The turn of each year typically features a fairly predictable re-hash of resolution-making and self-help-inspired actualization pep talks.
Many people find this annoying.
Which has no bearing on how applicable it is.
The fact is, the opening of a new calendar is an excellent time to identify areas for improvement, both in our personal and professional lives.
Whether it takes the form of goal-setting (tips for doing that here!) or "resolutions" or updating a resume/business plan, there is enormous power in articulating your intentions -- especially in ways that are constructive and set you up to succeed.
Now, we at Write and Polish are a little biased on this point -- one of our primary foci in marketing is that the words you choose matter. So, of course we think that how you express your plans and needs and hopes has a bearing on the results that you see.
But, time again, our experience has found this approach borne out: words of negativity undermine the credibility of the speaker, and betray a mindset of low expectation. In contrast, the quotation above represents, in our opinion, easily half of the battle when it comes to success. It has been a favorite of ours for years.
A real estate agent friend recently shared some advice that she received years ago: no matter the market, when people ask, "How's business?" always answer, "Unbelievable!" That way, even if it's down, you've told the truth, but avoided surrounding yourself with a Pig Pen-like cloud of pessimism and bad feeling (which, by the way, is contagious).
So, if you are flirting with making resolutions this year, we suggest that one of them be to choose your words to be constructive, optimistic and collaborative whenever possible. Consider it a corollary to the old bromide about asking before speaking: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?
Though the vagaries of circumstance will always tend to hijack your long-range plans, each time you possibly can, choose to make 2013 a good year -- starting with the words you select.
Our best to you and yours!
These suggestions apply equally to business or personal improvement.
Goal-setting must be an intentional activity. Be formal about it if you are serious about being successful. When you set goals, you are best to:
Remember that having a group (your family, team, department or company) involved can help you realize the goals that you establish. In an environment with high levels of trust and cooperation, give others permission to respectfully hold you accountable for what you've said that you intend to do.
And, remember that falling short still usually means that you are farther ahead than you were when you began. If your goals need to be revised or re-enlisted, that may be part of "being realistic." And, just like climbing a hill, getting to the top often means you get to enjoy a whole vista of new goals from which you can choose.
Of course, when your goals are about growing your business, Write and Polish is often able to help. We'd be happy to discuss with you your goals, and your strategy for their achievement.
So, lace up those climbing shoes and start writing down what you want to achieve!
While conducting other business on the Internet, we came across a new subject for our Facebook rogues' gallery of language error and/or misuse.
Click on the picture to see the details of the situation -- though the CliffNotes version is that Old Navy shipped and sold these shirts without a necessary apostrophe in "Let's Go!!"
Retail goods and client-facing communication material need to be checked for these basic (and embarrassing) errors. Contact us to discuss your needs.
Write and Polish recently undertook to create copy for a new website being built for Wadsworth Whitestar Consultants, a regional business consulting and "turn-around" firm.
At this time, the site is not yet live, but a link will be provided when the content has been added to the site shell.
Write and Polish is happy to announce completion of an extensive revision and expansion of a training guide for new Tech Support agents. This client took on a new support vendor, and found itself needing to compile and format all of the material required for training and to serve as a reference manual for the new agents.
The information was put together in PowerPoint, using some pre-existing corporate data re-purposed from other types of presentations. The final slide deck, intended for use both as a printed manual and as an overhead slideshow, was approx. 325 pages.
W&P's mandate was to bring together material from several sources (produced in a variety of applications) into a cohesive document, ensure format consistency across the slides, seek out obvious errors of spelling/grammar/flow of ideas, and update in several passes throughout the training period in response to needs that arose in the process. Final document delivery included PDF of the slide deck, and tagging that document by indexed chapters.
The draft that was received consisted of five bullet points. The recommendations were:
In addition, I've put it all in the third person; you could just as easily use first person, but mixing first,
"we," and third, "[firm name]" is technically wrong, and, more to the point, often awkward. If you want to
be able to use "[firm name]," which from a marketing/branding standpoint, one generally wishes to do, it's
better to stick with third person across the board.
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