Day 4 of the Live your Legend blog challenge was to create an elevator pitch. I've created countless elevator pitches in my career for many different companies. I've even done them for myself. Back in my early days at Microsoft (2000), we went through some incredibly expensive sales training to help us become better Enterprise Solution Selling professionals. As part of my job, I had to create elevator pitches around each of the Microsoft product stack based on the client, their industry and their profession. So, the CIO got a different pitch than the CMO or the CEO. We were taught that you only have 7 seconds to make an impression. Now 17 years later, I'm tuning my own elevator pitch about myself for this current life stage that I'm in. It's just as hard as it was all those years ago.
Kim Matlock, Steve Ballmer (former CEO Microsoft) & Joe Cleveland (former CIO Lockheed Martin) 2004
What are you excited about?
I can't even begin to tell you how envious I am of the people who have figured out their passion AND have found a way to live it out. My problem is that I've always had too many personal passions that keep me interested in my downtime but I recognized that I'm not that good at any of them to derive a living from them. Even looking at what I do for a living, (digital marketing) there are now so many decent digital marketers that it really isn't that special either. However, the one thing that has always stuck with me is my insatiable curiosity about new technology. When other people might read trash novels (no offense, I like them too), I read, download and play with as much new stuff as I can. I've been interested in it ever since I was 12 and my dad brought home a suitcase that was a portable computer. I was hooked. It's probably why I really love the startup space. It is the unbridled enthusiasm that they all have that their product is the next greatest thing. It's so interesting to see how they've differentiated themselves or not. Many haven't, some haven't taken it far enough and others are just really incredibly smart and may actually have something. So, it hits me that I really get excited about technology disruption and how it affects consumers. I spend most of my free time just taking it all in. Why not advise others who aren't as passionate about it to keep them up to speed to take advantage of it so that they don't fall behind? The pitch begins to form.
Why am I excited about it?
The article points out that if you can't explain why you get excited about it, why would anyone else? One of things Bill Gates used to talk about at Microsoft was Moore's Law - that computing power will double every two years. He predicted correctly that technological advances in all sectors would continue at that pace too. And we are seeing it every day: mobile devices, nano tech, virtual reality, robots are all getting more sophisticated. There are so many time saving tools and languages that are making programming much easier to create new solutions. Even visual code blocks are in a format that's easy enough for a 7-8 year old to program a robot. There's so much being developed every day that it is changing the world at an alarming rate. At Microsoft we had a saying that every day was like "drinking from a fire hose". Now the entire world is drinking from that fire hose. It's exciting to learn about what's coming up next. Who wants to be left behind? I don't.
How will it help people?
It really isn't many people's day job to keep up with advances that could be exploited to give their business an edge over their competition. Most folks get caught in their every day pattern that
makes its hard to look up and find out what and when it's time to take advantage of something new or improved. Usually, there are one or two champions in any given department that has seen the forest for the trees but it is often difficult to get buy-in or budget from leadership. It is usually a disinterested third party that isn't mired in any internal politics who tends to be the value add in justifying a certain course of action or direction.
Who does it serve?
I'm fortunate that my particular passion affects everyone in any business.
How does it uniquely tie into my story, passions, talents and/or experience?
I have one of the weirdest career journeys ever. On paper, it may seem rather random. I worked in bank when I was in college studying for biology. I got a job in a banking data center to test software for banks. I was hungry to learn as much as I could about the systems and was fortunate enough to take on many different roles (QA testing, programming, project management, program management, training, business analyst. The internet was just getting going and I got hired at a banking startup. Long hours. Unfinished software. Unhappy customers. Lot's of pressure. It was great. When it started to stabilize, I went to another startup and I seemed to keep on that pattern even when I went to Microsoft. I worked on startup teams (helping customers build solutions and technology evangelism) with new missions to get customers to adopt new technologies. I even started my own startup (and failed). I went on to an iconic brand that acted like a 40 year old startup. For me, it's all about rolling up your sleeves, making things work and creating delighted customers. I've done it for so many of Microsoft customers and others that I've got the battle scars and experience to help others navigate around any pit falls to enjoy more success.
Why do I care and why should the world care?
Technology is rapidly changing the way the world works. Businesses that can’t or don’t know how to adapt will watch their business die. Unnecessarily. Change doesn’t have to be scary or expensive. Get help from someone who is passionate about staying up to date on the latest shiny objects, who has the experience to know what will work and the ability to get it done.
My Elevator Pitch
Hi, I'm Kim Matlock and I'm a Digital Disruption & Growth Hacking Advisor. By evaluating new or improved technologies, testing product updates and checking out the truth of what digital marketing actually works, I use my experience to help businesses adopt the right disrupting strategies, technologies & marketing storytelling to dominate their digital initiatives into attracting & retaining their customers.
Whew! That was an exercise. What do you think? Get in touch or leave a comment.
Kim Matlock is currently the Head of Matlock Digital Group. She is a self-proclaimed girly geek, life-long LOTRs fan, loves wine in a platonic way, enjoys taking terrible pictures & overshares too much on social media. You can get in touch with her at firstname.lastname@example.org