That’s So Yesterday

Recently, I was at a social gathering where I didn’t know anyone (that was the point – we were there to meet each other) and the inevitable get-to-know-you question of, “Where do you work?” was asked of me. I stumbled my way through my reply, but I can’t imagine I was clearly understood.

You see, I hadn’t practiced in a while.

The what-do-you-do? question was a lot easier to answer before I was self-employed. Now, I have to practice. The whole concept of having an “elevator speech” kind of ags me until one of these awkward moments arises and I find myself umm-ing my way through my response. So unprofessional. It’s impossible to sound like you really know what you’re talking about if you can’t even say what it is you do. So I have to concede those marketing professionals are on to something with the elevator speech.

But looking back (once I got past my embarrassment), I realized that, yes, I was rusty, but I was also stumbling because my usual reply was way out-of-date. Of course I wasn’t making sense; I was reworking the whole thing on the fly. I went into this rambling description of what I used to do and the new stuff I was developing – blah blah blah. Again, I can’t imagine I communicated much of anything worth knowing about my business.

I’ve been so focused on the internal transformation of Third Hand Works (shift from assistance to instruction) that it’s taken awhile for my external professional (self-) image to catch up to the change. Oh, yeah, wait, right – I don’t do that anymore… I do this now.

Turns out I’ve been working with one foot in the past and one in the present. So, with both feet now firmly planted in the present, I learned a new elevator speech or two. And I don’t waste time anymore telling people what I used to do.

* * * * * * * * * *

Are your self-image, professional presentation, and business mission in synch? Or are there elements of that ensemble that are as out-of-date as an old wardrobe? Does your marketing need a makeover like mine did?

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Third Hand Works

from overwhelmed to ready for anything | organization and time management for people in their "right" minds | administrative guidance for independent creative professionals [more info]

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© 2008 Cairene MacDonald, Third Hand Works. All Rights Reserved.

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