On simplifying your elevator pitch . . . for success (with a nod to Michael Katz)

At a small, socially distant networking event recently, I encountered two entrepreneurs, with two different entrepreneurial approaches, to offering the perennial “elevator pitch.”

Both entrepreneurs knew the importance of word-of-mouth marketing and were doing their best to introduce themselves clearly.

One of them, a financial planner, kept his “elevator pitch” to one sentence. But it was a sentence with at least three clauses (i.e. naming the major services he provides and for whom). The other person, a professional coach, used a simpler, single clause description of how she works to increase her clients’ sales. Continue reading “On simplifying your elevator pitch . . . for success (with a nod to Michael Katz)”

Want your stories to succeed? Build them on ideas that “stick,” say Chip and Dan Health

I often blog on issues pertaining to stories and storytelling. But thus far, we haven’t discussed much about what constitutes a good (or compelling) story.

Thirteen years ago, Chip Heath (a professor of organizational behaviour at Stanford University) and his brother, Dan Heath (a senior fellow in social entrepreneurship at Duke University), combined their research interests and wrote Made to Stick: Why some ideas take hold and others come unstuck (London: Penguin/Arrow, 2007).

The book, which has fascinated entrepreneurs, authors from multiple fields, researchers and academics alike, asserts one overarching tenet: Thinking, writing and other story-based endeavours that provide “sticky ideas” (i.e. ideas that succeed by becoming popular and influential in contemporary culture) all exhibit the following six principles (“SUCCES”):  Continue reading “Want your stories to succeed? Build them on ideas that “stick,” say Chip and Dan Health”

“It takes courage not to know”: How do you lead entrepreneurially or in business?

Some years ago, I rented office space in a large building, where there was an unusual building manager, an individual unlike any other in that role whom I’d ever met. We’ll say her name was “Maud” (not her real name) and although she had moved here from sunnier climes, she was (in honest characterization) of European descent, middle age and spoke with what most would call a middle-class accent.

Continue reading ““It takes courage not to know”: How do you lead entrepreneurially or in business?”

Do you fear creative rejection? What one Canadian “Reality TV” show can teach us

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” (19th century idiom)

I find television very educational. Every time someone switches it on, I go into the other room and read a book” (Groucho Marx)

As a freelancer, I find weekday mornings start with me reading or listening to email and voicemail messages and cueing up projects for the day. Since I’m also committed to keeping healthy, most mornings I fit in a workout at my nearby gym (where rigorous cleaning practices reduce the risk of the pandemic).

Continue reading “Do you fear creative rejection? What one Canadian “Reality TV” show can teach us”

An elevator and its discontents

A few nights ago, I was leaving a friend’s apartment on the third floor of my building. My arms were filled with the leftovers of a pan of lasagna that I had contributed to a small, “socially distant,” dinner gathering.

I had four floors to go to return to my unit: ordinarily, I’d take the stairs. But the messy, tomato-drenched sauce that was swirling in the lasagna pan made me think: “No, this would be a good time to use the elevator.”

So I did. Or rather, I tried to.

Continue reading “An elevator and its discontents”