Too many businesses drown in the sea of sameness and leave you confused about what it is they actually do. The biggest mistake I see is jumping into marketing and branding without a clear message that resonates with the right people.
Our guest today is the author of ‘The 3 Word Rebellion: Create a One-of-a-Kind Message that Grows Your Business into a Movement,’ a must read for all business owners.
She has a Ph.D. in Communication and her superpower as a message coach is figuring out what makes you and your message unique. She’s able to see how your message is valuable and deserving of the spotlight in ways that you might not be able to see.
Dr. Michelle Mazur is the founder of The Communication Rebel, message coach, host of the rebel uprising podcast, and author of 3 books.
We get to speak with her about:
- Messaging and building an argument for your business
- How to actually stand out and not be ignored
- The important role of jealousy and those “It should have been me” moments
- The Comparison trap
- And more…
Dr. Michelle Mazur’s Website: Drmichellemazur.com
Her instagram: @drmichellemazur
Three Word Rebellion book
Today’s guest is the founder of the communication rebel she’s a coach She’s the host of the rebel uprising podcast and author of three books including the three word rebellion she also loves Duran Duran join us for a conversation with Michelle Mazur
Oh, yeah, I was just telling Bill that because I was just listening to your last episode about predatory pricing with Maggie on duped. Oh my gosh. And Bill and I were literally having a conversation yesterday about pricing and about how you feel like you just kind of go through this path and next thing you know, it’s like $12,000 is normal and what are you actually getting for that? It’s just such a weird thing.
I know, I know. And that story I was telling about, like the Overton window, it was so weird to be on this console call and be like, yeah, it’s 5500. And they’re like, oh, yeah, that’s, that’s reasonable. That’s what I would expect. And I’m like, what’s happening? What is happening? And then they’ll they’ll tell me a story about Yeah, like how somebody else was proposing, like a program and it was like, 12 grand or something? And I’m like,
yeah. Why? I hear 12 seems to be the number lately, I have a few friends that have, you know, invested in some of those. And I have to bite my tongue. Because I’m not going to tell them how to live their lives. But yeah, I know. But, um, 12 is a pretty common number that I’m hearing nowadays. So
yeah, and I think it’s because it’s a 12 month program, you can say it’s $1,000 a month, which makes it a little bit more palatable. But but a lot of these are like huge group programs with no one on one support. And I might well
grant is the new 10. Grand grant it is. And that was the new eight grant because, you know, every three years, it jumps up the other $2,000. I am amazed and miles and I were just, you know, usually we get on a few minutes before our guest. And we were just kind of, you know, chatting about you and reminding ourselves of things we might want to talk about. And I’m amazed at all of the places where the things that we talk about and the things that we’re interested in intersect. And I want to hit as many of them as we can. I know, miles, miles knows a little bit more about you, you know, coming into this, but catch me up. So how did you get to be where you are now?
Yeah, so I’m an academic. I have a PhD in communication. I was a professor. I mean, I taught college for 13 years I was professor for five hated academia left when I had like it was that time, either you go up for tenure, or and commit to this job and where I was living, which was Hawaii, which seems great. Not so great. But that’s a story for another day. And so I moved back to the mainland, and I got a job doing market research, which was I’m I hated. I mean, I love research, but I hated like working in corporate, but I’m glad I did it because it gave me so much information and knowledge about business and how like traditional business works, because I feel like the online space is actually not how business works. Yeah, so it just kind of blows my mind. But and then as I was doing market research, one of my friends was just like, you know, you have all of this information in your head about communication, you should do something like start a blog, start something so that you can share it. So that’s really how my business began. I did a blog first I was a public speaking coach really like specializing in keynote speech creation. And then I hate the speaking industry, because it devalues speakers in a big way. Like they don’t want to pay speakers like period, full stop, unless you have like a New York Times bestselling book or something. Otherwise, they’re just looking for the lowest, like, who’s the cheapest because there’s so much supply out there. And I realized that my clients were taking their speeches and using them as like a three part launch series or as part of their copy or show up in social media posts. And I’m like, this work has bigger implications than I am giving it credit for. And then around that time, I came up with the three word rebellion framework. And all of this time I’ve always been, it’s because I taught communication, I taught persuasion, I would see all the shit that was happening in the online space. And I was always like, What the hell is going on here? Like why are people taking Robert Cialdini, his book Influence and weaponizing it to manipulate people so I was also always keenly aware of how persuasion was being weaponized. And I do feel like doing messaging work and being able to build an argument for your work is kind of the antidote for that. But it was I mean, I’ve been talking about manipulative marketing since like, I think I googled it on my site. It was 2015. I did my first pro marketing post. Because it was, yeah, I’ve been banging this drum for seven years.
