～ITC2022挑戦の記録～Epiphany: A Perfectionist’s Honest Truth
FedEx Express/ Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge 2022国際大会出場者による『ITC2022挑戦の記録』、お二人目の投稿は、高校1年生のRさんによるものです。Rさんは途中で事情により急遽パートナーが参加できなくなるというハプニングを乗り越え、最後はお一人で堂々とプレゼンされました。さて、Rさんは、その苦難をどう乗り越え、そこから何を学ばれたのでしょうか。
What happens when a perfectionist’s plan is ruined?
My past self would say, “then everything is ruined.”
But now I say, “then make another plan”.
Yes, my answer changed.
But I’m still a perfectionist.
So what changed?
I started this journey as an eager and light-hearted aspiring entrepreneur. Excited about this new competition, I contacted my soon-to-be ITC Japan partner, despite only knowing her name and face from some meetings we had both been in. We matched unbelievably well; from our energy levels and slang, to our favorite colors and K-Pop idols. We even had similar concerns regarding the womens’ health issues in Cambodia, and together, came up with our product Kami, shown here.
So now, the score was
Perfectionist: 1, Fate: 0
Through hours of meetings, we finally passed through the two domestic rounds. Afterwards, I thought to myself, “now I just have to do the same for the finals, make a new friend, work, and present.”
Perfectionist: 2, Fate: 0
Little did I know, it was definitely not the same.
The finals started out smoothly. My assigned partner was a Korean girl of tender character, and we got along pretty well. We bonded over cringing at the misuse of both of our languages in pop culture, and took some team photos together.
Then came the hard part.
Challenge #1: Coming up with a product.
This took us an unbelievably long amount of time. I felt panicked, rushed, like this “waste” of time was going to ruin everything.
Challenge #2: Research.
Since our product contained countless ingredients that were hard to measure out into each product, impeccable research was needed to foster our vision.
Challenge #3: My teammate’s unavailability.
Due to personal issues, my partner became unavailable for the competition in the middle of Day 2.
I had no partner. Realization hit, then tears started falling.
I had a full panic attack in front of my mentors and organizers.
I didn’t know what this meant. Was I secretly disqualified, too? Would I even be able to finish making my presentation? My plan was ruined.
And in all this crying and chaos, and talking it out with my mentors, I managed to realize that crying wasn’t going to help. Regardless, I would have to suck it up, make a new plan and do this myself. So I did just that.
Racing against time and sacrificing my sleep, I worked according to my new plan. I didn’t know if it would work.
Between working on my slides at 2 a.m. and writing my script two hours before my presentation, I was finally ready.
At this point, my goal wasn’t to be perfect and finish in 1st place. It was to give a presentation I could look back on and be proud of.
I presented with a focused, clear mind.
Even the perfectionist inside me was proud.
Finally, the score was
Perfectionist: 3, Fate: 0
Like this, ITC unleashed my innermost self: the one who was willing to break habits, make changes, and work hard towards a goal, even if it’s a brand new one.
It not only improved my skills and traits as a person but also broadened my perspective to show me what I could be, and what I could do. It confirmed my interest and trust in creating and believing, which is what entrepreneurship is all about.
What changed was not me,
but the way I perceive challenges and hardships.
And this was only one of the countless lessons I learned from my experience with ITC.
So I encourage you, the reader, to also take a step towards the endless journey of learning and growing, starting with this great opportunity.