PO Box 920559
Needham, MA 02492




My piano teacher is surprised to hear from me after 10 years, but only because she doesn’t realize that her Elevator Pitch inspired me to pick up the phone and call her as the radio started playing Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy.”

Let me explain.

Back in 2002

One of the main perks

Of being single and unemployed

Was that I had time to

Play the piano for

Two hours a day.

I was taking lessons.

Writing songs.

And accompanying myself as I sang them.

A joyful distraction

In an otherwise stressful time.

Then I start my own business.

And I no longer have time

For the piano.

So I stop taking lessons.

Then I start a second business.

Get married.

Move to a condo in downtown Boston.

And have two kids.

No space for a piano.

No time for the piano.

But, during all these years,

My piano teacher sends me her

Weekly email newsletter.

Free Video Piano Lessons.

From Easy Piano Styles.


Even though I have no piano,

I spend five minutes

Watching the lesson.

And for a moment

For one delicious moment.

I’m back at the piano.

It fuels my desire

To play again.


Fast forward several years.

One particular email newsletter

Contains a lesson

On playing Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.”

In the meantime,

My wife and I buy a house.

And a grand piano.

Suddenly I’m playing the piano again.


And I recall

That long ago

An email newsletter

Mentioned Skype lessons.

Which would save me

Let’s see..

78 minutes of drive time.

Per 45 minute lesson.

Hmm. Interesting.

So I decide to call her.

To start taking piano lessons again.

Weeks pass.

Busy weeks.

I don’t call.

I want to.

I intend to.

I just don’t.

Until one day.

While driving home from my office.

Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” comes on the radio.

Oh yeah!

I’ve been meaning to call Deb.

So I do.

She’s surprised to hear from me.

To her, it’s out of the blue.

But for me,

I’ve been looking forward to

Making this call

For years.

It means

That I can take piano lessons.


From her.

She doesn’t know

That I’ve been planning to work with her again.

How could she?

Yet her email newsletter

Keeps me connected

To the piano,

And to her.

See, it’s not any particular thing she did.

It’s everything.

Over time.

It’s a fun weekly musical email.

It’s Skype lessons.

And the song “Happy.”


Your Elevator Pitch is working

When you least expect it to.

As long as you keep using it.

As long as you keep in touch.

It seems like  surprise.

But only to you.

To your client,

It’s the inspiration

To call you

When the time is right

For them.

Now that’s an effective Elevator Pitch!

4 comments on “Happy

  1. Awesome, Andy. Surely makes one want to start playing again. The grandkids love to “tinkle the ivories” and we sing fun nursery rhymes together. Looking forward to adding more voices to the choir next time you four visit. That would be eight little ones singing,”Juanito Quando Baila”

    Aloha and love from the NW Puako shore of Hawaii…..

    Aunt MA

    1. Hi Aunt Mary Anne,
      Thanks for checking in from Hawaii! And very much looking forward to “Winigs: The Musical!”

  2. Andy,
    What a great story.
    So true regarding our perceptions of timing.
    This was a very helpful theme today, reminding me that our efforts to stay in touch with people really do make a difference and it’s hard to predict what will prompt someone to reconnect.
    Thank you!

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