“Brag pitching is an amazing way to push beyond your comfort zone, get to know people, and improve on key skills like public speaking.”
Last night, at a meetup of Female Entrepreneurs of the World we did just as Andrea Bouch says and carried out our brag pitch session. It is really hard to brag about oneself – Much harder than I had thought. A couple of days ago, I sat down on the terrace with paper and pencil and the intention of writing a quick, 3 minutes, witty show-off speech about myself. After ten minutes, all I had managed to come up with were little black ink dots on the white paper. I tried to write up a simple list of positive qualities, a list of accomplishments or simply adjectives I want other to attribute to myself, but my mind was blank. It took me very long ro bring something to paper and to connect it all with a story even though it was made up:
“I’m here to tell you a story today. It’s the story of myself, Bettina. It’s not so long yet but filled with adventures nevertheless. You know how when you write your resume you try to make your life look as straight as possible, you connect the dots and make sure each step comes in a logical consequence. At least, that’s what I do, but I actually believe that my life has been guided by winds – by encounters with people and opportunities.
That’s why I am here. I am open. I listen. I’m curious. And I am not scared to follow these winds. I like to plan – I’m German – but I am always flexible to adapt my plans. I think we might all be learning that this is especially necessary here in Latin America.
So, in my journey so far, I’ve been planning but keeping my mind and eyes open for opportunities. I’ve lived in different countries, tried out different roles and positions and had the chance to learn from lots of people. Thinking about these winds of encounters that breathe through life I would like to tell you that I love to sail. I grew up in the North of Italy on a lake and spent most of my summers on the sea. With the wind in my hair and the horizon before me, I feel best: My mind is cleared, I’m focused and very concentrated. When you’re sailing, you depend upon nature and have to adapt to the circumstances. There are things you simply cannot change and have to accept. You have to adapt your plan accordingly. I think this is the same when dealing with people or leading a business.
The last journey I embarked upon was with my current startup. When we left the shore, our boat was tiny like a walnut, our sails were a bit cracked but our ambitions were high. We set a great route to sail the world and sticked to it.
I am ambitious. I am perseverant. I am determined.
So we gained mileage, conquered new lands and built a bigger boat and repaired our sails. Our crew grew as everybody agreed to sail under the same flag, convinced and motivated to make our route together, until we hit a storm. This storm was the hardest that hit our ship so far but we managed to sail through it. On my crew there were now forty sailors all with families at home waiting for them to return to shore with news and gold from the adventure. I had to stay calm. I stayed in control even though the storm was raging inside me. I restructured our crew, threw aboard tools we could work without for a while, invented new tactics and manoeuvres to change our course but most importantly I kept the spirits high. I kept the sailors focussed and motivated through giving security in this instability. I was honest with everybody and together we made it through the storm.
We are sailing on a safer, more stable ship now and we are united in our passion for this journey. It went so well after all because
I am empathic. I am honest. I am bold enough to take action before the storm gets worse.
So this here in Santiago is a new adventure that starts again in a tiny boat and with simple sails. I’m determined to sail this boat boldly, to grow my crew with people as passionate as me and to stay perseverant and focussed on the course with one eye open for encounters and opportunities.”