Forget the Lingo, Get the Best

This week I’m participating in Seth Godin’s #YourTurnChallenge. My goal is to blog everyday this week (Mon-Sun) here on my site as well as on the challenge’s official Tumblr blog. Here’s my Day 2 submission.

I took this picture over the weekend. I was at a retreat for leaders, and I woke up early to snag some photos of the sunrise with my new camera. It’s not often I’m able to have the early morning to myself, so I was excited to capture some great shots.

I struggled for the first 15 minutes because I still don’t have a great grasp of photography – I have no idea what F-Stop should be used when, or what ISO really means, or even how white balance works. I normally just put the camera on “Automatic” and let it do the work for me.

Trouble is, that usually produces some flat, uninteresting pictures.

It certainly did on Saturday morning. I put the camera on autopilot and got crap in return. I wanted the contrast of the sunrise against the darkness of the morning and instead I got flashes and fuzzy images. Finally, I had to put the camera on a stripped down manual setting (“Creative Assistance”) and figured out how to get what I wanted without having to know all of the insider terminology. And I got some beautiful shots.

My friend, who’s a professional photographer, looked at some of them and said, “Those are fantastic. Now, go back, dig into the metadata, and figure out what the settings were when you took them. You’ll learn something to help you next time.”

The experience with my camera is similar to my experience with the business my wife and I have started. We don’t know all of the insider terminology, but we know what we want, and we’re willing to do what we can to get it. We’re also happy to learn from others on how to improve along the way.

Our goal is to double our business from last year this year. We offer writing services to help organizations and individuals sharpen their message, and while we don’t know a lot of marketing buzzwords or trends, we do know what makes a great story.

And we know great stories connect.

So that’s what we do: we make sure we tell our client’s great stories, and we get better every time. There might be others out there who do it faster or better, but we put our bones into everything we write and we let our words deliver our client’s soul. It’s less like work and more like art, and the end results are almost always amazing.