“The pen is mightier than the sword” – term was coined by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 for his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy. If you hone your words effectively, what a sharp and clear business you will have.

My 5 patterns on how words define your business:

  1. Words convey ideas
  2. Each word is equally important in delivery
  3. Mismanagement of words lead to confusion
  4. Words have a subtle and undeniable power because of its quiet and calm approach – no visuals or audio – that allow its reach to be as far as our own fathomable imagination
  5. Brevity is key – brevity is not the limitation of words, it is the limitation of extraneous words

‎”Brevity is the soul of wit.” -Shakespeare

Words are every bit of an art form as your photography. It’s not easy finding the right words to define your business. But when you do, your resolve and business direction will be ever more clear!

Less is More

This morning I sent out a mass email with nothing more than…







This is bravery.







  1. Was I afraid that people would unsubscribe? Yes.
  2. Did it get my point across? Hopefully.

I selected a number of companies that have short and powerful mantras. If we were to examine the phrases by themselves, they seem fragmented. Yet they make perfect sense. I added my own thoughts in [brackets].

[Don’t delay -] Just do it

Don’t be evil [to end users]

Rewarding everyday moments

Notice how they don’t mention “coffee?”

Expect More [Design, Innovations, Experience]. Pay Less [Money].

Ingredients For Life

Very funny.

Cable broadcast was implied, thus excluded.

We know drama.

Cable broadcast was implied, thus excluded.

Sponsors of tomorrow.

Pure Premium [what???]

Orange juice was implied, thus excluded.


Crafting Your Brand

Pattern #4 – “…subtle and undeniable power… that allow its reach to be as far as our own fathomable imagination.” What I meant was that you get to create the remainder of the above slogans however it fits you. What I put in brackets is what fits me at the moment.

I wrote an article earlier about crafting your photography brand. It’s good, but very formulaic. Like the aforementioned, powerful brands can exclude superfluous or implied definers.


More accurately, the right words are powerful. They define…

  • what you are
  • who you are
  • what you want to achieve as a business

Similarly, how I define my dragon while reading a novel will be completely different from how you perceive yours. This is why movies rarely live up to our expectations.

This is why my pen is my sword.

What’s next?

  1. If you enjoyed this article, I encourage you to share the knowledge with Retweet and Facebook buttons below.
  2. Don’t worry about a slogan, start by picking three words that define your business and comment below. It will be a good start.

Yours truly,

Lawrence Chan

P.S. This is why my ebook is short, but powerful. I trimmed it down a lot. I value time and I surely don’t want to waste yours.

P.P.S. Yesterday, [b]ecker and I had a wonderful discussion on The [b] School Study Hall. If you missed it, you can join to watch the HD replay.

P.P.P.S. Next week I will discuss the power of a singularly unique voice through words. Excited? I am!

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P.P.P.P.S. Winners of the ebook drawing

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