Question: I am an entrepreneur in between companies. How can I succinctly explain this in networking situations?
Explain a Positive Past, Optimistic Future
"In one sentence, explain a positive portrayal of your past experience. Transition to one sentence on what you look forward to doing in the future or what opportunities you're seeking. It's always important to keep it light and positive."
"Even if you haven't solidified your next move yet, prepare a few concrete business or personal development goals that you can rattle off when attending networking events. Basically, you want to sound like you know what you're doing. The last thing you want is to appear like you are simply drifting from one company to the next."
Say You're Looking for Your Next Venture
"The phrase "looking for your next venture" implies a previous venture and also implies an amount of choosiness (as opposed to desperation) while getting across the fact that you are not currently working on a project."
"Rare are those with a clear career path or the entrepreneurs who have not seen deals fall through. Partnerships fail or simply decide to do something different. If you can articulate with intelligence what brought you to this transition point and where you are trying to go next, then maybe your conversation is about to get interesting."
Give Your Elevator Pitch
"In any networking situation, you should present yourself in an assured, positive way. You knew how to give the elevator pitch for your last venture, so what's the pitch for where you are now? What did you learn from your last experience? What is your next goal? Thinking through these things ahead of time will help you network with confidence."
"Every entrepreneur has been in your situation. Whether your past business is boring you or just went bust, networking is all about connecting for new opportunities. Be genuine about your past experience. Others will be grateful if you share something they can learn from or may offer feedback to help your situation. My best advice has been given to me when I needed it most."
Be Yourself and Listen
"Be yourself, and when in networking situations, make sure you listen and make eye contact. Feel out the person or group you're talking to. Find ways to present your past experiences when they fit into the conversation. Be positive. There is always something that people can relate to in most conversations. Listen and learn what that is, and you will be fine."
Explain That You've Structured Your Startup
"It is important to put the emphasis on your entrepreneurial spirit. Explain that you have already structured your startup and established a team that is running the business as if you are present with minimal supervision, and you are now ready for your next passion/challenge."