Well, I love that you mentioned three word rebellion. And I want to come back to that, but since we’re already going down this road, okay, you know, this whole railing against manipulative marketing and bro marketing, this is the whole reason that miles and I even talk to each other. We, we had a phone call about a year ago, and, and spent 90 minutes I think, on the phone. Well over the time that I booked with him having a conversation about all of our experiences with the magical world of manipulative marketing, and all the things we didn’t like about it, and all the things we thought that you could do instead. So I love this whole you have this sort of side podcast, I think. Yeah, I do. Right. And where most recently you were talking about predatory pricing. I love it. You know? It reminds me of so many things, actually, right before I met Myles. You know, it was the, it was the pandemic, you know, I hadn’t left the house in a while. And I had actually, I told him when I met him, I left anything related to marketing my business on the internet five years ago. So I’m done. It doesn’t for you. Yeah, it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. Like it did not work for me at all. I could not make it work. You know, doing all the things that they they the big day said I was supposed to do whoever they were at the time. And, and it didn’t feel good. Yeah. And I did much better building my business as being out in the world and meeting people and talking to people and doing that. But then, of course, I was locked in my house for a year. So I stuck my toes back in. And I even went so far as to join a program, which shall remain nameless. But I knew what I was doing. So I The Hustler guy on the phone, the sales guy, you know, he could only get one payment out of me. I said, Look, I’m gonna, I’ll give you the one payment. And, and we’ll go from there. You know, he tried real hard to get me to do the whole thing. Like, nope. And it was like it was a $10,000 program. And just like I had heard you talk about a minute ago. It’s a giant group program. I can’t imagine how many people they were actually shoveling into this thing every week. It was a lot. Yeah. And again, no one on one with anybody. At least not with anybody that could tell you anything. A bunch of what occurred for me is relatively slapped together. Videos and programming. Were mostly I had to watch these two guys in their early 30s, who clearly have a lot of money, and who talk in a way that makes me want to stab myself in the face with a spoon. It made me nuts. And I will say this, I took, I don’t know, two or three good nuggets out of that. I got two or three good nuggets
out of 10,000 $3,000 oh three. Oh, only 3000
Well, because I was used to steal, right? I refused. I was like, No, I’m done. I’m out. You can’t have any more money from me.
But believe it to be in their energy. You know, I get five of
I do. And I’m still trying to wash it off. And I know I’m going a little hardcore here, but
it just reminded me, you know, like, I think I told miles in one of my conversations with this guy. He said, What’s your goal for your business? Mm hmm. I said, Well, I’d like to get my coaching business, you know, to consistently 10 to 15 grand a month. Right. And his response was, is that it? Oh, and I said What do you mean is that it? He said is that it?
Yeah, so I have a big rant about this. And it’s been something I’ve been thinking a lot about in my own business. And in some upcoming episodes of duped, we actually talked about this is that there’s this marketing message that you need to make seven figures, right. And if you only want a business that’s, you know, 10 to 15k, which, to me, that’s about where my business is at. Like, it feels great, right? Like, all of my needs are met, I’m working with people I love to work with, I have a manageable schedule. And all of like, those lifestyle, things are more like markers of success than being able to say like, oh, I made a million dollars of revenue. And then if you ever listen to any podcasts, where they’re breaking down how they made $3 million of revenue, and then you find out half the money, went to Zuckerberg for Facebook ads, and then a huge amount went to their team, and they paid themselves like $150,000. I’m like, there’s a lot easier ways to make 150k. But you have to let go of your ego of having this like million dollar business dream, that doesn’t actually mean you have made or earned a million dollars.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s the word scale is thrown around to that six feet, that seven figure business, you know, can your business scale. And it’s like that there’s obviously truth. And a lot of these things aren’t inherently bad, if that’s the path you want to go, a lot of people can do that really well, ethically, and feel really good and be sustainable. But we, you were talking in the last episode of duped how we come into business. And now everything is very, there’s a lot more resources for us. So you can step into the business world overnight. But you haven’t built like the expertise, the know, you don’t know how to navigate the world. So you’re kind of vulnerable to all these different mistakes that people fall into. And that’s how they ended up paying tons and tons of money. And they do the manipulative marketing, and it just kind of like perpetuates itself.
Yeah, well, because most of the people who come into business, we come into it, because we have a certain expertise that we can share, right? We have, like me, like I’m a communication person, I have all of this communication experience and know how and studies and research under my belt. But when I came in, I didn’t know how to run. Like, I didn’t know how to run a business. Like I knew a little bit about business, but not enough to actually run it successfully. So then we go and we look for other experts to help us. And then it’s really easy to get duped into thinking like, oh, well, there’s just one way to run my business, or this is what my business model has to be. Or because I remember when I knew better, right, like I taught persuasion for years. So I know what’s going on. And, and I remember like, in the first probably three months, I found Jeff Walker, and I was watching his three part video series. And the first one, he was like, Oh, well, if you don’t have expertise, no problem, just total rags to riches story. And I’m like, what? Like, that’s lying. Like that is deception at its core. Like if you don’t have extra expertise, maybe you shouldn’t be starting this type of business.
The whole, the whole saying of like, being one step ahead was a big saying for a while for it was you don’t need to be good at anything, just be one step ahead of your clients. It’s like, I don’t know, I feel like that leads people down the wrong path.
Yeah, well, and it just leads people who don’t have the experience. And like Maggie and I have our season finale of duped is about how to vet coaches and programs. And what we see is we see a lot of people who have built their own business. And then they’re like, well, now I’m going to teach you how to build your own business or people who didn’t have a successful coaching practice, but they’re really good at getting others to like in the door to have their own successful coaching practice. And it’s just like this, this wicked cycle where it’s like we have, there are like bonafide experts out there who are really good at what they’re what they do. And then there’s a whole lot of people who don’t have that level of experience and as a consumer, as a person investing, you have to really understand what the difference is and be able to kind of sort that out so you can make the best informed decision because they’re also really good at hiding it.
