Choose your weapon: Are you an Allen wrench or a ratchet?
Weekly email archives and occasional extra words that don't have a home anywhere else on my site.
The humble Allen wrench.
If you’ve ever bought flat-pack furniture, you have roughly 743 of these floating around in your junk drawer(s).
Or maybe it’s just me. Help?!
As a new-ish homeowner, I have a love-hate relationship with the Allen wrench.
The blisters on my index fingers from the turn, turn, turn of a thousand screws are just healing from one floor-to-ceiling bookcase I put together last week for my office remodel.
And as I was dreading putting the second one together, I had a thought:
💡 I can’t get around using an Allen wrench, but maybe there’s a way to do this smarter.
So I went to the hardware store and found a ratchet I could fit with a 4mm hex bit.
Same basic tool — but with a mechanism that does it with about a quarter of the effort.
(Bonus: It makes a satisfying clicking noise when it really starts working!)
The first bookcase took me about 2 hours and a litany of swears to assemble. The second took 45 minutes at most, and I all but whistled while I worked.
Side by side, the completed bookcases look identical. But my blistered fingers and I can both tell the difference.
SO AGAIN YOU ASK: What in the Swedish meatballs does this have to do with me, Paige?
Here’s what it has to do with you: There’s a hard way to do things, and there’s a simpler, smarter way.
In early 2019, I was using the out-of-the-box Allen wrench to assemble my clients’ copywriting work, making assumptions about their narrative based on a hunch or lil’ brief they’d sent me.
All parties were satisfied when the project was done, but I was starting from scratch. every. time. (Be real: Is this ringing a bell for you?)
Then I found my simpler, smarter.
When I became a StoryBrand Certified Guide, I finally adopted a framework to shape my clients’ marketing message and get strategic before writing a single word of website or email copy.
A clear message makes writing easier, faster, and more effective once it’s out in the world.
You could say it’s really ratcheted up my ability to deliver good copy. 😜
And that’s why I just renewed my certification for a fourth year.
So: Is wheel reinvention your thing when it comes to marketing? Or have you found an easier way?
Can I help you find an easier way? I offer hourly consulting. Just sayin’. (I could also help you put a bookcase together. I have a ratchet.)
Let me know what’s got your fingers feeling cramped and blistery.
I will now retire this metaphor forever,
P.S. I totally get the satisfaction of a DIY job well done, but sometimes time is money. Even for furniture-assembly warriors.
I paid a stranger to come to my home and put a mid-century modern (ish) sideboard from Amazon together while I did client work. Best $375 I’ve ever spent.
Maybe you’ll feel the same about a $375 hour of consulting. Don’t know till you try…
F-S: Reserved for rest