Elevator Pitch? Try 7 seconds and a photo

Recently, I have purposely been “putting myself out there” in the business sense. This means attending numerous meetings, trade shows, leadership training workshops, speaking engagements, networking events and having coffees with several individuals. I have literally not stopped.

I’ve purposely set up this Usain Bolt sprinting lifestyle pace in the lead up to my second child’s arrival which will require me taking time off to spend with family as well as taking my new baby to see his people “on country”.

 

Now, I sometimes like to think of myself as quite the “high flyer”. As someone who dreams big and chases after it. However, I hate flying and travel in general. Especially when it comes to traveling for work, yuck! I really don’t know how you corporate guys and girls do it. Over the last couple months however, I’ve swallowed the “tea spoon of cement” and got on with it, somehow realising that I’m a bit of sook.

 

I’m all about work/life balance. Both my business partner “Jarrod Conroy” and I spend much of our time in meditation, prayer, detox cycles (mainly Jarrod) and of course with family. There are times though when one needs to identify the season just like Winter, Summer, Spring and Autumn. One monitors the weather patterns and go “all in”. Whether that’s resting, hustling, spending, upskilling or conserving, it’s important to find the balance and flow in business.

 

With this specific concept in mind, I’ve had the priceless opportunity to meet some well-respected indigenous athletes, spend the day with an Australian Arts Icon and meet the Premier of South Australia.

If you were to ask me “Isaac what does your business “Bunjil Energy” do?” Verbatim, I could tell you exactly what we do in approximately. 5 minutes. Sounds as follows:

 

“Bunjil Energy is an indigenous-owned and operated electrical company focusing on commercial solar projects that upskill and train Indigenous Australians (Mission Statement).

“By winning projects in Metro or Remote areas, we have the capacity to offer apprenticeships and employment opportunities to indigenous Australians. This will help us increase the asset base of First-Nations Australians” (Vision Statement).”

 

Something I’ve had to learn and train myself on is changing the main message to different audiences over different time periods. For instance, sharing “what we do” over a formal dinner to an international delegate is very different than sharing with another parent at a play centre while keeping an eye on my toddler.

Here are some people I’ve met over the last couple weeks and the way I handled “my pitch”.

Adam Goodes

I spent 2 hours with Mr Goodes and the team in Sydney. Adam Goodes is a well-respected Indigenous Athlete and a proficient businessman. Mr Goodes doesn’t muck around much. We spent a good amount of time chatting and got straight to the point. However, one of the major questions circulating back and forth between Adam and I was, “where’s your mob from?” Something vital to how indigenous people do business with each other.

AFL Legend Adam Goodes & Isaac Harrison

 

David Bromley

At the other end of the spectrum, I spent the day with Mr Bromley at his gallery/factory in Daylesford. We spent a good couple of hours talking about life, family, music and art before we even mentioned business. We didn’t even directly discuss the topic of working with Indigenous People. Sharing our stories allowed us to find common ground and come up with a unique project where we could complement each other. More details of this to come later.

Australian Artist David Bromley & Isaac Harrison

Steve Marshall

This by far was the most surreal experience. I follow Mr. Marshall on Linkedin and really respect the man for his values, work ethics and passion for indigenous peoples. While I watched him give his opening speech at Supply Nation’s Adelaide Trade Show, I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to get a photo. As I approached the clamouring crowd around him, I asked quickly: “Can I get a photo Steve?”. He replied: “sure” and then disappeared. Minutes later, he comes back and says: “you want that photo?” and we take a photo together. He then turns around, looks at my logo and quietly asks: “What do you do?”

Luckily, I’ve been pushing the limit on my face-to-face interactions lately, so I calmly responded: “I work in renewables and we want to train up more indigenous people in the industry”.

For me, it’s not about the words used or the eloquence of one’s speech. It’s all from the heart. Once you fully embrace your vision, the pitching, selling, marketing, tradeshows, presentations etc are quite simple.

I notice that I’ve gone from originally telling people about Bunjil’s vision and goal, to sharing our journey and the experiences we have had with traditional owners and other indigenous businesses.

This by far, has more power to impact those around you, your colleagues, your customers and partners.

By living what you believe, your life becomes a walking presentation. It constantly overflows with the power of change and people want to be a part of it.

Steve Marshall MP SA & Isaac Harrison

Written by Bunjil Energy’s Director & Founder Isaac Harrison