Ya know, I’ve I have so many things flying through my brain now right now. It’s hard to sort them all out but In the early 2000s, it was actually kind of true that making money selling information, whether it was good information or not on the internet was relatively easy. It really was. And even in 2008, was the first time I got sort of involved in that kind of thing. And it was still, to some extent, it was relatively easy. The thing is, they’re still telling people, it’s easy to make money online. And it’s not. And it wasn’t that easy back, then. There were a lot of things you had to do, and it cost money like they have. So you don’t have to do anything, just build a thing and put it out there and people will buy it, it’s not true. That time where I see, and these days all the traditional, I say traditional, all the all the marketing tactics and techniques that that we’re discussing and railing against at the moment. They’re really the only work for marketers who are selling marketing to other people who want to market stuff. Those are the only people that make money in internet marketing in that way.
Which it means it’s just like one giant pyramid scheme. Right, exactly. Yeah. I mean, it becomes no better than a multi level marketing company, at the end of the day,
maybe worse, because at least at least with, you know, Amway or something, I might get some soap that I like using in my house. Yeah, don’t get anything for this.
Well, and what I’ve also noticed, is that in the online space, you’re not really Oh, it says low browse browser storage. You’re okay. Okay, cool. I’ll just go on. What I’ve really noticed in the online space, is that you’re not encouraged to actually create good business foundations. And always skip steps. It’s like people think, Oh, well, this is like, particularly to what I do. And with messaging, it’s like, I see people all the time, say like, oh, well, I have a great offer, I want to reach more people, I need marketing, but they don’t do any of the messaging work to actually create the marketing. So then they get sucked into all the bro marketing stuff, because you don’t need a good message. You just need to like fill in the blank with these swipes in these templates. And then they’re like, Oh, well, why didn’t that work? For me, it’s like, because you don’t know how to communicate the value of your offer of what it is you do and why it matters to other people. And when I was in corporate, I was doing a research study for Microsoft, because I live in Seattle. So of course, I’m doing research for Microsoft, as one does. And it was a message testing study for the rollout of the Xbox One like so it was like this top secret study, but they spent millions of dollars to get the messaging right on that because it would have been, their launch would have been successful, no matter what. But they knew if the messaging was the right message, it would be successful beyond their imagination. And like, it was always so clear and corporate, like that’s what you do. Like you create something, you figure out how to message it, and then you go to market and sell it. But in online, it’s like, oh, I created this thing. Now I just need to market and everybody’s gonna show up. And it’s like, no, that’s not how that works. Yeah. And
it’s amazing. They’re they do skip over all the information, all the prevalent courses and everything, they skip that step that you that occurred, right. And it cost money. And it costs time. And generally you can’t most people can’t sit there in their room and do that by themselves.
No, they No, no, they cannot. And because we’re so up in our head. And they don’t want to teach messaging because it doesn’t scale. Like it is not easy to teach people or to help a person create messaging that they can use across their entire business in their marketing their copy their sales. So they just give you some swipes and some templates. And they’re like, Okay, we’re done with the messaging part, or they tell you like, oh, all you need is an ideal client and you’re gonna be good. Or they tell you like, you just need a tagline and you’re fine or a content plan. It’s like, No, you need so much more than that to actually be effective at marketing, but it’s way easier to teach you a tactic than it is to actually help you lay the foundation for a successful business is
so important. Michelle and I just want to share really quick and kind of take a step back. Because when I first heard messaging, I was like, oh messaging what’s That like, is that like, like chatting on Facebook like, you know, like years and years ago, when yet when I first heard it, and then you were I’m going to give you so much credit right now because you were the first person to lay out what messaging actually means, and more importantly, how important it is. And this is what we’re talking about. And I finally read this book. And I finally went through it
on the internet in case nobody’s watching
the three word rebellion by Dr. Michelle Mazur, and it is incredible. And I think I just want to like really bring this home that messaging is you said earlier, building an argument for your business, putting the words and the frameworks and the almost like the packaging that’s digestible around your business, because no one else is going to do that stuff. Like, if you’re it’s so noisy out there. And I see now that I understand, you know, what you’ve kind of shown me and through your podcasts and through your work and through the book, is, you can’t just put word salad out there, as you call it. Like, I can’t just throw words that sound nice to you. Because it is so hard to understand. What Why should I care? We all think we have the best idea ever. I see it all the time. I’ve seen it in myself, but why should they care? What is the specific, you know, reason that they should give you their precious time. And it all comes down to message messaging, marketing, branding, everything happens from the message. And I’ve really understood that. And now this book is required reading for anyone I interact with or work with. So thank you. So
Well, thank you know, I love hearing that because I do feel I mean, as a college professor, I would see this all the time with my students, they would think like communication is supposed to be my easy class. And I would always say to them, What makes you think that it is so easy for two human beings to understand and create meaning. And when you’re a business owner, there is nothing easy about you and a potential client, you and your audience like CO creating that meaning because especially in the online space, because as the business, you really have to show that you understand your people in very specific ways. You just can’t be like, Hey, you’re overwhelmed and frustrated with life that doesn’t cut it has to be far more specific, and have a lot more empathy to it. But I just think we think oh, well, I can open my mouth and speak. So therefore I am communicating and I have a message. And plus, there’s all this bad crap out there about messaging like you are your message. No, you’re not, you’re not your message. We are not selling ourselves here in business, or all you need is your story and you’re going to be fine. And it’s like, no, because you have to know how your story actually matters to another human being.
Wow. And, okay, so I want to, there’s so many things I want to cover and one thing I want to talk about and try to make this a nice segue is so within business, you know, there’s a lot of emotions, you get thrown into this business world and you’re trying to navigate everything you’re trying to figure out your message. And then you see someone else and they have a big win. They you know, they’ve had a six figure, year or month or whatever it is or they got they they’re doing something really awesome and you see that and you feel jealous. You feel like that should have been me. And you did a project recently that I really want to talk about with you because I want to hear how it went and what what you learned from it. But yeah, tell me about the it should have been the project.
