“What do you want from life? Well, you can’t have that, but if you’re an American citizen you are entitled to: a heated kidney shaped pool, a microwave oven – don’t watch the food cook, a Dyna-Gym...”
Bill Spooner and Michael Evans
Talk, write and think with clarity.
As the parent of three, I’ve observed a trend: no teenager wants to write a second draft, but none figure out what they really want to say until – at least – the end of the first draft.
The same goes for me.
When I was young, I could get pretty good grades on my first draft. Today, I make five to ten passes through everything that I write. In some cases, my final piece bears no resemblance to my first draft, but when this happens, I am thrilled, because the ideas contained in the final piece soundly beat my original thoughts.
Take these words, for example. I spend most of my time working as a ghostwriter for entrepreneurs and executives. But this idea has been trying to get my attention for months, so I decided to start 2013 by investing a week in writing a short guide for people, like me, who could use a simple reminder how to successfully navigate the future.
Even though I’m writing this book quickly, I’ll do my best to edit each sentence, to proof it, and to promote it. Clarity matters. (At this point, I am SO hoping that you do not find a typo.)
Be clear about what you believe, and about what you are doing. If you want a summer job, an internship, or a new career – tell everyone. If you have an ethical problem with your current situation – admit it, and fix it. When you write, write clearly. When you speak, speak clearly. Even if it takes a long time to choose precisely the right words.
Want to leverage these principles in your own career and life? Read my book How to Self-Promote without Being a Jerk.