Experts: How to Make Your Dent in the Universe

In a now-famous pitch to someone he wanted to bring on board Apple in the early days, Steve Jobs said, “We are inventing the future….Come down here and make a dent in the universe.”

A fairly gargantuan vision, but because he held it tenaciously and with his characteristic bravado, he did it.

Imagine holding yourself to the same standard. How would you make a dent in the Universe? What would it take?

When we look through history, it seems that these kinds of leaps happen only once or twice a century. But our history was set in categorically slower times. We are now spinning through space at accelerated speed and universe-denting originality is happening more and more frequently. Who were we before the internet just twenty years ago? Before Google just 10 years ago? Before Facebook just 7 years ago? We have all  been changed forever by these dents–in a very short period of time.

Is it possible that, because our globe is spinning through a time warp, such originality can happen every month?

How about for every person? Can we all make dents?

A Different Kind of Reality Check

Do you even want to, or are you content to change the world one person at a time? That’s cool. To each his own. However, Jobs would have snapped something nasty at you and sent you on your way for aiming too low; he only worked with those who wanted to bend time.  But I’m not the nasty sort—so I will just suggest that perhaps you’re selling yourself short, falling asleep at the wheel your Soul gave you once upon a time.

If you are in the business of imparting knowledge, shifting thinking, altering behavior, healing bodies—and you do not use the powers vested in you to the extent of their potential, you’re seriously messed up. (Sorry, was channeling Jobs there for a minute.) But it is definitely time for a reality-distortion check.

Steve (I’ll be writing more about this another day) was known to live inside what his employees dubbed a “reality distortion field,” where no laws of physics, or any other laws for that matter, applied. He believed everything was possible without exception, things that did not exist in the known universe yet, and ignored all signs of impossibility.

Personally, I attribute the dent he made to this one character trait. So, it stands to reason that you want to adapt it, too, in order to spin your wheel as it was designed to be spun.

Deciding (for that’s all Jobs did) that everything is possible, and knowing that your wisdom and knowledge is there to make a dent in the universe and not the cushions of your desk chair—or why else even be here–the question is, how to do it?

The Strategy for Making This Kind of Impact

So, you don’t sell a tangible product like Apple; you sell intangible ideas. Therefore, your one-of-a-kind art is not (primarily) found in design and usability as Jobs was so fastidious about perfecting. Your art is in what you say. And it must cut a path. It must be different. This world is saturated with content; saturated with coaches, consultants, healers and therapists. You will only survive if what you say rises above them all. 

And the design you must shape with meticulous care is a story. Stories captivate the imagination the way perfectly sculpted designs captivate the visual sense. But in your case, we’re not talking about your story, or the story of your company/business, or the story of your clientele—the kinds of stories you’re being told to develop.

As an expert, you must offer a Teaching Story. An artfully formed narrative that teaches what no one else is teaching. This is the ultimate in education-based marketing.

To do this, you must first know your market—really, really well.  When Jobs’ mentor, Mike Markkula, aligned with the original motley crew, he wrote a one-page paper entitled, “The Apple Marketing Philosophy,” that emphasized just three points that went on to define the company forever. The first was empathy—“an intimate connection with the feelings of the customer.” He wrote, “We will understand their needs better than any other company.”

What followed? A dent in the universe. Your teaching story will reflect your understanding of your market better than any one else. Even better than they understand themselves. (Channeling Steve again.)

And your teaching story will go one better. It will wrap your market into an emotionally tight tribal community, where powerful unity and affinity exists among like-minds.

Then, the drama of the story begins. It quietly discusses what they always believed to be true; what they have always accepted as true–in society, their industry, culture, or thinking. And just as they’re relaxing into the reminder of this natural order of things, your teaching story slams into suspense, surprising them with the fact that this truth is out-dated, decrepit, and ineffectual. It suspends them there, as any good chase scene does, detailing the problems with the prevailing paradigm, sinking them deeper and deeper into the dire outcome of staying in the reality they’ve adapted for so long.

Then, in gallops the knight in shining armor to save them: your vision of a “new paradigm,” with a brand new landscape, a brand new solution. (This is your one-of-a-kind brand identity.) And it includes a vision for them as a tribe—the legacy they, as like-minded peers, are here to unfold together.

This is when you peel away from the pack of ordinary experts; away from your “good enough” mentality and acceptable bank account—and become a bona fide Inspired Thought Leader, with content worthy of a TED talk; worthy of cutting a path in the publishing field…worthy of making a dent in the universe.

Why? Because in your Teaching Story, you are “inventing the future”!

Does that seem impossible?

Then press the button on your reality distortion field and step in–quickly!

Everything is possible.

And why else even be here if you–with something to teach–aren’t going to dent the universe?

All of this is especially possible if you reach out to me. This is what I do. I develop Inspired Thought Leaders who have one-of-a-kind Teaching Stories that cut a path through the nonsense and noise. Bold, creative, thought-provoking, paradigm-breaking stories so their market respects them, loves them and buys them.

