Careers, Elevator Pitch, entrepreneurs, Job Search, Personal Branding

More About Elevator Pitches

Mary Rosenbaum | October 14th, 2009

I attended an interesting conference for coaches yesterday and came away with far more than I had anticipated. Although the content was great, it was during the networking time that I learned the most. First I learned that there are so many different coaching disciplines and specialties. Everything from improv coaching to executive leadership coaching. What I found most enlightening was that many coaches find it difficult articulating who they serve and what they actually provide, including their value added. Instead, they rely on catch phrases that sound good but convey very little; and unless the listener is really interested in finding out more, it becomes a conversation stopper. If this behavior sounds familiar to you, then read on.

Is your elevator pitch really cute? Do you call yourself the go-to person or the fix-it guy or something else that only you understand why people come to you? Here is a quick way for you to hone in on what the “unique” you really offers clients or employers.

First, who do you work for or provide services to? What industry, what demographic within the industry, what specific part of the population? Is your work in trading equities in the financial services industry, do you work with the baby boomer population or women between the ages of 30-50, is your expertise in outsourcing in Asia for the insurance industry? The more specific you are the better a picture you can paint.

Next, what is the service or work you actually provide? If you call yourself the fix-it guy – what do you fix and how do you fix it? For example, do you help companies that need to streamline operations to reduce costs, are you a visionary who can anticipate economic events and their impact in specific industries, is your specialty building and growing sales teams for the insurance industry, you get the idea. Again, the more specific the information you provide, the better.

Lastly, why are you the expert? Is it because of your years of experience, your credentials and education? This is the validation part of your pitch. This must answer the question, why should I go to you, or why should I hire you?

Now see if you can come up with a couple of sentences that describe who you serve, what you do and why you are the expert. Try it out on a few people and ask them if it sounds compelling, does it tell the story, and does it prompt them to ask for more.

The Entrepreneurial Quiz

Mary Rosenbaum | September 1st, 2009

With the unemployment rate hovering near 10% there is no surprise that many people are looking into starting their own business. Being your own boss sounds enticing – no more threats of being laid off, no one in control of your destiny but you. But are you prepared for taking on the role of an entrepreneur? The following Entrepreneurial Quiz was prepared by Career Coach Institute and I have found it helps weed out those that want to from those that can do. Although this does not address the “what will I do” of starting up your own business, it will help you in deciding the “whether or not” question.

Entrepreneurial Quiz

Do You Have the Entrepreneurial Personality?

Question Yes No
Is it important to you to accomplish something meaningful with your life?
Do you typically set both short- and long-term goals for yourself?
Do you usually achieve your goals?
Do you enjoy working on your own?
Do you like to perform a variety of tasks in your job?
Are you self-disciplined?
Do you like to be in control of your working environment?
Do you take full responsibility for your successes and failures?
Can you place the needs of your business above your family when necessary?
Are you in excellent physical, mental and emotional health?
Do you have the drive and energy to achieve your goals?
Do you have work experience in the type of business you wish to start?
Have you ever been so engrossed in your work that time passed unnoticed?
Do you consider “failures” as opportunities to learn and grow?
Can you hold to your ideas and goals even when others disagree with you?
Are you willing to take moderate risks to achieve your goals?
Can you afford to lose the money you invest in your business?
When the need arises, are you willing to do a job that may not interest you?
Are you willing to work hard to acquire new skills?
Do you usually stick with a project until it is completed?

Your answers to at least 15 of these questions should be yes if you are to be successful as a business owner.  While it is not necessary to answer all of these questions yes, but if you answer no to some of them, you will want to evaluate what that means to you and how significantly it may impact your ability to run your own business.

My next topic will be about the “how and what” of starting your own business.