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Thursday, October 13, 2005


So What Do You Do?

People often ask me this question. Believe it or not, it is extremely difficult to answer! Think about your own job or business - can you describe it succintly without using your title, or the name of your product? Using those words is a kind of code that only insiders will understand (for me, other coaches or people in the "gifted world") and so it's not helpful when I meet someone without that background.

Here's what I say, at the moment: "I help smart people leverage their talents so that they can have more happiness and success. I'm part of a network of over 4,000 coaches helping groups and individuals all over the world. I work with people of all ages, usually at times when they are going through changes. Do you know anyone who is unhappy in their current job?"

This gets the conversation going, because everyone seems to know someone who hates their job - or they are that person! Yet it is a poor reflection of the actuality of what I do. It's a serviceable "elevator pitch" but it doesn't fully answer the question. I hate not answering the question in full and lavish detail! However, if I start bandying around words like "gifted" or "advanced development" or "overexcitabilities", I can see the whites of their eyes as they panic and try to think of a polite way to get away from me.

So it's time to get over it, because if I just say the above, it's reasonable and non-threatening. I can trust that the people who need to know more will ask more, and we'll get to an understanding in the end. I don't need to give them the whole feast in 20 seconds, just an amuse-bouche.

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How about, "Why do you do it?"
I’ve posted slides for a talk on writing great elevator pitches that I moderated and links to my previous postings on elevator pitches here:


I hope this link will be helpful to anyone looking for help writing an elevator pitch.
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