Episode 68: What’s Your 3 Word Rebellion?

Coming up with an overarching message for your business can be tricky, and it’s a common problem for a lot of business owners — especially when you want your business to be about something more and make an impact in the world.

That’s exactly why, when I started to get familiar with today’s guest, author and CEO Michelle Mazur, I just knew she was really onto something.

Michelle believes that speakers, entrepreneurs, and business owners should craft a message that is bigger than themselves and their business. This message should call in your audience, incite actions always, and turn the audience into the messenger of your message.

Here’s a little background on Michelle:

Michelle Mazur, Ph.D. delivers audacious breakthroughs for business owners and speakers who want to stand out, be the best-in-class in their field, and position themselves in a category of one.

She is the CEO of Communication Rebel and the author of Speak Up for Your Business and Speak for Impact. The speakers and business owners she works with have gone on to book speaking gigs across the United States, raise three times the amount of money expected for the launch of a charity, and speak in front of world leaders. Her rebel yell has appeared in Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur, PR Daily, and She Owns It.

She lives in Seattle, WA with her adoring husband, 3 obsessive felines, and a huge collection of Duran Duran memorabilia.

Let’s dive into my conversation with Michelle!

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The Marketing Funnel Show, Marketing funnel, marketing funnels, funnel, funnelsBiggest Show Takeaways:

