A new year… a tidy desk and a new challenge
Sometimes, I get all compulsive and feel the need to tidy.
It happened one morning last week and consequently, the kitchen is cleaner than it has been for a long time, my laundry is folded and stowed, socks paired and my desk; well I will let you judge how tidy my desk is for yourself from the photo.
Now I have no excuses for not getting on and completing my Business Brand Photography course.
I was introduced to this course when I was in Scotland with Jo and Pip last October. I had stumbled across the free online Business Brand Photography challenge on Facebook signed up prior to the trip to Scotlandand with a “what’s the worst that could happen” mindset.
I have signed up for similar things in the past and they have always been webinars (pre -recorded it would seem) with fake AI bots that are purportedly taking your questions but which invariably reply with an ambiguous answer picked from the questionable list. There is also a live chat view which (if you sign up a second time) you will notice has the same people saying hello and writing the same comments at the same time during the webinar.
This is intended to give you the impression that this is a live presentation with the promise that, at the end, some amazing business secret will be revealed. After forty five minutes the amazing secret turns out to be that if you sign up for x amount of pounds you will become an overnight success with all of the trappings of the millionaire life style. All horse dung of course and I usually walk, or click, away with nothing to show except for the empty feeling of time wasted and intellegence insulted.
The Business of Brand Photography challenge however was an entirely different experience and all the better for that. It even convinced me to invest some money in the full course but that is getting ahead of the story.
The first day was a live facebook session during which Gillian Devine introduced herself, the challenge and the first training (is that a word?) which was an introduction to the elevator pitch.
Now this was not an alien concept to me. It is basically a short, rehearsed speech of thirty second or so script that you might say to a stranger or prospective customer in a lift. It should ideally describe who you are, who you help and how you help them. Interestingly, having worked for one of Her Majesty’s larger ministries, I have been subjected to many elevator pitches. One of my favourites actually happend to a colleague of mine who, on one of his first days at the ministry, happened to be in a lift with a minister (let’s call him Jack).
“Hello”, said the minister . “I’m Jack and I am the ?????? Secretary. Who are you and what do you do?”
“I’m Steven”, (not his real name) ” and I work in the !!!!!! department, responsible for…”.
“Well it’s nice to meet you Steven.” said Jack as the lift doors opened and he stepped out.
You can imagine that Steven was pretty excited by his encounter and for the next few days, told anyone who would listen.
A couple of weeks later Steven is in a lift when who should get in but Jack.
“Hello, I’m Jack and I am the ?????? Secretary. Who are you and what do you do?”
Steven was deflated.
Ah well, poor Steven, but, armed with that knowledge and Gillian’s training I knew that my pitch needed to be sincere and that I need to remember those people that I am pitching to. I wrote myself a short script and practiced saying it to myself over and over. After a few attempts I managed to get through the whole pitch without stumbling over my words too much and I felt pretty good. With day one’s challenge completed I could not wait to tune in on the second morning eager for the next instalment.
Now this is already a far more interactive event than anything I had previously signed up to but Gillian laid down a challenge for day two that took things to a completely different level.
“So you have created and practiced your elevator pitch,” says Gillian, “your challenge for today is to broadcast it on Facebook live!”
Well suffice it to say that I do use Facebook quite a bit and I have seen people using Live but I have never been brave enough to go Live myself. To avoid the embarasment of being overheard, I snuck out of the house and headed for the banks of the loch. Here I presented my pitch where no one could hear. Twice actually because I messed up the first attempt. What was interesting was that after “doing the do” as Gillian would say, I felt great. I felt as though I had landed some huge deal. I hadn’t of course and no one outside of the training group would ever see it, but it certainly felt like I could introduce myself to anyone and you never know, maybe land a deal (even if it was only with the Egret who had been watching me from the shallows.)
On day three Gillian gave continued with some marketing ideas and another challenge that proved very interesting. I won’t go into detail as I do not want to steal Gillian’s thunder and anyway it would spoil your experience should you decide to sign up for the challenge yourself. It is fair to say though, that by the end of day three I had signed up for the full course and in the process comitted myself to spending more on my self development than I ever have before.
Happy New Year. I hope that your 2022 has “Success” written all over it.