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Well, Well, Well!

Those three words will haunt me for the rest of my life. Thank you, Mr. Wes Bergmann. No, but really - THANK YOU for giving me and so many others the experience of a lifetime!

For those of you who might have missed it, The Blox is a reality competition show where entrepreneurs from all over the country come together for a super stressful week to engage in intensive business lessons, apply those lessons to our own business, and compete against each other in front of a bunch of cameras and microphones in order to see who can work well under the pressure and who will break. Let me just say, I almost broke!

When you arrive in Kansas City, you first have to navigate through a decent size airport to find where you're supposed to meet up with other Bloxers and take the shuttle to the hotel, which is right across the parking lot from The Grid. This is where Season 8 of The Blox was filmed.

If you want to watch my season of The Blox for free, find Season 8 on their Facebook page:

and visit their website for more information:

You can also download the app for free directly from their website, which will grant you unlimited access to all episodes of Season 8, as well as past seasons.

Season 6 of The Blox is currently available for purchase on Prime Video.

We checked into the hotel and got ready for our first interviews in which we explain our business and answer some "simple" questions. I mean, the questions were definitely very simple, but nobody prepared me for the way your mind suddenly goes blank as soon as a camera is pointed at you with a microphone in your face!

The first night was very chill - after our interviews were done, we all socialized while we waited for the buffet-style dinner to come out. We ate, socialized some more, then made our way to the grandstands for orientation. It was about this time that I learned who Wes Bergmann actually is, other than the creator of The Blox. I've never really been huge into watching TV - some of you might know Wes from MTV's The Challenge, however I had no idea until after I met him and finished my first interview!

Sitting in the grandstand and looking down at the judges' table, waiting for Wes to come out for the first time, was honestly surreal. Orientation was just about familiarizing everyone with the judges and the process. I kind of laughed to myself when Wes, the judges, and the producers warned us about how exhausting the week would actually be. I was thinking, "I've always done great in school, I totally got this!" Fast forward about 8 hours to the official Day 1 of competition, my stomach was turning and I was asking myself what in the world I signed up for.

Each day starts with a lesson. After the lesson, we would have lunch. After lunch, the real fun begins. We sit in the grandstands while Wes reads off some questions for us to answer. We then break off into predetermined groups, which are different every day. We are given 15 minutes to answer the questions and prepare to "pitch" those answers in front of our group and judge for the day in 3 minutes or less - oh, and don't forget the part about being hooked up to a microphone and in front of a camera for anyone in the world to see once the season goes live. After the pitch, we have a "one-on-one" consultation with our judge, which can last up to 10 minutes. I intentionally put that in quotes because the consultation is still in front of the group and cameras. After the consultation, depending on how fast your group went, there might be time to relax before dinner and then what they call "The Blox Off." The Blox Off is a bonus round for those who the judges picked as their top student for the day. These businesses are announced and put into a back room as they are brought out one by one to answer some additional questions on the spot, in front of every single person there, and then all the judges score them and choose the winner for the day. At the very end of the week, the top 3 winners are announced, as well as the next 3 runners up.

I am eternally grateful that I was towards the beginning of my group on Day 1, because after my consultation while I was sitting there watching everyone else in my group go, I could feel my stomach getting more and more uneasy. I got back to my hotel room and sat in the bathroom for about an hour talking to my mom on the phone, who was trying so hard to talk me down. I told her I couldn't continue. I had been a stay at home mom for 3 years, it had been so long since I had to do anything in front of a large group, let alone cameras for a reality TV show. I contemplated calling the director and quitting. I knew I had to go back down for dinner and The Blox Off, but I just wanted to crawl into my big, comfy hotel bed and go to sleep. Alas, I made myself a cup of tea and headed back down where I briefly mentioned to David (my best friend for the week) how I was feeling, and he helped me through breathing exercises to try to calm my nerves.

