What Does Your Elevator Pitch Ask For?

Ken RobinsonIt takes more than one minute to sell a project regardless of how good your elevator pitch is. The elevator pitch is an introduction and an introduction is successful when you get beyond the introduction. In other words, a successful elevator pitch gets you beyond the introduction to a second meeting.

“The best elevator pitch doesn’t pitch your project. It pitches the meeting about your project.” — Seth GodinSeth’s Blog: No one ever bought anything on an elevator

This is a distinction worth remembering as you prepare / review your elevator pitch. An elevator pitch concludes with an ask for a second meeting and your pitch needs to make the listener want to talk to you again.

Initiative Does Not Equal Asking For Forgiveness

“Ask for forgiveness, not permission” is a dangerous motivational cliché. It is meant to address anxiety and the waiting for permission before acting.  The problem is that the underlying message is that the end justifies the means and asking for forgiveness will absolve you of the crimes committed getting there.

Take this to the extreme and you have: “I wanted to be CEO and I was next in-line, so I killed him. It’s okay though, I asked his widow for forgiveness.”

The problem is waiting for permission. My grandfather had a much more acceptable saying: “If getting a ‘no’ for an answer is not a problem, then why be afraid to ask the question.”  His version of “what’s the worst that can happen?” I think this is healthier than the asking for forgiveness model. It makes you look if the action is permissible and if is forgivable. It makes you look at what you are afraid of and, from what I have read, one of the better ways to combat anxiety is to examine what you are afraid of.