Yeah, so the it should have been me project was this idea of gathering like 30 entrepreneurs who are who are on all stages of their business to share this really vulnerable moment of when you see somebody get this big win. And there’s just this like, Oh, that little tinge of like, oh, that’s, that should have been me, like, I should be doing that. Or the other thing that one of the things I learned is a lot of my people identify as like overlooked experts. Like they’re the person with the experience, the expertise, and yet they are passed over and ignored for people who have half their experience and expertise. And I, I’ve had multiple moments like that. And it was so interesting, because I was like, Well, I thought I was alone, right, I thought I was the only one who would have these moments. And then as I started reaching out to people and hearing their story, I realized that these moments are so very common, I don’t care if you’ve been in business for five minutes, or 20 years, people have had that moment of just being like, oh, I should be doing that, that should be me. And those moments tend to be kind of this pivot point where we actually get a little bit clearer on what it is we want, or sometimes what it is we don’t want anymore. And it was just, I mean, I feel for me like that project. And what I’ve heard from so many people who listen to other people’s stories, it’s like, oh, this is a natural part of building a business, we only see kind of like, the highlight reels that people present to us, you know, when they’re like, I got the book deal, or I you know, I have the six figure launch or whatever, we don’t see anything that came before it. So that idea of like exploring the messy middle of success when it’s like, you know where you’re going, but you’re not quite there yet. Or you might be really far away. And how do you deal with those, it should have been me moments,
or even when you see someone who is doing really well, or at least your experience on Instagram, or wherever you’re seeing is that they’re doing really well, right, they’re doing things that you think you want to do, when you really dig into what it takes for them to do that, you know, coming like from the music world, which I’ve been in for a long time. You know, this thing that we’re talking about this, it should have been me is so prevalent in it. And I’ve talked to a lot of artists, and we do it constantly. And this comparing, you know, of ourselves to whoever. And I was really struck, because now that I’ve been in the world of entertainment for a really long time. And I’ll have young people or even people who aren’t so young. And I did this with myself, I have a friend who you know, she’s doing really well. Right? She’s rockin and rollin. But when I look at what it takes for her to do that she’s home two days a month. You know, she’s on the road, she is killing it. She doesn’t have a 10 year old in the house, I do. I want to be home for my 10 year old. And that’s a decision I made a long time ago where I said, Look, here’s what I’m not going to do. Because this is how I want to live my life. And and that’s the thing it takes a while to get to sometimes when you have those should have been me moments. It’s like, well, should it have been? Because do I want to do what it takes to have that?
Yeah, and that was like one of the the takeaways is that sometimes people had those moments. And they realize like, oh, wait, I don’t want to do what it takes to have that, like I could have that. But do I want to take all of the steps. And also, I think the other thing that came up was like time and patience is I mean, I actually had somebody who is a she is a business owner and a musician. And it was just like, it takes time to build a musical career. It takes time to build a business. And I think we want everything fast. And we want everything now. And so then all of a sudden we look at somebody and we’re like, oh, well they just showed up last night and you don’t realize like they’ve been playing clubs for 10 freaking years. I have a story I tell in the three word rebellion book is about like how my husband and I went to this small club in Vancouver BC and we were seeing a band from South Africa. That’s huge in South Africa. No one knows them here. And they had this opening act and the opening Act was freaking phenomenal, like great stage presence. There’s like 20 people in this club. They’re like afterwards, they’re like moving all their own gear. That band was the Imagine Dragons. They were playing these teeny tiny clubs to like 20 people who were more interested in their drink for years before they kind of broke onto the scene. And that that experience always stuck with me. It’s like, there’s so much we have to do before we can actually have that moment. But we just sometimes look at that moment be like, ah, that should be me. And it’s like, should
I? It’s so cool that you saw the Imagine Dragons before they were big.
Yeah. I think I even talked to the lead singer, because they were just like milling around afterwards. Because, I mean, it was a tiny club. And it wasn’t full. But they they were performing like they were performing to on arena.
Yeah, that’s so cool. Wow. So you have this book, you have this framework to three word rebellion. Tell us a little bit. I mean, I obviously know. But I’d love to hear from you. Like, how does it work? What’s the framework? What do you kind of go through? Like, obviously, anyone listening? Read the frickin book. It’s amazing. It’ll change your business. But just kind of high level? How does it work?
Yeah, so the three word rebellion is about creating this core message that encapsulates the change you want to create. The goal of the message is to make people curious to make people want to know more. And also, like, get them talking about it make it easy for them to spread. So some, like famous examples of three word rebellions, like Simon Sinek, start with why like that as a sticky message, because immediately we’re like, oh, yeah, I should start with my why. But what is my why and all of a sudden, we’re thinking about him, we’re watching his stuff. And we’re buying his books, because we feel this almost compulsion to figure it out. And for me, I was like, Well, I noticed this pattern between these entrepreneurs like Simon Sinek, and Mel Robbins in the five second rule, and also social movements do this really well, whether it’s Black Lives Matter, or the me to movement, never again, they’re both doing this, like they have this core message that they’re leading with. And in my head, I was like, I wonder if I took questions like, What Are you rebelling against? What change do you want to create, and just had my clients like, empty their brain like, like, let’s just get all of that information out of your head and onto paper? Could we on Earth, this type of really short, concrete, sticky message, and I found out you can, because there’s magic. And I feel like with business owners, we’re so up in our head about what our message is that we never take the time to, like, just write it and be messy with it and just get it out. So we can actually see what we’re dealing with. So that’s when the high level like it’s all about free writing. Let’s get your ideas out of your head and see what’s there and start trying to formulate and structure on earth this message.
