So much of what worked in online marketing, sales and communication is now officially dead (check out my recent post to find out what’s working now) and people are scrambling to figure out their next move.
A lot of entrepreneurs are beyond frustrated because it feels like no matter what they do — no matter how much time, money and energy they invest in sales and marketing and website optimization and all the rest — they just can’t seem to move the needle in their business.
And that’s not all…
The market is overcrowded, overloaded and overflowing with low quality products and audiences are increasingly frustrated and burned out.
They can’t tell the difference between entrepreneurs who are offering real, deep value and those who don’t have a clue what they’re doing… so they’re not clicking on that “buy” button like they used to.
Some business owners are even saying it’s the end of the online world as we know it and it’s time to pack up and get a 9 to 5 job (if you can find one!)
But that’s not how I see it.
This isn’t the end…
It’s a new beginning.
It’s the start of an exciting new era where we’re moving into the age of real…
The age of truth, honesty and integrity…
The age of what I like to call radical self-expression.
And I’m passionate about this because I know it’s the only reliable way to build a successful business in today’s wildly unpredictable marketplace.
So over the next 3 blog posts, I’ll be taking you deep into the unlimited power of radical self-expression…
Because if you don’t take the time to discover and tap into your own radical self-expression you’re going to find yourself lost, left-behind…
And out of business.
Are You Having Fun?
It was 1999 and I was an intern at the World Paper.
Back then, I was thinking of studying journalism but I was up against a pretty big problem… I couldn’t write an interesting article to save my life!
Everything I wrote was a total snooze fest and for a long time I couldn’t figure out why.
I was being a “good journalist” and following every rule, word for word. I kept trying to “dumb it down” for the readers, “kiss the lead” and make sure I didn’t share an opinion (aka be totally neutral) but none of it worked and my stories fell flat.
Then one day, my editor at the paper asked a simple, powerful question…
“Marisa, are you having fun?”
And that’s when it hit me… I wasn’t having fun. Not even a little bit.
So I threw out the rule book and made it my mission to have as much fun as possible by being myself on the page…
And I’m happy to say that the editorial I wrote received a ton of engagement from readers.
I didn’t see it then but I was practicing radical self-expression…
And it’s the ONLY reason why my words came to life, jumped off the page, grabbed people’s attention…
And didn’t let go!
What Makes You Tick & What Ticks You Off
In a world where everyone’s talking about the same thing the same way and people are fed-up with overused marketing and sales messages…
Radical self-expression shines like a diamond in the dust.
It lets you stand out, be seen and heard by all the right people and it’s based on a simple, unbreakable rule…
Be yourself or be ignored.
Radical self-expression is basically about showing up as yourself no matter how boring, how different or how crazy you think you are 🙂
It’s about letting people know what makes you tick and what ticks you off and it’s the secret sauce to building a loving, loyal customer base of people who are happy to buy everything you put out there because YOU made it.
So here’s the thing…
Only you can give yourself permission to practice radical self-expression…
Only you can step up, speak up and allow yourself to be who you truly are in your business and not a weak imitation of someone else.
So if you’ve been hiding in the shadows, it’s time to step out and embrace radical self-expression because the world needs you to be YOU…
We need every single authentic voice we can get because authenticity breeds curiosity, creativity and growth…
The stuff that leads to world-changing — world-saving — ideas and innovations.
Exercises in Radical Self-Expression
So you might be thinking, “Radical self-expression sounds great and all Marisa, but what do I do? How do I work with it?”
First thing’s first… be patient with yourself.
Like anything worth doing, radical self-expression takes time and practice… and yes it’s a LOT easier said than done!
So here’s what I want you to do…
Start by practicing radical self-expression with these 3 exercises.
Each one is guaranteed to stretch you out of your comfort zone, build your courage and help you stay resilient in the face of judgment and criticism.
The more you work with these exercises, the stronger you’ll feel and the better you’ll get at being YOU in your business so you can easily stand out from the crowd, attract all the right clients and customers and build a successful business no matter what else is going on in the marketplace.
