Does Your Message Challenge You?

Does your message challenge you?

It should.

Your message needs to be powerful enough to rattle you a little bit.  Or a lot.

Your message isn’t just about saying what you think potential clients want to hear.

It’s bigger than that.  Don’t let your message get muddled by trying to mechanically follow a particular format or formula to share who you are and what you do.

Just run the challenge test.

When you hear your message do you feel as if your business is asking more of you?  Is it asking you to step up and step out?  Is it requiring you to be even more of your awesome self?

The reason most people struggle with their message is they try to get it to sound good on paper.  They go through the motions of trying to get it right in a sound bite.  But the most effective messages FEEL good.  They FEEL challenging.  They MOVE people.

So is your message moving you?

Let me share a personal story.  When I was refreshing and refocusing my brand about 18 months ago I was clear that I wanted to speak to Trailblazers, Change Makers and Misunderstood Mavericks.  Those have always been my people.

And during one of my morning walks the phrase “Cutting Edge Coaching for Trailblazing Entrepreneurs” dropped in on me.  I felt excited by it.  And scared to death of it.

Could I?  Should I? Dare I?

That evening I went an art fair with my dear friend and told her I had this idea to use that phrase as a tagline for the new site…but I was afraid it sounded too egotistical.  Too full of myself.   She rolled her eyes, then looked me in mine and said “do you WANT to be Cutting Edge? Because you are, but you have to want it.”

Yes I did.  And what’s more, I knew that much of what I did fit the description according to those who matter most…my clients and trusted colleagues.  And so I went with it in spite of the fact that the very idea of it challenged the pants off me.

Fast forward about three months.  I was being introduced on a telesummit interview and the interviewer went ‘off script’ when giving my bio—and called me “the Trailblazer’s Trailblazer”.  Panic rose up in my throat.  My resistance came full force.  I wanted to correct her.  To say…”NO, I’m the Trailblazer’s Coach.  THEY are the trailblazer’s.  I am the coach.”  But I kept silent and smiled through my panic to deliver a polished interview.

But after the interview I knew I had work to do!   I explored why that description challenged me so much.  And I had a huge AHA.  It challenged me because it asked more of me than I had been living up to.  It asked me to lead.  It asked me to experiment.  It asked me to be bolder and clearer and more myself.  It challenged me because it forced me to see that I can’t champion Trailblazer’s if I’m not willing to put myself on the line too.  To really own that path and that message and to live it…imperfectly…every day.

By embracing the challenge that my own message gave to me, I am pushed to be more, do more and trust more.  I am pushed beyond what I think is appropriate or safe or good enough.  I am challenged to get my message out in a bigger way and truly “Lead the Way” in my own way.  I ask bigger questions.  Take bolder actions.  And generally push the edge of my super soft comfy zone.

Because that’s what I want for you.

My message is deeply rooted in my mission.  And I suspect yours is too.  And if it’s not, you’ve got a little remodeling to do!  Before your message can move others to follow you and take action, it must move you.  A mediocre, middle of the road, mechanical version of what you want to say isn’t going to cut it.  It holds you back, expects little of you and doesn’t ignite emotion in those you are here to serve.

So I ask you.  What is YOUR message asking of you?  Where is it asking you to step up, be more YOU and stand in your own amazing leadership?

Please share YOUR message in the comments below!

9 Responses to Does Your Message Challenge You?

  1. Shawn, What a briliant and timely reminder. As I take my business in new directions, it’s good to be reminded that a little fear is a good thing!

  2. Thanks Aurelia. Always nice to see you here and exciting to hear that you are going in new directions.

  3. Worth quoting: “Before your message can move others to follow you and take action, it must move you.”

    • Shawn Driscoll says:

      Thanks Marlene. It’s tempting to choose a message that sounds good or that feels comfy, but if it isn’t moving you, it’s probably not your message. Appreciate you highlighting that piece…

  4. Debra Jason says:

    Good food for thought Shawn. Pushing the edge of my super soft comfort zone is a challenge I’m working on.
    Thanks. ~Debra

    • Shawn Driscoll says:

      Keep working on it. That comfy zone is usually pretty stretchy once we lean into it!
      Thanks for posting

  5. The main message I have is this: You are not alone in your thoughts and feelings.” I help people, especially women, to trust the transitions they experience, and more so if it’s from job loss. Your post, Shawn, inspires me to keep going and doing what I’m doing; yet push me out and over that comfy edge, which suddenly reminds me of a dream I had this past week where I had been literally laying on the edge of a cliff. Guess I have some work to do on that as well! Thank you for your words of wisdom.

  6. Pingback: Build your brand with a message that challenges you. | NotableBiz

Post a comment

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.