Virtual Training Camp Diaries: Michelle Kammerman

Hi! I’m Michelle, a 2020 Baltimore Fellow and recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I am originally from Long Island, New York and found Venture For America through a referral from a 2018 Fellow. I saw Venture For America as a clear path to entrepreneurship, but have since learned it to be much more than that.

Venture For America has exceeded all of my expectations and with just one week left of Training Camp, I am astounded with the amount I have learned in three short weeks. I have flexed entrepreneurial muscles I didn’t know I had, learned invaluable team working skills, met some remarkable people and discovered more about myself with what I want to achieve during my Fellowship.

My values of integrity, ambition and autonomy are what led me to Venture For America, but I never could have imagined the introspective experience that these past three weeks have brought me during a virtual entrepreneurial bootcamp. I am not talking about the entrepreneurship tips and tricks they share on glamorous television programs or podcasts of success stories. I am talking about the importance of self-care, an internal locus of control, a growth mindset and more. Here are just a few of my life changing key takeaways from Training Camp.

  1. Your emotions are separate from yourself and they don’t control you. You control them.
  2. No one else is going to tell your narrative, but yourself. To create the ultimate narrative, you need to have an internal locus of control and believe that you are the creator of your own destiny.
  3. Ignore and silence any voices in your head that are not self-serving.
  4. Your window of tolerance is where you are going to perform at your best so make sure you have strategies for when you fall out of it such as mediation or exercise.
  5. Track your wins and be proud of them, but equally track your losses and note what went wrong.
  6. As a company founder you must be a jack of all trades and a master of some.
  7. Make it easy for people to say no or not respond to you when you are making big asks over email.
  8. Most careers in entrepreneurship are NOT linear.
  9. Stop seeing success as accomplishments from the past because this can cause you to believe that your intelligence is static. Start seeing learning experiences as successes that indicate your intelligence is forever growing, thus having a growth mindset.
  10. Use storytelling in everything that you do!

I’m looking forward to adding to this list during my last week of Training Camp as well as over the course of the next two years during my Fellowship. In conclusion, I vow to bring 100% of my authentic self in everything that I do and am excited about the road ahead.

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