You’re going to change the world.
You know it and I know it. You’re a gorgeous, ambitious, big-hearted, and entrepreneurially-minded woman and you’ve got a business idea that is going to change the lives of your customers, of your family members, of YOU.
You should be incredibly excited! I’m excited for you. Truly. I’m cheers-ing my glass of white wine toward you right now.
In moments like these, moments where you’re bursting with excitement and optimism and possibility, you want to shout it from the rooftops. You want to gather your support team, let those closest to you feed off of your excitement and bolster you with their own infectious enthusiasm. And eventually, you want to share your big idea with an even broader audience. With the people who want what you’ve got. With the people who will buy what you’re selling. With the people whose lives you’re going to change forever.
So, you’re standing at the edge of the rooftop – what are you going to shout? What will you tell your husband? Your mom? Your best friend? Your hairdresser? Your first potential customer? How will you explain what you do and why you do it? Why will they buy from you (or refer someone who will)?
You already know the answers – deep inside of you (or maybe they’re sitting pretty on the tip of your tongue!). Either way, we just have to get them out of you! Into the air, onto the paper, into the hearts and minds of the people who need what you’ve got to give the very most.
In order to get clear on your big idea and communicate it effectively to all those who don’t live inside your head, you need to make like a reporter and get the story. Ask yourself the 5 W’s (and one H!). You remember those from middle school, right? They’re still so handy. As a refresher, these are the six quick questions you must answer to explain your big, incredible, life-changing idea in one sentence:
Who are you trying to help?
What are you helping them do/be/get/experience?
Where are you helping them?
When are you helping them?
Why do you do it?
How do you do it?
Now, put it all together: “I help [WHO] do/be/get/experience [WHAT] on/in [WHERE] during [WHEN] by [HOW], because [WHY].”
It’s okay if it’s a run-on sentence; it probably will be. That’s a lot of important information to pack into one sentence and you can always cull it down later*!
Here’s my big, beautiful idea, as an example: “I help early-stage [WHEN] female entrepreneurs [WHO] understand and articulate the value they provide to the specific audience they’re seeking [WHAT], both online and in-person [WHERE] by showing them how to effectively communicate their brand message and tweak their content/message as their business (and audience) evolves [HOW], because I believe that effective storytelling connects humans through shared experiences and ultimately drives sales [WHY].”
(It’s a mouthful, I know – but isn’t it pretty clear what I do and how I do it?!)
Now string your words together – in whatever way makes the most sense for you – and say them out loud. Say it again and again and one more time. Sit with them and let the excitement wash over you anew. (Clarity. It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?!) This is what you do. This is how you will change (or are already changing!) lives – in one simple, beautiful sentence.
Tell your husband. Tell your mom. Tell your dog groomer. Update your Facebook status. Add it to your Twitter bio. (Seriously! Go do it!) Hand a stranger your business card at your next networking event and fill in these blanks: “Hi, I’m _______. I don’t believe we’ve met yet. I help [WHO] do/be/get/experience [WHAT] on/in [WHERE] during [WHEN] by [HOW], because [WHY]. What do you do? Is there a way I can help you?” (You might let them get a few words in edgewise. Common courtesy or whatever.)
This makes things pretty clear, doesn’t it? If you’re anything like me, putting this into words – saying it out loud and putting it on paper – this makes things really real.
And it is. This is your real life. This is your idea; your actual business. This is your sentence.
Will you share your sentence with me in the comments below? I can’t wait to learn more about you and how you’re going to change the world!
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Photo Cred: Melissa Vossler
*The incredible Chris Guillebeau has a short section in his book, The $100 Startup, on creating your 140 character mission statement (or your one sentence)! I encourage you to check it out if you need help further drilling down your business idea.