Write Choice Services, Inc.

May 2016

How are you different?

From the Pen of Dr. Tim Morrison, President and Writing Coach of Write Choice Services, Inc.

My son, Joel, who lives in Stow, Ohio, participates in a “Beer and Theology” discussion group that meets in various bar/restaurants in Cleveland. The group does what its name suggests: they drink beer and discuss theology – serious theology like systematic, process, various doctrines. Recently, Joel attended the formation meeting for a similar group in Akron. Joel shared with me that the participants began by mentioning the churches to which each belonged and what they saw as unique about their congregations. Joel said they spoke of their quality youth programs, strong choirs, impressive worship, great staff, and on and on. When it came Joel’s turn to speak, he made a comment and asked a question, “Every church claims to have what each of you has shared. I want to know what makes you different in the community. How do you reach out to the community beyond your church building and make a difference?” There was silence.

I was recently the guest speaker at a networking group. Those present each had one minute to share his or her networking speech. Of the many who spoke, I remembered one sentence from two different individuals.  One said, “Most insurance companies offer two options: take it or leave it.” The other, a photographer, remarked, “Not all head shots have to be the same.”

These two individuals would not have had to say much more – although they did go on to use their sixty seconds – because they already had my attention. In their individual sentences they told me that they viewed their work differently. They got my attention. There were probably twenty five present that morning. I listened to each one speak; I remember only two.

There have to be stories behind those remarks -“take it or leave it” and “not all head shots have to be the standard format;” – stories of a business perspective and a different approach. What have these business people discovered in their field? How does each business person then take that awareness, apply it practically to their profession and make a difference? This is the stuff of a book. Not necessarily a long book but certainly Your Unique Business Card® – a registered product of Write Choice Services.

How are you different? What unique knowledge do you bring to your business, profession or leadership? How did you attain that knowledge? What is the overall impact and how do others benefit? How well do you explain that?

In the guest column that follows, Vanessa Lowry shares how she makes a difference with and for her clients.  I know firsthand. She recounts the impact she had on my book, Writing Secrets.

How does your difference make a difference?

by Vanessa Lowry

How does your difference make a difference?

In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, she talks about following your curiosity as fodder for creativity. As one who is naturally curious, I’ve accumulated a variety of knowledge, experience, and skills. My life and career path wanders through roles as an entrepreneur, spiritual journeyer, martial artist, massage therapist, radio host, artist, professional doodler, and writer. This diverse conglomeration of experiences gives me lots of dots to connect together in my primary profession as a graphic designer and marketing consultant.

When I meet with an author about their book cover or to discuss marketing strategies, I listen carefully. My goal is to hear their vision and add my own mix of knowledge, experience, and skill to create something neither of us would have forged alone.

The first project I worked on with Dr. Tim Morrison was his book Writing Secrets. As we discussed the lectio divina process described in his manuscript, it occurred to me that the process of going inward for answers reminded me of walking a labyrinth. When I mentioned that to Tim, his eyes lit up immediately and we took off on an amazing collaboration.

The labyrinth became the starting point for the book cover, interior format design, and marketing materials. This theme ignited ideas that Tim incorporated into his manuscript. The result is a published book with distinct visuals and content.

Even though Tim has worked with a number of other graphic designers, this was an experience that sparked his creativity in a different way. Since then, we’ve collaborated on multiple books Tim has authored or coauthored, as well as numerous client projects.

As you choose members of your publishing team, look for those with skills and experience, but who also encourage an exploration of ideas that collaboratively bolster your creativity.

Want a handout of tips for working with a graphic designer? Send me an email at vlowry@gmail.com.


Vanessa Lowry is a marketing consultant, graphic designer,author, artist, and professional doodler. She leverages more than thirty years of design and marketing expertise to support authors, consultants, and small business owners.

Find out more about her and see a portfolio of her work at www.VanessaLowry.com.



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