Let’s get started with the challenge

Day 2: Write your idea’s first elevator pitch

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough” – Albert Einstein

Today's Prompt:

  • Start by writing down your elevator pitch. Jot down some key goals that you have for your idea or business, building on what you thought about yesterday when contemplating Money, Joy, and Flow. Think about how you would pitch your vision to someone else. Use this mental experience to add onto your pitch and make it exciting. Make sure to incorporate a little story about yourself, why you’re passionate about this idea, or what lead you to it.
  • Present the idea to a friend or family member. Accountability is extremely important and a good motivating tool. You’re already experiencing accountability by participating in this group. By presenting your pitch to a friend or family member, you’ll be able to hear yourself out loud and perfect your pitch, while gaining your audience’s insight and suggestions as well.
  • Write your pitch in the comments section below. This is optional, but highly encouraged, to again, hold yourself accountable.

The next logical step after giving some thought to the vision for your idea is to elevate your thoughts into an “elevator pitch.” An elevator pitch is a short summary of your idea or business plan that could be presented to anyone during a short elevator ride – or, in our case, explained to a friend or family member.

The elevator pitch can answer questions such as…

  • What are the goals for your idea? Articulate your objectives using no “jargon.”
  • What call to action are you answering?
  • Who will care about this idea? And, if you succeed, what difference will it make to the world?
  • Why you are passionate about this idea?
  • What are the risks in attempting this idea? How much will it cost, and how long will it take?
  • What problem is your idea solving?
  • What led you to this idea?

A bad elevator pitch…

  • describes only your skills and not your purpose or goals 

and

  • fails to excite others.

Examples of a poor elevator pitch:

Hi, I’m Ellen. I am a skilled runner, so I’m trying to get people to join a running group I’ve created.”

OR

“Hi, I’m Adam. I make ceramics and will be selling them on my website and etsy.com.”

A good elevator pitch should encompass the following elements:

  • statement of who you are
  • description of your idea and, more specifically, how it will serve others
  • Energy to excite the person you are pitching to by incorporating a story or interesting feature of your idea

Examples of a good elevator pitch:

“Hi, I’m Ellen. I am creating a community running group in my local park. My goal for the group is to inspire others in my community to become more active while connecting with their neighbors and improving the community. I will expand this group to other communities by using social media and traveling to promote it. The idea came to me during my travels in New Zealand, where I met a group that gathers every weekend to run in different parks around their city. Afterwards, they clean up trash in the park. I thought, ‘Why can’t this happen elsewhere?’”

OR

“Hi, I’m Adam. I am using my skill of making earthen ceramics to provide people with an alternative to generic, mass-produced homeware. My customers will experience the whole process by choosing from my selection of earth tones, which have been selected and developed based on my surroundings at my studio in the Lake District. They will then choose a product: bowl, plate, or platter. My goal is to incorporate features of my surroundings in the Lake District into the ceramics so that people can bring the natural beauty of this region into their homes.”

Notice how the first two examples are bland, do not ignite excitement, and do not offer any details. The second two examples offer personal detail, a call to action, and a target customer base.

There are many great resources out there that provide further guidance for creating a valuable elevator pitch. Two that we find extremely helpful are a TED Talk[1] and a guide by Richard Branson

[1] Allen, Gemmy. Video: How to Perfect the Elevator Pitch. http://ed.ted.com/on/knLuMf8r. 27 Jan. 2017.

[2] Branson, Richard. This is What They Mean by an Elevator Pitch.  https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/richard-branson-this-is-what-they-mean-by-an-elevator-pitch 27 Jan. 2017

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