Rebel Rising Podcast

The Only Effect- Why Onlyness Matters in Noisy, Hyper-Paced Times

On this week's episode, I am talking about the “Only Effect” and why it is crucial to have for your business. The Only Effect will help you to create significance while also leaving a lasting impact.

Tune Into the Audio:

I am an only child, which means that I never had to compete for my parents' attention because hey, I wasn't the only. It meant that all the presents under the Christmas tree, were just for me because I was the only. It also meant if something broke. I did it because I was the only.

Being an only child has its advantages and some pretty hefty disadvantages too. While there's part of me that would have loved to have a brother or sister, I don't think I'd be the person that I am today if I hadn't been an only.

Being the only in your business is going to be critical to your success in 2019 and beyond.

It's critical in creating the significance and the impact that you want to create while building a business that thrives and is financially sustainable.

So why does being the only or the only effect matter so much right now?

It matters because of the noise that is occupying the marketplace. It matters because everything sounds exactly the same. It's hard to distinguish between different service providers, different thought leaders, because they're all spewing the same kinds of messages.

It matters because the marketplace is becoming more and more competitive as it is so easy to start a business or call yourself a speaker or call yourself an author.

It is more important than ever to take advantage of the Only Effect and to position your business as the only in your industry. So let's do that.

On today's podcast we're going to explore the three components that make up the only effect and when I think about only or only minus my mind, always wanders to Nilofer Merchant's work on Onlyness. In Merchant's eyes, “Onlyness is that spot in the world only you stand in a function of your distinct history and experience your visions and hopes.”

I agree with her, but being the only in your industry requires a bit more than that and cut out the last line about being the only in your industry requires blah, blah, blah.

So this idea of Onlyness is the beginning of what helps us stand out, get noticed, and attract the right people to our community.

Harnessing the Power of Your Onlyness is your Business

Let's talk about how to use Merchant's concept of Onlyness when you are creating a brand that takes advantage of the only effect.

I think of it as bringing your whole best self to the work you do in the world. On episode 133 I reviewed my 2018 and one of my best moments of 2018 was realizing that I was bringing all of my skills, all of my strengths and my uniqueness to the work I do with clients.

I believe that when you're becoming the only in your industry, you need to bring all of your strengths to the table. You need to bring in what makes you unique and different.

I realized how hard it can be to figure out what makes you strong, what makes you unique and different. A couple of tools I use for this are the Strengths Finder Assessment and Sally Hogshead's How to Fascinate Assessment.

I took the Strengths Finder assessment several years ago and my top strengths were Input, which is basically research followed by Communication (not surprising) Strategic, Analytical and Individuation, which means I'm amazing at figuring out what makes you unique.

Throughout my career, I've never really brought all five of my strengths to the work I do. When I was a communication professor, yes, I was bringing communication, input and analytical, but not really strategy or figuring out what makes people unique. When I was in market research, I totally disregarded communication and brought strategy and analysis in to the mix.

2018 was the first time I realized that I was bringing all of my strengths to the table.

Because while I was working with communication, messaging in speaking, I was able to find out what makes them unique, what their strengths are. The 3 Word Rebellion work allowed me to bring my research skills in to helping find people's messages and create content that gets them results like clients, speaking gigs or write the book.

If you haven't take the Strengths Finder quiz, it's great. Figure out what your strengths are and whether or not you are bringing your strengths to the table.

The second tool I use is the How to Fascinate Assessment from Sally Hogshead. This assessment is really about how the world sees you at your best. It doesn't tell you how you see the world like Myers-Briggs does, but it lets you know how other people view you and what makes you strong and unique.

It can be really enlightening. I know for me, when I first took the test, I found out I was a maverick leader, which means my big communication strengths are innovation and power. But at the time I thought I was the least creative person in the world.

There was nothing innovative about me and I thought, man, this test is a bunch of bs. I remember sharing that with a boss and he looked at me like I was insane and said, “Michelle, you're the most creative person who works here.”

This test can actually show you your blind spots where you're not fully owning what makes you amazing at your work.

I recommend take those assessments and ask yourself, are there any strengths that you are not bringing to your business? And how could you bring those strengths?

What makes you unique to your clients? Ask yourself, how are you not showing up as your most fascinating self? What could you do more of to bring your best self to your work?

Because this is a key component of being the only in your industry.

Create a Methodology/Model/Manifesto to Become the ONLY

The second component of the only effect is to create a methodology, a model or even a manifesto for the work you do that gets people a transformation.

