The Mozzarella Stick Reminder

Oct 29, 2018Stories, Video


Howdy, howdy. Happy Monday! It's Monica here and I have a story I want to share.

I sent my nanny to the store last week and on the list was Mozzarella sticks. So if you think of Mozzarella sticks, what do you think of, right? I got these lovely TGI Friday's Mozzarella sticks but what I wanted were these snack Mozzarella sticks, right? Both are correct. Both are correct. I did not specify. And specificity of language is something that is so important and I was just reminded of it via Mozzarella sticks because I wanted these, but I got these and luckily my husband loves these so he's eating them for lunch today which is what reminded me of this story because I got a full box of these kinds of Mozzarella sticks when what I wanted was this.

And I'm pretty sure this has happened to you too, has it? Yeah, that's what I thought. Like, of course, right? Sometimes you're like, “oh, I want this”, but you ended up with something else. And not that that's something else is bad. It's just not what you wanted. So if you are trying to get these kinds of Mozzarella sticks, you should specify. ‘String cheese Mozzarella', and if you want these kinds, you should say ‘Fridays Deep Fried Mozzarella sticks'.

Add some adjectives and be more specific in your language.

This is true. I've been learning this lesson since my days at wedding channel. Actually the old CTO there, a man named Greg, is the person who really drilled this into my brain. And it was really important at the time because I was writing requirements documents which are basically the specifications for how software gets built. And if you're unclear on what you're asking for, then you're not going to end up with what you want. And as a business owner, it's so important to get good at this because when you're unclear on what you want, you can't delegate. And if you want to scale and if you want to grow, you've got to be able to delegate. So, I delegate my grocery shopping to my nanny. That's something that I don't really need to be doing. She's great at it, except when I am not specific. This failure was not on her. This failure was on me, right? Because I did not have a clear requirement for her to be able to fulfill my wishes. So if you're working with somebody and they're giving you some stuff back that you're like, “ah!”; take a look at what you're giving them because you're probably not being clear. Now, if you are being clear and they're still messing up, that's a whole different story.

But my guess is that you're probably not being super clear on what it is that you're asking for. So that was just my little Monday morning reminder that every time you make a request to somebody else, what you need needs to be super clear. And if you want string cheese Mozzarella or deep fried Mozzarella, they're both Mozzarella sticks, right? But which one? Which one do you want because it's two very different results, right?

So when you're thinking about the next time that you ask somebody for something, even in conversation, like, one of the things that I do when I'm about to have a difficult conversation is work through it all in my head and try to think of the way that person's going to take it. How are they going to think about this and what are they going to think about? What objections do they have?

And this is also really important in copywriting. When you're thinking through this conversation, what objections come up and they probably won't even tell you. I'll give you an example of this. So, actually on my second date with my now husband, it took me a long time to find him and he's incredible, I love him but it took me a while, and so he came. We were at dinner and I'm four years older than him and I was in my middle thirties. I knew one of his unanswered questions was, he really wanted to have kids. I mean it was mind blowing that we're having this conversation on date two, which is already a good sign for our relationship; but I was like, “Hey, just so you know, a lot of women in my family, including my great grandmother have had kids well into their forties.”

So I told him this because I want him to know that just because I'm a little bit older than him doesn't mean that this dream he has of having a family is off the table. Now, we weren't talking about getting married yet during our whole dating relationship. The thing that we came back to is like, “You don't have to be ready to marry me yet, but you have to know that you're… How do we do this? It doesn't have to be a yes, but it can't be a no.” So that's another fun one. That's in relationships, right? Like, you don't have to know you want to marry me yet, but you have to know that you are absolutely not going to marry me.” I'm not saying this very well. So, obviously I need to work on my specificity of language for that because I'm not very good at explaining that one.

I'm just rambling now, really. That was a really short lesson. It's going to be a really short live today, But, remember when you're asking for something or who you're talking to because you want to alleviate their fears but also just how they're gonna interpret it and then make sure that you use language specific enough to make sure that they understand. So if you're like me and talking to her nanny and asking for Mozzarella sticks, I clearly need to say string cheese, Mozzarella sticks. If you're talking to your possible future husband and letting them know you're going to have kids, that's a question I haven't answered. Just tell them a little story about how your great grandmother gave birth to your grandmother when she was 44 and this was many, many moons ago; so you're probably just fine to have kids in your forties.

So, I hope that helps. Let me know if it did. I would love to hear your comments below. And then lets you also know that one of the things that I'm working on is how to use the specificity of language to persuade your readers to buy the things that you are creating to help their lives. So I'm going to get into some more details about that later, but that is headed your way soon. So I'm excited and I'll talk to you tomorrow.