Clarity Wins, by Steve Woodruff: a short, powerful book that makes a difference


All sorts of stuff comes into my inbox. One day, a guy named Steve Woodruff asked me if I would edit his book. As it turned out, that was one of the best days I had this year.

Steve’s little book is called “Clarity Wins: Get heard. Get referred.” (It’s available today.) It’s startling in its honesty. It’s full of truths about what it takes to succeed, especially if you’re a small business or a consultant. This is not one of those “hustle-’til-you-drop” type books, it’s not about manipulating people in sales situations, and it’s not about firm handshakes or social media strategies.

It’s about you. It’s about how you describe what you do.

That seems simple, but as Steve picks it apart for you, you’ll begin to see that you’ve been a bit mixed up — and why that is getting in your way.

This book is shorter than most business books, but is far more likely to have a long-term impact on your success. You can read it and put it into action immediately.

I did the foreword for this book for nothing. My name is on the cover. I don’t often do that, but I’m happy to be visibly endorsing Steve’s potent little bullet of wisdom.

Here’s what I wrote. Read this, and then spend all of $8.99 (or $0.99 for the ebook) and buy a copy.

Foreword to Clarity Wins 

Life is a muddle.

Life is filled with misunderstandings, loved ones who change their minds, children, pets, flat tires, presidential elections, and any number of other sources of chaos and confusion. The chaos is inescapable.

Business is no different. If anything, it’s worse. In most companies, people who work together to generate a profit operate in a barely controlled manner. Those same companies pay consultants millions of dollars to create “identities” for themselves and then, for the most part, operate in a way that undermines those carefully curated identities. No one really questions this; it seems to just be part of the air we breathe in the business world. It’s background noise.

At least no one questioned it until Steve Woodruff came along.

Steve is a really nice guy who is also really smart. (It’s amazing how infrequently those two qualities go together.) More to the point: Steve is clear. He is clear about who he is, what he does, and how it helps people. Steve is the King of Clarity.

Steve has had a simple but powerful insight: clarity creates referrals.

If you pick a specific target market, identify how you can help people in that market, and follow through, you will have happy clients. But happy clients, in themselves, are not enough.

You’ll have happy clients who can refer you. Those clients will say, “Yes, Merlina, when it comes to copy editing business books, she is the best there is.” Or “You need to integrate your Web site with salesforce? You really should talk to the people at Cloud Widget.”

Or “You need help with clarity and referrals? Talk to Steve Woodruff.”

Referrals are more important than search engine optimization. They’re more important than digital advertising, your LinkedIn description (which is probably lame), your tweets, what shoes you wear, or how firm your handshake is. Referrals are the direct path from doing a good job to getting more business. And the reason you’re not getting more of them is that people don’t know how to describe what you do – because you don’t know how to describe what you do. This book helps with that.

This is an easy book to consume. It’s simple and short and seems logical. It’s would be easy to read it, smile, and then go on with your chaotic day and do everything the same way you have been.

Please don’t do that.

Here’s what you should do.

First, read these pages and take notes about what this means to you, your career, and your business. Go ahead, highlight and dog-ear the pages (or whatever passes for those actions in the eBook version).

Pigeonhole yourself (yes, you read that that right – Clarity Wins teaches you how to do that).

Stop doing lots of things sorta okay and start doing a few things – or one thing – really well.

Then you’ll start to see clients multiply.

Life is a muddle. But your work doesn’t have to be. Clarity not only generates business, it feels great.

So stop fooling around and get to work on it.

— Josh Bernoff, author, Writing Without Bullshit

7 responses to “Clarity Wins, by Steve Woodruff: a short, powerful book that makes a difference

  1. Almost done reading this. It’s just what I needed at this stage of my career. I’ll be ordering additional copies to give to colleagues and friends. Thanks for the recommendation, Josh, and thanks Steve for sharing your experience and insights.

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