Part of my writing process is to distil important stories down to a single word. In my training we call this the ‘one idea’, which acts as a bridge between your story and message.

For instance, email 8 in my Lead Incubator sequence tells the story of how I got into barefoot running. I selected this story to illustrate some of my grounding principles, although ‘grounding’ could also be the one idea of the story.

Did you know that the Earth is negatively charged? There’s a physics rabbit hole you could disappear down, but every barefoot runner knows there’s a natural connection between your feet and the earth. So ‘grounding’, ‘natural connection’ or ‘authentic connection’ could all be the one idea.

Every story in your arsenal has multiple ‘one ideas’, where each idea is a potential exit point to the story. Identifying more exit points opens up more use cases.

This concept of the ‘one idea’ is fractal. It applies to each individual story (and each phase within a story), but also to your business as a whole. You have an overarching ‘one idea’, too.

To get to this business-level one idea, it might help to think about the themes you are pursuing this year. The themes I’m currently thinking about are ‘simplicity’ and ‘stoicism’. The ‘one idea’ I believe summarises my work is ‘reconnection’.

Like with a story I have a few options here. ‘Truth’ also comes to mind. But to me, ‘reconnection’ feels like a stronger idea. There are no right and wrong answers.

You’ll know when you’ve got the right ‘one idea’ because it’ll feel right. The ‘one idea’ then acts as a north star for everything you’re planning to write.

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About the author 

Rob Drummond

Rob is the founder of

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