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Move Over BIG IDEA. The 3 Word Rebellion is Here

William Faulkner once said about writing that you have to “kill your darlings.”

Stephen King took it one step further in his book on writing and said, “Kill your darlings. Kill your darlings. Even when it breaks, your egocentric little scribbler's heart, kill your darlings.”

As business owners, speakers, and changemakers, we get very attached to our ideas, especially the ideas that have been a part of what we speak about or how we do our business, for a very long time.

It's hard to let those ideas that we love go, even though we need to evolve.

It's hard to let them go, even though we know those ideas aren't serving our clients, our audiences, or our followers, at the highest level.

Today, I am killing one of my dearest darlings, a darling that has been with me since this business started as a blog over six years ago.

It pains me to do so because I have podcasted, blogged, discussed on interviews, and extolled the virtue of this darling for years, but it's time to let her go.

The precious darling that I'm killing today is my beloved Big Idea.

I've talked about the big idea on so many podcasts that I have lost count. It has been one of the centerpieces of the work I do with my clients, but the market has changed for speakers and has become oversaturated with speakers.

Frankly, you need more than a big idea to be known and to move your audience.

You need to incite action always.

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Ideas Must Do More than Spread

The tagline for TED is “Ideas worth spreading.”

Spreading an idea is not enough anymore.

TED is adding to the noise and overwhelm of information, especially now with the proliferation of TEDx events, which is muddying their once solid brand.

Confession: I do love TED Talks. I am a consumer of them. It's a great way to spend 20 minutes and feels like you're doing something when you're really not doing anything.

When I get honest with myself, how many of these TED Talks that I have consumed do I actually remember?

I do remember Amy Cuddy's power pose.

I remember Amanda Palmer's art of asking talk, because of her amazing opening.

I always will remember Derek Sivers' three-minute TED Talk on how to start a movement.

How many of these ideas have I actually acted on?

I've done a power pose a couple of times. Then I read some conflicting research that it doesn't have the impact that Amy Cuddy claimed, so I stopped.

The other talks I loved, but did I act on them?


We are now living in a time where ideas need to do more than spread.

Our ideas must incite action always.

We are living through a time of great change in our society, and to create the world you want to see, whether it's on a personal, industry, or societal level you need other people to take action on your message and to spread it.

I am saying “no more” to the big idea, and I'm saying “yes, please” to the Three Word Rebellion.

Introducing the 3 Word Rebellion

I've talked briefly about the Three Word Rebellion in other episodes, and maybe you went to and downloaded the framework.

By the way, you can get the whole thing there. Nothing is held back.

What is it?

At its essence, the Three Word Rebellion is a way to encapsulate the change you want to create in three words.

It's the ultimate pitch, it's the ultimate hook to invite people into your movement.

It's the story you're telling, it's the topic you want to be known for, it's the action the audience should take.

It's everything wrapped up in three words.

The Three Word Rebellion instantly gets people to sit up, pay attention, and take action.

It's a messaging framework that is based on social movement theory. It asks you very simple questions to do free writing about and to find your Three Word Rebellion.  I'll be talking more about that in the next episode.

Once you do the free writing, it takes you through a process of crafting the Three Word Rebellion.

[Tweet “Activate your audience. Lead your movement. The Three Word Rebellion is how it all starts.”]

The Origin Story of the 3 Word Rebellion

How did the Three Word Rebellion come to be?

Now, if you are a longtime listener to this podcast, thank you. You probably remember back in January of 2018, I told you all how I had become disillusioned with my business and the podcast.

I was talking about topics like how to get paid, how to book speaking gigs, how to position yourself.

While all of those things are very important and very valuable to you, it felt soulless to me. That's when I went back to my “why” of communication changes the world.

The Three Word Rebellion came from a conversation that I had with book coach, Jennie Nash, over lunch.

At the time I was thinking about updating my first book, Speak Up for Your Business, to something like Speak Up and Start Your Movement.

Jennie and I started talking about movements and also noticing how the best speakers had three words that summed up what they spoke about, and that movements had the same pattern.

Bam, the Three Word Rebellion was born.

It has been something that I have been working towards probably my whole life.

The Ultimate Goal of the 3 Word Rebellion

I'm so excited to bring it to you now because the ultimate goal of the Three Word Rebellion is to launch a million rebellions.

I want to encourage you to activate your audience, to be the leader of your movement, whether that is on a personal level, an industry level, or a societal level.

The Three Word Rebellion, that message is how it all starts.

We've had enough of ideas. It's time to act.

It's time to lead.

It's time to rebel.

It's time to create the change you want to see.

I'm making this framework freely available at

Go download it, and next week, we'll dive deeper into the Three Word Rebellion framework.

In case you're wondering what my Three Word Rebellion is, well, it's 3 Word Rebellion of course.

Until next time, remember, incite action always.

Create Your One-of-a-Kind Message

Your 3 Word Rebellion is the Key to Growing Your Business & Impact

Yes! I’m ready to rebel!

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Create your one-of-a-kind message that is the ultimate hook and the message you want to be known for!

The 3 Word Rebellion is the key to go from business owner to thought leader.

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