Hey friends! It's been FOREVER since I've updated ya'll on what's going on in my life. Part of the reason that I struggle to post blogs is because on a day-to-day basis, my life actually pretty much feels the same. But then I look back and think "WHOA, WHO WAS I SIX MONTHS AGO??"
An update on my spring 2017 competition season
The last time I posted on here, my BLOOM co-founder and I were halfway through competition and boy did we put in some hours. Good news: in April we were awarded THIRD PLACE in High Growth Undergraduate Technology @ Love's Entrepreneurs Cup. Mind you, this was a HUGE state-wide college competition with over 50 teams and lots of cash prizes. EEP! It's December right now and I'm still screaming about it!
After that competition, I was pretty much on cloud 9. Then shortly after, my co-founder and I pitched BLOOM at TCU's Values & Ventures Competition and completely blew it. Don't get me wrong, we pitched extremely well. But no longer were we in Indian Territory, Oklahoma - where at least some people understand the importance of native language. I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty disappointed in how the competition went. But the good part was that I still experienced a fun (and free) weekend in Dallas, I met amazing people, and ate so much great food. I think the loss was good too. I think we needed to be knocked down with BLOOM. We were doing so well and that competition was what really grounded us.
An update on BLOOM's summer 2017
The first part of the summer was spent working on BLOOM through the OU Launch Pad Accelerator program. In it, we received $10,000 and invaluable mentoring over the course of a few weeks. Had we not been through this program, BLOOM wouldn't be where it is today; so I'm very thankful. And other than waking up extremely early, I really loved the program lol. During the accelerator, Jen and John joined our team as full-stack engineers. Shortly after, Issa joined as our CSS engineer, and Bri as our head of curriculum. It was also during this time that we landed our first partnership ever with Cherokee Nation! Long story short: BLOOM grew pretty fast.
An update on BLOOM's fall 2017 & present
Jeez. I really need to write on here more! Lol. Last October, my co-founder decided that he needed to exit. Though I would argue that mentally, he had left long before then. This was a big blow to the team('s future). For a moment, I felt like BLOOM didn't have legs anymore. I wasn't sure where it was going, and I feared that all of our work would just hop down the drain. BLOOM's near crumbling was yet another lesson that we needed though in order to really grow. This was the moment that truly tested us. It instilled fear in us. But it didn't break us. We kept going. We came out on the other side in one piece. I couldn't ever ask for more.
So where is BLOOM now? Well, we're building pretty aggressively and quietly too. We've made a few announcements here and there (mostly when we've had to). But what I love about our style is that we never quite share *everything*. All the good stuff will be shared when the time is right - I promise, ya'll. At moment, our biggest focus is just prepping for our 2018 launch. No distractions. Just heads down. Working.
An update on me, a person who does things outside of work
Outside of BLOOM, my life has been equally interesting. Almost everyone I've talked to has mentioned how 2017 dogged them in some way. I would probably say the same about me. I honestly try to think back on this year and everything kind of feels like a big blur outside of a few shining (and not-so-shining) moments. That could just be my bad memory though - after all it is 2AM right now.
This year was good and bad and a solid mix of everything in between. This was a year where I latched on, let go, and became free all in one damn sitting. It was a year of growing, shrinking, and blooming again in ways that felt more right the second time around.
In my last post I said:
"I guess that's how life works sometimes; the good stuff - you hold onto it tight. The hard stuff? You learn, and you grow, and continue living and believing in a brighter future. I know I did, and I know I always will."
That quote still rings very true to me. I'm sure I'll look back one day and say "2017 was everything I friggin needed". Until then, I'll just keep it moving.
- Carey J Flack