Wally’s private parts
Wally, a mysterious person I have never met, has the best sign advertising a parts store by far. Came around yet another corner on a winding road and there it was: Wally’s Private Parts. We must have passed hundreds of signs on that particular journey, but I will always remember Wally’s. Very entertaining. Over a year has gone by, and we are still laughing.
Thanks for the good memories!
His simple sign was original, creative, funny, memorable, and also very informative. In a moment, anyone driving by knew where to go and who to talk to if their forestry equipment suddenly broke down. Why deal with some generic parts store when you have an excuse to meet an interesting and creative guy named Wally? And with any luck he would answer that earnest knock on his door fully clothed.
Sure, this creative sign was a marketing manuever – a way of getting attention. Obviously, a communication strategy that worked well for a couple of people travelling on by. But this creative presentation also makes me realize that vocational callings can sound unnecessarily dull because of how they are routinely described. Would you agree?
If this is the case, it might partly explain why the decision-making process is such a challenge for some people. After all, why get excited about any occupation if they all sound stale and dry and boring and dull?
So if nothing grabs your attention, perhaps it’s time to rephrase or rethink a few viable options. Try to describe an occupation you might have even briefly considered in the past in a more interesting way. Consider the following examples.
Some time ago, while sitting in a local restaurant, I realized that the people who worked there provided much more than food. Yes, they served excellent meals and they provided a nice atmosphere, etc. But most of all, they provided fuel for life. It’s stating the obvious, but without food and energy everything grinds to a halt in a very short period of time. It’s like running out of gas halfway to your destination.
Notice the contrast: “I am a cook.” vs. “I provide fuel for life.” Both phrases may be true, but which definition or description do you prefer? Which one grabs you?
Another example. Not too long ago, I heard about guy who had a fence building business. Of course there are all sorts of reality TV shows based on the excitement, glamour, and status surrounding such business ventures. Or not. But the way I heard how he described his business made me quite interested. What did he do for a living? He helped people establish boundaries in their lives.
Again, notice the contrast: “I build fences.” vs. “I provide boundaries.” Which phrase makes you feel tired? And which one makes you interested and energized?
Or take what I am doing at this moment: writing a blog post for this website. Every day thousands of website managers and bloggers post articles and create content for their sites. Happens all the time. Over and over again. It’s as common as a curve on a winding road or another sign off to the left. And it doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But what if this brief description doesn’t accurately describe what is going on?
It’s funny how labels and common phrases can sometimes obscure meaning and make us forget about larger goals. And when that happens, selecting a career becomes even more complicated and unnecessarily dull.
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