You know what?

Being a copywriter comes with some pretty interesting baggage.

It’s not something you choose really… it chooses you.

I for one have this talent, this tendency, proclivity even…

One that’s awesome for my clients, and not always easy for me (or the people in my life)

Basically, being able to perceive people’s REAL motivations.

Right through ALL of that veneer, learned behaviours, mimicry, politeness and on and on.

In an instant. Clear as a whistle. GOT it.

”I see you” as they say in those funky blue Avatar movies.

It’s great when I get to employ that in a professional setting.

Say, there’s someone coming to me with a fitness product they want me to sell.

In an instant, I know their customers are NOT looking for a fitness plan or a personal trainer.

I SEE their pain; how they once got a stinging poolside comment about their flabby belly within earshot of their wife and how it secretly ruined his entire vacation and he NEVER wants to feel like that again, no matter what.

Okay. Easy. Then I just go about awakening that pain in an empathetic way, and gently lead the prospect towards the obvious solution my client just happens to be selling.

Oversimplification, yes. But that’s essentially what happens inside of me that nobody sees.

What’s less fun is I cannot really turn it off in the rest my life. Not without considerable effort.

So I end up in a meeting room with a smiling courteous fella, whose word everyone in the room hangs on.

And he says he wants to work with me, all sweet and nice.

But in that same INSTANT, I can see through all of it and see their real, raw, well disguised motivation just happens to be a complete opposite of their well rehearsed words. They’re in it for ’the bag’ and personal legacy; I’m clearly in the way.

So this is when it gets tricky; do I go along with what’s being spoken out loud?

Or do I trust my well-honed gut, knowing I’ll bear the brunt of the rest of the room’s disagreement?

Do I dare be the naysayer at the expense of that social lubrication called acceptance?

Too often in my past, I’ve just gone along and silenced that clear voice in my head. Maybe I was just daydreaming, what the hell, let’s power through it.

And yet, 99% of the time, my gut was proven right as time goes on.

Regardless of any ”belief in people” I may have applied to the situation.

(A remnant of my Nokia days by the way, warrants another writeup another time…)

Thankfully, this ability goes the other way too.

Which is to say, I sometimes find the diamond in the rough.

A person who’s been pushed by the wayside, all they need is the right push from someone who believes in them. How about that, in a few moments they’re back on their feet and doing well.

A product a client has forgotten all about that I clearly see should get the full launch treatment. And how about that, a hit product was born that bears fruit for years to come.

What’s funny is… this ability to ”SEE through” is maybe 80% inborn, and 20% practice.

As a result, it’s been super hard to pass on to junior copywriters and such. And I’ve almost given up trying to do so.

Of course I’m not alone in being like this. There’s some copywriters who I’m told are similar, such as Brian Keith Voiles (never knew him but his reputation preceded him).

Every now and then I get the prodding to attempt to put it all in writing, a book, something more tangible than a coffee table conversation.

Maybe it’s possible to convey in some way? I don’t really know.

But I like the thought of there being more people with some version of this ’x-ray’ vision into the human condition.

Maybe together we can achieve a lot – yes in the service of business, but also to pierce the veil of illusion that’s been getting thicker and thicker in recent years.

”I see you”. See you around?

PS. As you may or may not know, us Finns are notoriously reluctant to talk themselves up in ANY way at all. ”If you’re good at anything or experience any happiness, keep it to yourself”.  So consider this a major departure from my ancestral roots, haha… #moretocome.
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