“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” –Benjamin Franklin
These days, its all about the timed pitch. My latest endeavor to secure investment and a brighter future for Good Clean Love has brought me into a few investment circles which require a timed and polished pitch. I have never had a hard time talking in my life until my recent attempt at a timed pitch, last week. The good news/bad news is that I get to try again tomorrow. However, instead of a repeat performance of the ten minute pitch, tomorrow night I only get three minutes.
Years ago, I gave up an acting career because of my phobia of memorization and few teen nightmares of forgotten lines. I realize that a significant rebellious teenager still lives in me and is completely resistant to memorizing and perfecting the stand up, perfect polished pitch. And yet, even within my resistance, I am confident that I am not interested in a repeat of last week’s performance anxiety.
The resistance doesn’t just come from my past performances. I have experienced more times than I can count the maxim that life is what happens while you are making other plans. These days especially, I am confronted continuously by life having its way with me and steering a course that, in the end, may be for the best, but was not where I had intended to go. Raising children is nothing if not an experience of being lead into situations that are frequently not on your radar. Just today, I found myself in a disciplinary meeting with my son that I probably should have seen coming, but didn’t.
The ups and downs of growing my product business are no different. The big wins usually come from seeming coincidental meetings and the losses sneak up from behind even when you think you have done all your homework. Maybe its just me, but my life and days have rarely had that shiny perfect appeal and approaching my fifth decade the urge to create it is increasingly less compelling.
Still, I know that Ben Franklin was right when he said that, “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” If this positivity quest has trained me in anything, it is that I want to get out of my own way and say yes to what I am trying to create, even if it comes in a different looking package. Helen Keller’s teacher, Annie Sullivan said “Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose – not the one you began with perhaps, but one you’ll be glad to remember.”
So, I am off to memorize a three minute pitch, with an open-minded view of it’s purpose.