What’s the point?
I don’t mean, in the self-deprecating fashion that we can be prone to. The one where the internal voice whines “oh, what is the point?”
I mean, what’s the point – the sharpened statement that conveys the essence of what you do?
Do you know?
Do you have it written down? Do you tell people?
The age of specialism
I remember those times when someone asked what I do, and I had this vague response that killed any curiosity they’d had a moment before.
“I’m an entrepreneur.”
“Interesting. And how long have you lived in Amsterdam?”
In a crowded marketplace, where more and more people are setting up their stalls, sharpening the point of what you do is what distinguishes you from the throng.
This is the age of specialism.
The mass market is full up.
The ones who succeed are those that get ruthlessly specific about who they serve, and how they serve them.
So that they can get on with the business of serving them.
Help people make a decision
When someone reads your website, they want to make a decision. They want to decide if you’re someone who could help them.
The word decision means the opposite of incision. To make an incision is to cut into something. To make a decision is to cut away the excess.
They want to cut away the unclarity.
“Yes. That sounds exactly what I need right now. I’m interested.”
“No. Not what I’m looking for at the moment. But thank you.”
It’s your job to help them make that decision.
The point of your work, is the tip of the sword. The sharpened point, where the breadth of everything you do, comes down to one small and refined idea.
A sharpened point is what allows you to sink the blade of your service deeper into their being, opening up possibilities, freeing potential.
It’s what allows the person you’re relating with, to decide if they want to spend more time with you.
The magic is in the specificity
“I help designers be more effective.”
There are a million people helping designers now. And everyone wants to be more effective. What do you really do?
“I help designers create beautiful work that moves their clients to tears.”
The sharper the point of your blade, the deeper it will go into those who want you, and the more powerfully it will turn away those who need another’s help.
The magic is in the specificity of your words.
The clarity is not just for them
It’s for you too.
If you know – because you’ve worked hard to hone the words – what the point of your work is, then it becomes obvious when you stray from the path.
If I have left the point of my work dull and blunt, then my penetration into the world will be dulled and blunted.
Bluntness begets bluntness.
Sharpness begets sharpness.
And we live in a time where people want the keen blade of truth, to open up their world in beautiful ways. A time when they want the right person. One they trust.
Show them the point of your work, so that they can go deeper, if they want to.