"The human mind is like a fertile ground where seeds are continuously being planted. The seeds are opinions, ideas, and concepts. The word is pure magic; we plant a seed, a thought, and it grows. Every human is a magician, and we thoughtlessly cast spells on each other all the time with our opinions."
- The Four Agreements
That's literally all I could say after reading the passage of "The Four Agreements," quoted above. My colleague handed me this small book after a meeting, and I had no idea what I'd just acquired. It was supposed to be a quick read, something to kick me into gear about upcoming projects. But when I got to this page, I stopped to re-read it about five times.
"The word is pure magic."
This statement hit home for me, specifically because I've built a career on the power of words. I spend every day, all day, forming these little magical beans into sentences that elevate how my clients think about themselves and their businesses.
"Words literally pay my bills," I thought to myself after I read the passage for a last time. I felt honored and appreciative of my gift in a whole new way; and at the same time, I felt challenged to explore all the untapped ways that words can be used for positive impact.
If words have the power to cast spells on humanity, then I can confidently, genuinely say that writers will never go out of style. It's sad that I have to say that, but honestly, it was becoming a fear. Words are often underestimated in todays tech-driven world, especially in a time where social media has us so focused on the visual esthetics of images and video. Less copy, more imagery — I hear it almost every day. You may have heard it too. Now don't get me wrong, the experts saying this know how to produce numbers (more followers, more profits, etc). I just believe there's more to writing then that. Words are not mathematical; they are relational and personal. Putting them into an effective sentence (or communication strategy, for that matter) requires creating from your depths to speak to the depths of someone else.
"Every human is a magician. . ."
The problem with many small business owners is that we try to speak to the masses with a formula created from someone else's knowledge, perspective and awakening, instead of our own. But what if I said you were too unique for that? What if I said you could make more impact than a plug-and-play cheat sheet from an Instagram ad or a 3-step guide from a hour-long webinar. I mean, I just want you to give yourself more credit for your brilliance! Stop saying, "I am not a writer." Stop looking for a creative company to solve your problems. Start looking within yourself, the answers are there!
Now you may be thinking that I am crazy! Shouldn't I be saying the opposite to get your business? I mean, after all, I write for others so they don't have to write themselves. Yes, this is true, but what I create only manifests who my clients are.
Let that sink in.
A writer can only write about your vision when they truly understand and believe in it. You cast the vision, we just help you make it plain.
So, I am actually saying that you should hire creative writers, but not just to get a few SEO-optimized words to put on your home page. Instead, hire with an intent to get a deeper grasp on who you are, what you bring to the table, and what that means for your creative strategy. While writers help you decorate your words, it's your raw story that's magical. We just help you unearth all that potential.
I truly believe that sitting down with a writer to strategize your content is so much more rewarding than trying to copy someone else's. Besides, the more involved you are in the creative process, the more genuine your results. The more genuine your results, the greater the impact.
So, while you're out here looking for the holy grail of creative strategy, also take some time to really search yourself to understand what you want YOUR WORDS to mean. Focus on impact — specifically in three main areas.
What promises are you making to your clients? The saying goes "word is bond." Are you delivering what you say you will? How are you delivering that's different than others? How can you put that into words?
What seeds are you planting in your work environment? Are you using your words to complain about things that have gone wrong? Or, are you using your words to uplift and encourage your employees to fail forward and get better everyday?
What are you telling yourself? As the leader of the ship, you must be brave, yet honest with yourself about what you're capable of. Affirm yourself; accept what you can and can't do; and own your story!
Here's to making life that much more easier for you and your business. As always, take care of yourself! I'm out, to go practice what I preach!