“Are you beige or are you someone or a company I can some of myself in? Is this for me?”

 

That is the first, subconscious question your customers and prospects are trying to answer in the moment it takes to draw in a breath.  It’s the question we all try to answer for just about everything in our lives.

The simple fact is that people across this globe want something to believe in. Brett Michaels was right about that for sure! Look at our thirst for sports in this country. We want, no we need to believe in something. The Detroit Lions (I’m afflicted), the UM Wolverines, and whatever your favorite team is. We need to be in a stadium of 70,000 other people who believe in what we believe. It inherently feels right — because it’s a basic human need.

Look at our recent political climate. No matter what your belief system you’ve most likely taken a side and will fight vehemently for your point of view.  The list goes on an on.

 

Genetically as human beings we need to believe. We need to cherish, watch, love, and hope whatever it is we believe in.

If this is such a dominant force in our genetic make up, doesn’t it make sense that this should apply to our businesses, products, and services too? Doesn’t it make sense that our customers and prospects want to believe in us? Who we are? What we stand for? So they can see some of themselves in us, our products, and services and make the decision to join our tribe. To vote for our mutual beliefs with their budget? With their precious dollars?

In our WILDSTORY intensive we have a module called Plant Your Flag and what Plant Your Flag is all about is really declaring who you are and who you aren’t  – as both a company and a leader.  A  great way to do this is to write and record a belief statement.

It’s a very simple exercise. Start with the prompt “I believe…”, The idea is to really make a stand, let us know who you are and who you aren’t.  Let us know who you are fighting for and who you are fighting against.

In our previous manifesto post, we talked about how if you want to stand for something you can’t stand for everything.

The best way to build a story that matters, a story that spreads and leaves an impact that your customers remember is to commit to this simple but so difficult trade off. The notion that anyone can be our customer and we will get you whatever you want is always a road to nowhere. No customers, no growth, no business.

So, the trick is to start writing out what you believe.  You can even use your iPhone, hit record, and just start riffing. Inevitably what’s going to happen is the more and more you say  “I believe…” the more you’re going to scratch past the surface, get deeper and really find out what you do stand for. Don’t edit yourself. Let it fly unfiltered.  You can always go back and edit the recording.

The way I did mine was to write first, then read and record via quicktime and then imported it into Garage Band to lay some music on it.

You can post the recording to your employees and this Belief Statement works equally well for either your own personal stance or internally. Whenever I listen to this, it gets me all fired up. The bounce in my step returns and I really believe in what I’m hearing.

 

Tell me what you believe. I want to hear your belief statement. Go ahead and send me any of your ideas or your belief statements to marc@wildstory.com and I’d love to post them on the blog with your permission. So please go ahead and share your belief statements.

What do you stand for? What do you believe?

 

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About Marc Gutman

I’m Marc Gutman the founder and do-whatever-needs-to-be-done guy at WILDSTORY. I’m a storyteller, entrepreneur, husband, father, adventure seeker, coffee lover, notebook snob, and closet sketchnoter. I believe that telling your story is the ultimate competitive advantage in business — probably the only one left these days. As a result I am obsessive about branding, story structure, design and tend to appreciate anyone who is too. I love living in the great state of Colorado and try to play outdoors as much as possible. When I’m not in the office you can usually find me doing one of the following: snowboarding, hiking, mountain biking, camping, cycling, kiteboarding, or fishing with a cold craft beer in hand.

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