I skipped dinner that night and was definitely happy that I wasn't chosen for The Blox Off, but I was chosen to go to Wes' house to have what they call "group therapy." Every night, different contestants are chosen to go with a different topic. That night, our topic was loneliness in entrepreneurship. We all gathered around the pool table and shared our stories. We all cried at least a couple times, but strangely enough, it made me feel a lot better and much less nervous about continuing the rest of the week.

Something that a lot of people don't realize or understand is that being an entrepreneur can also mean a life of solitude. It is not an easy road to travel. We often have to give up time with our friends and families to invest and work on our businesses, taking shots in the dark, hoping and praying that it will all pay off one day; but this also means apologies for the late nights and early mornings, it means losing friends who can't understand why we drive ourselves crazy the way we do, it means losing partners because in their eyes our business is more important than they are. This is one of many reasons The Blox was such a valuable experience for me - not only did I learn a lot about business, but I made more or less 70 new friends who understand this about each other.

The last day of The Blox happened to be on Superbowl Sunday and ended with an incredibly fun Superbowl party. Wes went around the room to shake hands with and talk to every single one of us there. All of us stayed up most of the night and made promises to one another to keep in touch and visit from time to time. I don't think anyone went the night without crying at least once.

The second most interesting thing about my experience with The Blox is how my life was going immediately before applying, during the interview process, during filming, and immediately after. Don't worry, I will let everyone in on the most interesting thing about my experience, but that is a story meant for a future blog post. For now, here is what I can share:

At the time that I applied to appear on The Blox, my relationship with my son's father was very strained. I knew it was coming to an end. When I applied, I didn't think or even imagine that I would be chosen. To be completely honest, I didn't really know what The Blox was. I saw an ad on Facebook and thought, "sure, why not? Got nothing to lose." I didn't tell a single soul that I applied because I honestly just didn't think anything of it. So, you can imagine my shock when I received an email saying the producers were interested in hearing more about my business.

If I remember correctly, there were a total of 3 or 4 interviews before being invited to appear on the show. My last interview on the phone with one of the producers was scheduled for 2 days after my relationship ended in a fiery ring of smoke and ash. At this point, I realized I actually wanted this. I actually wanted this very badly and I didn't really understand why. After being in a state of constant panic for those couple of days and getting about 2 hours of sleep the night before, I picked up the phone and decided that I was simply going to nail the interview. And so I did.

Less than a week after my final phone interview, I got the official invitation. My mom ended up flying up here to help get my affairs in order. Just a reminder, I was a stay at home mom with a new business operating in the negative. My mom, my friends that I decided to tell at this point, and my therapist (LOL), all told me that I shouldn't go to The Blox. Where will I get the money? Where am I going to work? Where am I going to live since I can't afford to keep our house on my own with no regular job? These were all extremely valid questions. Questions that I flat out ignored. Despite every sane person in my life telling me that this was an incredibly unnecessary venture, I can honestly say that it's changed my life for the better.

I returned home as a completely different person than I left, which was painful because although I was much different, everything I returned to was exactly the same. The thought of continuing to be alone in my apartment, juggling 2 strenuous jobs while trying so hard to work my business and be a good mom on top of it all was panic-inducing. Hugging my little boy and seeing him smile, so excited to have me back home helped a lot. But I knew my life was going to be very different one way or another.

I began to implement everything I learned and started grinding. Just 5 short months after The Blox, I was able to quit my jobs and focus both on my business as well as collaborating with another business that I met while there (more of that to come in a future blog post). My business social media accounts and website traffic have been thriving, I am collaborating with other local businesses, attending vendor events, and receiving a healthy amount of custom orders due to the increased visibility in my business. But I'm not going to lie, the most valuable takeaway from The Blox for me is the new family I have acquired.

Our story doesn't end here; in fact, it is just beginning. I can't wait to see where life takes us from here, and it's all thanks to Mr. Wes Bergmann and The Blox!

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