  • Where did the idea of the 3 Word Rebellion come from?
    • The 3 Word Rebellion idea came because I was completely frustrated and dissatisfied with my business. I've been in business for seven years and around year six, during Christmas, I thought to myself, ‘Oh, my gosh, I can't keep doing this.’ I was exclusively working with speakers on speeches and marketing and how to get paid, and that's all I was ever talking about. I love my clients, and they’re doing change-making work, but I felt like I had left my why by the side of the road somewhere in Missouri because I wasn't acting on it. My why is that communication changes the world. I couldn't keep creating content around ‘how to get speaking gigs,’ not because it’s not valuable or important, but it just wasn’t working for me.
    • I took some time off from my podcast and my business to think about what was next for me. I felt like there was something big coming, but I didn't know what it was. During the course of that break, I spotted a pattern. I noticed that the entrepreneurs and the speakers that I really love and admire — people like Mel Robbins and Simon Sinek and Sally Hogshead — could summarize what their work was about in two or three words. I also was seeing all of these movements pop up, whether it was Black Lives Matter, Make America Great Again, Time's Up, or the Never Again movement, and again, I noticed they could all sum up the change they want to create in the world in just a couple of words.
    • I know what a big struggle it is for business owners to figure out what their message is and I thought, ‘Well, what if I could use some of the core concepts of movement making — like what are you moving away from, and what are you moving towards — and use those types of questions to help people create their message?’ I sat with it, and the 3 Word Rebellion just came. My brand is Communication Rebel. I have a podcast called Rebel Rising. The 3 Word Rebellion just made sense.
  • You had a real business for six years, but you realized you were so niched down that you were missing something and needed to expand. You expanded to allow more business in, but you also narrowed into exactly what you're talking about. Can you explain that a little?
      • I was very niched down, and a lot of people still know me for speaking, and that's fine because the 3 Word Rebellion process works very well for that as well. I always had this thought in the back of my mind that what I was doing was useful to more than just speakers because I saw my clients take what we created and use it in various ways. All the sudden, they'd have a blog post from what we created, or they would change the name of their company or their tagline based on the work we were doing. I always found that fascinating, so there was just always this little part of me that knew I could be serving change-making business owners in a bigger way if I wasn't just so focused on speakers.
  • As a communications professional with a Ph.D. in communication, you’re a total pro. Why do you think people should dedicate time, energy, and money to really honing in on their message and not just wing it?
    • Your message works for your business 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When people land on your website, yes, they see your great visuals and your font, but what they're reading is your message. When they stumble across you on social media, what they are reading is your message. So, if your message is not working for your business, and it's not working as hard as it should be for your business, you’re missing out on income because people are confused about what you do and how you do it.
    • You're also missing out on the impact that you could be making with your work. You may be thinking about getting more podcast interviews or media placements or speaking and also thinking about the other people in your industry who aren't as qualified as you but have their marketing messaging nailed. They're out there getting all of these people, and they're not as good as you, and they don't get as good as results. It's all because of your message, and that is so fixable. Once you have the message, then go take the Facebook ads course because then you have a message you can share on Facebook. Then go build your funnel, create the course, or pitch media. But nothing will work in your business until you really know what that message is. It’s foundational, and we tend to skip over it for other, sexier things, myself included.
  • Your message before was super strong but you went from really strong to titanium. Let's talk about how going from a really strong message to your 3 Word Rebellion message changed your pitching.
    • When I pitch myself for podcasts or for the media, leading with the 3 Word Rebellion and saying, ‘I help people create a 3 Word Rebellion’ is curiosity-provoking. They want to know more. They see the problem that the 3 Word Rebellion solves, and they can see how it serves their audience. A lot of people go to pitch for podcasts, and it's very how-to, and I always think that the way we've been doing messaging from that corporate messaging standpoint doesn't really work for personal brands, for small businesses, for people who want to be thought leaders. People see what I'm doing and want to know more, so it stands out.
  • Is provoking curiosity a big part of your 3 Word Rebellion work in that you want to tap into that natural curiosity emotion that humans have?
      • Yes, a big part of it is tapping into the curiosity. So, for example, Mel Robbins, who is my role model of possibility, she has the 5 Second Rule. And I remember when I first discovered her, I was like, ‘What is that? What is the 5 Second Rule? Am I applying the 5 Second Rule? Do I need to apply it?’ So I was Googling it, came across her Ted Talk, bought the book, and I just needed to know. I needed to close that gap. There are so many people who talk about motivation and how to take action and how to get to your goals, but there's only one person talking about the 5 Second Rule. And that’s the magic.
      • Another example is Simon Sinek, Start With Why. There are so many people who talk about mission and purpose and values, but there's only one Start With Why. When you're able to frame your message in such a way where you become the one who’s driving some curiosity, then you become known for that message and other people talk about it. Like, ‘Oh, I heard about the 5 Second Rule. Let me tell you what that is.’
  • What do you have to say to people like me, who aren't typical rebels, about finding our own 3 Word Rebellion?
      • What I know about you and a lot of business owners is that they’re creative. Innovation is strong for them. In order to create, you must destroy. So, if there is something in your industry that you feel is not right, is wrong, is not ethical, and for whatever reason rubs you the wrong way, it can be a starting point. Doesn’t matter if you're a rebel or not.
  • I have people come to me all the time to do a marketing funnel, but they're not clear on what their message is. So, instead of having it become a long trial and error process where we're trying to come up with this message, testing things out, and it isn’t working, can you help us understand how the 3 Word Rebellion shortens that or makes it easier?
      • The first thing to know is the philosophy, the fundamental belief of this work that I do with people is that I believe your 3 Word Rebellion already exists. It's hiding in plain sight. It's in what you keep saying over and over and over again. That's why I created a process of free writing. What that process does is it takes the pressure off you, it takes the pressure off me of figuring out what the message is. We get all of those rants and the change you want to create out of your head and onto paper, where we can actually see it, and deal with it.
      • I take that writing, and I analyze it, while looking for patterns, looking for words that are used over and over again, and then I can come up with a word bank and themes. When I work with people, usually we have their 3 Word Rebellion nailed by the beginning of the second session, so that's about two weeks time. So, from the first session to the second session, we work, and we nail it.
  • Do you think that going through that process is a confidence builder or just a focus? What do you think it is that really gets your head around it?
    • What I bring into the process is that I show you what's  valuable and useful because you're so close to your message. You're so close to the work that you do. You're in it day in, day out, so you just can't see what's important. Sometimes we judge ourselves as we try to create our message on our own. We just prejudge it, and then we don't look at it any further because we think our message needs to be something else. But when you have a little bit more objectivity, when somebody's able to reflect back to you your own ideas, they are willing to embrace it and realize it IS important.
    • As an audience and as a potential client, we're not actually interested in ‘how the sausage gets made.’ We need something to hook us a little before you start going into the explanation of how to create a marketing funnel or whatever. We tend to want to lead with our knowledge, how-to, and expertise, instead of leading with something that actually makes people stop and think and be like, ‘Huh, can you tell me a little bit more about that?’
  • Can you give listeners a little sneak peek, one little tiny nugget to take away from today to start the wheels on finding their own 3 Word Rebellion?
      • Set aside 15 minutes right after you finish listening to this podcast. Pull out a piece of paper and pen or hit record on your phone and answer this prompt. Start with ‘It pisses me off when…’ and don't censor yourself. Don't worry about spelling or grammar or any of it. Just let it flow, and let yourself get what ticks you off onto paper because that's where it all starts. We have to get our ideas out of our head and somewhere tangible where we can actually look at them and play with them and experiment. So, that's the first step.
  • When is the book coming out, and where people can find it?
    • The book is coming out on February 26th — only in print versions. You have to get a hard copy of the book because the book is interactive, and you're supposed to write in it and almost use it as a messaging journal to play in. You'll be able to find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and you can also go to my website, drmichellemazur.com/rebellion, and you'll be able to find out where you can order it from. And if you're listening to this before the 26th, they'll be some fun bonuses for preordering.
  • Any final thoughts?
    • I really believe your 3 Word Rebellion can change everything for your business, but also, it changes the people that are touched and decide to work with you or decide to follow you. It CAN have an impact on your industry and how people in your industry talk.
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