Panel speaking at BlogathonATX.
Recently I’ve done lots of speaking and presenting.
I’ve chatted about topics ranging from rebranding to finding your (writing) voice.
I’ve provided my
perspective on the Power of the Pivot and had an opportunity to do a What You Can When You Can fitness demo on TV.
Even with all this experience, I still have a moment of panic before each appearance when I remember I have no elevator pitch.
I possess no short, snazzy sales sentences which capture who I am, what I can do for you and why you need me.
Obviously I’m not in sales in the traditional sense, yet I believe we are all constantly selling.
Ourselves, our brands, our stories—all of it.
Back before my re-branding I possessed a clear and succinct pitch.
I knew who I was (MizFit!), what I did (I showed people fitness isn’t about fitting in!), and how I did it (counseling background + trainer-knowledge = helping people become Unapologetically Themselves).
After my rebranding? Not so much.
- I know who I am
- I know what I do
- I know how I do it
- I know what makes me unique
I possess no clear vision (yet) of how it all comes together into a nice 20 second package.
The first time I realized this void was when I had the opportunity to be a guest on Charlie Gilkey’s Creative Giant Podcast.
In chatting with Charlie about how my brand has grown, I found myself sharing I no longer had a snappy definition of Carla as writer/blogger/brand and I was OK with that.
(yes I surprised even myself)
I spoke to him about the feeling of awkwardness in no longer having a perfected elevator pitch and how I’ve chosen to sit in that place of discomfort.
(yes I surprised even myself)
I shared with him the circuitous path to creating the first incarnation of my brand. We discussed how my pitch emerged naturally from process. I spoke about how I knew this course couldn’t be rushed.
Since that day I’ve consciously chosen to live in the space of being uncertain of my tight, polished brand-definition.
I’ve worked not to create a buzzword-filled elevator pitch of nonsense and remain in the uncomfortable place of not knowing.
Albert Einstein said it best:
I’m complex. I’m many things.
My rebranding is complex. My rebranding may result in something I don’t yet foresee.
For now I’m OK being Carla Birnberg and doing the work to figure out where I’m heading.
A writer who shares stories in effort to spark reaction of I feel that way! You feel that way, too?? I’m not alone.
A woman who’s leading an Unapologetically Myself life in effort to show others they, too, can do the same if they choose.
No polished pitch.
Not right now.
I’ve chosen to sit in the space.
- Are you able to BE in the space of your awkward moments?
- Can you embrace the discomfort of where you are versus where you want to be?
Angela @ Happy Fit Mama saysDecember 2, 2015 at 4:32 am
Now you’ve got me thinking – Do I have an elevator pitch? I know I could pull a few tag lines but it would probably like a run on sentence which describes it perfectly. ?
Allie saysDecember 2, 2015 at 5:07 am
Yes!…and no. Somedays I’m more ok without knowing exactly what my goal(s) is/are but others…not so much. Good to know that on the days I don’t have it “all together” I’m not alone 🙂
Susie @ SuzLyfe saysDecember 2, 2015 at 5:51 am
After so many years of bouncing around, doing all sorts of things, I finally had to realize that I never have been easily able to be put into a box. That is why I like my “coach” moniker–I can be so many things to so many people!
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home saysDecember 2, 2015 at 6:23 am
I’m trying really hard to stick to my mission, which is to write about running (and life) and to inspire others. Now I have to figure out what to do with this humidifier that I have to review…don’t ask…
lindsay Cotter saysDecember 2, 2015 at 6:43 am
having no elevator pitch makes you authentic, genuine, real, relatable. Which is why i trust you and love you for always being that way! Keep at it. 😉 please?
Coco saysDecember 2, 2015 at 6:45 am
No time for sitting and pondering. I think I like it that way. (Avoidance. )
Pamela Hernandez saysDecember 2, 2015 at 7:02 am
I think I finally do get what this thing I created is. It’s exciting and hard to contain in 30 seconds. So I won’t try…
Melissa @ Married My Sugar Daddy saysDecember 2, 2015 at 7:25 am
I LOVE this post so much. At 42 years old I am a work in progress I have no cut and dry definition of who I am and what i do and I kind of like it that way because it gives me permission to be open to whatever possibilities that come my way. I think it is also a great way to teach our kids – through our own actions- that you don’t have to be confined to a box- to just one thing- that you can be defined by so much and that as your life unfolds you need to be open to all of it.