It’s Time to Grab That Wheel, Look Out On the Future and Know You Can Invent It!

Read how I do this with experts by clicking here, and then reach out to me at the bottom of that page. We’ll get on a call and start inventing the future!


A 10-Step Pitch to Prospects to Buy Your Expert Service

A client and I were concluding my 7-session private process, The Powerhouse Method, and now armed with her one-of-a–kind differentiation and message, we had time to role-play the pitch she was going to make to decision makers at NYC media companies. We had developed a strategy where she would go to those whom she knew best first, so the “pitch arc” we created keeps in mind the warmth of her relationship to them.

I am sharing it here with my answers, rather than hers for confidentiality’s sake. The example should help you adapt it to your own situation and content.
[Read more…]

Determining Your Target Market: 6 Ways You’ve Probably Not Considered–Part 3

Today, we’re moving to the 3rd post in a 6-part series designed to help you determine whom you should be leading. I expect this will be enlightening and helpful to even the most successful service entrepreneurs.

 3. Who are YOU? BE your market.

Richard Branson was featured yet again in Entrepreneur Magazine, June 2012, and was quoted as saying, “All startups should be thinking, ‘What frustrates me [as a customer] and how can I make it better? It might be a small…or…a big thing, but…if they think like that, they’re likely to build a very successful business.”

The most relevant piece to our discussion is this: he spoke of the fact that he has always been his own customer. Everything he ever created, from Virgin Records to Virgin Airlines and everything in between and after, came from his own need. And he credits “being his own  customer” to his success.

This has now become a topic of conversation between me and my clients who go through my 7-session private program, The Powerhouse Method, looking to build a highly-marketable, one-of-a-kind business. The first order of business is to determine whom they will be serving. To aid in this extremely (for most) challenging act, I tell them what Branson advises: You should be your market. But the converse is equally true: your market should be you. Either who you once were, or who you are now. Do not try marketing to a group you are not. Branson never did. Help those with the same needs you had once upon a time. If you’re frustrated now by how things are being done in your field–close the gap with an innovation and then sell it to others just like you with that need.

When you are your market, and your market is you, you secure one of the most important factors of success in business: credibility. They will listen to you because you are them and have an answer relevant to them. It means you will communicate (i.e. sell) to them like no one else because you speak their language and understand them at a deep level. It means you will design “urgently wanted” programs and products that nail their needs and desires because you know them so intimately.

I have always been my market, and as a result, every one of my programs through the years has knocked it out of the park. I have also always sold quite easily (once I overcame my issues with selling), because I created content *I* would have wanted and that my market (me, in an earlier time) wants and needs.

So, in trying to decide who your market is, look no further than your own mirror.

How I Got Certain of My Career Purpose: Letter to Client

A client asked me the other day how I came to have such conviction about my
purpose. It came on the heels of my having told her that, as a leader of change,
 she needs to have “certainty” about that. That it’s her time now to move into
power and play much bigger.  When she wrote me a couple of hours later, asking
me how I’d come to eb so certain,  I had to think about it!  I’d never had to “pull apart”
or articulate HOW it is that I know with such certainty that I am here to “activate”
the leaders and help them build successful one-of-a-kind business empires. Here’s 
how I answered her:

Here are some contributing factors:

1. I am really in touch with my emotions; always have been, and I don’t like anything
that feels bad. That’s why I could never work for anyone else, because I hated it. I
couldn’t stay in a marriage that felt wrong, and am 10 years into a relationship that
feels  great.  There are downsides to only wanting what feels good: I tend to
procrastinate on anything that doesn’t feel good and am rather moody when
doing something I hate.

However, all of this fine-tuned awareness of my feelings has repelled career paths
that felt bad, and drawn me to those that feel good, and 25+ years of that kind of
intuitive “tacking” has brought me to a spot in my life where I’m doing what I love
and am good at because I only cultivated the skills that I really enjoyed. After all of
these years, sorting out good-feelings from bad-feelings, my intuition is a finely
honed and powerful tool in my arsenal and it has led to “I KNOW.”  That kind of
certainty. I work with clients whose feelings aren’t that keenly felt, and so making
decisions can be very hard. And decisions are “certainties.” There is a great deal of
neuroscientific research that proves that if we can’t feel, we can’t decide. Read this
USA Today article  here.

2. Honestly, another answer that comes to mind is that I’ve done my own work–
meaning, the work I take others through. I know so well my own convictions because
of those deep, penetrating questions. For instance, in The Powerhouse Method(TM),
clients must assert their *single* contention for their market–and this is a very large
step in revealing their purpose. Then, I have them excavate their “mountain top
message”–their leadership message, that is their message for humanity. It’s really a
big message. When they get this clear, they’re almost home to certainty. Then, we
craft their mission statement and determine their one-of-a-kind solution and after
all of this, they are convicted about their reason for being here. I did all of this for
myself, of course, and no one can walk out of that not KNOWING.

3. I also have the certainty I have because of my career history. I have spent years
developing  my expertise–skills, again, that I am good. My conviction comes from
knowing my value to my market.

