While helping my client Martijn Atell get his confidence up with pitching and presentations, I asked him to tell me a story of a time when he knew he really nailed something. He told me that while he was born in South America, he was raised in the Netherlands. When he turned 18, his parents took him back to South America and dropped him off, naked, in the Amazon Jungle for 2 weeks to survive. Why would they do this? Because it is a rite of passage for their culture.
I said “wow, that gives me goosebumps, let’s work on that for your opening pitch to get your start-up funded. What lesson did you learn in the Amazon jungle?”
Martijn replied, “well, I learned how to focus, pivot and preserve!”
“Great,” I said, “now you can take those lessons from the Amazon jungle into the concrete jungle of being an entrepreneur.”
We then worked on his delivery of that story. When he was ready, Martijn told potential investors and groups this story of his experience. In the end, he won a pitch contest that ultimately funded his start-up. The investors said that if he can survive naked in the Amazon Jungle, he can handle any problems that come up in business.