Thursday, November 19, 2009

My biggest screw up - The CBC Dragon's Den that wasn't

I saw a Tweet today from Anderson Cooper at CNN about someone's 'Biggest Screw Up'.  Yes, I know that everyone has their moments in life where they mess up big time, so it was nice to see someone else talking about their biggest screw ups in their career. It also made me think about my biggest screw up, which I have to say was CBC's Dragons Den.  I didn't specifically screw up on Dragons' Den, but everything else I screwed up after was because of that show. 

Have you ever known anyone asked to be on this program? No? Well now you can say you do. In August of 2006, I received an email from a friend saying "Hey, apply for this."  It was an open casting call for Dragons Den, which had just come to Canada after being successful in the UK.

At the time, I owned a business called Kidswap.  Technically, I still own the trademarked name "Kidswap" and the web site (with a friend who is a partner), but it sits lonely and only occasionally used.  I'd have to delve into that one later, but for the purpose of this blog post imagine a bustling web site, with thousands of users and hundreds of ads being posted daily. It was a very large community, very busy, and really cool.  I loved it.  It was my passion.  The site is why I used that name as my twitter signature @kidswap .  The ties that bind I suppose.

At any rate, I submitted an email to the producers and forgot about it.  About a month later I received an email back asking me to audition. Of course I was knocked out of my chair by this. I had just been featured in the Province newspaper about a month before, so as far as the site being busy, etc. it was good timing.   I had three little kids at the time, and a decidedly busy husband, but I wanted to go for it.  I went down on audition day, stood in front of the camera, and smiled a lot.  I was so nervous I was shaking.  The producer commented on my peidcure (Thank you Spa Utopia) and I was out of there.  I left knowing that I had made a good impression.  Then, as any busy mom does, I forgot about it again.

3 weeks later, I ran into the library to return some book.  My phone rang while I was in there and my husband answered it.  When I got back to the car, he said that there was a message for me.  Reading from it almost made me pass out.  Dragon's Den wanted me to call them, they wanted me on the show!!  I cannot remember specifically what I said or did, but I was so scared and excited at that point. It was really incredible, that this little web site I put up in my spare time was getting national attention from a bunch of investors in Toronto.

I called them back when I got home, and I was told that I was their top choice in Western Canada to come out and do the show.  They had to have me there.  Imagine the shock. Imagine the awe. Imagine the complete panic!!  They would send me my airfare, and I was set to go in two weeks.

I will be back to finish up. As is the life of a mom, children who are hungry/dirty/waking up come before writing.

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