I was on Facebook, and I saw a branding expert who was talking about how her industry was going to get flooded with all of these people who didn't have her experience, her education, her and expertise. She touted her credentials and education as the reason you should listen to her over all the others who are giving branding advice, but so what?

Experience and education are not enough to be an only.

She would be better off if she created a model or methodology for her work. That's how you get to be the only!

What is a model?

A model is usually a visual representation of the work that you do in the world.

A great example of this is Simon Sinek's Start With Why Golden Circle model. The model is three co-centric circles. In the center is the why, the how is in the middle circle and the what is in the outer circle. This is a a visual representation of the Start With Why idea.

The 3 Word Rebellion also has a model. It used to be a triangle, now it's a diamond, but at the top of the diamond is your 3 Word Rebellion. At the sides of the diamond are the audience journey, so how do we logically persuade people to take action on your message.

The other side of the diamond are the stories that connect, the emotional aspect that persuades people. Then the bottom point of that diamond is total message domination. That means spreading your message, having a plan to get the word out.

Now a methodology is a bit different because it is a step by step process. So for instance, Kathleen Shannon, who owns Braid Creative along with her sister, they developed the Braid Method that they take people through to help them define their brand.

I also think of Katya Varabanov, who is a friend of the podcast. We did a brilliant discussion about video marketing, and she has a whole process around creating 20K months in her 20K Nation community.

A methodology is really the process you take people through.

If you're thinking, Michelle, Michelle, Michelle, Michelle, my work is so custom, I cannot possibly have a model or methodology.

Well, you can always create a manifesto for the work you do, and that can be a statement of beliefs that your work rests upon.

To be the only, you've got to create something unique like a model, a methodology or manifesto. Then no one can do what you do the way you do it because you've formalized that process.

Your Message, aka Your 3 Word Rebellion, Makes You the only

Finally, the final component of being the only is your message.

Your 3 Word Rebellion makes you an only.

After nine months of experimenting, I finally landed on a one line definition of the 3 Word Rebellion that I loved, it made people's ears perk up.

And that definition is this, it's the message that makes you the only option in your industry while encapsulating the change you create for your audience.

People love thinking of themselves as the only option, the only choice, because how we talk about what we do on a daily basis positions us in the marketplace. It's what drives people towards us.

That message, that 3 Word Rebellion that is what's working for you or not working for you to distinguish your business 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

I often hear, “Great Michelle, but I do the same thing a lot of other people do. How do I separate myself out with my message? How do I talk about it in a completely different way?”

You've heard that there are no new ideas out there, and I agree with that. However, there are a million ways to communicate an idea that makes it compelling and curiosity provoking for the right people.

Case in point, how many books are there on outsourcing and delegating? Thousands if not tens of thousands, but there's only one 4-hour Work Week.

There are thousands of speakers on purpose and mission, but there's only one Start With Why.

And let's face it, lots of people do brand messaging, but there's only one 3 Word Rebellion.

When my client Stephanie Polen came to me, she was creating a very successful training business for other companies who had some chaos going on in their business, who had teams that weren't performing well in a changing, unstable environment. She would go in and she would help fix those teams. She would help them communicate better, get to their goals and basically build stability in uncertain times.

She needed a different way to talk about her work. So we worked on her three word rebellion and what emerged was “Build Unshakable Teams” because there are a lot of people out there who do change management work, who teach workshops in change management and there are also people who are certified in the different tools and methodologies she uses, but she is the only one in the marketplace that is building unshakable teams.

As soon as she started putting out the unshakable message, people started to respond. She's sold spots to a workshop she was doing immediately.

That's the power your message has when it positions you as the only. It is worth the time, the energy, the money and determination to work on that message.

As a reminder, I can help you with coming up with that only message, that 3 Word Rebellion, along with helping you figure out what your model or methodology or manifesto is, and then disseminating that message so that everyone knows about it. So if you're interested in that, let's have a chat. You can go to and we'll get on the phone and talk about how you can be the only in your industry.

Because you do have the power to take advantage of this, onlyness, no matter how competitive your industry is.

I don't care if you're a business coach, a life coach, a health coach, a branding expert, a speaker, it doesn't matter as long as you bring all of your strengths to the table. If you create a model for how you do the Voodoo, you do so well and you have that three word rebellion that positions you as the only your business can thrive.

You can be known and you can create that impact and significance. It's time to rise up and to be the only.

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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