As Chapter Leader for BENG Atlanta (Business Executives Networking Group), I am privileged to often hear dynamic speakers who donate their time and share
their expertise to help small business owners and executives update and improve their skills. Over the summer, A.C. Chan joined our group to talk about
developing your personal “pitch”. Whether you’re seeking funding for your new business venture, taking your interviewing skills to the next level or
simply jumpstarting your sales career, A.C. stood out.
I wondered what was so very special about A.C.’s presentation and why his message made such an impression. Then it dawned on me. A.C. stands out in a crowd because he is an expert at standing out. He’s now turned his skills and talent into a successful business venture, helping others to do the same. Forbes Magazine recently reported that 80% of the population has a fear of speaking in public while 70% agree this is a critical business skill. A.C. just might be on to something.
A few weeks later, I asked A.C. to sit down with me to talk about his entrepreneurial adventure, his fresh approach to the tired elevator pitch and how he went from an executive at a startup software company to owning his own business. All this he’s achieved while supporting his family and finding time to have a few personal passions.
What’s Your “One Thing”?
“I always ask my clients, what’s the one thing you want people to remember about you when you walk away?”, A.C. shared. “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Although we can easily remember things in threes, you’re lucky if they remember one thing about you”. So getting your “one thing” down pat is critical.
Not yet two years into owning his own business, A.C. has already built a solid book of business and is a sought after presenter and speaker. As all great presenters do, A.C. tells a compelling story of how he started Power Slide. He had a great corporate job doing business and technology strategy work with Gartner for 8 years. Then, he joined a software startup company based in L.A. and was placed in charge of building the company’s customer service arm from scratch, a challenge he welcomed. But when the company suddenly shifted gears and asked him to relocate his family from their home in Atlanta to Los Angeles, he decided it was time for a change.
What Makes You Happiest?
A.C. was in the midst of several life-changing events. After separating from the software startup company, one week prior, he and his wife had welcomed their second child. Adding to that, he was on the cusp of turning 40 years old. Some people might see this crossroads as scary or even depressing. But instead of allowing himself to sink into a panic about this sudden career shift, he decided to take it as a sign. He took three months off to spend time with his family, but also to clear out his desk, his email and his cluttered mind. “Our personal and professional lives keep us so busy. I wanted to see if I could get to being bored”, he said with a broad smile.
A.C. spent time asking himself some really important questions like, “what work did I enjoy doing the most over the last several years?” and “what kind of work would make me happy to get up every morning?” The clarity he gained during this time off propelled him forward.
I found his self-introspection interesting because those are some of the very first questions I ask my clients when they’re at a crossroads and seeking my guidance through a career transition. As a FranNet Franchise Consultant, I understand that it’s not always easy to look in the mirror; I’ve been there myself. However, getting clear on what really makes you happy is a vital first step in breaking through. Whether you’re venturing out to explore business ownership or you’re trying to decide what your next career will be, clarity is power.
A.C. cleared the clutter and gained the clarity he needed at that time in his life. Now, he is clearly defining his mission for his clients, a key reason why he stands out in a crowd. “My passion is to help you be a more effective communicator. Whether your audience is 1 or 10,000, your well-crafted message coupled with practice will make you stand out and be memorable.”
Meet A.C. at the 2016 Gwinnett Small Business Summit and join me for our next BENG meeting.
About A.C. Chan
A.C. Chan, better know as “Pitch Master Chan”, is the Founder of Power Slide, enabling people to become more “poised, polished and precise” presenters. As a world-class coach and facilitator, he has worked with Fortune 500 executives, small business owners and sales professionals to deliver their pitch, presentation or keynote. During his down time, fun involves a trifecta of traveling to new places, experiencing new cultures and cultivating new friendships. He is a hacker, a foodie and a father.
Earlier this year, A.C. helped a 10th grader win $25,000 for her 5-minute pitch in the United Way Spark Gwinnett non-profit competition. Effective communicators get funded, win customers and influence others. Whether your audience is an individual, small group or large audience, in a world with so much noise, you must stand out and be memorable.
About Julie Denise
Julie Denise utilizes her 30 years in financial services now as an independent businesswoman and FranNet of Atlanta consultant. Since 2012 she has enjoyed connecting people, guiding those in career transition and expertly assisting those that would like to explore business ownership through franchising. Recognized often for her advocacy, she was named a Top FranNet Consultant in 2014.
A graduate of Northwestern University, Julie volunteers with Atlanta Jobseekers, RUMC Career Ministry, is a Chapter Leader for the Business Executives Networking Group (BENG) and is a certified SCORE mentor.
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