When someone asks what you or your business does, how do you answer? Do you say, "I’m an accountant," or, "My business sells advertising," or something similar? While those answers get the information across, they fail to convey how you or your business impacts others. To do that, you need a power statement.
What’s a Power Statement?
A power statement is a one-sentence explanation not just of what you do but of the benefits you give society. It establishes that you don’t just punch a clock each day for a paycheck but strive to enhance other people’s well-being. Best of all, it leaves people wanting to know how you accomplish the things you do.
What makes a good power statement? First, it should be one sentence. Don’t bog it down with flowery language or jargon. Just explain in seven words or fewer the value you create, who you create it for, and the social outcome of that.
Why Do Power Statements Work?
To understand why power statements work, consider Amanda Steinberg, founder of DailyWorth.com, a website dedicated to women’s financial empowerment. When asked what she does, she doesn’t reply, "I run a financial website," or, "I’m a financial counselor." Instead, she says, "[I] use my gifts of intelligence, charisma, and serial optimism to cultivate the self-worth and net-worth of women around the world."
Though talking about her intelligence and charisma may sound like bragging, it conveys what she brings to the table. But what makes the statement most compelling is the second half, where Steinberg clearly and concisely explains the value she gives others. Her power statement begs the follow-up question, "Wow, how do you do that?" Now the door is open for her to sell her business and her talents. That’s the power of a power statement.
Who Needs a Power Statement?
The short answer: everyone.
You don’t have to be a business owner or entrepreneur to benefit from a power statement. If you want to move up the ladder in your nine-to-five, you still have to convince the higher-ups of what you have to offer. To do that, you need a short, impactful statement describing your value.
What if you’re out of work and looking for a job? Think of the flood of resumes that sought-after positions draw. To get a call, yours needs to stand out, so grab the hiring manager’s attention with a powerful statement of purpose.
How to Develop a Power Statement
Ready to develop your power statement? Try these steps:
- Ask yourself what you or your business does better than anyone else.
- Brainstorm as many action words as possible to describe what that is.
- Pick the most impactful words.
- Post them in prominent places around your office or home to keep them fresh in your mind.
- Over the ensuing days or weeks, develop statements around those words.
- Say them out loud, try them on other people, and go with the one that has the most impact.
When someone asks what you do, you have a perfect opportunity to create value and sell yourself. Rather than letting the moment pass with a dull response, capture their attention with the perfect power statement.