I do rather weird (as in unconventional) stuff for a living – I’m an intuitive; I read the Akashic Records; and I work with flower essences and aromatherapy. I love my work – I really couldn’t be happier – but talking about it has never been easy for me. When you go into business for yourself, one of the most frequently touted bits of advice is the necessity of having a 30-second “elevator” speech – wherein you concisely describe what you do and how you can help people. I haven’t mastered it yet, and frankly I doubt I’ll ever be able to manage the 30-second limit. But I do know it wouldn’t hurt if I tried a bit harder.
That’s been on my mind this summer – thinking about ways to cogently describe myself. And then there was also the wonderful challenge by a friend in a group I’m a member of, to describe one’s work in the 140-character Twitter limit. I haven’t managed that yet either, but it has kept me thinking about distilling and clarifying and honing.
I suppose that’s one of the reasons I was particularly intrigued when I came across the book Style Statement – Live by your Own Design by Carrie McCarthy and Danielle LaPorte. The premise of the book according to the book jacket is “to guide you to discover the two profoundly descriptive words that capture your essence. Based on the 80/20 principle, the first word represents your foundation, your 80%. The second word is your creative edge – the 20% of your image that motivates and distinguishes you.”
The book offers a bunch of questions to explore to help you discover your “words” – and a number of blurbs about various people and their chosen style statements.
I’m the farthest thing from a fashionista or style maven that you’re likely to meet, and while the book can, I’m sure, be used superficially to look at style in the consumery fashiony kind of way, I think the potential is clearly available for deeper assessment of what’s important to you and finding what pushes you forward. The two-word challenge feels a bit like a paradox and I imagine that’s partly why I’m drawn to it.
There’s the part of me that wants to be careful around labels. And after all a 2-word statement is about as label-y as you can get. Yet I can see the value of having this quintessential laser point focus as a kind of touchstone to evaluate how well you’re doing expressing what you’ve said is important. Admittedly I also see this little two-word statement as sort of an underlying intention, and a help to make choices. Besides, playing around with this really has helped shift my thinking about the possibility of eventually finding more cogent ways of describing my work. Maybe I’m even a step closer to the twitterability challenge.
By the way, my style statment is Sacred Treasure. I’d love if you’d share yours.