Starting My Own Business

The 2-Minute You

Written by James Garvin for Gaebler Ventures

The 2-Minute You is an exercise to help you identify who you are, what you want to do, what you're good at, and help you find an entrepreneurial path that will help you leverage your skills & knowledge and help you follow your interests & passions.

The 2-Minute You is exactly as it sounds. It is a 2-minute, elevator type style pitch to communicate everything about you, your interests, desires, and your future contributions.

The 2 Minute You

While the 2-Minute You is often used to train job seekers to communicate to employers to wow and impress, it can also be adapted for entrepreneurs seeking that ideal company that they should start.

The 2-Minute You can be broken down into the following sections:

1. Educational background

2. Professional accomplishments

3. Interests and passions

4. Desired future contributions (what can you bring to the table?)

For those trying to find how to best leverage their skills & knowledge and follow their passions, the 2-Minute You exercise can be an invaluable exercise that forces you to clearly communicate who you are, what you want, and how you can accomplish what you want.

For starters, write your introduction about yourself in one to two sentences that include your education and professional accomplishments. I've provided my 2-Minute introduction below as an example.

Hi, I'm James Garvin. I'm a 2nd-year MBA student at UC Davis focusing on business strategy. Prior to business school I worked in sales and business development in the biotech industry and had the opportunity to lead and close our firms largest business development agreement; providing our firm with some well-needed up-front capital as well as a long-term strategic partner."

Second, write down your interests and the path that you want to follow or activities that you have pursued that align with your interests:

"During business school, I got very interested and involved in online business strategy which lead me to found a personal finance website focused on providing consumers with professional financial education and guidance for consumers looking for further assistance in making financial and life decisions."

Lastly, write down what you want and what you want to contribute to in the future. To close, my final follow-up is below:

"I am looking to leverage my experience in leading and managing business development agreements and merging my interests and hands on experience in online business strategy to analyze and evaluate new business opportunities for emerging internet based organizations."

Now, look at your written 2-Minute You. Does it make a good story? Does it translate into a path where you can leverage your core skills and align with your passions? A poorly written 2-Minute You may be something like a mortgage broker who left the business due to the recession, but is now really passionate about starting a food company. The problem with this isn't the fact that they are making a drastic career change; the problem is there is no connection between going from a mortgage broker to a food industry entrepreneur. Potential business partners, investors, and others will want to know what skills you obtained as a mortgage broker to start and run a food company and where this passion came from.

Sometimes writing down your goals & objectives and doing exercises such as the 2-Minute You can help you identify who you are and help you better understand exactly what it is you want to be doing. The next step is translating those ideas into action in the form of your own business.

James Garvin began his education studying biotechnology. In recent years he has turned his interest in technology to helping two internet startup companies. The first business was an online personal financial network and the second was an e-marketing platform created to help entrepreneurs demo their web sites. Currently a student at University of California Davis, James is spending his summer incubating two new online businesses and writing about his entrepreneur experiences.

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