Last week I shared a bit about my story with sharing my message–the traumatizing experience I had, the stage fright that overcame me for over a decade, and my fight to come back from the fear, and do it anyway!
I gave a fun and insightful workshop at Venture Cafe Miami and I plan to do more work in this area.
Attached is my presentation in PDF format, which you are welcome to read and use. Please note, all the processes in this presentation are my own and may not be reproduced or represented with my prior written approval.
Click here: Pitch for Impact
If you would like to have a personalized pitch session with me and/or with your team, please contact me at Alexandra@MissionBasedBranding.com to arrange a time to discuss.
“I am clear that I am unclear”
That’s the message I heard several weeks ago in my morning meditation. You see, I had a moment of fog and cloudiness. I couldn’t see clearly and started to feel sorry for myself, sulking that I was unclear about my path. And I’m supposed to be the one helping others be clear about their mission and brand!
Once I consoled my ego, I realized it’s perfectly okay to be unclear. This is a part of life. People and businesses go through it all the time. In fact, once I assessed what was happening I realized part of my challenge is that I was being asked to step up into a new space in a big way, unchartered territory I’d never been before. Certainly there should be moments of uncertainty, anxiety and overwhelm.
What did I do? I put marker to white board and started brainstorming for a few hours through a process I call a Mission M.A.P. (Mission Action Plan) just like I’ve done with so many other clients before. Except I was my own client.
Starting with my Mission and going back to my core, I got really honest with myself and tapped into the vision for my highest self. I have too many a-has to share from that experience, but the biggest was that I’d been spending too much time and energy in a few business areas that were depleting me instead of empowering me, and this was making me loose focus from my core Mission. When I became at peace with releasing these areas not perfectly in alignment with my Mission, it opened up several other much bigger opportunities that were better aligned to my mission and vision. The answers appeared during the process and I felt an immediate sense of assurance, peace and relief.
In fact, I didn’t understand how powerful a process it is until I shared my findings with my accountability partner, who knew of my fogginess and was both surprised and thoroughly impressed at the outcome. It made me realize the importance of MISSION-Based Branding. When you start with your Mission and Why, it’s easier to know when you’re not on the right path and out of alignment. And very importantly–How you do it or What you do aren’t as important as Why you do it–you can change jobs, change industries, change cities and when you’re in alignment with your Mission, the Why stays the same.
And interestingly, it’s happened to me several times through the years. Inevitably it happens at a point when I’m empowered to step up in a bigger way, and I begin to question my current path and where I’m going. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable in my business, or my growth stagnate or deplete, I do a Mission M.A.P.
Coincidentally this week I was getting my car serviced, a “tune up,” and it hit me that’s what a mini Mission M.A.P. is: a periodic tune up of my mission, vision goals, business, brand and message. We commonly hear about annual or semiannual spring cleaning or a juice cleanse and I’ve done both to start fresh and set myself on a new, more powerful track—now I can appreciate how valuable and worthwhile it is to do a periodic business or professional tune up (if you’re interested in learning more about one of these, see below*)
Here are some questions you can ask yourself if you are going through a similar fog, plateau or discomfort in your life or business:
- What’s my Why–what do I/my business stand for? Reconnect to your Mission and core values.
- What’s the Vision for my highest self, and who do I need to Be and how do I Live?
- How will you [God,Universe] use me today/this week/this year?
- What is my next right move? (credit goes to Oprah on this one)
Feel free to leave some of your answers in the comments below.
Here’s to a mission-filled life!
*P.S. – I’m offering mini Mission M.A.P.s: a half day “Tune Up” session in which we will map out how you can:
- Be The Mission: start with Why, clarify your Mission, core values and principles
- Live The Mission: align your Mission to your business/vocation and get your team on board
- Share The Mission: create the right message and step up and share your mission with the world
I only do a few of these a month, so if you’re interested in getting a mission-based branding “tune up” (lol), click here to learn more and message me to set one up.
I talk a lot about the importance of BE->LIVE->SHARE for your business and brand:
- Be Your Mission: start with Why, clarify your Mission, core values and principles
- Live Your Mission: align your Mission to your business/vocation and get your tribe on board
- Share Your Mission: create the right message and step up and share your Mission with the world
But how about real life tangible business benefits to Mission-Based Branding?
There are many reasons that Mission-Based Branding makes good business sense. Here are the top 5 C’s of Mission Based Branding:
1. Clarity: Starting from the top, when the Founders and CEO are clear about their Mission and their Way, it provides a strong foundation for the organization. Without a strong Why, your company will lack focus and direction, which will create losses in your employees’ time, energy and efficiency.