Incredible. Even just you communicating that was was very digestible, and enticing, you’re making me want to go through it again, I haven’t quite landed on mine. I have like, you know how you had version one. And then I think a year or two in or however long it wasn’t changed, it evolves. And it’s allowed to do that.
People, because, you know, when I was doing public speaking, I had a program called speak for impact, which is fine. It was a fine name. It kind of encapsulated what I wanted to do. I was never in love with it. But as I evolved in my business evolved, like that’s when I developed like the whole three word rebellion idea. And I was like, oh, yeah, that’s, that’s the message I want to leave lead with now. And I don’t know if it’s going to be my forever message. I might have another evolution, again, where I’m doing something probably very related, but maybe a little bit different. So as business owners, we evolve and our message can evolve with us. So you can always go back to the three word rebellion and be like, Okay, I have this new idea. Now I need to figure out how to communicate it and go back to that book.
I think that’s a really great point, that as a business owner, your business can evolve. Whatever you come up with today doesn’t have to be forever. I think sometimes we think it does. Yeah, like we’re gonna get stuck with whatever it is like right now, you know?
Well, and I think people also, we think it’s going to be much harder to pivot and evolve than in actually is, I mean, unless you’re completely switching audiences and what you’re doing, it’s actually a pretty easy process to evolve and just kind of keep your audience involved with your own evolution. And most of the time, they will follow you, because that’s what I found, when I pivoted from speaking into more like this brand messaging. They’re like, Oh, yeah, I need that, too. So I’m gonna stick around, and it wasn’t this. In my head, I was like, oh, it’s gonna be I’m so known for speaking and blah, blah, blah, this is going to be so hard. And it, it wasn’t because I mean, honestly, people aren’t paying that much attention to us. So we can totally evolve.
That’s funny too, because I used to keep I know, I’ve, we’ve talked about this on the show, and miles, and I have had many a conversation about it. I used to keep my music, business and my coaching business very separated. You know, like they couldn’t, you know, I didn’t want music people to know, I had this side gig. And I didn’t want business owners to know that I was running around playing music. And I don’t know why now, but it seemed it that made a lot of sense to me at some point. And it’s so interesting. People don’t care about that. And the people that do care about that probably aren’t the people that are going to come listen to you or that are going to hire you as a coach anyway. And the minute that I put it all together, everything got easier. And people are more interested, because it’s all of me, and not just some little constructed piece of me that I think I should show you.
Yes, yeah, I totally agree with that. It’s so funny, because as we’re talking, I have a cat that’s 15 years old. And he’s always on almost every call idea, because he’s very obsessed with me at this point in his life. Yeah, you probably saw his tail earlier, because he’s just like, I need to be with you. And if somebody like shows up to a call, you know, konsult, and they don’t like the fact that my cats there, then we’re probably together, because I’m all like, he’s part of my life. And I can’t really control this behavior right now. And so yeah, and I think it’s really hard to kind of section off especially big, important parts of ourselves. And I’m sure most of your clients are like, Oh, you’re a musician. That’s so cool. Tell me. Like, I want to know your experience.
Yeah. And I ended up because I can talk about it. And I have so much experience at it, that I ended up having clients who are in the business, and those are great. That’s fantastic. You know, I like I like all of it. It’s good and unintended. It’s just funny how we, because of all of the poor information we have, I think about marketing and about how to present ourselves. That’s where it all came from, is thinking that I had to be a particular way to present myself to the world, instead of just being who I am. And trying to language that.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And I think I’m deciding for me, it’s also about deciding what parts of myself or just for me, and for the people I love, and what parts I want to have as a part of my business like for you, yeah, the coaching and the music go together. And music is a very public thing you want people to consume. But then there are parts of yourself that you probably like, don’t want to share. And I feel so many, so many times in the online space. It’s like, oh, well, like share your like trauma story, or people share trauma stories, and you’re just like, why are you telling me any of this? Like, I don’t see how it relates to me, I don’t see how it relates to like, what you want to teach me or coach me. But it’s like, there’s this expectation that we have to like, share all the parts of ourselves, even the most painful ones in order to have a successful business. And I’m like, No, you don’t, you don’t have to do that. Like you can decide,
even in the day to day, you know, content creation, whether that’s to your personal email list or out onto social channels. I’ve told this to miles a million times. And I even put when I sign when people sign up for my email list. I say that it’s weekly ish. Because, quite frankly, sometimes I don’t have anything to say. You know what I mean? And and there’s this thing, like you’re supposed to have something to say all the time. And when I tried to do that, then I ended up saying something that I don’t care about. I don’t want to say that. I’m saying it because I think I’m supposed to have something to say. Yeah, or sometimes what I have to say, I really shouldn’t share right now. So you better if I just keep my mouth shut, and wait until there’s something useful that I could actually share.
Yeah, yeah. Well, that reminds me of a story. I was working with a client once and we were doing like her signature stories. And she was going through a breakup. And she’s like, Oh, I think I had an insight into how I could use my breakup. But I was like, No. Are you 100% healed from your breakup? She’s like, Well, no, I’m like, then you don’t want to be using that to market your business?
