They say you never forget your first love and for me, that’s totally true …
… I remember the exact moment I first tasted pesto.
It was 23 years ago, in the summer of ’92.
Nothing in my life has been the same since.
It began when my wife Linda and I were eating dinner at an Italian restaurant in Lexington, Massachusetts with our friends Val and Mike.
I don’t know why, but instead of my usual veal marsala or chicken parm, I opted for the tortellini with pesto. I really have no idea what caused me to take this dietary detour, but whatever it was, I did.
Wow … it was amazing. Smooth, but textured. Mild, but savory. Green, but not in the least bit disgusting.
And while I’m confident the pasta beneath played some small, supporting role in my meal, I’m pretty sure that had they poured that sauce over a pile of hamsters, I would not have noticed the difference.
I’m happy to further report that my love affair with pesto has only grown stronger these past many years.
I have it on chicken; I have it on fish; I spread it on sandwiches.
Sometimes, when the house is quiet and my family has gone up to bed, I open the fridge door and just look at it (sorry, too creepy?).
The point is, in my book, pesto makes just about anything better.
Now let’s talk about your writing. If it’s anything like most of the “business” writing out there, it’s decidedly un-pesto-fied.
It’s dry. It’s flavorless. It’s, and I mean no offense, just plain boring.
Not because your ideas are no good or your logic is flawed. You’ve got plenty of good insights and valuable information.
It’s because when you sit down to write your newsletter, your web site, your bio, your blog, your whitepapers, or whatever else, you insist on being “professional.”
Add to that the mythology that “nobody reads anything anymore unless it’s super-short” and you end up with plain, bland, same-as-everybody-else, tortellini. I mean content.
The pesto – your voice, your stories, your personality, your point of view – is all gone.
And that’s a problem, because your pesto is the best-o.
It’s not the only part that matters (even I don’t eat pesto straight out of the jar).
But it’s the part that makes what you say enjoyable, interesting, memorable and worth talking about.
Don’t believe me? Consider today’s article. It makes just one point: Add some personality to your writing.
I could have told you that at the very beginning and saved us both a lot of time.
Why then, are you still reading?
It’s because, I humbly submit, you’re a human being and you like stories. And humor. And zesty bits of wordplay, like, I don’t know, “zesty bits of wordplay.”
Here’s the bottom line. Information is everywhere; it’s no longer what any of us craves.
What we want instead is somebody who can simplify the complex, add some useful context and, maybe most of all, make the whole damn thing more interesting than the fifty other dull-as-dust emails hibernating in my inbox.
The way I look at it, if you put enough pesto on it, people will read just about anything.
- Do you like pesto?
- At first I wrote “cotton balls,” but I decided “hamsters” was funnier. Discuss.
- Why do you think people are so afraid to be authentic in their business communications?
Share your comments below!
If you liked this article you’ll love the next one. Click here to sign up for future posts and get a free copy of my report, “11 Business(ish) Books I Recommend to All Professional Service Providers.”