I made a promise to myself a long time to stop asking for permission to pursue ideas.
When I was in 10th grade, I had an idea for a combined Spanish and Psychology project. I was taking both classes at the time and had a big project to do for each.
I wanted to take a group of students and have them study their psychology notes in both English and Spanish to see if it would help them retain information better. At the end of the month, I would have two projects done and have learned some interesting information.
When I presented the project idea to each of my teachers, they had similar responses. It sounded cool in theory to them, but we had a curriculum to follow and they just weren’t sure it would fit it. Maybe if I had started some form of the project to present, even if it wasn’t perfectly completed, they would have been more open to the idea.
I’ve come a long way from the little 10th-grade version of me. For the past few years, I’ve been practicing what I preach by taking initiative and producing value in whatever ways I can. It’s been the most freeing practice to walk away from a permission-based mindset, to an “I will do this now” mindset.
Yet, this month I found myself draw a long question mark when I was faced with the decision on how to pitch my brand books to companies.
I essentially had two options: 1) reach out to companies prior and see if they’ll take a chance on me OR 2) create the brand books first and then reach out to the companies and pitch it to them.
After taking some time to think about my two options, I decided to go with option two. I felt it was the one that aligned most with my original value of breaking permissions. Ultimately, these were the top realizations that helped me choose option two:
IT WILL GIVE ME MORE TIME
I only have one month to complete my Module 2 portfolio project. Since my goal is to create three brand books (minimum!), four weeks is really not a lot of time. Convincing companies to give me a yes, or waiting for them to come around on a decision would take away valuable time from the actual creation process. The main objective of the project is to have three quality products at the end of the month, therefore, I chose to prioritize the majority of my time to be spent working on the actual books.
IT PROVES I CAN CREATE VALUE WITHOUT BEING ASKED
Something I’ve seen proven again and again through my own past experiences as well as through the Praxis experience is that people LOVE, and RESPECT two things: initiative and value creation. By approaching a company with something I’ve already taken the initiative to create for them, rather than waiting for them to approach me, I will have already entered the door farther than anyone else knocking. It’s an attention grabber, it’s evidence of many desirable traits, and it’s appreciated.
IT CAN LEAD TO MORE OPPORTUNITIES
The way I see it, there are two main roads a company can take on my brand book pitch. They love it, they want to use it, and they want more. The second road is that they’re not completely sold on the idea, but their interest has still been peaked by the personally tailored initiative. This is still a great place to be. The company has seen evidence of my ability to complete a project for them and I’m in the door. This newly instilled trust can be transferred to more opportunities to create and produce value for them. So even if the “success” wasn’t from the original brand book, it still stemmed from that initial pitch.
IT ALLOWS ME MORE FREEDOM
A personal benefit to choosing the companies to work with is the creative freedom it gives me. I chose three companies from three different industries but that I knew I would enjoy working with. We don’t always have this freedom in the real world, but for this project, it’s nice to know each company has a personal appeal for me.
Tomorrow, I begin working on the brand concept and book for my first company. I’ll be sharing the process of each book creation through my blog and Instagram. Vegans and plant-based eaters will be especially excited about this week’s company. 🙂