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Small Business Clarity Therapist

About every six weeks or so, usually on a Friday morning, I get into my car and drive 20 minutes to one of New Jersey’s better diners to meet my good friend Steve Woodruff. Steve is a great breakfast partner. We typically spend 60-90 minutes on several themed topics. We solve at least two of the world’s problems (10-15 minutes), discuss the latest trends in social media and what our friends are doing (another 10-15 minutes) and lastly, we conjure up different ways to meet and exceed the needs of our respective clients (40-60 minutes).

In our last breakfast, I decided to shake things up a bit. Steve’s day job is helping people and companies find their “core fit” in a specific marketplace. Having gone through his session, I can attest that the clarity I received was critical to the success I had in launching my second company. I thought it would be a great idea to interview Steve so that you might learn a thing or two about your “core fit” in whatever sandpit you’re playing in these days.

Brian: You refer to yourself as a business Clarity Therapist, which sounds cool, but what does that mean exactly?

Steve: Every small business, to stand out, needs a very clear focus and message. Clarity Therapy is a process of helping a business, through a one-day intensive session, arrive at its core, differentiating identity or its “fit” in the marketplace.

Brian: It sounds like a form of branding with some extra magic.

Steve: That’s a fair assessment! The magic is uncovering the unique DNA of the company – identifying the unique strengths, offerings, and market opportunities that will lead to the greatest success. It’s not just branding, it’s clear direction.

Brian: What are the deliverables of a Clarity Therapy session?

Steve: We arrive at key words as the deliverables. A 10-word (or less) summary, a compact story, a defined niche and clear offering, and a memorable analogy are the building blocks of all subsequent marketing. One major goal is to have such a clear message that people can easily remember and refer the business.

Brian: A lot of companies and individuals seem to have muddled messages. They do 20 different things and it’s not clear what their sweet spot is. Do you help them fix that?

Steve: That’s exactly the problem we’re aiming at with Clarity Therapy. I see so many websites, Power point presentations and resumes that are little more than bullet point lists. It often takes an outside set of eyes, a different perspective, to see the true DNA of the business and distill it to a clear expression. As the artwork in my office so accurately describes it, “You Can’t Read the Label of the Jar You’re In!”

Brian: Who is your target audience for Clarity Therapy?

Steve: While the need is pretty much universal, I specialize in helping small businesses, solopreneurs, and even professionals in career transition. Clarity Therapy has grown primarily through word of mouth, including testimonials like the ones on my website.

Brian: You and I have enjoyed many long brain-storming discussions when I launched my latest business. There’s no question that doing the deep dive into my professional DNA, as you so aptly put it, shed light on the direction I should take. Do your clients have a similar epiphany?

Steve: Interestingly enough, many of my clients have been in business for years, and the greatest need is to sort through all the numerous possible options. It’s not trying to come up with something out of thin air. Individuals and companies at a “mid-life” fork in the road are often the most open to some clarity therapy!

Brian: Thanks Steve. As always, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my breakfast with you. This one’s on me 😉

Steve Woodruff is world’s only Clarity Therapist, a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, and a builder of business referral networks. He blogs at, and can be found on Twitter at @swoodruff.

Image credit: Johnkay (Flickr Creative Commons License)

Brian Moran

Brian Moran

Prior to rejoining the world of entrepreneurship, Brian was the Executive Director of Sales Development at the Wall Street Journal where he oversaw the sales development and marketing programs for the financial and small business categories among the many Journal brands. From 2002-2010, Brian was President of Veracle Media and Moran Media Group.

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