Last week I shared several questions designed to help you amplify what it is you want to be known for. Because this is what sets you apart in a noisy world.
What you want to be known for is a reflection of your message.
And your message has many “jobs.” It:
- Illuminates your zone of genius.
- Calls-in the “right” people and opportunities. And by “right,” I mean there’s alignment – on many levels, including with regards to values, purpose, and expectations.
- Likewise, helps you declare and discern who is right for you.
- Gives you clarity so you only make promises connected to the results you endeavor to get with and for your people.
Not only is your message a signal (like when a taxi has its light on), it’s your anchor. It’s the litmus test for every decision and choice you make (from the mundane to the significant).
Some might even say your message is your movement.
I ended last week’s post, in part, by saying, “…if you need help on how to define your message…” But I am exercising my right to change my language.:) Thus, I am swapping out “define” with “discover.”
Because the more and more I reflected on this discussion about what you want to be known for, your message, and the role it plays in your body of work, the clearer it became to me that this actually isn’t something you calculate. If you disagree, please tell me more.
But I truly believe it’s more like your message is something you discover. Not only that, I believe it reveals itself over time — your awareness of it doesn’t unfold all at once. This may not be true when it comes to the “spirit” of it, but I do believe this is true for the words you end up using to describe what you want to be known for.
At least, this has been my experience. And it is what I’ve noticed courtesy of my clients and business besties and colleagues.
How to Discover Your Message
So if you don’t go about defining your message in a calculating way, how then do you discover it? With more questions, of course!
What do you stand for?
Sometimes, discovering what you stand for comes courtesy of knowing what you are against. So, think about what annoys you – in your industry, in your role/discipline within the industry; what observations are you making that concern you?
If you’re familiar with my story, then you know I am known for focusing on the human side of money. The seed for that was planted in October 1987 after witnessing the drastically different reactions to the stock market crash. And my awareness of and commitment to what I stand for (and against) has only deepened over the years.
Why does it matter to you?
Or, another way to think of this is what’s the difference or impact you want to have. And since this is in service to others, why do want what matters to you to matter to them – however you’re defining “them?”
In my case, I believe more people will experience (even more) financial success, when they prioritize understanding why they do what they do with their money. This means staying curious about their behavior, choices, motivations, and emotions along with paying attention to what’s happening with their numbers.
Who’s the who?
Speaking of “them,” to whom do you want your message to matter?
There’s a reason I work mostly with smart, driven, curious high-earners. Because there’s an erroneous presumption that they don’t need help when it comes to managing their money. That somehow their profile (a) precludes them from having financial questions, challenges, frustrations, and desires, and (b) means they don’t need help figuring it all out – both the financial and non-financial aspects.
Why do you follow your approach?
Or, why do you do what you do the way you do it?
In everything I do, whether I’m coaching, giving a presentation, hosting an event, or writing, I go deep. Like I said last week, I thrive on going beneath the surface. What this means is that I’m not the one if someone is seeking a quick fix that doesn’t address both the root and the symptom.
More Than Words
Yes, you communicate your message with words. But you also communicate it in EVERYTHING you do or don’t do.
- Your message shapes the experiences you create for your “who.”
- Your message makes your “who” feel safe – like you see, hear, and understand them. And without judgment.
- Your message is what “speaks” for you when you’re not in the room when and where decisions about you are being discussed and made.
I hope you’ll answer the questions above to either discover your message, or reconnect with it. And, I hope you’ll join us for next Monday’s dinner.
Your message is important for so many reasons beyond the words you use to express it. This is why next week, the last in this series, we’re going to focus on how it is one of your greatest assets – an asset that can lead to more income, impact, and opportunities.