Communication Rebel Blog

The First Steps in Starting a Movement with Your Message

It's so easy to look at other people's endings and compare those to your beginning or even your middle.

I think speakers do that a lot especially when they are trying to create something bigger than themselves.

Something with more meaning, with more impact, with the potential to make a difference.

It's so easy in this day of social media to look at someone like Simon Sinek and think, “Wow, that guy showed up overnight and exploded. His TED Talk has a gazillion views.”  

Here's the rebel truth. Simon Sinek did not start with a gazillion views on a TED Talk.

You are coming in at his middle, I would say his middle now because his career has gone beyond that.

So where do you start?

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How do you do this crazy, bold, audacious thing of starting a movement with your message?

Where do you, and the movement you are creating, start?

You start by stopping, by shifting and then by asking.

Stop, shift and ask.

Those are the first baby steps to make a real impact to take that first step in creating a movement and a speaking business that supports you.

Stop Comparing Your Beginning with Other People’s Middle or Ends

Stop comparing your beginnings with other people's middle or ends.

I am guilty of this.

When I first started my business, I was following a speech coach who has been in the business for over 20 years.

Instead of seeing her as a role model of possibility (we're going to talk about possibility in more depth in a few minutes), I totally didn't see her as the possibility.

I fell down into the abyss of comparisonitis.

I asked myself, “Why don't I have a business like that? Why don't I have the website? I suck because she has all these great things and she charges $5,000 and oh my gosh, I'm never going to get to that level.”

Trust me, it is so easy to look at what other people are doing in our field and see them at their prime and wonder to yourself, “Why am I not there yet? How come I don't have that kind of impact?”

We think just because these people show up on our radar suddenly they are overnight sensations, but it never really works that way.

Don't let the enormity of what you want to create in the world stop you.

Shift from HOW to What If

That's why it's important to shift. Shift from how to what if.

This has been one of the biggest transitions I have made personally. Myers-Briggs tells me I am an ENTJ. My J is strong. I like having a plan. I like knowing the next step and what to do.

But when you are creating something that is bigger than just you, the next step might not be apparent.

My friend and mentor, Tara Gentile, were doing a planning webinar recently and she said something that just stuck with me. She said, “To shift from how to what if.”

We get so caught up in the how that if we don't know the exact steps, we end up nixing our dream to make an impact because we think it's too big and we don't know how to do it.

So when you find yourself asking,

  • How am I going to book gigs?
  • How am I going to get paid $10,000 for a speaking gig?
  • How am I going to market myself?
  • How am I going to get my message to spread?
  • How am I going to get people to follow me, to join this movement?

Shift from how because the how is always “figureoutable” as Marie Forleo would say.

You can research.

You can hire someone like me.

You can ask. When you start asking what if, your guide will appear.

So instead ask,

  • What if booking speaking gigs are super easy?
  • What if getting paid $10,000 per gig is really not that big of a deal?
  • What if my message spreads?
  • What if people are lining up to jump on board what I'm trying to create.

When you move from how to what if, it opens up possibilities.

It lets your brain make different pathways to figure out this problem.

It lets you make different connections with people who can help you get there. How shuts you down.

When you're in possibility, in the what if, you can take the first step in being that speaker with a movement.

Ask What Do You want to Change

So now that you are dwelling on the “what ifness” of what you want to create, it's time to ask.

Ask what do you want to change.

A movement starts simply enough. There's something in the world that needs fixing. The status quo must be burned to the ground. There's something that needs to change.

Martin Luther King saw black people not being able to register to vote and he knew that must change.

Sally Hogshead saw people being boring and to be honest being bad at being boring and she knew that that was no way to live. It was no way to add value so that must change.

The movement that I want to create is around the idea that communication can change the world.

Right now, I see the speaking industry as being all about broad, generic topics like leadership, sales and change management. Speakers are too focused getting paid and back of the room sales.  

I see this status quo and I know it must change because I am focused on building something bigger because communication does change the world.  

When you do that, the money comes.

It's how you profit through income. It's how you profit from impact.

Within your industry in your niche, your job is to rebel against the status quo. This isn't called the Rebel Speaker podcast for nothing folks! It's time to rebel.

So take 10 minutes and get out a piece of paper or your journal and ask yourself what do you want to see different about the status quo.

What in your industry needs to be changed? What annoys you to no end?

My favorite question, what makes you go on a rant?

I guarantee, as you start writing and generating this list, you'll see quite clearly what you need to rebel against. Honestly, if you wanted it to be changed, other people do as well and that's how a movement gets started.

There is something about the status quo typically that is causing your audience members a problem, a challenge or a pain.  When you can tap into what needs to change, that is the starting point of your speech.

This is where you meet your audience and this is how you get buy-in.

Then from that mutual point of “yes we agree, this was what needs to be different,” then you start painting a picture of the change you want to see in the world.

And this is the topic we're going to be tackling on the next episode of the Rebel Speaker podcast.

If you want to find out more about the how and the what if of starting a movement with your message, join me on February 15th for the webinar 3 Word Rebellion, How to start a movement with your message that builds your speaking business.

Remember to stop, to shift and to ask.

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