$12,000 is just a CLICK away!

Dear Happenstance,

Even though I don’t believe in you I am more than willing to admit that there was a power greater than us that has brought myself and my amazing organization to this point in life.  Five months ago the Founder and Visionary of CLICK sent me a message to check out this website that offered free services on how to construct a business plan and also happened to be having a business plan competition, the grand prize being $12,000. I was at work and followed her directives to get to the website and couldn’t figure out how to get to the information about the free seminars but I did gather the understanding that if you enter this Business Plan competition there were a series of very intentional seminars that would guide us through the process of developing a Business Plan. I called her back,

“Let’s just enter this business plan competition. There’s an introduction session tonight that I can make it to and I’ll find out the information and then bring it back to the rest of our team.”

Renata agreed and I went. I called her again from the introduction session,

“The application has to be submitted by the end of this week. It’s a really simple one-page application and then we all have to make a copy of our Driver’s License and submit it.”

“Let’s Do It.” Renata agreed once again.

Just like that we took the IM out of Impossible and began this journey with a spirit of dedication, commitment, passion and community amongst our team. As each step carried us along the possibility of $12,000 to start-up our business become more tangible. We spent countless meetings, hours on the phone, on Skype, researching, attending seminars and writing and re-writing until finally on April 6, 2010 Renata journeyed past the unbeatable foe, around the unbearable sorrow. She ran where the brave dared not go, to right the unrightable wrong and she arrived at the Queens Economic Development Center to submit our final business plan!

At this point we took it on as the mission of each true Queen …to dream the impossible dream.

Then an entire month went by and life happened and we went about living life and I was just boarding a plane to Los Angeles for Mothers’ Day when an email came into my inbox with the heading “And the finalist are…” I could barely contain my excitement as I opened it to read the rest of the email:

“The time has come to announce this year’s business plan competition finalist. Although there are 15 finalist, I hope that everyone feels they have gained valuable insight on how to start a business and the need to plan appropriately for it. Here are the names and companies of the top finalists:

7. Renata Bernard, Kimberly Baker, Tasha Davis and Monique Keith-Golding for CLICK

I stared in utter amazement before picking up the phone and screaming into Renata’s ear to celebrate the next level of the competition we’d made it to. Grinning ear-to-ear I stepped on that plane in utter disbelief of the direction I’d created my life to go, but so committed to this next step.

Then on June 10, 2010 the long awaited moment came for us to present our carefully prepared presentation to the panel of Judges that would determine whether the viability of our business warranted the grand prize of $12,000. We arrived at Renata’s house at 10am and began practicing, preparing, syncing with one another and by 1pm we were dressed and heading out the door for our 1:35 appointment. I MapQuested the directions to a building we’d never been to before and we slid into action full of excitement and determination.

At 1:18 Renata said “I’m starting to be a little concerned about time.”

We sat in silence as Monique skillfully maneuvered through New York City traffic, barely sparing pedestrians’ lives and the bumpers of surrounding cars.

At 1:45pm we received a phone call from the head of the Business Plan competition. “Hello Renata, are you aware you have an appointment to present your business plan today?”

Yes…we were aware…sweating bullets…and no where near knowing where we were and how to get to our destination. So we did the reasonable thing…we parked and began walking. Accosting pedestrians to help us find the address.

At 2:35pm the elevator opened onto the floor in which we were to give our business plan presentation. We stepped out and within moments were in the conference room delivering the best pitch of our lives.

Then last Friday, I opened my inbox and saw this heading “Queens StartUP! Business Plan Competition Awards Reception Invitation” and I opened it to find this inside:

4th Annual Queens StartUP Competition Invitation

Happenstance? Chance? Coincidence? I think not!

Love Always,



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