How to Explain Your Business in One Sentence

Q: How is solving problems like wearing a miner’s headlamp?

A: Because it let’s you see everyone else’s clearly, but you’re still in the dark when it comes to looking at yourself.

Do any of these sound familiar?


  • “I tell others not to beat themselves up for mistakes, but I have a hard time forgiving myself.”
  • “I’m the first one to offer to help others, but the last one to ask for help, and I’m uncomfortable receiving help from people.”
  • “I know exactly when my friends are in a good relationship or when they need to get out of one, but I’m always hesitant to commit to/break up with someone.”
  • “If someone wants to lose weight/be healthier, I can give great advice, but I just can’t seem to do it for myself.”
  • “I’m great at recognizing and being able to state what someone else’s professional ‘superpower’ is, to help them come up with their elevator pitch, but I can never seem to get my own to crystallize.


Were you with me on that list from top to bottom, or did I lose you on that last one? Is that just me?


I’ve written posts and made videos and led workshops on doing elevator pitches in the past, but truth be told, I’m never 100% confident in my own.


But last weekend I attended a terrific workshop with Don Miller, founder of Storybrand, and author of Building a StoryBrand: Clarifying Your Message so Customers will Listen.


The workshop wasn’t just about how to craft an elevator pitch, it was about “creating a captivating one-liner.”


That was right up my alley, because no matter how concise I try to make it, I always feel like my own introductory “pitch” would need to be in an elevator of a REEEEALLY TALL building!


His process was simple and comprised of three simple (though not necessarily easy) steps:


  1. State the problem/pain point you fix from the customer’s point of view
  2. Identify your solution (NO DETAILS!) and how your solution is linked to their survival
  3. Clarify the reward, i.e. paint the picture of how great their life will be after you fix their problem.


I had the chance to work through my own elevator pitch and get feedback from Don himself, and not only did I find the process valuable and end up with an elevator pitch I was really happy with, but I realized how teachable it is.


That’s why this week on the Speaking to Influence podcast I’ve decided to share the steps with you, taking you through my evolutionary thought process as a “case study,” for you to use as a model (of what not to do, if you don’t like my final product!) in creating your own “captivating one-liner” that helps you get the immediate response we all want to hear:


“Tell me more.”



But here’s the other kicker:

  • No matter how great your elevator pitch is – whether one line or more – you still have to be able to DELIVER it in a way that sounds like you truly BELIEVE it, and are HAPPY about it, if you want anyone else to want to hear more.
  • Great content with lousy delivery is like a pearl coated in mud: There’s real treasure in there, but you can’t see it, and have to work to find it. AND
  • Great delivery with lousy content is like putting lipstick on a pig: Somebody might find it momentarily entertaining, but there’s no real value in it (and it’s probably cruel to the pig.)


So if you’re wondering whether I’m going to share my final “one-liner” elevator pitch, the answer is, “Of course!”


Just not here. 🙂


You’ll just have to tune in here or watch the video here to see how it unfolds!