And it’s going to feel scary but I promise it’s worth it!
Think of a song you like… preferably something that’s easy and fun to sing (even Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star will work :-)) .
Next go to a public place. This could be the middle of the street outside your home, the neighbourhood park or your local Starbucks
Now start singing your song as loudly as you can… and don’t stop no matter what happens!
I want you to try this even if you think you can’t sing…
And your mission — should you choose to accept it (and I hope you do!) — is to complete this exercise sometime in the next 72 hours…
Bonus points if you do it in the next 24 🙂
Take it up a notch: Sing your heart out in a crowded elevator (billionaire inventor of Spanx, Sara Blakely does this whenever she wants an extra large shot of brave)
This one’s a personal favorite 🙂
When someone asks how you’re doing, resist knee-jerk responses like “I’m great” or “I’m just fine” or “I’m doing good.”
Instead, take a moment to reflect on how you really feel before you reply. Aim to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth…
And be 100% honest.
So we actually did something like this at a dinner party a few nights ago with my dear friend Sage Lavine and the question at the table was…
What’s your biggest personal edge?
Sage went first and she talked so deeply and so honestly about the edges in both her business and her relationship that she inspired the rest of us.
It cracked open everyone else’s shares after that and brought us all so much closer together…
And that’s what radical self-expression does.
It brings you closer to the people in your life and business, it allows you to be who you truly are…
And it gives others permission to do the same
Take it up a notch: When you get the “how are you doing” question, avoid one-word answers… keep talking for at least a minute or two!
Word of warning: this next exercise is a great way to grow your “radical self-expression muscle” but don’t attempt it until you’ve built up some resilience with the first 2 exercises.
This exercise is about sharing one of your deepest, darkest secrets with a friend or family member — someone you know and trust — and here’s the deal…
I want you to go all out. Pour your heart out and don’t hold back.
So my husband Murray and I had “a dark secret” moment recently where he shared something I didn’t know about after 7 years of marriage.
I asked him what his most embarrassing moment was as a child and it broke my heart when he told me that his deepest childhood embarrassment wasn’t a specific situation or experience…
He was embarassed about who he was.
He didn’t like his name or what he looked like — he had to wear glasses and braces.
He was introverted and he preferred spending time with computers rather than people and the other kids picked on him because of it all.
When he shared this with me, my heart opened up to him even more… and I had insight into why he can be sensitive around some things that don’t bother me as much.
So I know that sharing a deep, dark secret isn’t going be fun or easy but you’ll be surprised at what it can do for you and for the people you share your story with.
Take it up a notch: Share your secret with more than one person… maybe 2 to 3 people you trust.
There’s Always Room for One More…
People who change the world are the ones who dare to be themselves, even in the face of harsh judgment or criticism or massive push back… think of Malala Yousafzai or Nelson Mandela or Greta Thunberg.
So when it comes to your business, keep in mind that no matter how saturated the market gets, no matter how “burned out” audiences are…
There’s always room for one more authentic voice…
There’s always room for someone who wants to do powerful, transformational work…
There’s always room for the one who’s willing to go the extra mile, push past the norm and make a REAL difference… and you know what?
If you’re reading this I already know that someone is YOU 🙂
And if you’re ready to build a business that’s authentically YOU… that allows you to practice radical self-expression every day…
Then, check out my FREE Masterclass.
In just 60 minutes, you’ll discover the business you’re meant to build and how to share it with the world.
Love it? Hate it? Let me know...
Thanks a lot Marisa..the third one ‘s my favorit..it’s a powrful key to hearts..by experience ..I’ll retry it just for exercise..
It absolutely is Malika!
I was bumping Erykah Badu on the way to my hike yesterday and couldn’t stop singing, so today I feel ready to let it loose and not be self-consciously quiet in my song. Thanks so much for holding the door open for full expression!!!
I really like your writing style, wonderful info , appreciate it for posting : D.
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