You’ve got 3 seconds! What’s your personal elevator pitch?

Can you articulate it in 3 seconds?




You’re waiting for the elevator, and when the door opens the stranger standing inside asks you to tell him what that one thing is that you believe—before the door closes. (You won’t be getting on the elevator.) 

What would you tell him? 

I needed something to read before falling asleep the other night so I reached for a book my late friend, Linda, gave to me the Christmas before she died.  THIS I BELIEVE, edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman (in association with the NPR project by the same name). 

“I had to contemplate for a long time on this,” she wrote to me in the card, “for I believe many things. How does one declare publicly, leaving a footprint, what one believes in 300-500 words? Even for a flash writer like me, it was a difficult task.” 

As I started into the short writings from notables such as actress Helen Hayes, politician Newt Gingrich and scientist Albert Einstein, my mind swirled at the very complexity of that question, and it bothered me a bit that my own thoughts wrapped around more of what I don’t believe so much anymore. 

When we start to gather a few more miles along the pipeline, we—hopefully—get a little smarter, maybe a little stronger, and with a bit of luck– a little more honest.  Hopefully. 

Some of my thoughts after spending time with this book: 

  • I believe politics is just another human game, and the general welfare of the masses is not the central goal.
  • I believe Eastern medicine aims to heal; I believe Western medicine aims for something else. 
  • I believe ministers, priests, rabbis, imams and scientists don’t know the half of It, and the sooner we realize this, the better off we will be. 
  • I believe writers don’t have to apologize for what we write, but we have to own it. Forever. All of it. Tweets/blogs/Facebook/essays/novels. 
  • I believe nothing is ever going to be what I thought it would be. 
  • I believe I will never understand another’s spot on this planet, until I stand in it. 
  • I believe having expectations is the ultimate destroyer of anything. 
  • I believe things with four legs and fur, something newborn, or an honest coating of rich black soil on my hands brings me face to face with God. 
  • I believe the animal kingdom will always be smarter than the human one. 

Ultimately, however, my 3-second elevator pitch to the stranger would be this:

Kindness extended to all forms must reign sovereign.  

How about it?

What would you tell this stranger?




6 thoughts on “You’ve got 3 seconds! What’s your personal elevator pitch?

  1. Very nicely said… Plan to plagiarize your point.
    “writers don’t have to apologize for what we write, but we have to own it. Forever. All of it.”

    Maybe we should get busy developing a “pen name”.

  2. A great short essay–and a great challenge to all of us to know what we believe. Writers hear a lot about making elevator pitches to summarize and sell their writing projects. We should be equally prepared to state our core beliefs. You’ve definitely got me thinking!

    • Thanks, Patty, and thanks for reading and commenting. I still hope to make it through your site’s gate and be a commenter.

      This I Believe challenge thing is not easy, is it.

      I would be most interested to hear or read what you come up with from your own perspective.

      Let me know, will you?


  3. This blog is “by far” my favorite of yours. Your list of “I believe” matches mine to a “T.” You’re writing, “my dear friend,” just keeps getting better and better.

    • Welllll…..thanks, Mr. Ernst. I’ve had some side comments from a different location that says people seem to think they have to worry about me over this post. But they do not. Is it not most interesting to review how people react to our writing?

      When we reconcile to realities, we liberate ourselves. I think that can frighten people at first.

      Hope you have a good work week, and remember to take off and do some fun spirit-trip stuff when you need a break.

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