My three-year-old niece’s innocent question makes me realize that it’s worse than I thought.
It’s not just that no one knows where we are.
It’s that they don’t even know they’re supposed to be looking for us.
This story happened about 10 years ago,
So cell phones weren’t quite what they are today.
Still, I pull out my phone in an attempt to get a message to my brother.
And it gets me thinking about your Elevator Pitch.
Because the biggest challenge of business networking isn’t that people don’t know how to find you.
It’s that they don’t even know that they’re supposed to be looking for you.
And so many people make the mistake of trying to convince the person that’s standing in front of them,
Rather than focus on finding the people who are truly interested.
One of my clients recently landed a great new job.
She’s a CEO.
And during her job search she meets with many people who tell her she’s just not CEO material.
Which is amazing.
It’s amazing that they openly question her ability to do a job she’s been doing successfully for many years.
Fortunately, she meets plenty of the other kind of people.
The kind of people who know and appreciate just how good she is.
And one day she realizes the key to the whole thing:
“Andy, I guess I get to choose whether I want to work with people who don’t think I can do the job, or with people who think I’m great at my job.”
That’s the choice.
And it’s the same choice you have in growing your business.
You can attract the people who have an urgent need and budget for your services and know you will do great work for them.
Or you can valiantly try to convince the perpetually unconvinced of your exceptional value.
If you start any conversation defending your credentials, you can be pretty sure they’re not going to be a great client anyway.
It’s more productive to spend your energy becoming more visible to the right kind of people.
She and I are exploring around my parents house while everyone else is in the back yard.
We’re sitting under a tree in the front yard, when she turns to me and says:
“Uncle Andy, how long do you think it will take them to find us?”
That’s what I mean.
It’s going to be a long wait.
My brother doesn’t know he’s supposed to be looking for us.
Of course, the real danger is in disappointing my adorable three-year-old niece.
So I pull out my phone and call my brother.
“Hi. You don’t know this, but we’re playing hide and seek, and you’re the seeker. Please come find us in the front yard.”
It was easier to convince my brother to come find us than to convince my niece that we weren’t actually playing hide and seek.