Yeah, there’s this, there was this huge push to be like, radically, you know, transparent and vulnerable and authentic. And obviously, we do, most of us do need a little more of that we do need to push in that direction. But a lot of people went way too far. And this authentic thing is good inherently. But, you know, we don’t always need to be authentic. In fact, it can really hurt us and be like you said, completely irrelevant, and drive people away. And, you know, if I’m, if I’m authentically pissed off in a bad place, mentally right now, and I go to share something. And then a couple days later, I look back and I’m in a completely different state. That’s that can be that can be toxic, it can be unproductive.
Yeah, well, I also think a lot of the times when people are like, Oh, I’m just going to share and be vulnerable and tell these like deep, dark secrets, they also don’t realize what they’re asking their audience to hold for them. Like, sometimes you are not in a place to hear somebody’s trauma story, or an abuse story, or, you know, you’re just scrolling Instagram, and all of a sudden, you’re hit with it. And you’re just like, No, I don’t have the capacity to process this or engage with that. And it immediately turns people off and pushes them away. And I don’t think we talk enough about like, what are you actually asking your audience to hold for you.
And there’s a fine line, because there are times where that kind of thing actually works. And there’s other times where it really doesn’t, you know, it brings me back to this has been rolling around in my head for a few minutes, you talked earlier about how, after working in corporate, it really made you realize that the way we talk about and a lot of people do business, in the maybe internet based solopreneur small business world is really not the way business is done. And we’ve talked about communication from a messaging and marketing place. But I tell you, I think to some extent, a large portion of the work I end up doing with my clients, when we get to a certain point is just on communication in general, how they communicate with their vendors, with their employees, with their partners with their all of it. And I’m amazed at how terrible people are at it.
I mean, I have a PhD and I do not do this perfectly at all, it’s really hard. Because sometimes, you know, like, I even find this with myself, like I’m in a coaching situation and like, and I know where we need to go, like, I know where I need to get people and so I can get rushed. And you know, and sometimes it’s like, why are you asking me these questions, you know, like those things are going through my mind. And I am skilled at communication. And when you don’t have those skills, there’s just this tendency, you know, like, let’s say you get an email, and you have an unhappy client, or they say something to you in the email that implies that they might be unhappy, but they don’t directly say it. And then you sit there and you’re like, Oh, well, they’re pissed off at me and I can’t believe this and and I’m so angry because they didn’t do this, this and this without ever just like writing back and being like, hey, so I hear you’re telling me this I’m a little bit confused. Can you give me some clarification? And then that just kind of that slowing down process and we just really just jumped to the conclusion of like, oh, this person hates me and they think I’m doing a terrible job. So I’m gonna lash out or you know, fire something off back to them instead of being like, interesting. I’m not quite understanding this.
You pointed to something so great and terrible. Whether it’s in an email and my all time favorite, the text message, this thing where we read a message, and rather than taking it for what it says We put all this other meaning and implication on it that may or may not be there.
Yeah. Well, and especially, you know, with email, like comments and a Google, check, the text messaging, we’re lacking all of that contacts, like we don’t know, like, how the person, are they in like a really happy mood, and they just fired off something really quick. Are they actually angry? Were they distracted and didn’t realize that they were sounding like a jerk? Like, we don’t know, because we just don’t have the context. And then it’s so easy for us for our brains just to be like, Okay, here’s the simplest explanation, they must be mad at me. It’s always the negative explanation.
Yes. Always. Always. How do you sort that out for yourself? How do you deal with that?
I use sometimes it really helps. I have a few people that are my coaches that are kind of like sounding boards. So when I get an email like that, like I can, I work with a sales coach named Heidi Taylor, and I have a Voxer relationship with her. So I can just like Voxer, and be like, Hey, I just got this email. And I don’t like, I know how I want to respond. But I don’t know if that’s like the most appropriate thing. So then I can like read it to her, and then we can have a conversation. And then by the end, I’m like, Okay, this is how I know how I have to approach it. But it takes that like, slowing down realizing like, I don’t have to respond to this email right now. I can take some time with it, I can think about it. If I need feedback, I can go someplace to get that feedback, and then come back to it and just answer it. So for me it is this like, giant slowing down process, because the way I think about something can be totally wrong. And then, you know, I read it to somebody else. And I’m like, I don’t know if they’re actually saying so that and you know, that other person doesn’t have skin in the game. So it’s like that nice Perception check that I’d sometimes think we need to do and realizing that we don’t have to respond to a text message right away. We just don’t have to. It’s okay.
And would you say that it’s the same in verbal? Interpersonal Communication? Yeah, you’re slowing down?
Yes, I do. Because I do think there and Brene Brown talks about this, too. Like, there’s this power of taking a break, when you feel yourself getting worked up. And you’re just saying, like, hey, I need a time out to think about this before we continue on. Because it’s so easy to get worked up and wrapped up and then say something that you regret, instead of just saying like, Okay, wait a minute, I just need a pause, like, I need 10 minutes, I need an hour to figure out what I want to say.
You know, it’s funny, as we’re saying this, also, and I started thinking, it, it, it all ties together. Because you have this business, and you want it to grow, and you have some place you want it to get to and you want it to be like that guy you saw who’s you know that you think you should be him. And you want it today, and you want it right now. And the same thing with your responses to people and everything. We’re just moving so fast all the time. It’s like, it’s like everything we’re talking about says, Wait a minute, take a breath.
Yeah, yeah. Well, and yeah, we think we have to be quick and fast and all of those things. And there’s something beautiful about slowing down. And I see that like when I’m working with people’s messaging, like they’re like, Okay, I want this to happen, like quickly and fast. And it’s like, and I’ve had people because when I work with someone, I work with them for at least three months. And they’ll say, Well, can’t we go faster? And I’m like, No, absolutely not. We cannot go faster. Because it’s just like, I know that this is a creative process. We need percolation we need to dive deeper. And yeah, I’ve had people be like, Well, can we do it in a week? No, no, I’m like, how many years? Have you been struggling with this? Well, like five, it’s like, yeah, and you think we’re going to do this in a week? Yeah, no.
