Writing is a miraculous thing. A brightly coloured notebook can take the role of counsellor, guiding you through your deepest concerns as you write them down on its pages. Many people use journaling as a form of therapy, self-discovery and stress relief.
As a writer, I often have an easier time expressing myself through writing than speaking, and I’ve found great comfort in being able to do that through times of sadness, anger, happiness and love.
Even if no one reads what you’ve written, the practice of writing is extremely therapeutic. Writing helps us find direction and clarity in a world of chaos, and it can also help us find greater clarity in our professional lives.
Writing for Professional Clarity
While helping clients and friends determine the best ways to communicate what they do, I’ve noticed how figuring out what to write is extremely similar to the process of defining what it is you actually do, and why you’re doing it. In a way, I often become a career counsellor, not just a writer.
Sitting down to write about what you do reinforces your purpose, and it’s a very powerful exercise not only for giving you mental clarity about your direction in life, but also for helping you communicate to others exactly what you’re offering to the world.
You don’t have to be a writer to enjoy these benefits. If you can operate a pen and paper, or a keyboard, you’re good to go. Try this exercise and enjoy a little more clarity in your life today.
1.) Describe your product or service in the most basic way possible. If you’re a junk removal company, for example, you might write: my fleet of trucks picks up junk from people and drops it off at recycling facilities.
2.) Describe your ideal customer. In the junk removal company example, your ideal customer might be someone that’s moving or downsizing and needs to get rid of a bunch of junk that’s been cluttering up their garage.
3.) Describe the benefits of your service for this person. You make it convenient for them to get rid of a bunch of junk without having to own a truck or know where to drop it off. Perhaps you also make it easy for them to recycle their old junk and feel good about the fact that they’re not just adding it to the landfill.
4.) Describe why you are better than the other guys. This one depends on the unique features of your business. Maybe your junk removal business has special eco-friendly electric trucks and the other guys don’t. Your environmentally conscious customers will appreciate this unique feature of your business and how it helps reinforce their values when they hire you.
Once you’ve completed this exercise, burn your answers into your mind. Now you have a clear explanation of what you do, how you help people, and why you’re a better choice than the competition. Think about these points whenever you’re communicating what you do, whether through writing or speaking.
This is perhaps the most important question. Depending on how you answer this, you may discover that you’re in the wrong business altogether.
Why do you do what you do?
Are you passionate about helping people make more environmentally responsible junk removal choices to help reduce the impact on the planet? Do you enjoy helping people remove clutter from their lives? Is it a family business and a legacy you want to keep alive? Or are you doing it as a means to an end? Do you just go through the motions everyday to pad your bank account? Does it make you happy?
If not, what would make you excited about waking up everyday, and why aren’t you doing it?