Sagan saysDecember 2, 2015 at 8:05 am
I like to THINK that I'm capable of embracing the discomfort and sitting in the awkward space… but I'm not sure if it's true.
Something I'll be pondering about all day now…
Carol Cassara saysDecember 2, 2015 at 8:07 am
“Rules.” They’re meant to be broken, especially by those of us with life experience and a few years under our belts. Love this.
Presley @ Run Pretty saysDecember 2, 2015 at 8:26 am
I can’t even introduce myself in small social situations, much less in front of a crowd. I swear I come off as the most shallow person in the world but it’s really that I am completely unable to describe myself without being like OMG YEAH I LOVE STUFF and SOMETIMES RUNNING and LIFE and WOO!
I dig “Carla, Currently” so keep on keeping on.
Adela saysDecember 2, 2015 at 8:32 am
For the longest time, I had no succinct way of saying it besides “I’m a freelance writer and blogger.” What do I write about. Lots of things. Sometimes technical, sometimes opinion, sometimes interviews of interesting people I meet, sometimes about places I go. I write fiction, and I write non-fiction.
I kept hearing that I need to focus. But I like a lot of things. I resisted getting into a box.
Then one day it hit me. First and foremost I’m a writer. I write about people, places, and things. OMGosh, I’m a NounWriter.
liz saysDecember 2, 2015 at 8:39 am
I am awkward all the time, so I am used to it.
I have been told that I should have a “pitch” when I talk about my website. I had someone who is good at that sort of thing write one for me. But I don’t use it. 🙂
I would rather be authentic and awkward than sound like a sales person.
I don’t even know what I am selling? I am just me. I write for myself and to connect with other people. Since I do not have a clear goal “where I want to be” I’ll just keep living in the middle. I”m cool with it.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine saysDecember 2, 2015 at 8:57 am
I like it! I know I don’t! I just say what I’m thinking of myself and brand at that time! It certainly evolves!
GiGi Eats saysDecember 2, 2015 at 9:32 am
I am awkward all day long, every day – it would be weird if I were not awkward – LOL – so since I am so familiar with awkward… It’s NORMAL for me! ha ha! So yes, I certainly embrace it! Weird = my brand and I am totally okay with that!
Jody - Fit at 58 saysDecember 2, 2015 at 10:22 am
My life is one big awkward moment of discomfort! 🙂 I never was able to get the 20 second thing.. I am always a work in progress … 🙂
Charlie Gilkey saysDecember 2, 2015 at 10:42 am
Keep doing you, Carla. We don’t want to see an elevator pitch – we want you in 4D.
BTW, I’m so proud of you for embracing Carla Birnberg as “the brand” as opposed to “MizFit.” I’m glad it got you there, but it was keeping you from here.
Dr. J saysDecember 2, 2015 at 11:03 am
I’ve loved watching your growth over the years, Carla!
I hadn’t heard that Einstein quote. I’m glad he thought that way. I had heard it said that if you can’t understand an insurance salesman it’s because they don’t want you to 🙂
Susan Williams saysDecember 2, 2015 at 11:12 am
You pose a great question. I guess I am able. I guess I can embrace it.
I guess if I’ve learned anything surprising by this point in my life, it’s that my expectation of having things all settled and figured out by the time I reached this age in my life have gone unmet.
I’m still learning. I’m still figuring things out. I’m still evolving, and open to it.
In some places, I’m going back to my roots, and glad of it.
In other areas, I’m just now discovering how far outside my perceived comfort zone I can attempt to go, and discover that “I can do this, too!” So, that’s a good thing, I think.
Laurel Regan saysDecember 2, 2015 at 12:57 pm
I’ve always struggled with coming up with an elevator pitch, mostly because I’m a nicheless life blogger who writes about a lot of different things and isn’t really selling anything (though I do like the notion of selling our stories!). Sometimes I think awkwardness is MY brand. 😉
Marcia @ Menopausal Mother saysDecember 2, 2015 at 6:07 pm
It’s so funny, because I know what I want and where I need my writing career to go, but whenever people ask me, I tend to get tongue-tied and come across as someone who has no clue what I’m doing with my life. I need to get my elevator pitch ready before I go to ERMA 2016!
Deborah saysDecember 2, 2015 at 6:14 pm
Not sure I’m that good with awkward moments but always happy to admit to my weaknesses or challenges!!!
I struggle with the elevator pitch thing and for me it’s two-pronged – who I am and what I do.
Prior to my seachange it was easy. I was a project manager (etc). I worked in government. I did this or that. It wasn’t until I left that world I realised my identity was very wrapped up in my profession and my work. Who was I if I was no longer those things?
I’m not sure I’ve worked out the answer but am better at accepting it! (If that makes sense!)
Cheryl saysDecember 2, 2015 at 7:18 pm
Who and where could I BE, if it not for who and where I currently AM? No discomfort here…I love my life and what I do and what I have been doing for the past 40 years. Exactly where I want to be right now.
She Rocks Fitness saysDecember 3, 2015 at 5:42 am
OMG…I’m in the process of rebranding and have felt so scatter brained as to how I am going to put all these ideas of who the new me is and what the new me is going to be about…Reading this has put me at ease, because I 100% agree with you. It’s hard to put it all down in a short sentence. I am so not a sales person either…I don’t sell…I just tell! XOXO
Jen saysDecember 3, 2015 at 6:11 am
Hmmm… Got me thinking. Do I really know my brand? Who I am? What I stand for? My goals? Not so sure. Time to reflect.
Sitting in the awkward spot? For sure. I am doing that right now waiting for the next steps to find out what health issues we are facing with my son.
Personal/family/branding – it all comes together.
messymimi saysDecember 3, 2015 at 11:32 am
It’s not easy, and i do not do it gracefully.
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table saysDecember 3, 2015 at 2:05 pm
I hear you on this! I’m the queen of winging it. I know enough about myself and what I do well to yammer away with awkward confidence.
Gingi Freeman saysDecember 3, 2015 at 4:14 pm
I have found myself in random positions of having to public speak, and its AWFUL for me since I HATE public speaking!!! How do you do it?! TIPS PLEASE! lol… – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com
Abby @ BackAtSquareZero saysDecember 3, 2015 at 7:36 pm
I am a hot mess who loves way too much – family, friends, social media, running, coaching, teaching, and food, but not olives. Can that be my new pitch??? hehehehe
Farrah saysDecember 4, 2015 at 6:08 pm
I am so bad at presentations (but that’s definitely something I’m hoping to work on)! I’ve had to work on an “elevator pitch” of sorts because I’ve been doing interviews all over the country, but I tend to be more verbose than I need to be, so it’s never been a 20-second type of deal, hahah. 😛
Your second question was actually kindasorta one of the questions I got asked! I’ve learned to more or less embrace the uncomfortable-ness of not knowing though!
Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com saysDecember 4, 2015 at 7:38 pm
hi Carla! I’m just getting around to read this and I love it. I think because in spite of the fact that marketers tell you that you HAVE to have a pitch…you’ve found something better. The peace to be yourself in any moment. I tend to believe that our “consciousness” is so obvious that regardless of what we say, people who resonate with it will respond accordingly. Even if you might be able to sell someone with a perfect pitch, if they don’t resonate with you they won’t be happy anyway. Far better to be yourself and find the peace that happens when you do. ~Kathy
KCLAnderson (Karen) saysDecember 5, 2015 at 10:16 am
Lately I’ve been feeling super awkward and at the same reminding myself that awkward is part of it all. Embracing the discomfort. The Ross quote is going up on my wall ASAP.
Jess @hellotofit saysDecember 5, 2015 at 9:44 pm
Ohhh how I love that Tracee quote! I can totally apply that to a theme for yoga…
And me? I’m learning to go with the flow more. Less freaking out about the in-between, more “eh, I’m okay. Let’s see where it takes me”.
Jessica @ Nutritioulicious saysDecember 8, 2015 at 1:46 pm
I have struggled with an elevator pitch for as long as I can remember. I’ve never been able to fully define what I do in less than 30 seconds. I almost hate introducing myself to new people who don’t know who I am at all because I don’t know how to concisely define myself! Thanks for making me feel that’s ok!
Jacob Hoban saysDecember 18, 2015 at 4:32 pm
“I’ve worked not to create a buzzword-filled elevator pitch of nonsense and remain in the uncomfortable place of not knowing.” I love this. Thank you for sharing your perspective on this topic, provides much valuable information to reflect on.
Lynne saysDecember 21, 2015 at 8:15 am
I just love what she said, ” I am learning everyday to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be…even if it is the most awkward…to be where I find myself…without an elevator pitch!!!Really great!!!