Ninety-nine percent of business pitches are complete trash and are a waste of time for you and the person you’re sending it to. I know because people are constantly “pitching” me ideas, but what they send me is anything remotely resembling a proposal. If you want to make a business pitch that works, here’s what you do.
An “idea” is not a pitch.
Sending someone a few paragraphs about what your business can do isn’t a pitch. It’s an idea, and we all have ideas. Successful entrepreneurs know ideas mean nothing. Execution is what matters most.
Your pitch should include a mock-up of what the business would look like.
Someone sent me a proposal for a t-shirt line. It was a few paragraphs. I didn’t respond.
Past experience has shown me that apparel is a tough business. My t-shirt company was a poor use of my time, so I closed it down. If someone can run this for me, great, it’ll be a 50-50 profit split as this is “found money” for me.
If you think you can run a t-shirt or apparel business for me, then I expect to see some graphics design work, logos, and at least a PDF of what a spec’ed website would look like.
If that’s too much work, all good. I won’t take it personally if you don’t want to spend a few hours articulating your vision of our company. Don’t take it personally when I don’t reply to you, either.
Stop asking to talk to me on the phone.
If you can’t articulate your business vision using the written word and graphics, there is nothing to talk about.
I can do a podcast or Periscope and reaches tens of thousands (often hundreds of thousands of people). Talking on the phone takes time and energy.
What are the odds that spending my time on the phone with you is a better use of my time than talking to the world through the power of the Internet?
Avoid taking rejection personally.
It’s nothing personal, it’s time management. As you know if you want to date beautiful women, they have options. The same is true of people you want to pitch. Men with options are busy, have many suitors, and you need to stand out. Any idea that you’re entitled to someone’s time, even “only 5 minutes,” is a time rapist’s mindset.
Similarly, I view a bad business pitch to me as rejection. You can’t spend more than 5 minutes typing out some bullshit? That says a lot about how you value working with me.
The people you want to pitch are busy.
I have a new puppy, a daughter on the way, a growing media empire, a podcast, blog, and am working on two documentaries in addition to finishing my Trump book.
That’s why you can’t get butt hurt when you are “ignored.” You’re not being snubbed personally. People are busy, that’s all.
If you don’t want to be ignored, then you have to put in a massive amount of work. Hey, don’t cry to me. Do you know how many years I worked to become Too Big To Ignore? (At least 15 years.)
If you’re rich, don’t order me around.
Lately rich people have contacted me ordering me to meet them at various places, often far from my home or cities I’m visiting. I do not respond to those messages.
Most journalists are desperate for a sugar daddy, and rich people assume that because I’m a journalist, they can order me around.
I am an author and do quite well, thank you.
While I’m happy to meet with people, remember that your social status or wallet means nothing to me. Money is easier to come by at this stage in my life than interesting people are.
“Be compelling” is my model for life, and it’s a slogan Seth Godin is fond of. Money is not compelling for me. Interesting people are. I’d rather meet with a “nobody” who is cool and has some insights than another basic-bitch billionaire like Botox Mark Cuban or wannabes like Chris Sacca.
If you do have a super busy schedule, then you need to ASK me, and if you want me to meet you somewhere out of the way, you had better send a car so I can work while en route, as I always work.
Again, if you don’t want to do that, cool. I don’t take it personally. Likewise, don’t cry when I ignore you.
“Show, don’t tell.”
What is the best pitch I received?
Cary Wan send me a proposal and I hired him immediate and referred him to several people. He is amazing.
He helped me build my e-mail opt-ins. Rather than tell me what he could do, he created a mock-up site.
There was no need for a phone call or any of that nonsense. He demonstrated he did great work and I sent him money to get started.
Some may find this criticism bracing, and that’s good.
Wasting times annoys me and other people you’re trying to pitch.
If criticism about your business makes you cry, then your pillow is going to be soaked.
90% of small business fail. The free market is far more ruthless than 1,000 words at Danger & Play.
If you want to run a business that pays the bills, learn how to make a proper business pitch.
Remember the key concepts:
- Show, don’t tell. Demonstrate what the business relationship would look like. It’s the Internet. You can host videos for free on YouTube.
- An idea isn’t a proposal. I have plenty of profitable business ideas, but executing them would take me too much time. I don’t need to hear anymore ideas.
- Rejection isn’t personal. It’s simply an issue of time management.
Unlike others who give business advice, I’m not up-selling you on any programs.
Everyone should start a business.
(And why 99% of Business Advice is a Scam.)
There’s a reason most advice on business proposals are genetic and feel-good.
That’s because they want to sell you on expensive courses that offer little value.
The truth is that making it in any business is brutal, and that’s why I usually advise people to work a real job, start a side business as a hobby, learn from your mistakes, and then go “all in.”
The many success stories ignore the 9 in 10 people who used the same “success methods” and failed.
"When successful people give advice, I usually hear it like this: 'These are the lottery numbers that worked for me…'" — @sivers
— wallingf (@wallingf) August 2, 2016
Entrepreneur, world-famous cartoonist, political commentator, and rich guy Scott Adams didn’t quit his day job to go all in with Dilbert until he had built an actual business.
He didn’t quit his day job to “follow his dreams.” Adams worked full time even after Dilbert took off. He didn’t lose that source of income until he started doing speaking gigs, which became a river of income.
I worked as a lawyer before becoming an author. Once it looked like Danger & Play was big enough to sustain me, then I went all in.
I want you to succeed, and that means “tough love.”
The benefit of not selling mastermind groups is, well, if people cry they can do away. I don’t have to tell people what they want to hear to take their money. I tell people what they need to hear to change their life.
Besides, cry babies would never read and apply Gorilla Mindset to their lives, so they’d just give me bad book reviews. I’d rather only have people with the right mindset read my books.