After my masked trip to the supermarket, I saw a wallet in a shopping cart—crammed in the corner of the lot near my car, but far away from everything else.
It was open, with papers and a checkbook sticking out.
With everything feeling questionable right now, I hesitated: Was this wallet safe to touch? Or was this some sort of bait for a weird scam? I thought, just disinfect your hands, get in your car, and go home.
But then I thought: What if it really is someone’s wallet? What if it were my wallet?
So I spent 10 minutes online locating this woman, Wendy, to whom the wallet belonged. Turns out she worked inside the supermarket.
She was so immensely grateful. She told me:
I was running around like crazy. I had to go home and bring my kids groceries. What’s happening in the world is making me so anxious—and then losing my wallet on top of it?! I can’t thank you enough.
I was almost someone who put on my blinders and ignored the wallet, consumed by headlines and worries and fears. But taking that action to help…it felt so good. It was the most calm and happy I felt all day. Not to mention the fact that Wendy deserved my gratitude; she’s working in the supermarket and keeping me fed!
We’re all still people who sometimes need help, COVID-19 or not. I know it’s crazy and uncertain and scary—but let’s stick together and smile from underneath our face masks.
Life-affirming conversations, new friendships, oneness, unexpected laughter, fulfilling work—so much of it starts with a smile.
And in case you haven’t had coffee yet and this uber-cheery message makes you gag and want to unsubscribe, here’s the whole truth: Sometimes I don’t feel like smiling. Sometimes I feel pissy for no apparent reason! But the act of smiling actually makes me feel like smiling.
So, when in doubt, I smile.
Does your website help you smile at people? If not, let’s talk.
The air conditioning in my car was busted. It was 97 degrees and humid. But I had somewhere to be 90 minutes away, so I got an icy drink and went for it.
Boy, was it hot.
Once my body got used to the heat, I realized a few things about driving with the windows open.
You smell things. Food, farms, flowers, people doing laundry. Some aren’t very good smells, but some are great!
You feel things. Wind in your hair, dust in your eyes, sweat dripping down your temple.
You are closer to others. I said “Cute dog!” to somebody on the sidewalk. And heard the lady in front of me singing “Thunder Road” into her water bottle microphone. I also shared a camaraderie-infused thumbs-up with a fellow windows-open road warrior.
I arrived sweaty, and perhaps slightly dehydrated, but feeling very much alive. Invigorated even!
We are lucky to live during the Age of Air Conditioning. When we can cruise around in cool, serene, noise-insulated comfort.
But sometimes we should put down our windows.
And let people see us.
And stick our arms out and wave.
And be sweaty and real.
Especially when it comes to the words on our websites.
Here’s to letting people in, and waving at pup-destrians.
Do you ever think, Hey, I should _________, and then not do it because you’re scared?
But increasingly, I ignore my internal censor and do weird, embarrassing things.
I share my Peanut M&Ms with the gas attendant. Granted, it’s mostly because I don’t want to eat the whole bag myself, but still.
I tip people with random things in my purse, like bananas, apples and Kind Bars, because I never have cash. (I’m actively trying to keep cash on me, because this is ridiculous.)
Sometimes, when coffees are $1 at Wawa, I buy an extra one and give it to someone. The mail lady, the lawn guy, a crossing guard.
I run outside (like it’s Christmas morning) to meet strangers’ dogs as they walk by.
If I see someone and think, “Wow, that shirt is so cute” or “What a great haircut,” I go over and tell them.
Sometimes, I put my foot in my mouth. Like the time I told a guy his necklace was cool, only to find out it wasn’t a necklace. It was a tracheostomy hole. Sometimes, people think I’m nuts. But most of the time people smile and we start a conversation.
In hindsight, I realize some really great friendships have begun this way.
When we’re weird (and potentially embarrassing), we open ourselves up to a lot more connection. Worth it! I’m not saying you should be a total weirdo on your business website, but a little authenticity goes a long way.
It’s chilly here in New Jersey. And what better to do than snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie?! “Moonstruck” is one of my all-time favorites — funny, charming, with Cher AND Olympia Dukakis…come on! — and I just realized what a valuable business lesson it has.
Many of my clients are creative professionals and web designers, who sometimes feel pressure to justify their prices to clients. But I think we should all take a lesson from Cosmo Castorini.
The clients who don’t understand the value of the copper pipe will figure it out eventually. (How many clients have found you after multiple tries with other service providers?) Or they won’t. But the right clients will respect the value you bring. It’s not your job to justify. You just need to do an awesome job installing the copper pipe for those who appreciate it.
You (and your services) cost money because you save money. Got it?
P.S. Need someone to help show off your fine-tuned abilities? Let’s talk.
You might say, “But Frankie Valli is 84 years old. There’s no way he could be good in concert.”
Well you’d be just-plain-wrong.
I went to see Frankie Valli with my parents in Atlantic City. The audience was dancing and singing. His backup singers were alight with energy. The people-watching was beyond all expectation (I have never seen so many women in leopard print or fringe). The whole atmosphere was warm and fuzzy and joyous. I’m telling you—you could feel it!
Undeniably, Frankie Valli has a confident command of the stage and a voice like no other.
The poise that comes with experience…
The authentic, unique voice that nobody else has…
The work ethic and unwavering commitment to delivering for your audience…
That stuff is ageless. It’s what we pay for. Because it’s so, so, so special.
Trends, new competitors, new technology and new needs come and go. But HOW you show up to them—with your voice, your confidence, your commitment—those things sell tickets and make people dance.
If you bring you to everything you do—you don’t really have any competition.
On the way to dinner, I stopped at the wine store. The man behind the register said, “Can I help you find something?” I asked for a particular Chianti—my parents’ favorite.
“Head to the third aisle. It’s halfway down on the left.”
Then he added, “If you don’t see it, just yell ‘Alan.’”
This last statement made me giddy.
I’m a person who, in new situations, rarely knows what the heck to do next. I’m the girl asking, “How does this work?” pretty much everywhere I go (frozen yogurt stores, train stations, car washes). Heck, I need an instruction manual to open a gate—and if the nice employee at Trader Joe’s didn’t teach me how to grind coffee, I still wouldn’t know. So when people provide me a next step, it just lets me EXHALE.
Next steps are so important.
Let your website visitors know what to do. Guide them. Help them exhale.
Gates aren’t my specialty, but inviting web copy—that I can handle expertly,
P.S. Want to talk about the possibilities of working together? I offer a complimentary 30-minute consultation. Just email me and let’s pick a time.
12 Sparks to Write Sizzling, Audience-Attracting Website Words
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