Shel Silverstein’s classic parenting allegory, The Giving Tree, is a story where the tree (referenced as she/her) gives up every piece of herself to help a young boy.
The story was always a bit disturbing – as if the badge of parenting – and more specifically, motherhood, was to give away all of oneself until one had nothing left. We recently came across this re-write that was imagined by playwright and screenwriter Topher Payne. Payne re-titled it “The Tree Who Set Healthy Boundaries” and you can read the newly edited version here.
Our favorite part is that the tree “took courses online and got her certification in small business management”….and went on to operate a profitable bakery (selling apple pies!) with the boy.
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving – with healthy boundaries and successful business operations!
This article from Politico entitled “You Are Mommy Tracked to the Billionth Degree” explores how the concept of the flexible workplace has been shifted due to the pandemic. Women, who were more likely than men to request flex/hybrid schedules in the past, used to face a penalty since they weren’t considered to be “real” members of the work team. But after 18+ months of many people working at least in part from home due to COVID restrictions, businesses are now re-evaluating how hybrid work my now be the future of a lot of white collar jobs. Whether or not there will still be a penalty for working remotely – or whether it will become a new norm – is yet to be seen.
Kat Weaver completed the Women’s Entrepreneurship certificate program in early 2020 and just wrote in to tell us how much she learned and how it helped propel her to start her second company, Power To Pitch.Kat wanted to share some of her wisdom with the students in our program and we are so thankful that she graciously agreed to let us post her advice on our website. Kat states:
Are you making these pitch presentation mistakes?
If you’ve positioned yourself for an opportunity in front of an investor, retailer, or to pitch at a business competition you might only have one chance to make a lasting impression.
I’ve seen the same mistakes made over and over, essentially costing great business ideas and their owners, funding, partnerships, and opportunities.
My name is Kat and I’m the founder of Power to Pitch. I started my first business, Locker Lifestyle in college after being a victim of theft. I had no money to launch so I entered every pitch competition I could find, eventually winning all 22 of them.
After receiving hundreds of questions from individuals asking how I won six figures worth of equity-free funding, I founded Power To Pitch to help entrepreneurs build the confidence to pitch themselves to success.
Here are my top tips to get yourself ahead of the competition:
LEAD WITH YOUR STORY, WHY, OR INSPIRATION: I see most entrepreneurs lead with the explanation of their product or service which does not hook or emotionally connect with the audience. I coach every business owner I work with to start with their story. Whether it’s a grant judge, investor or retailer you’re looking to impress, think of the number of pitches they hear all day. What will stick out? Think – they’re investing in YOU as an individual before your business.
TALK COMPETITION. Most business owners are afraid to bring up their top competitors. Instead, think of this as an opportunity to put yourself ahead. I don’t recommend outright bashing who they are and what they do. Instead, talk about their core offerings, THEN lead into how you’re better. Be as specific as possible to showcase that you’re aware of the market you serve.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THE MONEY? One of the biggest mistakes I see is the lack of specificity when talking about the allocation of funding. If you’re pitching for a grant or to an investor, they will want to know EXACTLY what you need the money for and how it will be used. For example, if you’re applying for a $10k grant and you say “we need it for marketing, web development, and packaging”, you’ve already lost your audience. You need to be as specific as possible when describing your business needs. The more detail you can give, the more confidence they will have in you. Instead, say something along the lines of “we need $2,500 for ad spend in Facebook marketing to reach x demographic in x time with a goal ROAS of x. We need $5,400 to hire a developer to optimize the homepage and checkout of our website to optimize our sales funnel for x amount of customers driven to our site each month.” and so on.
There is no EXACT formula to writing a pitch, but by avoiding these mistakes, you are already ahead of the competition!
Many thanks to Kat for sharing her wisdom with us and allowing us to post it on our site. If you want to learn more about Kat and her pitch competition tips, head to www.powertopitch.com.
Stephanie Jones, founder of Women at Werk, an organization committed to providing women with empowerment and mentorship opportunities, was recently highlighted in a Florida Times-Union article. We were thrilled to hear about the positive experience that she has had in the Women’s Entrepreneurship certificate program (she is over half way through the program now) and look forward to seeing more of our students and program grads featured in regional and national news for their accomplishments! So glad to be a small part of Stephanie’s journey!