Why it’s more important to OWN your message than polish it

On the surface, when I take clients through message development, we are doing practical things. Somewhere along the line, we work on an elevator speech, or web copy, or sound bites.

But underneath the practical work, we are cultivating something else.

We are cultivating OWNERSHIP of the message.

So, it matters to me less if the client comes up with a perfect snappy elevator speech. What I care about is that after working on their elevator speech, they know themselves better. They know their work better. They know what it is and what it isn’t.

And more than having that perfect little sound bite, that they know how to breath into their bellies, clear their minds, and speak in a way that is calm and true to what they bring into the world. (The truth is, if you have just that one polished sound bite, you get tired of it. Plus, it may not be the right thing to say in this situation or that situation or to this person or that one. So the goal is to cultivate verbal nimbleness as much as to find the “right”words.)

It matters less to me that they have a high-converting sales page than that they come away from working on their sales page with a new clarity around the concepts and ideas they want to share. About how they want to present themselves. That they start to internalize the flow of ideas that make up the story they want to tell.

What matters is that they cultivate not so much pride in who they are, but that they develop a matter-of-fact RECOGNITION that who they are is magnificent, and that what they have to share is of vital importance.

Because when that is in place, the words have magic.

The truth is, the elevator speech, the web copy, the sales page, the promo email. These things are ephemeral, transitory. They are useful in one moment, and less so in another. The business owners I work with are constantly growing, evolving, changing. And their businesses morph and shift alongside of them.

But the skill of naming who you are and what you bring to the table. Of sourcing your language in your life stories and metaphors. Of defining your key terms. Of bridging your world view to that of your clients.

These are skills that last for the lifetime of your business.

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