When we are bombarded with information from both online and face to face events it is a challenge to get your message heard through all the noise and even if it is heard, who can remember what’s been said?!
At networking meetings how many times do you hear all about what people do during their 40s introduction?
Compare this to the number of times you hear about Why people do what they do?
If you were asked the question “Why do you do, what you do?” Would you be able to answer?
I dialled into a webinar last week with Paul Dunn, Chairman of Buy1Give1, who was discussing Purpose. One of the exercises he suggested the participants try was related to articulating our Purpose, defining our Why. It’s a very simple process, like many of the best ideas are, so I thought I’d share this with you.
Find a quiet room or a noisy one if you prefer and using the voice recorder on your phone, complete this sentence….
“I get up every morning to……………”
Why use a recording and not just write it down?
I know I’m never very keen to hear my own voice but when we write we tend to use words that aren’t naturally ours, in that split-second delay between brain and hand we start to judge and amend the content. However, the spoken word tends to be more genuine and flows more naturally.
Your first recording will probably be something like
“I get up every morning to err um, oh no that sounds rubbish………. where’s the off button?!”
Don’t worry, just start again and record as many times as you need.
Listen back to your recording how does it sound? And I’m referring to the content, not your voice.
Think about saying this to a potential client or at a networking meeting, what sort of response do you think you’d get?
When we consider our sentence from a potential client’s perspective we may find that the sentence is rather focused on just us and could evoke a “that’s nice but so what type of response!” Your Purpose is bigger than just the impact on you, so try the recording again including the two words
“I get up every morning to…………… so that…………………………….”
The inclusion of two simple words moves the sentence on, from just being just about you to a wider level of engagement.
For some, this exercise can be a real challenge, the concept of Purpose is just too big or far removed from today. Some feel as though they are defining their life long purpose, their life legacy and it’s just too much, if that’s the case, add the words
For now, I get up every morning to………………………so that…………………….
Hopefully you will now have a sentence that you feel comfortable with but so what?
What do you do with it?
I started by asking the question: Can defining your Why help you stand out from the crowd?
I think that the answer is definitely a resounding YES!
If you have ever spent time trying to refine your USP (Unique Selling Proposition), what makes you different from your competitors, you can be left feeling that the output is still somewhat generic, yet your Why, Your Purpose is totally unique to you.
Differentiation comes from clarity of Purpose and having this up front and centre in all your communications will really help you to stand out from the crowd and attract clients that are also aligned with your Values and Purpose.
Later in the webinar, Paul also went on to explain this attraction by thinking of yourself as an electro magnet, it only works if plugged into a power source and this power source is Your Purpose. When you are truly connected to Your Purpose you start to attract people to your cause and to you.
My challenge to you is to look at all your marketing materials and ask yourself if Your Purpose, Your Why is as clearly articulated as What you do and How you do it.
And finally, next time you are asked what you do at a networking meeting, consider starting with Why you do what you do and see what response you get.