Elevator Speech, Interrupted

Sue wealthmaker
Photo of me asking a question. (Photo by Michelle Hamelin)

This past week, I attended the 3-day Wealthmaker conference in Toronto, Canada. It was an wonderful event hosted by Pat Mussieux. The sessions focused on money, mindset and marketing — all topics of great interest to entrepreneurs. I also got to meet one of my internet buddies, Michelle Hamelin, who was co-sponsoring the event.

Most fun was attending with my sister and sharing a room for the first time in 40 years. We’ve both grown up a lot since we were pre-teens and did not have to resort to a line down the middle of the room to keep from fighting.

I have been tweaking my business recently — transitioning from my old career of ghostwriting to a new career of helping people write their own copy —  and used the event to debut my new elevator speech. I had spent considerable time wordcrafting and practicing this summary of my business. When someone asked what I did, my answer was supposed to be:

I am an author, speaker and content creation coach. I teach business owners how to write blogs, website content, and eBooks that help showcase their expertise, build their business, and make them more money.  I help with practical concerns (such as “What the heck do I write about?”) and mindset issues (such as believing that nobody cares what you have to say).  My clients are generally introverted, creative women who recognize they need to be more visible in order to grow their business.

I wish I was that eloquent. The truth is that I forgot everything I’d memorized and stumbled through something unintelligible about copywriting. So much for appearing poised or professional!

It was abundantly clear that my elevator speech was too long. Since there were coaches at the event, I asked one of them to help me edit it. My new elevator speech became:

I am a speaker, author and content creation coach. I help introverted, creative women become more visible online. I do this by teaching them how to write blog posts, website content and eBooks that showcase their expertise and help them make more money.

Much better, right? The only issue was that my new speech wasn’t memorized. So I had to pause and think before I answered the “what do you do?” question. Here’s what I learned (or re-learned, because I already knew this):

1. It is really hard to write your own stuff, even if you’re a professional writer.

2. Shorter is always better than longer.

3. No matter how good you think something is, you need to test it!

4. If what you’re doing doesn’t work, you need to try something else.

I’m really happy with my new elevator speech. As with most things in business, it got better because I ventured out of my comfort zone and asked for help!





Accountability Experiment: Day 30

success failureToday is the final day of my 30-day accountability experiment. I was trying to determine if accountability made a difference in my business and personal life.

I know many people who start a blog series and don’t make it to the end. They really did intend to lose those 50 pounds or train for a marathon. Then something happened, they didn’t make it to their goal, and they seriously regretting sharing their  journey in such a public fashion.

Yup. I’m one of those people. I didn’t post once during the final 2 weeks of my accountability experiment. Which is kind of ironic, given that posting daily was one of the things I’d promised to do!

A couple things happened. I had some medical issues with my stomach that involved a bunch of tests and medical visits, so I had less working time than I’d anticipated. I also aggravated some old ankle injuries while I was exercising, which involved even more tests and medical visits. It was hard to focus on incremental daily habits when I was facing more serious medical problems. Thankfully my stomach is improving. I have been wearing support braces on my ankles for more than two weeks, which looks dorky but the ankle pain is going away.

As for my work … I spent the last 14 days of the experiment working non-stop on my book. It took triple the time I had anticipated. I worked evenings and weekends. The rest of my “to do” list is not going to be done before tomorrow’s deadline.

So what did I learn about accountability?

I learned that we have different phases in our lives and our business. Sometimes I juggle a bunch of activities. In that case, I think accountability works fabulously as it can be a great motivator and push me to do things that I really, really don’t want to do.

There are other times when you just need to bunker down and focus on completing the task at hand. That’s where I have been. I was completely self-motivated and focused on the final result — finishing my book — to the exclusion of anything else. I would have done this, regardless of whether or not I had committed to do it.

Where I did fail was to keep any form of balance in my life. The exercise, stretching, strengthening, not snacking … I ignored all of those good commitments and put all my energy into writing. Would I do it differently next time? I don’t know.

I wish I had some greater insight to share, but I don’t. I would encourage you to try this in your own life and see what happens.

To Be Done Before October 10, 2014

  1. Send Proposal for Blogging workshop — DONE
  2. Finish “Make Time to Blog Workbook” — DONE
  3. Choose price for workbook — DONE
  4. Print test copy of workbook — DONE
  5. Investigate printing options and have small amount print — DONE
  6. Choose compelling name for free coaching session — DONE
  7. Add opt-in box to website header
  8. Add additional security/backup to website
  9. Add additional analytics code to website
  10. Add payment module to website
  11. Create new website with squeeze page
  12. Film short video for squeeze page
  13. Add 5 part freebie course to aWeber
  14. Add book sale to aWeber
  15. Add free coaching session to aWeber
  16. Finish elevator speech — DONE
  17. Develop free coaching session coupon for attendees at conference
  18. Keep blog posts are up to date



  • Stretch and strengthen
  • Elliptical
  • Daily walks (weather permitting)
  • Update finances
  • Vitamins
  • Healthy snack