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I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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passion

What is your passion story?

Last week, I heard Valerie Khoo speak about her new book, Power Stories, within a ‘booked for lunch’ webinar.

She summarised the eight stories she covers in her book, being stories that are important to know and tell to make a successful business (or organisation or project).

I tweeted tips throughout the webinar, as I do, but thought I’d expand on one aspect of her talk here as well.

The first story is your passion story.passion

As I shared a few weeks ago, I started my business to share my writing skill. It was designed around two passions – flexibility to be with my children and the drive to have clear communications all around us.

I like helping people not only write well but to communicate effectively. The difference between ‘you can buy widgets from us’ and ‘you will get back two hours a week once we install a widget for you’.

Sharing my writing skills isn’t my passion story. Helping others communicate clearly and effectively is my passion – writing copy for others is just one way I put my passion into practice.

Valerie made it very clear that it is a valuable use of time to sit and articulate your passion story.

Do you know your passion story? Are you telling it enough?

My copy of Valerie’s book arrived today – a sneak peek had me hooked, too, so I am really looking forward to sitting down and reading this book.

I intend adding a review of the book once I’ve finished, but I may well end up sharing various tips from it as I go, too.

 

Why do small businesses start?

I spent last night talking with my daughter about her subject choices for school. It’s not an easy decision and there are more interesting subjects than there are spots in her timetable so each subject has to be considered for its merits.

One subject we discussed was Small Business Management (note the capitals as a subject name). The course description included ‘find out why small businesses start, what sort of businesses there are and small business marketing’.

I thought that to be an interesting choice of topics – there are so many reasons people start small businesses! Do they study a regimented ideal or will they really look at the breadth of small business types, structures and reasons for existence?

My daughter was really pleased I offered to talk to that class if the teachers wanted me to, which was nice but slightly off my topic 🙂

Why did I start my small business?

About Tash Hughes, Communications ProfessionalI can’t answer a simple question of why small businesses start – I think there are too many reasons to cover simply. But I can tell my story.

I have always been able to write (ok, since I passed Prep anyway!) but it took some time for me to realise that I do it well compared to many people and with relative ease. My love of reading and writing has certainly been a big part of my life – English was always a favourite school subject.

The idea of working for myself appealed, but I didn’t think I had anything worth selling nor the capital to start a business. So I had a variety of jobs until I was home with young children.

Thinking about what I wanted to do, work wise, so I could build skills in between parenting tasks, I liked the idea of being flexible so I was available for my children and just reporting to myself.

A friend asked for some help with her resume and covering letter – and was enthusiastic about the results and commented on how good I was at writing and seeing to the point of what needed to be written.

I helped edit the cookbook our kinder created as a fundraising project.

Then the penny dropped and I fully realised that good writing is a valued commodity that I can provide, and that running my own writing business would offer me flexibility and control.

It was also a business I could start with little  financial outlay so I dabbled, got some initial clients and then set up business properly.

Are starting reasons the ongoing reasons?

I find it intriguing whether or not the reasons someone starts a business are the same reasons that keep them going a year or five years later.

Word Constructions was started so I could be at home, working around my children, using my skills and being my own boss.

Now, nine and a half years later, it still gives me flexibility for my children, utilises my (more refined) skills and lets me be my boss (although clients have a certain amount of control, too, really!). I find that it also has developed a passion for clear communications – a passion to see more clear communications and to help other businesses communicate more effectively.

How about you – are your motivations the same as when you started a business? If not, how have they changed?

 

My passion to help others communicate  clearly fuels this blog, my Twitter objectives and my monthly newsletter.

Aim your content at your target

Whether it’s content for a blog, a newsletter, a website or anything else, it is going to produce the best results if the content and writing suit your potential buyers (your target audience).

Sounds simple, yet it isn’t always done…

Earlier this week I read a post by Paul Hassing which reminded me of when I was selling my house a few years ago. Aiming to sell the house, we tried an agent with an apparently different philosophy to most real estate companies. However, he didn’t like my cute little house (for one thing it didn’t have picture rails like our neighbour’s house did!) and couldn’t sell it. We swapped to a woman at another company who was great and sold it for an extra $20K to the same person the first agent had spoken to.

I think one factor that helped her do a much better job was her enthusiasm for the house – at her first visit she was imagining what people could do in the home and the type of furniture they’d like, and so on. She looked for what was good about the house, thought about the type of people it would appeal to and came up with ideas to feel them on the lifestyle it would give them.

The first agent didn’t like the house himself so couldn’t imagine any extras to sell to potential buyers. Agent two used passion to understand and sell to her audience; agent one saw it as a commodity and tried selling it without emotion, imagination or real interest.

So when writing content remember to pitch the message at the right people and help them picture how the product or service will fit into their lives. Targetting the right people may reach fewer people but it will get more action from those people.

Have you seen real estate agents pitch the wrong house to people, or excite people by pitching the right house to them?