Life, much like a startup, has multiple stages, phases and evolutions. As an entrepreneur, I've spent the last 13 years pitching ideas and building platforms and it just occurred to me that life, as I know it, has many similarities to business.
From pitch to pivot, startups require creativity, endurance and courage. There's a lifespan and an order of growth that follows a methodology for success. When applied to life, the comparisons make a lot of sense. I started to take a look at my life through a business lens. Let's start with the pitch.
In the startup world, your pitch can make or break the interest in your idea. It's your unique selling proposition and the essence of your business captured in a few brief sentences. For most, it's your first impression and for some, a lasting impression of your business forever.
In life, the pitch happens daily -- when you introduce yourself to a potential client, interview for a new job or when you make new friends. How you tell your story can greatly impact the perception your audience has about you. Does your story align with who you are, right now?
1. Pick a Niche. Stand For Something.
I took a moment to think about my pitch and noticed a need for some major revisions. The number one question people ask me is, "What do you do?" I usually give them a vague combination of digital media and social strategy. In actuality, I have a passion for linking people to spaces, places and resources that help them reach their dreams. It sounds pie in the sky, but the number one reason why I launched The Greenhouse Innovation Hub, a technology incubator in Kakaako, was to create a place where we could cultivate creativity and ultimately, help people reach their dreams.
Committing to a specific niche or purpose will bring clarity to who you are and refine your story to others. Which brings me to my next point.
2. Get Real. Be Authentic.
By being authentic about your story and speaking your truth, people will not only hear, but they will feel your passion for the journey and buy-in to your mission.
Go beyond the title and dig deep to your core. Find a niche that you are passionate about and stick to it. Fear of committing to a niche lead me to believe that by keeping things vague, I could serve a larger amount of people, when in fact, I wasn't being true to myself and my passions. I took on jobs on I didn't enjoy resulting in a lower standard of work. It's ok to say no. You don't have to solve everyone's problems.
3. The Pitch Can and Will Evolve.
My personal brand was built on old information and experiences and no longer served who I was. Going through many life changes over the past few years, not to mention, exiting my twenties just last month was a huge transition for me.
I didn't take the time to look at myself and change my pitch. Realizing this imbalance, I took focus off my old skill set and focused on more recent experiences. I evolved the story about my career path to include leadership and management roles -- a stark contrast from branding myself as a web designer.
Being aware of my pitch has brought me to where I am today and it's the first step in an ongoing process of growth in this business that I call life.
Have you thought about your pitch lately? It may be time for a revision. With a little bit of focus and a solid "build-measure-learn" feedback loop, you can refine your story.
If you're looking for more resources on building and refining your startup pitch, visit this Business Insider article on the best startup pitches of all time. In part two of the three-part "Life As A Startup" series, we'll take a look at "the launch" and the importance of taking action in your life, now.