I recently noticed that whenever I share a new concept with someone (whether they are a client, long-time friend or new prospect), I tend to use the phrase “just an idea” either in the opening or closing of my message containing the idea I am sharing with them.
I’ve decide to curb my use of the line (if not eliminate it altogether.)
Using “just” in this way feels like it devalues the content.
Think about the last time you were in the middle of a conversation with friends and your phone rang. Chances are you looked at the caller ID to see who it was, and then made a decision to answer or ignore it based on who was on the other line. Take it one step further and think of the internal language you used upon deciding to let the call go to voice mail. You may have even said it aloud to your friends as you hit the cancel button:
“Oh, it’s just ________.”
You didn’t value the call from that person (at least not in that moment) as highly as you valued your current situation.
I don’t want the people I’m sharing an idea with to feel the concept can simply be dismissed out of hand because I presented it as less important than what they are already doing. I can’t stop them from saying “Oh, it’s just an idea” — but I can certainly stop myself from positioning the idea in that manner from the very start; virtually handing them an easy way of letting themselves off-the-hook from even considering a new way of thinking.
“Just” is a synonym for “merely“, and merely is defined as “nothing more“.
Nothing more than an idea?
Merely an idea?
Hardly the weight of authority I want my concepts to carry when I send them out into the world!
An idea isn’t “just” anything.
How are you positioning your offerings to the world?
What language are you using to present your proposals and pitches?
Does it frame your offer in an important manner, or are you giving your prospects the very attitude and verbiage they need to help themselves dismiss what you have to offer.?
Can you imagine looking at your phone and saying “Oh, it’s just an opportunity” or “Oh, it’s just a better way of getting things done” or “Oh, it’s just a way to become more successful in my career”— of course not.
If I were you, I’d be going over the language in my emails and proposals with a fine-tooth comb (and a thesaurus) searching out (and replacing!) the words that may be sabotaging your success without you even knowing it.
But, hey… it’s just an idea.