Choosing to stand out from the crowd

It’s a funny thing about choice. I find myself frustrated and angry when I don’t have control over my days, or at least the general drift of my present moment. But give me a blank sheet of paper and ask me to create something from scratch, and I freeze. This isn’t unique to me.

I’ve read enough pop psychology and ‘pursuit of happiness’ books to know what I really need is a limited set of options and the freedom to choose among them.

Seth Godin’s freelancer course I’m working through has been useful for that very reason. He’s helped narrow my focus by setting parameters, establishing the framework and asking me to make choices one at a time.

In this exercise on developing a unique voice, he asked us to filter a list of attributes we want to be known for and then define how we would embody them. It was challenging, and while the below is a work in progress, I’m proud (and slightly scared!) of the choices I’ve made and what it will mean to me and my clients. So, without further ado…

I want my writing and my business to be known for the following attributes:

  • Daring
  • Confident
  • Intelligent
  • Passionate
  • Trustworthy
  • Giving

I will express these attributes as a freelance writer and content strategist:

  1. Through a commitment to quality: I will only deliver work I’m proud of, that is polished and professional. I will pay attention to the small things, because they are significant. My writing will be accurate and based on facts.
  2. Through a thoughtful approach: I will read widely to stay current on industry and cultural trends. I will research new topics thoroughly in order to provide valuable insights in my writing. I will take the time to think through the implications of an action. I will seek to make meaningful connections between seemingly disparate ideas.
  3. Through a generosity of spirit: I will share my time, my knowledge, my support and my enthusiasm for my craft, for the people I work with and the industries I interact with.
  4. By being fearless: I will dare to try new approaches, new techniques. I will be an early adopter. I won’t shrink back from tough subjects or challenging projects. When faced with opposition, I will step back and around to the side and come at the situation from a new angle.
  5. Through working with the best clients: I will work with good people. People who are proud of the work they do, who are committed to quality, who are eager to build something of value. People who respect the contribution of others and are willing to invest in content as a way to better serve their customers.

How about you? What are you building every day? I’d love to hear in the comments below.


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