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Hello All,

My name is Aaron Ashworth and I am searching for some help with a question I have struggled with for years.  

How do you find your message and voice?

I have been speaking for years on a variety of topics, doing presentations, being asked to write curriculum, coaching people one on one, and the works.  I have spent a decade teaching others how to launch businesses, how to work with troubled behavior with kids, how to have an active happy health family, and many other topics.  I have a variety of professional background in aviation, air traffic control, licensed counseling, logistics, family develop, team build, etc.

The problem is that even though I have been doing this in small bits for 10 years I still don't feel like I have a solid message, voice, or brand that I am selling.  

If I could get focused and not be so broad I feel I would be able to scale my writing and speaking to a much higher level.  I would like to find a stronger personality in what I do and be able to start launching a more full time effort into writing, speaking, and podcasting.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone and everyone on what you thing works best in identifying a message, voice, and brand.  

Thanks everyone,

Aaron 

Views: 65

Replies to This Discussion

Aaron, this question may help.

Is there something you would like to change in the world? Something that is not right.  Something you notice over and over which is "broken" and if corrected/improved, may make things "complete" or "right" in the world.

Word me up if that question helps.

Jer

Jeremy,

Those are great questions for me to consider.  Here is a nutshell response to yours and a few others that answered this question.

Thank you for replying.  To answer the million dollar question, "What would you do if money was not an obstacle?" I would write, speak, coach, and consult everyday.  My full time job is licensed counseling and I love aspects of that job, but have always been more geared to the positive motivational side of my work.  I am also involved in ministry, military, and other things.  The problem that I have is that I can speak, write, coach, etc. on a variety of topics and feel like if I could narrow my scope to one consistent message I would have a much easier time in making my message resonate with others.  Yes, people need to work through their issues, past, and history, but I would like people to see the positive in life and learn to enjoy the journey regardless of the past and to look to what the future could hold if given a real effort.  My passions are God, family, business, and ultimately building a life you dream of living, but that sounds a lot like every other motivational speaker, writer, and coach.  I need to identify my core message and find how I am different from the rest. 

I asked this question in a couple of different groups and instead of responding individually to each I am going to copy this reply because I feel it demonstrates my objective without having to restate it a different way to the other groups I presented it in.  Just thought I would let you know if you see it in one of your other groups.

Aaron,

Have read your response a few times now.  It can be super challenging to find the sign posts / markers that point us in the direction to clarify of our unique messages. 

You've taken an important step by asking.

If you would like to explore further, I'm willing to share my experiences and the exercises that helped me craft new language / directions and outcomes.

Feel free to DM through this site or reach out at contact@promediapublishing.com

Thanks!

Jer

Good question, and I can relate to it. You have the benefit of some diverse interests and skills and the opportunity to have tested them out on a variety of fronts. Perhaps these thoughts will help steer you:

What do you enjoy the most?

What are you best at?

What do you get most passionate about?

48days.com sells a relatively inexpensive online test to help you assess your gifting. You may find it helpful.

Tim,

Thank you for your reply.  I have asked myself many of your questions from time to time and have answers for just about each of them.  I would like you to look at my response above to Jeremy and see what your insight maybe from my response.

From your response, it seems like you've described yourself as having more of a coaching interest than a counseling one. Regarding what sets you apart? You are uniquely created by God and in His image. Your uniqueness will allow you to minister to the needs of certain types of people that others with similar credentials will not be able to reach.

When describing your passions, you used the following phrase: "building a life you dream of living." I wonder what you meant by that, and what that might look like for you? Is it the case that, as your question suggests, you're having a hard time identifying what that life should look like, or is that phrase a reference to a lifestyle that many people would relish? You want to be pursuing the life that God has called you to. I think you discover that when you sense His peace about what you're doing and "hear" His still small voice saying "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Hope that helps.

Tim, 

That phrase was from the standpoint of the things I am passionate talking about.  I enjoy helping others build a life they dream of building.  Not a bad question to ask myself either though, now that you framed my own question towards me.  

Hi Aaron,

I'm actually still going through this process myself, but here are some tips from what I've learned so far.

I've found Jeff Goins' framework to particularly useful for developing a message, platform and product. For your message, I would start with the question "What wrecks me?" What is it you see around you that you would like to change? You could also frame it as "Every __ should/can __." Another useful exercise to gain clarity is to ask 5 friends to describe you in 3 words or 3 simple phrases.

For platform, he lays out 5 distinct "personalities". The Journalist asks questions, with the one requisite being curiosity. The Prophet tells the ugly, nasty truth about everything - the one requisite is dissatisfaction. The Artist, quite simply creates art (visual, written, spoken, etc); the one requisite is an eye for beauty. The Professor gathers and presents facts and data, which requires a thirst for knowledge. You can choose which of these categories fits you, or you can combine elements of one or two to create something unique.

For developing a product, he recommends identifying your expertise by asking, "What is obvious to me but not to others?" From there, you simply ask your audience what it is they want.

I'll offer myself as an example. I'm currently pursuing a career as a novelist in the Christian speculative fiction genre. I've decided that what "wrecks" me is "Faith without wonder and wonder without faith." Taking it a step further, I believe that "Every Christian can be a storyteller." As such, my platform is primarily that of an Artist, which encompasses my novels and short stories. I also, however, incorporate elements of The Prophet by blogging about real-world issues and controversies, deriving themes and topics from my fictional storylines. My aim is to communicate truth through the lense of storytelling.

I've derived all of this by asking those few, key questions. If you can do the same, I think you'll be on the right track. I hope this has been helpful.

Preston,

Thanks for the feedback.  I have always enjoyed Jeff Goins and am glad you brought his process back to my mind.  If possible would you consider reading my response to Jeremy above and see if you have any insight as to my reply.

Thanks,

Aaron

Given what you mention about the "positive in life" and learning "to enjoy the journey", you seem to be someone I would tentatively place in the "artist" category. I don't know the details of your history up to this point, but you seem to have already worn the hats of "professor" and perhaps even "prophet" when it comes to helping people work through personal issues in your counseling service. Maybe you could narrow your focus to helping people leverage creative inspiration as a tool for building a unique life plan - perhaps by deciding on a "purpose statement." A few months ago, I attended a LeaderCast Conference where they passed out note-cards with a series of questions such as "What challenges have I overcome and what lessons did I learn?", "What am I passionate about? What do I love/hate?", "What energizes me and makes me feel alive?", etc. We then used those questions to formulate a one-sentence statement to summarize our goals and purpose in life. In my case, it was "To awaken the dreams of those around me so they can build the world of tomorrow," which I apply in writing fiction with storylines featuring future possibilities (today's science fiction, as they say, is tomorrow's reality). Perhaps you could base your business on helping clients find something similar? 

Hope this has been helpful. Thanks!

Preston

Aaron,

How are things coming along on this set of questions? 

Jer

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