I won ‘Best Plain English Turnaround’ at the New Zealand Plain English Awards last week!
While the award’s pretty cool, it’s the work that was done and my client agreement that resulted in the award that I’m so rapt about!
I turned 50 yesterday and earlier this year that looming milestone instilled an audacity in me that prompted me to think ‘ya know what, I want to run my business my way’.
So I began to look at everything client-facing, starting with my client agreement. I needed to find someone who’d ‘get me’ and help me express myself and how I wanted to work professionally, but not boringly. I didn’t want someone who was boring, conventional or safe so I teamed up with writing trainer Shelly Davies. You certainly can’t call Shelly boring, conventional or safe!
I was really mindful that people don’t want to read legal agreements that are boring and full of jargon, so we got rid of all of that in the client agreement. It’s now refreshingly real and to have it validated and the work Shelly and I have done confirms the direction I’ve chosen to go is a good one.
It’s liberating to move away from boring, technical legalese language that we’re told we should use.
The judges said: “You’ve taken a legal document and turned it on its head. It’s brilliantly unconventional, witty, exudes personality, and was a pleasure to read. The word choice is casual and direct with a distinct tone. Some will consider it unbusiness-like and will not do business with this company. Others will find it refreshing and move forward — exactly the intent to weed out those who find it offensive and to sign on those who find it refreshing.”
Everything in my business is now becoming 100 per cent me. That’s liberating for me and my clients. I’m proving Infinite Possibilities isn’t just two cute words. I know it is possible to have it both ways. Having a legal document that isn’t boring or difficult to read is just one example of that. I know there are many more.