Practicing the Parental Pitch

As my company, CollegeVox gears up to talk to investors in the upcoming months, I practice my “elevator pitch” on everyone I can get to stay still and listen to me gab for 5 minutes.

When I spent Mother’s Day weekend at home last weekend, my pitch was put to the test on the ultimate listener: my father.

As a quick witted man from Sydney, Australia who has traveled to almost every country in the world twice and ventured into every kind of business at some point or another (it’s rumored he used to procure drugs for Stevie Nicks when he was on tour with Fleetwood Mac back in the day), my dad is, well, a pretty cool dude. It’s an understatement to say I merely respect his opinion.

He’s started companies on his own — some epic failures and some solid successes — so when it came to hearing his own 21-year-old daughter pitch her business idea across the dinner table, it wasn’t too much of a surprise.

After 20+ minutes of hearing me rant and ramble about CollegeVox (for some reason my killer, concise pitch went down the tubes when paired with eggplant parmesan and red wine), he hit me with his best questions.

For most of his inquires, I knew the answers and had to figure out how to adequately articulate, some I genuinely didn’t and some I just felt like Charlie from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

For the answers I was unsure about, however, he bestowed upon me wisdom and advice that could only come from more than three decades in “the biz.”

It made me realize that no matter how much you read, write, study and prepare for pitching your dream, nothing gets you more ready than having a stubborn, but savvy old man pick your plan apart.

I’ll cheers to that.


EMMA SULLIVAN

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