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1. Come with an Open Mind

What are your talents and passions? What are you bringing to Startup Weekend? Startup Weekend is all about exploration, testing your abilities, and thinking on your feet. So do just that! The more open-minded you are, the better your experience will be. Startup Weekend encourages making mistakes, being unsure and uncomfortable. But if you’re open-minded, you can learn immensely from your unsure-ness. Here, you will gain transformative new experiences, don’t let your past experiences hold you back! 

2. Be Engaged

You are going to meet some really cool people because you all have an interest in the thrill of Startup Weekend. Show your fellow participants that you are interested in their ideas! Ask questions, get personal, and make unique connections while you are building your startup. You’ll meet a lot of great people, and some of these people might just be the people you’ll continue your startup with post-weekend.

3. Stay Focused

Everyone hits a little slump on Saturday afternoon. You’re in the thick of the madness, exhausted, and have a little twitch because you have had too much coffee. Take a deep breath, go for a little walk around the block, give your brain a rest! Take little breaks to clear your mind, to regain perspective and focus. When you’re working with your team, put away the social media and focus on your team’s mission. Your team needs you! You have a lot to do, so don’t waste your time! 

4. Take Initiative

You might be asked to take the lead on some aspect of your business – perhaps you’ll be the lead developer, designer, or validator. It might be scary, but you can do it. You’re at Startup Weekend to learn and experience new things — embrace it! Some people are natural leaders, while for others it feels unnatural; this is the perfect opportunity to practice. It’s okay if you have no idea what you’re doing. Just keep trying again and again and again. Don’t be afraid to say “Yes” to new and perhaps challenging opportunities! You can do this!

5. Have Fun! 

Yes, you are attending Startup Weekend to do a whole bunch of work on a really cool startup. But you are also attending to meet wonderful people, share inspiring ideas, and gain invaluable experience. While you are working super hard, and perhaps a little stressed out, make sure you do it with a little smile on your face. OK – I know that sounds a bit silly. But seriously, this is an amazing experience, so make the best of it!

McKenzy Diehl McKenzy Diehl
McKenzy is a biology major at Concordia College, a nationally registered EMT, competitive bodybuilder, and Startup Weekend Fargo winner/alum.