I had an amazing day yesterday. I came 3rd in, “Pitchfest”, a pitching competition with a very elite panel of judges: Dale Murray (CBE), Daniel Priestley, Marcus Ubl, Guy Rigby and Ash Lawrence. The day was hosted at the end of the 40-week ‘Key Person of Influence’ business coaching program run by Entrevo.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I was gunning for the top position but top 3 was a must so I’m glad I met my minimum goal. I’ve always lived by the mantra, shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll still be among the stars. Ultimately, the winners won fair and square so I’m proud of them – both have become two of my best friends over the course of 40-week coaching program. The most important thing, however, was the lessons I learnt. There are 5 key lessons:
ONE: You Have Got To Be In It To Win It
I worked with a guy in investment banking who loved saying this, “You’ve Got To Be In It To Win It”, and it totally rang true on the day.
There were 40 people in my “class”; 25 people committed to take part in Pitchfest but on the day only 15 showed up. Of the 40 in my class only 2 or 3 had what I would call a genuinely good excuse for missing the day; for instance, two moved to far away lands – USA and Australia, respectively.
The rest in my opinion either didn’t believe they could win so they didn’t bother or weren’t prepared to put in the hard work required to make a 5-minute pitch and believe me, it was VERY hard work.
Frankly, I did fantasize about not bothering to put the work myself but I could never have lived with myself for paying for the programme and not seeing it through to the end.
Want to win? Then you’ve got to be “in it”, whatever it is, to win it.
TWO: Practice Makes Perfect
All the people that came out on top practiced their pitches endlessly:
95% of those that didn’t show up are likely not to have practiced much at all. The fact that I had been practicing since October was one of the driving forces behind me preparing myself and my 5-week old bambino for the all-day event; you don’t work that hard and give up at the last hurdle.
More or less, the people that practiced the most won the day. Success takes a lot of practice.
THREE: Success Is So Much More Fun When You Share It
After peer-to-peer pitching the top 10 people were announced in no particular order; I was announced quite quickly and when they got to person 6 and my buddy hadn’t come up, my heart started sinking.
She was announced last and my heart leapt with joy because I realized we had spoken so much about how we would be top two that I would feel like life hadn’t been fair to her if she didn’t make top 10. Like I said to her as soon as they announced her, it would have spoilt my day.
Success is no fun when you don’t have a team to enjoy it with.
FOUR: Be Yourself
Personally, I think Jutta and Sarah were fantastic at being true to themselves and their brand. At the end of the day I think that played a lot in their top ranking. I think I could have been that little bit better by being myself a little more.
You will attract a lot more success if you remain genuine and true to your “brand”.
FIVE: Participation Gets You Noticed
If you make it to top 10 at Pitchfest, even if you don't win, you attracted people to your business.
There were 200 people in that room. I went to Pitchfest with 10 brochures hoping to get queries and I ran out within 20 minutes. So many people came up to me and all the other contestants to wish us congratulations as well as to discuss potential partnerships.
In summary, just go for it. Success takes time and A LOT of practice but if you shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll still be among the stars.
Ms. Katsonga on Wealth
Heather Katsonga-Woodward: On Business, Life & Everything In-Between