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.
Thank you for this amazing post, it gave me a lot to think about. I think my style statement would be ‘Luminous Vessel’….
ok, I’m playing with these words without benefit of the book (which I am SO hoping to pick up later!-you sold me) and what I come up with is Connected Nurture…it took me a few minutes..and rereading your post a couple times (and wow.i agree about not loving labels..and everything else you said – how hard it is to describe our passions in a FEW words..lol..)..
but that’s what i got..kinda loving it..thanks for this!
The first two sentences of this post summed up what you do very well! Why not smile and say:
I do unconventional things for a living – I’m an intuitive; I read the Akashic Records; and I work with flower essences and aromatherapy. I love my work because I am helping people.
And if they get it, awesome. If they don’t, the positive words and energy behind your statement will at least engage their manners and they’ll be polite and move on with the conversation. 🙂 And if they’re jerks? Eh, it is what it is.
@Tami – ooh yes, I think Luminous Vessel is a wonderful fit for you!
@Karen – playing around with this IS fun. The 2-word limit is both limiting and liberating. I love Connected Nurture. And I’d be interested in hearing if, after you read the book, it remains a perfect fit.
@Erin – LOL. Thank you for seeing with fresh eyes what I obviously tend to over-complicate!
I was fortunate enough to have a Style Statement consultation with Danielle a couple years ago–which was awesome. I’ve been a HUGE Danielle LaPorte fan ever since! That woman is walking magic.
My Style Statement is: Cherished Contemporary. 🙂
@Marissa – oh how neat! And what a perfect statement. Have you found it’s guided your actions as much as it’s defined your style?