What’s Your Story?

Open book

I’m guessing most of us have heard of the “elevator pitch”.

So you and I get in an elevator together, I ask you what you do, and by time we leave the elevator (second floor? Fifty second floor? Don’t know. Not defined) I have clarity on what you do. And if you’re in sales, you might have “pitched” to me.

Done well, it’s a “compelling narrative”.

But here’s the thing. Lots of us don’t have them.

And when I say “lots of us”, I mean organisations as well as individuals.

Organisations first. There’s really only three questions an organisation needs to answer to have a compelling narrative (aka a strategy). They are:

  • What are you offering?

  • Who are you offering it to?

  • How are you offering it?

My hairdresser has this nailed. “Dads and Lads” it’s called. There’s a strategy. Right there.

Charities can find this really difficult. Not being clear on their “who, what, how” and being unable to say “no” to a need which is (is it really?) in their space. Lots of pet projects.

But we struggle here as individuals as well. Not knowing what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to. Not knowing how we might make the biggest difference within the constraints that life inevitably places upon us.

So getting our elevator pitch right matters. Whether we’re talking just of ourselves, or a small business, a charity, an academic department, or a large business.

Otherwise we waste our time, our energy and perhaps our money. And we fail to use our potential for the best.

And in a finite and needy world, that’s a shame.