When I started working on Unreal Collective, I talked about it a lot.
“Well, I’m going to be doing this thing where I curate and facilitate group calls…”
And not only did that process create a forcing function to move forward because of the public expectation I was setting, but I very quickly polished up the elevator pitch from practice and listening to peoples’ reactions.
“I’m going to be curating and facilitating mastermind groups.”
Shoot, stick to “micro communities” not “mastermind groups.” Not everyone is familiar with a mastermind group, and I might as well create a less diabolical term.
“Unreal Collective creates micro communities to accelerate your growth.”
Ok that’s good but that isn’t clear or obvious enough what “growth” is…
“I curate small groups of individuals working on their own independent projects to help them be more effective and efficient. We have weekly video calls to create a mechanism for accountability, outside perspective, support, and an extended network.”
Ok that works if I’m in front of someone and can get two sentences in…kind of a mouthful.
Elevator pitches, mission, and vision statements are no joke. They can be difficult to pin down.
When I did the StartupBus in 2013 (think: Startup Weekend on a bus), it was a similar exercise. Within 30 minutes of forming a team and choosing an idea, we were stopped and pitching that idea to our first mentors. The more quickly you practice, get feedback, and iterate, the tighter your pitch gets.
The same is true for personally answering, “What do you do?” And David Sherry just released an awesome episode of the First 4 Years podcast that talks about answering the dreaded, “What do you do?”
“Start to change your perception from ‘this is me on the spot having to prove myself’ to instead, ‘this is a cool opportunity to share some of what I do to let the other person know.’
The reason you’re getting tripped up is you haven’t figured out a strong answer to this question that you can practice and use every time it’s asked.
For as many times people ask what we do, we haven’t actually put in the time to craft one answer that we can train ourselves to say that we know is effective.
And why is this a problem? The problem is any time you have to come up with something new on the spot, it is distressing for your brain to do that.”
This is one of the best couple of lines I’ve taken from this podcast so far. This week I designed new business cards (I realized I should probably stop handing out cards from my former employer) and I was faced with this challenge of “pitching” what I do.
As you can see, it’s ever-evolving. But, it feels great to have more certainty and something I can rehearse and use effectively. It also feels great to see how well integrated the work that I do is becoming.
What do you do?