The Transactional Message vs. the Transcendent Message

What does it mean to talk about message as it relates to our businesses?

For some, it just means the words you use when you write and speak about your business.

For others, it’s the value proposition, the promise that you make to your prospective clients.

For me, it’s something much more. It’s the expression of what you find most meaningful, it’s the sharing of what you see is possible for people to feel and experience.

Most business training I’ve encountered teaches you how to develop what I would call the Transactional Message: the combination of clever, snappy, energized words you put together in order to get someone to move towards you as a potential client.

The basic formula is: decide who you want to work with, figure out what they want, and then promise them you’ll give them what they want. So if you want to work with women business owners, your Transactional Message might be “I can help you make more money” or “I can help you work more efficiently”. (Nothing wrong with those promises, but if they are generated from your belief that is what your audience wants and not sourced from or blended with your own deep insight, your own motivating passions, then they become transactional promises.)

That message, the Transactional one, lives fairly free of who you are, what you’ve experienced, what you’ve learned. It is calculated to get a response. But often there is no there there. There is no depth, no heart, no soul.

We’re drawn to create the Transactional Message because we yearn to be seen, to be heard, to be noticed. Because we need to generate income and we hope that having this kind of message will do it.

The truth is, most of my clients choke on the Transactional Message. Working on it feels like moving through glue. Their brains short circuit. They can understand intellectually what they are supposed to do, what they are supposed to say, but some part of them revolts. “I can’t do this.”

Unfortunately, in that rebellion, some of them wonder “what is wrong with me? Why can’t I do this? Am I sabotaging myself?”

Unless they’ve been around business teachers who reject the Transactional Message, they feel stopped in their tracks. They can’t play the game they’ve been told to play. They aren’t sure how to do it differently. Or they decide they are bad at writing. Or they simply decide to hide out.

So what is the Transcendent Message? The Transcendent Message is the message that transcends the current form of your business. It’s the message that transcends your desire to get those new clients in the door. It’s the message that comes from your hard-won lived experience, the wisdom you’ve cultivated, and the picture, the feeling of what you most want to feel and experience in this lifetime that you want others to experience as well.

So the Transcendent Message is not a message, or story, calculated for maximum impact. It’s the description of the feeling or experience that you’ve wanted for yourself and others your whole life, that you’ve been unconsciously and consciously discovering how to create. It’s the offering of your insight of what makes that feeling or experience possible.

The Transcendent Message might sound like “I am here to help you embrace your messy, luscious, wonderful life” or “Miracles are possible when you dive beneath the surface of your life and encounter the danger and wildness that lives there.”

Ironically, what I’ve seen in my twenty years or so of explicitly helping people bring forward their Transcendent Message is that we are most invisible when we calculate a message that we think will appeal, and that when we release the fear of not being valued, and embrace the story that has been calling to come through us our whole lives, we become our most magnetic, our most alive, our most credible.

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