4. Additionally, I am madly in love with my market of service entrepreneurs here
to do big things in the world. Certainy comes from that and from knowing I’m a
perfect match for them.

5. And lastly (I guess, though I’m sure I’ll go to bed, thinking of more)…I bring my 
beliefs into it all (part of what I do in the PHMethod for others), so I’m clear that I
believe this is a special time in history, and *the* time for service entrepreneurs to
move into roles of leadership during this historic transition. I am DEEPLY convicted
about that…and that reinfoces my certainty of my role to ensure they succeed.

So, in summary: I am so certain of my purpose because I know how to feel what is
wrong from right for me, by years of sorting out what feels good from bad. If you are
not sure of how you feel, this will be a problem. You will stay stuck in analysis
paralysis and waffle for years. I encourage everyone to start small and notice their
” body’s speak.” Notice what your body says when you’re looking at a menu filled
with choices. It is what tells you if you want chicken or fish. Pay attention to those
cues. Then, start to notice how it feels when you’re reaching for the phone to call
someone: does it *really* want to talk to that person, or are you just doing it from
habit? I am also so certain about my purpose because I know my message to my
market and my message to humanity; I know what my unique offering is; I am
passionate about a certain population and have beliefs about their purpose that fuel
my certainty about my own. I encourage everyone to find a population they’re in
love with, and to look into their beliefs about what that population is here for; doing
so will help cement their own purpose.

I am thankful for this client asking me this question, and I hope my answer was
helpful for all.  Here’s to changing the world with your message!


The First-Ever Teleclass Game Show Was a Hit!

I gave a teleclass this week and last where my listeners
were contestants! The entire group had to fulfill a single
task in just 3 minutes, with some basic raw materials.

I told them what needed to be accomplished but that
“how” they accomplished it would be all up to them.  I
let them know that to “beat the clock” would require
creativity, ingenuity, fearlessness, passion and dedica-
tion. In a nutshell, it would require leadership and
cooperation—the two key words of the “new paradigm”
we, as a species, are moving into.

I then told them that this task was going to teach on
many levels. It would teach them about how to teach
(the reason they were on the call in the first place); it
would teach them about leadership—theirs and others;
it would teach about their own fears, inhibitions, doubts
and strengths. And it would teach them about the ability
to enroll others in a vision.

So, how did they do on this task? Class One, from Thurs.
Feb 24, did not beat the clock, set at 3 minutes. They
came in at 4:23. Yesterday’s class came in at 4:52. First,
I congratulate ALL of them for being there in the first
place. I didn’t record this and they knew they had to be
there live, and they were. And I congratulate them for
playing the game at all, with a bunch of strangers!!! So,
woo-hoo to them!!

But what was the hold-up with the time? The task required
“leaders” to step forward at 3 different points. Their roles
were very simple. Nothing confusing (I’d made sure to
give them a chance to ask any necessary questions), but
they had to step forward. And do something that could
have been viewed as silly by the group.

Group One leaders came forward rather readily; their
breakdown had mostly to do with time-management.
Group Two, however, was reticent to step into leader-
ship roles. To encourage them, I reminded them, “How
you do anything is how you do everything!” Because,
as I had told them, this would teach on many levels,
not the least being seeing how they react to the threat
of looking foolish, or to the threat of being imperfect (!)
–because how they react here is how they react every-

And I reminded them of the truth: that they are being
called into leadership, as this world we live in rapidly
changes. I reminded them that this is their calling. Yet
still, Group Two (and to some extent, Group One, too)
hung back.

Now, I was teaching them Page 13 from my Secrets of
Impact & Influence
public speaking training. I call it
the  “10-Don’t-Bother-Speaking-or-Teaching-Without-
These” Factors of Deep and Rapid Learning (and this
Beat-the-Clock game was implementing all 10, though
they didn’t realize that until later.) But for me, what
was taught most profoundly was the hesitancy around
leadership. Group Two was in competition–and I could
feel that there were several on the call quite into beating
Group One’s time–and yet that wasn’t enough. Now,
of course, eventually, all 3 leaders DID materialize. 
And they did an amazing job of carrying the entire rest
of the group forward. So, the leaders stepped up! But
it took something for them to do it. And we didn’t have
enough time on the call to review what it is they said
to themselves to get them to speak up, but I’m going to
ask them to come on over here and tell us their story.
What got them to finally move into leadership?

Have you ever been in a similar situation? Where your
leadership was being called forth? How did you react?
Did you wait to see if someone else would step forward
first? Did you hear chatter in your head that had some-
thing to do with fear of making a mistake or looking
foolish? Or did you come barreling to the front of the
proverbial (or not) room?

Leadership is calling to all service entrepreneurs at this
time. Inspired leadership, in particular. Are you ready?

I’d love to hear some of your experiences! And leaders
from the calls–let us know what finally got you to move
onto center stage!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the very
first teleclass game show! It was a “hoot” and I learned
so much! Hugs!

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