On an ordinary day, the unexpected and extraordinary happened: I became a business woman.
I’ve always admired people who put their ideas, abilities and some dollars on the line to start a small business. I have felt almost envious of their having such clarity of vision, such confidence, such direction. They are ‘The Doers’. Cheers to you all.
My friend is one of those Doers. She’s organised, she’s motivated, she gets stuck in and makes things happen. She knows what she knows and how to promote herself. I have known this woman since before we were women, and it’s how I’ve always seen her: The Doer. I didn’t realise at the time that in casting her and people like her this way, I cast myself as the obverse; but more of that later. My friend, The Doer, has become a small business woman. This came as no surprise to me. It also came as no surprise that she’s really making it work. Check her out, @InspiredOffice.
But back to that ordinary day. The Doer asked me to edit a blog post for her business Inspired Office. She used shameless flattery to engage me (“you’re the best person with words I know.”) and I agreed to do it. I remember her being in the same English class as me so I thought it would require a cursory read and a few edits. She said to be brutal if I needed to be.
I was merciless.
I took out useless words, reversed fragments and played with word order, removed dependent clauses and turned them into sentences, I added a few words and sentences to keep the writing and the reader on track. There was so much red pen (ok, red track changes) I felt like some kind of Ripper. I saved another draft and accepted all my changes to review it. What I had before me, in just under 2 hours, was a beautiful, well-structured blog piece with one quality sentence after another. I hadn’t changed The Doer’s message or individual voice. What I had done was unpack the elements in her draft and built a better blurb.
When you read a blog piece you may not think ‘hmmm each paragraph flows logically and sequentially toward the next, great active voice they’re using here, and grammar skills to boot’, etc. These are things I look for – these are the things that occupy my mind. Over the past few years as I’ve started to pay attention to the standard of writing in blogs, I have realised a lot of bloggers/writers are not looking for these things. Having the heart, the message and the correct information is a great start, but it does not equal powerful professional writing.
And I get it. You’ve got the house, the kids, the workload, maybe some study, some kind of social life, AND you’ve got your business. You need to get that blog or article out next week, and there are only so many hours in a day.
However, even if you’re not conscious of the why, we all know when a piece of writing resonates.
It stays with us; we remember it.
Structural correctness, coupled with effective language choice.
Put simply, good content requires good writing.
If you’re going to blog – and why wouldn’t you, it’s a great way of getting people to connect with your brand – why not take an extra step to make your blog stand head and shoulders above the sea of mediocrity which is the blogosphere.
So, The Doer was stoked with my great copywriting skills. She asked me if I’d considered trying to turn it into a business. I thought about it through the day. I really, really enjoyed editing and reworking The Doer’s blog, and helping her to create an effective, beautiful blurb for her business. Once it became clear that my drive, my passion is to help create beautiful, fabulous, strong blurbs, the rest was a no-brainer. I want to make it my business to share my ability to produce great copy for your new business. I want to work with new businesses driven by people who know what they know – enough to know when to seek help in the areas they aren’t strong in, so they can get on with doing the things they are good at.
The best thing about this story is the synchronicity which suggests life’s grand design is at work here. After over 20 years, I am able to collaborate with my old school bestie. The same girl I’d talk about The Universe and its wisdom with, about doing what you need to do in the moment for a reason. I haven’t thought along these lines in years, so many years, but that’s how I feel about my realisation that I’m no longer that girl who thought she was a ‘Follower’. I’m a confident woman conscious of her unique skillset. I have a clear vision, and I’m putting myself, my time and a few dollars on the line to realise that vision.
And that’s how one afternoon, on an ordinary day, the unexpected happened: I became A Doer. A business woman.
Chin-chin! (yes I’m toasting myself with a glass of red)