“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice” – Steve Jobs
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right” – Henry Ford
Let’s all participate in a filming exercise. Film yourself on your phone, camera, or computer giving a short “elevator pitch” for your business. You can share this video with the group in the comments section of our website at www.30dod.com or in your next community meetup, or simply jot down some notes about how you felt during this exercise to share if you’re uncomfortable sharing the actual video. We will come back and repeat this exercise towards the end of the 30 days to evaluate how your “elevator pitch” and your confidence about your business has developed.
So far in these exercises, we’ve touched on vision, developing an elevator pitch, accountability, and competition. Today’s lesson and exercise weaves all of these together by focusing on a crucial element – confidence. This brings us to Kyle’s favorite diagram (seriously, I think he’s emailed it to me 10 times on various occasions): Tommy Roth’s Martyr, Charlatan, Hustler diagram.
People are not comfortable talking about themselves and their work because it feels “salesy” and self-promotional. But it is a necessary tool to balance hard work and martyrdom.
Many people put a lot of hard work into their project or business, building up their skills and value, then end up wondering why they never seem to “make it.” They attribute a lack of success to their dedication levels, hoping that, if they continue to keep their heads down and grind out their product, they’ll be noticed and rewarded. Whether these people are ultimately rewarded or not, the outcome is not in their control. They are waiting for someone to notice and reward their effort, making them the Martyr.
Conversely, someone who talks a big game with no hard work to back it up is a Charlatan. These people are averse to hard work but are great at talking up themselves and their business. They’ll be successful at wheeling and dealing thanks to their charm. They may sail by for a while, but it will be hard to build a long-lasting network of customers and a reliable product without the hard work. Eventually, they will fail to deliver on their promises. Even worse, they’ll probably feel hollow because they know they are providing a product that is based on deceit.
The key lies in balance.
Everyone knows someone who is successful even if the person who comes to mind doesn’t seem to work as “hard” as you may expect them to. These people tend to be skilled at talking about their work without sounding to “salesy” while also putting in enough hard work to create a good product. They strike a balance between the Martyr and Charlatan. They are the Hustlers.
These hustlers are confident that they are providing value and are not afraid to share it. The balance allows them to avoid a trap of working too hard for no reward but prevents them from over-promising.
Talking about your business, product, service, and yourself is an important part of becoming self-employed or running a business. It’s also one of the most difficult barriers that we will work to overcome. Today’s task will focus on improving your self-confidence (which will also come into play later when we address valuing your time and your product).
Our discussion of the “elevator pitch” directly relates to confidence, because, even if you haven’t fully realized your goals for this business yet, giving your “pitch” with confidence is half the battle.Many of us may be on the Martyr end of the spectrum, finding it difficult to explain our elevator pitch to friends and family let alone to strangers. Recently, I (Casey) just embarked on a shift in my professional life. I left the “comfort” of a salaried job to pursue several different projects, including this 30 Days of Doing exercise, building and writing my blog, and working part time for a health-care software company, to name a few. I have already been faced with the tough challenge of explaining to family, friends, and acquaintances what my “plans” are, since even those familiar to us ask the go-to question: “So, what are you doing now?”
I have struggled to pinpoint my elevator pitch. I am determined not to fall into the Martyr category like I have in so many previous roles. With a bit of work on my confidence and pitch, I’m going to hustle into the balance. It’s developing every day, each time I practice on a new person, and as I grow my different projects. My elevator pitch today will likely be different from my elevator pitch at the end of this 30 days, and even more-so in six months.
Instead of fearing these types of conversations, we should embrace them as opportunities to work on self-confidence and the message for our company or project. Repetition is key – starting to talk about what we do will help us get used to talking about what we do!
We recommend that you check out Vignesh Valliyur’s video, The Art of Presentation , to get some tips on public presentations and Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk to learn about body language and impactful communication .
 Cuddy, Amy. Video: Your Body Langauge Shapes Who You Are. https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are 7 Feb. 2017.
Record a short video of yourself on your phone or computer explaining your idea/company.