Elevator Pitches and Polish

Last night, over dinner at Donohue’s, I was telling my boyfriend of ten months about Pink Wisdom’s brand new re-launch. Pink Wisdom has always been a website for women to dish about love, sex, and relationships, but now we were launching a whole new section for career advice. I’d found and interviewed dozens of female entrepreneurs who’d started their own companies and was gabbing on and on about how essential their tales would be to other women still pounding the pavement, how much support matters for the ladies of the business world. That is, until I looked at his face: Huh?
This was the first he’d heard about the site’s new focus. But apparently career advice is less wince-inducing than relationship advice, because he didn’t immediately change the subject to quail hunting as he usually does when Pink Wisdom comes up. Instead, he asked me to explain more about the new section. He is the Creative Director and Principal in an advertising and branding agency and knows a lot about these things, so his interest told me I was on to something.
I had his full attention. His body language was still, he was looking directly into my eyes (and not my cleavage, despite the silky cami I was wearing). I’ve seen that anticipatory glance before, but usually not in public, at least not in public when we’re talking about business. I knew I had to be quick and keep him engaged before those green eyes glazed over.
I hadn’t really thought about my elevator pitch before — you know, the three-sentence spiel that makes your audience think your idea is as ingenious as a square tomato. I just knew that if women like me spent less time obsessing about their love lives and more time on their career goals, they’d be happier and therefore in a better position to have healthier relationships. It sounded logical to me, but at the table I found myself gabbing almost too excitedly… “The segment connects innovators in their field with women who want to be innovators in their field! It helps women reinvent their lives! It helps them further their careers and expand their purpose in life!”
A slight frown line appeared between his eyes. I started to stutter.
“We are a high impact community of trailblazing women that want to help you! Or not you, but women!” I backtracked and rambled on. “Look, I am the start up for start ups! I help women get their message out! I connect innovators in their field with other women! This site helps people! This is a good PR op for my experts! I mean they are entrepreneurs and they need help too, right…It’s a friendly, down to earth place… it’s…”
I’d lost him. He was searching for the waitress to order another glass of wine. Suddenly I began to worry: was I having an identity crisis? How could I have pitched myself to be a Chinese restaurant, but send waiters out with tacos and margaritas?
Or are the two things more intuitively connected than that?
Here’s the truth. I am not polished; I am a work in progress. I’m figuring this out as I go along. I couldn’t answer my boyfriend because, hell, I don’t know the answers. I am a 47 year old former beauty queen with a failed marriage behind me, 2 teenage boys who have very little time or interest in “hanging with Mom,” an actress whose dreams haven’t come true, a woman who is in the process of reinventing her life, her career, and her purpose. That process of reinvention — and sharing the resources to make it happen — is what this site is really about.
Before I started Pink Wisdom, I had needed to hear relationship advice. I found experts, and I interviewed them. Then I realized how much time I spent considering the advice I’d been given, and figured other women might want to consider some of it, too. So I created the site for women like me: women trying to re-invigorate their relationships.
Of course, once I had a career, I needed to hear the career advice. Again I found experts and interviewed them. And then it hit me: This was my brand message. That if women like me spend less time obsessing about their love lives, and more time thinking about their own passions and career goals, they’ll have healthier relationships! Of course the two are connected.
Back at Donahue’s, I realized that my pitch was much simpler than I’d thought. “Listen,” I said. “It just makes sense for the site to combine the love stuff with the business stuff. I mean, we’re combining the two right now, aren’t we? A woman satisfied with her career is more available for a healthy relationship. The topics are intricately related!”
With that, he looked up to my eyes again, and said, “You’re right, Alison. With you happy and content and excited, it stands that I’ll benefit too… and hopefully not so long from now.”
Ah, men. But he’d certainly helped me polish my pitch. With that out of the way, stay tuned for upcoming blogs on how to have a great love life and turn your ingenious business ideas into realities. And because I’m such an excited rambler, I might even spill the beans about the cab ride home from Donahue’s!