I stole this from Jim Carrey for you

Happy New Year!

Oh, and you’re forgiven for not showering me with masses of expensive gifts on my birthday yesterday…

…you heartless monster.

Regardless of your hurtful transgression (the tears have only just stopped flowing BTW), I’m still going to give you a useful idea in this email, because that’s the kind of guy I am.

First, a joke from Jim Carrey:

“It’s embarrassing buying some medical products…

[Speaking into supermarket tannoy]”…Price check on Vagiclean, aisle five. I repeat, price check on Vagiclean, aisle five. That’s VAG-I-CLEAN. We’ve got a customer down here with a full-on fallopian fungus. She’s baking a loaf of bread and I think it’s sourdough.”

There are plenty of comedy lessons you could glean from this, but as it’s the time of year when folk are making resolutions, let’s focus on something to help you out with that.

“How can a comedian talking about Vagiclean help me ditch the doughnuts?”

Here’s a clue – what face did you make when you read “fallopian fungus”.

Yep, that face. You just did it again.

Fallopian fungus.

Sorry, I’ll stop now.

What makes this gag work is the specificity. Remove that, and it falls flat…

I’ll show you.

“It’s embarrassing buying some medical products. …Price check on anti-itch ointment, aisle five. I repeat, price check on anti-itch ointment, aisle five. That’s anti-itch ointment. We’ve got a customer down here with a bit of a problem…and it’s getting worse.”

See what I mean? Without the specifics, it would die a death.

“full-on fallopian fungus” is funnier than “a bit of an itch” because it creates a specific, powerful – and disturbing – mental image.

Knowing the power of specificity is pretty useful in your marketing.

If you want to put an image in your customers head, be specific.

Don’t say “car”, say “10 year old, beat-up Fiat Punto, with black smoke billowing from the exhaust”.

Instead of “relaxed”, say “Like the Dalai Llama after a months vacation at the Amsterdam marijuana factory”.

If you can tell your customers – specifically – what your widget can do for them and how it will make them feel, you give them something to grab onto – an experience they can vividly imagine.

But that’s marketing and business…

I promised you something to help with your new year’s resolutions.

So, before you cancel your gym membership, set fire to your “Mole-skin-ay” journals and delete the Headspace app, here’s how to use specificity to keep you on track with those goals you made for 2020:

Sit down and think about what you want to achieve this year.

Think about your goals.

…and then get specific.

Don’t think “lose weight”, think “drop 23lbs by June 21st by going to the gym three times a week and not burying my face in butter when no one’s looking”.

Don’t say “start a business”, say “create a website, where I can finally sell my unique brand of dolls clothes, knitted from my back hair”.

You get the idea.

If you’re going to change your life, you need a clear picture of where you’re headed.

Being specific creates a compelling vision in your mind, keeping you focused and more likely to achieve your goals.

So, if you really want to make 2020 your year, steal a lesson from Jim Carrey and get specific about it

Have a great week!


P.S. Want to see the gag in all its Carreyness? Here you go!