TOMS is a great example. Whether or not you agree with TOMS’ mission or business model, the founder Blake Mycoskie had a clear Mission and knew what he and his brand stood for from the beginning.
2. Company Culture: When you have a strong mission, you can get your whole team on board around your common goal and purpose. That creates a strong environment of trust and engagement between employees and stakeholders inside and outside of the organization. Strong company culture translates to happier, more active employees, so turnover is lower and you lose less in sick/unproductive time.
Starbucks is a perfect example of a company whose baristas have fun working there, while having the opportunity to complete their studies on the corporate dime, and they’ve created a strong corporate culture around their mission. Sure the company’s mission may have gotten fuzzy along the way, but we know that Starbucks stands for not only the ambiance but also helping to develop sustainable and green business practices.
3. Connection: A company with a strong Mission creates interaction and connection with its fans, followers and clients. This creates loyalty with consumers coming back for more. And you can easily measure client loyalty.
Apple seems to do this right. People wait in line for hours to get a new iPhone, they swear that their Macs are better than PCs, and they feel cool sporting an apple sticker on their laptop. How many other brands can say the same?
4. Consistency: With a strong Mission, Why and direction from within, you can begin to create a strong, consistent message externally. When you have your internal compass as a baseline, it’s easier to know when you’re aligned or out of alignment and base your decisions that way. Similarly, you can gauge all messaging, advertising, communications, promotion etc against your core Mission.
Warby Parker, similar to TOMS, has its one-for-one business model, but is even simpler than TOMS. Its core business is making customized glasses, and they provide glasses for those in need in developing countries. Anything that is not aligned with this messaging is easy to see both internally and externally. Your ROI on all communications campaigns will be higher when you have a strong, consistent message.
5. Competition: I am a firm believer that mission-driven brands can stand on their own, are unique and differentiate themselves in the market. And there are plenty of examples to prove it. Apple, as we mentioned earlier, plus Airbnb are just two examples of market leaders, but not because they compete on pricing. They are missionaries versus mercenaries (a quote I heard Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky describe from one of his investors).
The best recent example is Lyft. When looking at its much bigger competition, Uber, after the immigration reform policy in January 2017, Lyft stood out immediately because they paid a large donation to the ACLU, while a #DeleteUber campaign erupted on social media, and soon after a sexual harassment scandal brewed from within. The Lyft founders know what they stand for (Clarity), have aligned their core mission to their business and employees (Company Culture), their clients get it (Connection), their message is in alignment (Consistency), and even as a much smaller company, they are able to stand out among their competition. Meanwhile, Uber is under investigation and being sued left and right for shady and possible illegal business practices, apart from the sexual harassment allegations. Time will tell how this will affect Uber’s investors and valuation, but there is clear evidence that they’ve at least lost millions in negative PR and potentially lost clients, while Lyft has gained millions in new users (including me!) and publicity.
What do you think? Do you have another C to add to the list? How has your brand used any of these principles in your business?
Feel free to share in the comments!
I’m so happy you’ve joined MISSION: 5 Days To Discover The Book Within! I’m excited you’ve decided to embark on this journey to find the book inside you and that you’ve committed the time to growing yourself and achieving a goal you’ve been dreaming of!
Watch the short video here to learn more about what to expect these next few days:
Here are some tips to make this experience as productive and pleasurable as possible:
1. Join the Mission Muses Facebook Community. If you’re new, please introduce yourself, what your mission and specialization is. Every day we’ll be posting the Day’s answers so feel free to share answers, ask questions, share inspiration or whatever you’d like to offer to support the group.
2. Buy a special notebook that you can use as your writing muse journal, to write notes, reflection answers, draw doodles, insert images, magazine clippings or anything else that serves as inspiration. If you’re more of a digital person, open up a folder on your desktop or on a note application such as Evernote and add files and folders to store bits of inspiration, images, notes, photos, screen captures, etc.
3. Carve out approximately 15-20 minutes every day that you can have quiet, undisturbed time to watch the short lesson and to reflect and answer the questions. Resist the urge to multitask or check social media. I personally find my quiet time first thing in the morning after having my coffee or in the evening before going to bed.
4. Remember you’re evoking the muse through this process and that may draw a range of different emotions, from excitement, overwhelm, feeling stuck, or other highs and lows. This is perfectly normal and all part of the process so don’t be so hard on yourself.
5.No matter what, writing is a creative process, so remember to have fun! Create an atmosphere and environment that can support your process, such as buying your special journal, playing inspirational music, incense or candles, dancing or going for a walk if you feel stuck.