When you narrow yourself and your work to solving one specific problem or creating just one product or offering just one service, you naturally sell more because you have clarity.
Clarity is vital to your mission and helps people make easy assumptions about what you do.
You’re a carpenter and you make benches.
You’re a photographer and you photograph weddings.
You’re a real estate agent and you sell homes.
The whole ‘what do you do?’ question gets complicated (and far more interesting!) when you decide to use the word “and” followed by something we wouldn’t expect.
You’re a carpenter and you sing songs.
You’re a photographer and you rebuild motorcycle engines from scratch.
You’re a real estate agent and you go offline to work with a nonprofit agency for months at a time.
Most people tamp down their most interesting ‘and’ bits in the name of being clear, direct, and not-confusing.
‘Most people’ includes me. For lots of years, I didn’t find it interesting or relevant to share my poetry because I was writing about business. For lots of years, I didn’t find it relevant to share my thoughts about life because I was writing about business.
Only of COURSE I’m allowed to be a poet and a business coach and a lover of all things Harry Potter and a part-time traveler and part-time hermit.
Of COURSE you’re allowed to embrace your contradictions and your seemingly irrelevant but wildly fascinating bits instead of trying to box them out of your business and pretend that all you think about is your wood for benches or your brides for weddings or those homes you’re selling.
Of COURSE it gets more messy when you do this, since you don’t have a nifty tagline that instantly hits people’s pain points and solves their problems. In theory, poets don’t have advice that helps your business grow, and carpenters don’t show up at open mic nights to share their new songs, and artists don’t take on new mediums when they’re already achieving commercial success in their chosen field.
Only OF COURSE THEY DO.
The less you try to ignore, cut off, kill, deaden, or nullify your varied interests, the more likely you are to grow as a human.
The more you grow as a human, the more likely you are to bring your voice and your work into the world, and to…in the ultimate universal checkmate…sell more of the work you were sure belonged in a small, safe box that was clear, specific, and that was easy to sell with bullet points.
Your worth to the world doesn’t lie in bullet points.
Your life is not so easily fenced or caged.
Your soul is not rooting for your tightest and clearest Unique Sales Proposition.
Your best, highest, and most alive self is waiting for you to bring all of you to the table.