What the acupuncturist reminded me about MASTERY…


So I’m laying on a bed with acupuncture needles in me this morning, thinking about you. I’m thinking about us, all of us who are service providers, how we handle our clients, and how we’re handled as a client when we’re out in the world.

I’m at Dr. Tony’s office, by recommendation of a friend. That’s all I need to get me somewhere, really. I’m at tea with a friend, I mention something, they say “you have to go see so-and-so” and I’m there. Because I believe we’re divinely guided, and because my friends are that good. No Google searches, I don’t shop around, I don’t check out the guy’s website. I call the number she texts me and next thing I’m on a bed with needles in me.

I get there and among the certificates and doctor-y stuff are (live) plants and big pieces of artwork. DaVinci’s Vitruvian man. Piles of thank you cards. These are all good signs. But the office is a humble one, nothing fancy.

It seems like the kind of business I’ve always admired: a quiet master doing their thing. Nothing showy, no advertising, found by word of mouth.

The doctor doesn’t ask my name, he doesn’t explain acupuncture or even ask why I’m there. While one hand reads my palm, the other jots down notes in Chinese. He asks some questions which are straight to the point. I have a soft spot for straight shooters, and accents, so this guy is already golden. I have some cheeky but honest answers, I see a twinkle in his eye and next thing I’m in a comfy room with needles in me. I have no idea how long it will take, but after a while, the doc comes back, takes out the needles, says “cya!” and disappears.

I’m aware this type of bedside manner might turn some people off, but I LOVE it.

I love efficiency and it’s relationship to mastery.

Beyond being capable and competent, effectual and proficient, skillful and talented, even beyond being an expert, there is a level of mastery that is deft, that is full of finesse and prowess. It’s performance. It’s potent and powerful. It’s on the level of a virtuoso, a genius, and (as thesaurus(dot)com suggests)…wizardry. (Love that).

This level of mastery doesn’t need ornamentation. It doesn’t need padding. The proof is in the pudding and the people who are in search of it will resonate with it no matter what the packaging looks like.

Everyone wants a beautiful online presence, one that inspires confidence and trust. You already have the formula to deliver that, it’s in what you do, not in what fonts you use or what color scheme you employ.

Ask yourself today, if you had your ideal client in front of you, and all you had was a blank piece of paper and a pen, what questions would you be asking them? What would you want to know before they had a chance to ask you anything? What skill do you have that you would employ in that moment? Is this reflected on your site? Is it immediately identifiable on your Home page? Is it in the way you talk about your work? Yourself?

I’m guessing whatever your answers are, it’s part of who you are, and therefore it should be part of your brand. This is your gift and your genius. Don’t let it get buried, or even hidden, by beautiful wrapping.

You have the goods. They don’t need to be perfectly gift wrapped, they just need to be delivered. I see too many people get stuck on packaging, for too long. And I see many of us lusting after beautiful visual identities that speak to people because they are supporting something deeper: a skill and talent so unique and clear that it can’t help but shine through (or inspire) the way it’s delivered.

Your mastery is there too. Let it come out.