The biggest problem successful scanners face isn’t deciding which idea to pursue. If you’re a “successful” scanner, you’ve realized you can combine many of your interests and passions to create a portfolio career. You probably have a number of profit centers but how do you answer that dreaded question, “what do you do”?
You can either avoid social gatherings and talking to seat mates on airplanes or you’re going to have to come up with a way to describe your livelihood. If you say, “oh, I do a lot of things” and then start telling them that you are a professional pet photographer, you plan mystery-themed parties and fundraising events, you play harp at weddings and you facilitate end of life ceremonies, you just might be perceived as a bit of a dilettante.
That thing we are all told is so necessary for networking, developing an elevator speech, is great if you can fit what you do into the template, “I (teach, show, help) ( artists, entrepreneurs, animals, children) to ( get more clients, find their passion, take good photographs, etc.). But if you’re like many successful scanners, you can’t describe your entire portfolio of profit in the time it takes to ride from the lobby to the 5th floor.
So, how is a successful scanner to answer without sounding like you are struggling to make a living by “doing lots of things”? How can you briefly explain that you enjoy a number of different income producing activities?
I like to think of my business as a “medley” of services and products that educate, encourage and inspire creative entrepreneurship. I sometimes refer to it as a “success soup” or “portfolio of profit”.
Rather than say, “uh, I do a bunch of different things” which is so vague it leaves people thinking you don’t want them to know what you really do or going into a long description of all the different products and services you offer before you know if they’re really interested or just making small talk, why not create an intriguing title? Use words like potpourri, blend, fusion, collage. You want to convey that your multiple profit centers are a deliberate and delightful fusion of your passions not a default because you can’t find a job. When you describe what you do, create a sense of wonder that makes them curious.
After all, isn’t the purpose of that silly elevator speech to get the person to say, “tell me more”?
How do you describe your portfolio of profit?