the elevator pitch of life
As I've been taking course after course in on-line marketing strategies, I've always been stumped very early on by the 'elevator pitch'.
If you don't know, the pitch is a quick summary that you can give to someone about what you do for a living in the time it takes to ride in an elevator.
I do shiatsu, sure. And I could explain all the where-as's and what for's. But does this really tell someone what I can do for them?
Prompted by Steve Pavlina, I've often considered his "message and medium" idea... our 'purpose' in life is our message, our medium is how we deliver and live that message. The medium could be writing, speaking, teaching, painting, singing. It can be anything, and it can change, while the core 'message'.. the 'why am I here?' stays pretty much the same.
I've retooled, reworded, re-purposed, and rewritten my message. Sometimes it hits the mark and it rings, other times not so much, as I try to get closer to matching my words to what I feel like I'm really offering.
'Stepping into your power', 'Offering a path to your greater health and well-being', 'Helping you find your inner truth, and your authenticity'.... blabitty blah blah.
High and mighty words. Maybe true, but really? What does that all mean, and is that what I'm really doing? And more importantly, is that what people want? Or even know they want? (...because we are still talking about marketing here, after all...)
So, I was pondering this one night, and then I was thinking, well, what I really feel like I'm here for, first for myself, and then for others, is to remember our Oneness. Still lofty, and yet, I've written before about how we can best express our shared divinity by helping each other along the path that is life. In big and small ways. To treat each other as though we're all in this craziness together and do what we can to make it all just a little easier for one another.
As a shiatsu practitioner, can I translate the features of what I do into this experience? Let's see:
You want more energy... so your life will be easier.
You want less pain... so your life will be easier.
You want to feel more relaxed.. so your life will be easier.
You want your digestion to improve... so your life will be easier.
You want your headaches to go away.. so your life will be easier.
You want to feel less overwhelmed... so your life will be easier.
Yeah. This seems like a small thing... a little more humble than "Helping You Reclaim Your Personal Power (Power... power... power...." imagine the echo here....)
But this is something I can effortlessly connect with. My purpose here on this earth? To help you make your life a little easier. What can shiatsu do? It can make your life a little easier.
Whether it's in a shiatsu session, or something I wrote, or allowing you into traffic ahead of me, or taking responsibility, or calling you when you're going through some crazy shit... this is a purpose I can easily wake up to every morning, no matter what else the day may hold.
This 'pitch' is a simple and do-able compass for me that can guide all my actions and words, in and out of my therapist mode... "will this action or statement makes someone's life easier or harder?" It frames an intention I can set before I get out of bed every morning... kind of along the lines of St. Francis' prayer, "Lord, make an instrument of thy peace..", or Caroline Myss' recognition of us each being a "channel for grace".
And so the intention is, "Allow me to see opportunities today in which I can help make someone's experience just a little better. Or at the very least, avoid making it any harder..."
Maybe in time, and with enough practice in just this deceptively simple intention (because there are plenty of times when making someone else's life easier is SO not at the top of my list) I can go back to complicating and gussying up my marketing message with fancy words about optimal health and well-being.
Still working on the exact words of my pitch, but for now, I offer you my current simply descriptive and only slightly-tongue-in-cheek tagline:
"Better Living Through Shiatsu".
(UPDATE: 1/6/15 - This post was drafted in July of 2009, and for some reason never finished. Since then my tagline had changed about 53 times. I've since given up the whole tagline thing for now, and settled on "Bodywork. And more." You can't really argue with that. I still, however, hold to the intention of trying to help make people's lives easier.)
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