Yeah, I got to the point where I now require new clients. It’s it’s a six month initial commitment. Because trying to get a human being to change anything. In six months is crazy. It’s crazy.
I’m sorry. Go ahead, Michelle. I was just
gonna say and we really want everything so quick and so fast. Yeah. And when I started my business, my husband gave me a piece of advice that like whatever you do now will pay off three to six months from now. And that has always been true to me. Yeah,
that’s such a good. I love that. Such a good reminder. So Bill has built as a coach and artists, amongst other things, he is a coach. And I want to dip into this just a little bit because he has this phrase that he loves. And right before this, he shortened it to three words, and I want to wait
a minute now you gotta know, I had a I had a, it should be me moment. Because we had another guest on and they were talking about your three word rebellion, Stacy and I had read the book. And I was like, Well, wait a minute, you know, I have sort of this catchphrase I use, but it’s, it’s more than three words. And, you know, I don’t have a three word. And so right before you got on? I, I don’t know. Um, I had a little inspiration. Short. And it’s funny, and I’m laughing because Myles and I laugh about it because my catchphrase could be could be construed as negative. Right? Because I like to say your brain is an asshole. Because let’s face it, it is no, I mean, mostly, if your brain if somebody said to you the stuff that your brain says to you, you would not deal with them?
Yes. Yeah. Yeah. No, all the time. Get it? Yeah.
So before you got on the call, I shortened it to your brain sucks.
Here. I kind of like your brain is an asshole better? Yeah.
I wanted to see like, just initially, because obviously, it doesn’t take one call, it takes three months, or it’s a long process to actually figure this out. You know, it would be a big brain dump. And I would be so curious to see what comes out of the bills brain? Maybe not? I don’t know. But yeah, I don’t know, if you want to? What’s the initial? I mean, is that does that pass the like, initial? Or is that a red flag? Like you can’t, you know, just based off your framework?
Yeah, well, I really want it to be about the change. So like, your, like, your asshole brain, I think would make a great villain. Because it is that I mean, even though like your brain is inside of you, it’s still this thing that’s kind of outside of yourself. You’re creating that separation with it. It’s like, oh, I am not the thoughts in my head. My brain is this asshole. So you’re my, your brain is an asshole is a great villain. And then it’s like, all right, what is that change you want to create? When people realize that their brain is an asshole? How are we like defeating this villain that we have? So I think you have one part of it like you like I feel like a villain is very important to have and message. Because it’s that foil. And also it gets you a little bit away from pain point marketing, or does get you away from pain point marketing, instead of being like, it’s all your fault that you’re having these thoughts. You’re like, Hey, your brain is an asshole. And you don’t have to believe anything. It says you’re like, I
think that’s where it came from, you know, was was, you know, being being told that number one, I need some ideal customer, which makes me insane. Because if you look at my client base, there is hardly a similar thread that runs through, except that they all own a business. That’s it. They’re all in different industries. They’re all in different places, their businesses look completely different. Every single one of them. I hate that whole, you know, oh, there’s an ideal, but no, there’s not. There’s somebody who needs something. And they feel like I can provide it. That’s it. And the pain point thing gets. It gets so repetitive in the in the pain points that people write about or say that they’re solving, that it doesn’t to me, it doesn’t even communicate anymore. I’m like, Well, of course you’re having that problem. Everybody has that problem, you get well
and it’s because they’re not actually talking to real human beings, like an ideal client. Avatar is not an actual person. It’s not a person. And it’s much better. Like I always encourage my clients to just like think about three to five, especially if they’re very diverse. Like think about three to five of your favorite clients. And what were they saying what were they doing what did they tried? What do they feel and using their words as part of the message because like, when I when even when I write copy for myself most of my copy, especially when I’m talking about what’s going on comes from actual human beings words. So I’m not just being like, Oh, you’re frustrated because If you’re not making the money you want to make, I can get more specific and be like you don’t know if one month is going to be amazing. And the next month is going to suck. And it stresses you out. Like you’re really craving stability. And that’s like a totally different conversation. But that is something somebody has said. Right? Yes. And it comes from a real human. And I think, especially in the online space, we’re so afraid to like, talk to people to find out like, what’s going on for them? Like, what are they thinking? What are they feeling? What are they saying? That then we just kind of make these generalizations of like, you’re burned out on your business? So the burnout message, right? It’s like, well, that might be true, but But what is burned out to your people like how it like, what are the symptoms? What it’s what’s showing up for them describe that to like, a little micro story around that. But people are just like, Oh, you want to make more money? Yeah, well, maybe, maybe. Be here. live your best life? Take it to the next level, my friends.
Finally, I tell you, miles, I’ve been waiting to do an episode like this where we could just freely make fun of marketing. Yeah, up to up to an hour or more. It’s so fun. Yeah. Thank you.
Well, I want to just to wrap this up, I had one I wanted to dip into your so okay, we’ve talked a lot about the things that we don’t want to do. And a lot of them are hidden. So be careful out there. But what are the things we do want to do? Just briefly, what do you I guess the bigger question here would be like what’s working for you from a marketing standpoint, that’s ethical, it’s sustainable, it feels good for you. It feels good for your clients and prospects. What’s kind of like the Lance, what’s that landscape look like right now?
