Right now, there are people needing to hear your unique “voice” – in business roles, in personal relationships. And yet, so often we don’t know what our unique voice IS, or why it matters. The good news is that there are limitless ways to share our voice – in whispers, through creative expression, on stages, in classrooms, in the boardroom. Finding your unique voice however, and understanding its (your) true value, can be hard to do on your own. Here’s what I suggest:
Write. Write with the intention to help others. See where it takes you.
“I write to discover what I know.” ― Flannery O’Connor
When you know your true value: your positive impact on others when you show up as your unique, joyful, best self (which I consider your purpose and most noble cause) – it then becomes your responsibility to make the choices to Be that. Why? There are certainly spiritual reasons, and there are also very “practical” reasons.
When I’m coaching successful leaders to curate their next chapters, knowing their impact is what unlocks all the answers to “What should I do?” “Should I look for a new job, retire, start a business, accept the offer?” “What should I say in an interview, on my website, in my bio, in my keynote address?” And it helps us reverse engineer the specific strategies to curate and monetize a life of impact, purpose, joy and success.
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou
So! How do you begin?
This past week, I found myself recommending to at least four clients that they write. Write a blog post, an email, a social media post – and here’s the really important part: write with the intention of helping others.
When I resigned from my VP role and took a leap into curating my next chapter, the first thing I did – before creating a website, or deciding on the services I would provide – was to commit to writing (and sending!) an email every other Friday.
This was a big decision for me.
Yes, I was used to creating an organizational message, a corporate voice, and helping arts organizations convey and connect to their stakeholders… but now that I was running my own business, what did I want to say? [crickets] What could I say that others hadn’t already said? What was I qualified to say? What would others expect me to say?
Observing my paralyzation and “imposter” voices chiming in, I knew finding my voice was going to be key to living the life of impact and purpose I was envisioning. This was a vulnerable time, for sure. I set my intention to connect with those who I could be of help to, and went for it (with the support of a coach).
I am always surprised when speaking with someone who is planning on writing a book (or, for that matter writing a cover letter or a speech, or selecting the services to offer on their website), and they are focusing solely on conveying their expertise.
It is absolutely freeing (with a big ROI), to shift to an intention of helping others. No matter what your current situation, you can do that. You’ve been doing that all your life. You have made mistakes, and you have learned lessons. You have struggled, triumphed, and continue fighting battles. You have unique insights and perspectives. You have wisdom. You have observations that have led to questions that have led to choices. You have created and innovated. You can speak the unspoken; letting others know they are not alone in their thoughts.
“Share your voice so that those who you are meant to help, can find you.” ― Kathryn R Martin
I’ve also found that writing with this intention, over time, begins to reveal our purpose and path forward.
Looking back four years later, this has certainly been the case for me as I write these Happy Friday emails and blog posts (and hear what they’ve meant to you). As I think about what might be helpful to you, I have learned what is important to me. Rather than worry about planning what I should write, I excitedly trust that a pattern or lesson will appear. (I’ve become rather daring – this week it didn’t reveal itself until yesterday when I had a conversation with a good friend.) My writing has connected me with people who are not only clients but dear friends around the world, who I would otherwise have never met.
What do you have to say? And why? What is your impact and who are you meant to help … if they could only hear your voice?
To your success,