WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - We have some winners in the 2017 ideaWF contest! $70,000 is how much was handed out Wednesday in cash and in-kind prizes.
"I didn't know if I was going to have a heart attack or what," Co-Owner of Take the Shot Golf & Gun, Nathan Moore said. "My heart was thumping so fast. It was unbelievable."
The business owners of Wichita Falls Brewing Company, Aunt Pam's Closet, and Take the Shot Golf & Gun were all filled with joy after winning the top awards ideaWF has to offer.
Business owners said the money was nice, but that wasn't the best part.
"IdeaWF has helped us refine our business plan, Co-Owner of Take the Shot Golf & Gun, Scott Matheson said. "Help us to focus on what our key values need to be, and what's going to make us successful in the long run."
"It would be easy to get lost in reconstructing a building downtown that was never meant to be a brewery," Vice President of Wichita Falls Brewing Company, Russ Reynolds said. "And forget about the ever-changing market around us and planning for the future. IdeaWF has helped us stay focused on that."
They also got to hear from Dr. Dwain Cox. He's the National Head of Design at Chick-fil-A and shared the keys to his success with the group. One of the biggest: marry the mission and date the methods.
"I kind of built my talk around the idea of what are we going to try to accomplish as a company and what's our dream vision," Dr. Cox said. "Then it just becomes a matter of what are the steps we have to take to get there."
"You attack each day a piece at a time," Moore said. "He couldn't have summed it up more thoroughly."
He also wants local entrepreneurs to focus on the desired outcome.
"Having a vision, pulling people towards your vision, getting people on board, whether that means helping out or funding. These all are all part of the early stages of the entrepreneurial process," Dr. Cox said.
"It's a struggle every day when you own your own business," Owner of Aunt Pam's Closet, Pam Schenk said. "But it has lots of rewards."
Dr. Cox talked to Midwestern State students and encourages all of Texoma's entrepreneurs to do the same because it's part of their education to hear from someone who has been through the fire.
The Wichita Falls Brewing Company will start distributing its beer throughout the state over the next few months.
Aunt Pam's Closet is also looking to expand in the near future, while Take the Shot Golf & Gun will open in Wichita Falls early in 2018.