To pitch or not to pitch?

Last week I was told off by a fellow member of my class of this year’s New Entrepreneurs Foundation (NEF) cohort. My crime. I didn’t tell my story when I introduced my business to the group. In my defence I’ve spoken about Packed Munches several times to the group, but said fellow had a point. For the sake of anonymity let’s call said fellow Mucy.* When I started presenting to the group I said

So as you all know my business is called Packed Munches and it’s an online subscription service that sends boxes of British food to expats

Mucy said that quite frankly, that was a weak introduction, and reminded me that it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve talked about my business, or how many times I’ve talked about it to a particular person, every time I should tell my story. It should be like a pitch. But not a pitch


Haha it sounds harder than it actually is but through NEF I’ve learnt two ways to tell your story when you’re pitching your business – courtesy of Adele Barlow (of Escape the City). It makes your ‘pitch’ so much less offensive (you all know what I mean) and makes the conversation that you’re about to embark on just that. A conversation.

The first – A Good Story

FYI I’m really getting into this and at this point wish I had made this into a video post as after the first I would have an exciting duh duh duh sound effect

Rather than pitching your business to people you meet. Tell them a story so that you can create people who want to follow your story.

Now every good story needs a hero, a conflict and a resolution:

  • Who is the hero? You can think of yourself (or rather your business/product) as a hero.
  • Where is the conflict?  What problem are you trying to solve?
  • How does your product or service provide the resolution?

So for Packed Munches the answer would be:

  • Packed Munches
  • Difficulty finding British food abroad
  • Delivers the food to expats.

So my story would be, Packed Munches delivers food to expats who have difficulty finding British food abroad. Hmmm, it’s good but it’s no cigar. Which is where the second method comes in.


Why, How, What

Why, How, What

People don’t buy what you do – they buy why you do it.

Simon Sinek explains this best in his TedX talk but I’ve summed it up here for you:

The traditional way that companies sell their product is exactly as I did above. By telling you what the service is, how we do it and why.

Packed Munches (WHAT) delivers food to expats (HOW) who have difficulty finding British food abroad (WHY).

But the great companies, like Apple, they tell you why first, then how, then what. So

Living in a new country can be difficult, new culture, new language, new people. We want to encourage people to shake off the feeling of being homesick and experience the joys of being abroad. (WHY) Every month we help expats to stay connected with home and reminded of the good times (HOW) by delivering a taste of home to their doors. (WHAT)

Granted it’s slightly longer but hell doesn’t it sound better! Cue sound effect:

So I guess the answer to the question to pitch or not to pitch is to pitch without pitching. Tell your story using the Golden Circle.

Mucy also told me her favourite part of our story is our tagline. It’s like a hug in a box from home. So in full here’s my story:

Living in a new country can be difficult: new culture, new language and new people. We want to encourage people to shake off the feeling of being homesick and experience the joys of being abroad. Every month we help expats to stay connected with home and reminded of the good times by delivering a taste of home to their doors. It’s like a hug in a box from home.

Now if you’ll excuse me I need to amend my About Us and every piece of promotional material about Packed Munches 😀

Ciao ciao xx

*Mucy is not her real name. In case you hadn’t guessed. But you probably had. #cantakethegirloutoflawbutnotthelawyeroutofthegirl #inappropriatelylonghashtag

A room full of crazy geniuses part 1

People who know how work for people who know why.

What happens when you take 35 21-29 year olds wantrepreneurs put them up in a hostel without WiFi and tell them they have two days to bond?

You want to say genius right? WRONG. You get a group of individuals that go so crazy they resort to building bumble hives and leaning towers of success.

Leaning tower of success

So my title was slightly misleading but my first two days of the NEF programme (the New Entrepreneurs Foundation) felt like an introduction into both crazy and genius and has led to the acceptance that in order to be a great entrepreneur, or more importantly in order to be successful in life, you have to accept the out-of-ordinary. Quite simply think out of the box. Nothing made us do this more than David Buffin of Buffin Leadership International who led us for one and half days through activities designed to inspire us to success.

Let me help you visualise this: We started each session dancing to 80s/90s dance music – and I’m not talking the good stuff. We screamed, we jumped and hugged one another. We wondered where he had been sent from to punish us and how we could return him (this was obviously the WiFi withdrawal kicking in hard). We learnt. We learnt. We learnt.

I repeat this not because we learnt continuously, or incessantly, but because what we learnt was empowering. We were given the tools to succeed, through careful identification of our goals – the results we want to achieve, how we communicate. I learnt how to evaluate not just my team-mates but use the evaluation forms to self-evaluate my work within teams and with others. We learnt the tools to building trust, how this impacts on customers and your colleagues.

If you look carefully you can see the bumblebee costumes

If you look carefully you can see the bumblebee costumes

If I share anything with you it will be this – take an hour each day to evaluate how you are doing, evaluate what results you want to achieve and how you are going about achieving this. More in the next post.


** For those eagle-eyed readers you’ll remember I posted about NEF in the past, more about my journey into NEF in my next post!