Let your clients catch up. There’s value in slowing down, taking our clients thoughtfully into account, and being more open, accessible.
“The dream was always running ahead of me.
To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle.” ~ Anais Nin
My brilliant and kind developmental editor, publishing savant, and friend, AJ Harper, took me through her notes on my manuscript, one by one. She then paused.
“This next note applies throughout the manuscript,” she said. “You’ll see in this section, you are too far above the problem here. You’ve moved on. Of course, it is important that you have distance from parts of the struggle. Your readers need that from you because they need to know you are OK. But it is important to show where you are still in the weeds with certain challenges. Let the reader catch up.”
I knew immediately what she meant.
“Moving on quickly is a big part of my personality, so it’s not just a writing style,” I said. “I’ll go back in and look for all the places I haven’t let the reader assimilate the teaching points.”
The Next Adventure
Racing off to the next thing provides me with a key element of variety and fresh energy. Once I’ve soaked in an experience and enjoyed the growth and joy of it, I’m looking for the next adventure. The fresh insight, the new chance to learn and feel something different.
Enjoying a steady stream of new stimuli is electric and uplifting. However, as entrepreneurs and creators, we will do our clients such a greater service if we refrain from unintentionally galloping ahead. Because we are experts in our fields and our artistic media of choice, it is easy for us to forget what it was like when we first started. The feeling of disorientation when we were beginning to learn.
Let Your Clients Catch Up
Consider where you might have the “curse of knowledge” in your enterprise. Have a look at your marketing copy, content, processes, and products/services. Adopt a Beginner’s Mind, and look for places where you might be assuming your ideal client has more knowledge or understanding than they really do.
Where are you racing off and leaving your clients behind? Where are they lost or confused?
Importantly, I realized that my being too far above a previous challenge was my way of putting some distance between the pain and ick of that moment and the present. Doing so seems reasonable and forward-thinking.
I learned, though, that there is a cost. A cost of putting distance between my clients/readers and me.
I know we all want to power ahead and clutch the juice of the new idea, the next thing. Not linger in the past. There’s value, though, in slowing down, taking our clients thoughtfully into account, and being more open, accessible, empathic.
When those we love to serve can feel the light of our attention shining upon them, their true transformation becomes possible.