Yeah, so for me, I mean, I, and I think this is part of my research background is like, I’m always digging into client language. Because when people work with me, they fill out an intake form first. And then I review it, and I look at their website, but I’m gathering like all of this data and all of these words, these amazing words, and then I could have conversations with them and find out a little bit more. So I always am going back to what the experience is like before they work with me the things they’ve tried before. And really like, okay, because and it’s interesting, because your client base will evolve to like, I just had to redo this exercise recently, because I realized that the clients I was working with, were not who I described on my sales page. And I was like, Oh, that’s interesting. Maybe it’s time to revisit this. So I think really getting intentional about about understanding your people and making them see be seen and heard. I also feel like, building that argument for your work is such a key thing. If you want to break free from manipulative marketing, you can do that. But to do that, you have to give people agency to make a decision one way or the other, which I know is scary for people. But you can also make the best case for your work. And so like understanding things like who your people are, what are they struggling with, and how your solution can actually help them like how it fixes the problem. And not in this like, over delivering way like I have a whole rant about program promises that we could probably do a whole other show about, like how all these program promises are like, you know, exponentially increase your income and impact that is a real one from a celebrity entrepreneur who is very well known. I’m like, what does that mean? And you can’t actually promise that, because that’s not in your control. And considering the program is something about I don’t know, webinars or some crap like that. And like, I don’t understand, like how this webinar thing gets me to this exponential increase in my income and impact. And so there’s just like, these huge logical gaps that I see. And I’m like, if you want to be persuasive, yet ethical, it’s like, how are you taking your people by the hand and making this argument for why this is the next best step for them and then letting them decide? Yeah. So and, and I’m one of those people like if you have a sales conversation with me, and you need time to think about it, cool. I don’t close anyone on a call ever. Like, I mean, sometimes people be like, yeah, and send me everything. Yeah, of course, but I’m not like, give me your credit card, and we’ll get you started.
That’s my favorite. That’s my favorite conversation that people do. Oh, well. Oh, no, I don’t think I can afford it. Well, do you have a credit card?
Oh, yeah. Handling the objections. It’s like, No. And yeah, like people are like, I need time to think I’m like, Cool. Take your time to think and we’ll circle back next week, or let me know how much time you need. Like, I’m not. I feel like I love sales. Like, I feel like I’m very good at sales. But it’s because it’s like, I know the value of my work. And my job in that conversation is to help you decide whether this is right for you or not.
For you, right, it’s okay. It’s it’s not right for them. Yes, yes. Yeah. That’s the thing, too. I do think we we, as business owners are really afraid to let people go to not to have a conversation with somebody or maybe even invest in more than one conversation with somebody and have them decide that it’s not for them at that time.
Yeah, I mean, I have done this where like, somebody says, No, and then I just kind of, and I really feel like this is the next step. So I will go to bat sometimes and be like, This is me, like, you still get to make the decision. But I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t say that if you want to get where you need to go, like messaging is the next step for you. Like, you’re not going to get there without this. And you know, like I can make that compelling case. And sometimes they’re like, oh, yeah, that is a really good point that I didn’t think about before. And other times, they’re like, Oh, well, I’ll get back to it someday. And then a year later, they don’t get back to it. And they’re still in the same spot. But whatever. Like, it’s your decision, like you have agency like I can’t make you do this work. And I don’t want to make people do the work. Yeah. Man.
So, Michelle, what are you excited about? Right now? Like, what are you did the should have been me project? Is there anything else on the horizon? What’s what’s going on in your world right now?
Yeah, I mean, I have a few projects I’m working on, I think the first one is going to be, I have realized that even the people on my list, bless their hearts, they still don’t get what messaging is, even if they’re listening to me, they’re listening to the podcast, all of this. It’s, I was doing these, I call them rebel messaging audits. And I had people like submit their websites, and then I picked like a topic like, are you to solution focused? Who are you speaking to, and I, like pick three websites at random and kind of do a little bit of a critique of that specific thing. And I’m like, they’re missing so much. And so I really want to create something that is super basic, that gets them a result and gets them more clear about, about how to talk, how to talk about what it is they do in a way that’s meaningful. So that’s on the horizon. And I’m also starting to create kind of like, a group program, mastermind D thing that is all about how do you get your work out into the world consistently, like just supporting people like, getting their message out, showing up getting feedback on like, their copy or their, like emails that they’re sending? So like, How can I put a group together to like, where we can all help each other just be seen and valued for our work?
That’s awesome. Yeah. antastic
Yeah, other than the book, three word rebellion, which everyone should read, and I will go read it. I’m leaving on vacation, and I think I’ll just get it and take it with me. easy read. It’s fun. And other than that, when someone listens to this, and they want to come find you, where should we send them?
Yeah, so my website is Dr. Michelle mazur.com. And I’m also on Instagram at Dr. Michelle Mazur. And if you just want a taste of the three word rebellion, I have like a mini audio workshop that take takes you through the process. And it’s delivered on a private podcast feed. So that’s completely free, and it’s at three word rebellion.com. Awesome, beautiful. Thank
you. I have to say this has been the dishing on a manipulative marketing has been a little cathartic for me, I feel lighting, just been able to get it out. You know, I feel like I’ve been keeping it all all in. So thank you for your take on business and communication and marketing and messaging is so open and bright and shiny. It’s really inspiring. So thank you for that.
Thank you. I love hearing that. Thank you.
Thank you so much, Michelle. Oh well I’m excited for everything that you have coming up you always do fun workshops and stuff so I will look forward to all that. Thanks so much!