That time I ended up at Mark Zuckerberg’s birthday party…

How seizing an opportunity gave me something to celebrate.

2015 was a year of big growth not only for our company, but for my business partner and I as well. Because of the success we were seeing with utilizing Facebook’s features to promote our haunted house, Max and I were invited to be one of twelve small businesses to fly out to Facebook’s Headquarters in California. We spent two days taking classes, learning about new tech and tools the platform would be launching, touring the small city Facebook calls their campus, and connecting with other leaders on the Small Business Council. We wrapped up our experience with an all hands on meeting, referred to as a  “town hall” meeting led by the man himself, Mark Zuckerberg.

It was unreal just being in a room with someone who has made such a huge impact in the world, but even more unreal that we were given the opportunity to participate in a Q&A session with him. I was fortunate enough to be able to ask him a question. After pulling myself together and letting him know that he was my hero, I let him know about our haunted house business and how much of an impact his platform had on growing our business. Finally, I asked him what his favorite part of running Facebook was. His answer was so simple, it actually surprised me. He said that he just liked working on the product and new features. Here’s a guy who has so many cool opportunities and experiences on a daily basis, but his favorite part is still just the basics of building the platform.
Learning directly from the creator of the platform that had helped us grow our business so immensely was truly invaluable! Just as we were beginning to think the night couldn’t get any better, we found out it was Mark’s birthday. As we left the town hall meeting, we found ourselves surrounded by decorations and treats all in celebration of Mark Zuckerberg. Yep, we were at his birthday party!

As awesome as it was to have the opportunity to keep networking with people from Facebook and the Small Business Council, and to now always be able to say, “I was at Mark Zuckerberg’s birthday party”, I couldn’t stop thinking about Mark’s answer to my question. It reminded me how important it is to truly love what you do to your core. Your business isn’t going to grow because you spread yourself too thin. Nobody is good at everything, but everyone is good at something. Put together a team that can scale the parts of your business you may not be an expert in. When you focus on what excites you about your business and master your craft, the rest will follow. 

Finally, I cannot stress enough how important it is to see an opportunity and take it. There were plenty of people before me that were using Facebook to promote their businesses, but they weren’t utilizing it to its full potential. It was a risk to sit down and figure out if I could use this platform to grow my business. Not only did it take my time away from something that could potentially be better for my business, but it took resources and money as well. There was a lot of trial and error before finding out just what it was that works. But at the end of the day, I saw the opportunity and I took it. Not only did this grow my business in ways I thought I could only imagine, it gave me the chance to fly out to Facebook in the first round of small businesses on the council and learn even more with a network of people. So, take that risk. See that opportunity and take it. You might just end up at Mark Zuckerberg’s birthday party!