For a time, I worked as a lowly fruit inspector at a now-defunct farm. My job was simple. I’d arrive early Saturday morning, clock in, say hello to the cashiers, and begin scouring the far-flung corners of our inventory for bumps, bruises, rot, and mold. Basically, anything that would repel potential customers.
One day, an older employee approached me with grace and pace. An aged tiger weaving through tall grass towards its prey.
In my inexperienced mind, it was better for business to sell average and occasionally ugly-looking produce than throw it in the trash.
Through a tense, but understanding smile, she offered a tiny chunk of advice:
“You know, sometimes less is more.”
These words have stuck with me throughout my career.
She knew the few, pristine pieces of fruit are what got people back in the door. It’s what caught eye’s browsing shelves. It built anticipation to get there before the fruit ran out. It allowed us to establish a higher price point. It made consumers tell their friends and families and co-workers that this farm had the best damn apples in the state.
Each day, I try to weave this lesson into my work by creating more impact with less words.
It isn’t easy. But I’d encourage you to do the same.
Go on then, say less.