MY

GOD!

I find it hard to type any more. My heart stopped for a minute and all I could do was give him one of my goofy grins coz I didn’t trust myself to speak. I knew I was gonna start screaming. And he asked, “You know who Reid Hoffman is?”

Gun – trigger – face – BANG

I don’t know who Hilary Clinton is but I sure know Reid Hoffman.

LinkedIn 

PayPal

eBay 

*drool

Just thinking he has my name in his inbox in an email which he will prolly lay his eyes on in the next … say … 3 hours (he is on US PT) does funny things to my heart. SHIT!

Emailing Reid Hoffman <3

I can’t talk any more. But just so you know – I wasn’t a complete idiot. I remembered to ask about PayPal. Dudettes, back me up on that one.

The land where unicorns graze in rainbow colored fields exists …

and that’s where I am gonna be for a while.

byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee