PO Box 37
Arlington, MA 02476




My wife gives me the look so I pick up the chase, tailing our three-year-old around the cul-de-sac (twice), up our driveway, through the garage, past the mud-room, around the kitchen island (thrice), and into the family room, where she finally collapses into her bunny chair, looks up at me intently, and says “Daddy, I’m sweatering.”

Now, I’m pretty sure she isn’t referring to her nursery school budget.

Or complaining about an over-zealous wing-man.

Or even commenting on her favoriteĀ pumpkin-lined sweater.


She’s sweating.

Plain and simple.

She uses the wrong word.

And it gets me thinking about your Elevator Pitch.

Because so many people get so attached to the wrong words.

Words about them.

Or their process.

Words that spark quizzical looks.

Somatic Coaching

Collective Engineering

360 Degree Leadership

It’s easy to mistake quizzical for engagement.

The humbling truth is that quizzical is closer to confusion.

And it’s not the good kind of confusion.

Good confusion: “So why didn’t I sign up for this three weeks ago?”

Bad confusion: “So what is it that you do?”

It sounds more compelling to us when we label our work.

So go ahead and label it.

Come up with a name for your process.

And don’t ever use it in your Elevator Pitch.


As clearly and simply as you can.

Use the words your customer already uses!

Create calm inside chaos (instead of Somatic coaching).

Delegate so work gets done (instead of Collective Engineering).

Enlighten leaders as to what their teams really think (instead of 360 Degree Leadership)

The Elevator Pitch is not a place to be clever.

It doesn’t require lots of thought or research.

It’s a place to be clear.



Your customers are already using words to describe your service.

Steal them!

Use them.

To attract more of your best customers.

What made-up words are you using in your Elevator Pitch?

Happy Networking!

6 comments on “Sweatering

    1. Anita,

      Thanks for a great observation! I find that simpler always brings better results. And it’s a continuous, ongoing challenge to keep communications simple.

      Happy Networking!

  1. Andy,
    You are a genius with words. I always get a snippet of sage business advice from your stories. It’s amazing what we can learn about simplicity from kids. And simple is most often the most successful.

    1. Lisa,

      Thank you for your kind words and your recent referrals! It’s a great networking story that I did an Elevator Pitch presentation at your Westborough location several years ago and now have several exciting opportunities from connections I made that morning.

      You continue to be a great resource for me and for small businesses. I appreciate it.

      Happy Networking!

    1. Lora,

      Thanks for putting a name to the example.

      You’re not the only somatic coach.

      You are the only “Calm inside the Chaos” coach.

      That’s differentiating!

      Happy Networking!

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