A 2020 Realization. What If I Gave A Class and No One Came?
It has been well over 20 years since I have given a speech or presentation in front of a group. Why had I agreed to do a class on
“Writing Your Elevator Speech” for the Women’s Business Center training program?
Because I thought I could.
I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge. My glass is always half full – even if it’s empty. But this was really pushing my luck. I put the class together and was ready to present, but what if we offered it and no one came? Thankfully, 8 students came, but a couple left early. That was a clear sign it didn’t meet their needs.
Debbie has talked about doing another session, but there are a lot more presentors available now that she didn’t know about, so I doubt that it will happen. And I’m okay with that because I probably gained more than my students.
Realization No. 1
The time I spent on preparing to give that first course 2+ years ago, prompted me to search my soul for what I really wanted to do. I wasn’t happy with the presentation and it needed work. And what I realized was I didn’t know the answer to my class question – What Do You Do – for myself. I had an elevator speech, which was terrible, but it really didn’t answer the question. If I didn’t have one, how was I to help others craft theirs?
Realization No. 2
As I worked my way through several workbooks and other presentations, I realized what my mission was – To Pass It On, in honor of all those who had passed it to me over many years. That to do that I needed to have a website for them to get a weekly email with the link to my weekly blog posts. And that I had 25+ years of small business ownership in a retail economy and wanted to share my insights to success with those interested in having them.
Realization No. 3
I realized the internet programs had changed drastically since I had managed our stores sites, which we closed in 2014 when we closed the store. As I began researching Word Press updates and all the themes, I learned how much they had improved but I found myself lost in the shuffle.
I was fortunate enough to have found four wonderful ladies (whom you can find on my resources page) that have been selling their products and doing weekly blog posts since around 2003. I still get their email updates weekly and don’t know if I could have done it without their ideas and experiences.
I put together a budget in order to keep myself from falling subject to the shiny object syndrome. I’ve done pretty well, but have gotten suckered in a couple of times (not budget busters, but embarrassing).
Realization No. 4
As I progressed through the various steps needed to be successful, Debbie came back to me and asked me to be the Coach for a program called “Ms. Biz” being presented by the Women’s Business Center for Women startups. Of course, I said yes, and have enjoyed the 4 sessions of 64 hours of class time we’ve presented over the past year.
We’ve had about 36 enrollees, not all have finished, and I’ve had the privilege of helping several of them focus on their project, develop their elevator speeches, and move on. Knowing I made a difference in their journey is priceless (good thing because the time to coach is donated). But startups need all the help they can get at the cheapest price, and free makes it easier to get them to enroll.
And for me, the hours and help fit my mission to “Pass It On”.
Realization No. 5
And last, but not least, I realized that helping other women in business by teaching them to use a journal to run their business is my ultimate joy. Getting them to see the value of Journal Writing and running their business using a Content Strategy is a joyful experience. Helping them walk through a problem and brainstorming solutions is what I’ve done most of my adult life and seeing them succeed is wonderful.
And what I’ve gained through this journey?
- New friends
- The satisfaction of knowing I made a difference
- My own Elevator Speech –
“I’m Jana Hassett, an Innovative Problem Solver and Content Strategist that just happens to be in the business of Journal Writing.”
And to those 8 women who suffered through my return to the world of speech making, Thank you. It gave me the courage to enter the Chamber of Commerce Speed Pitch event two years running and I’m ready for the 3rd.
As for what’s next? I haven’t a clue, but I’m sure something will surface while I continue to help women in business. And sell and give away journals. Because “Journal Writing Matters”.
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