Your word IS your honor.
This seems simple and yet it is rather complex.
Your words are the foundation of how you choose to show up in life. In fact, a thought becomes a bright idea and when put in writing, words turn ideas into action. That’s powerful. Your words are powerful.
Your thoughts and your words are developed in accordance to your worldview. Your family, friends, the government, media, school systems, your individual experiences, and your interaction with society shape your worldview.
Beyond that, your word revolves around your personal values. Your personal values are determined by the meaningful elements of your collective worldview that matter most to you individually. Your values then shape your integrity and they drive all that you do personally and professionally.
In general, integrity means the quality of being honest and fair.
As defined by Merriam-Webster, integrity means:
1) firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility
2) an unimpaired condition : soundness
3) the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness
Here’s where things get interesting. Everyone has integrity and integrity often means something different to each of us. Since integrity is based on values that are VERY personal, you cannot guarantee that your values hold the same meaning for others. You also cannot guarantee that others have clearly identified their own values because this takes conscious awareness and actually rolling up our mental sleeves to do some deep work.
This is where transparency is KEY. When I teach, coach and speak about “How to Create Marketing Messages with Integrity”, I get some resistance. People want to be real but when faced with looking at how their values influence their lives, personally and professionally, there’s often some pushback.
First, some people assume I’m claiming that I have integrity and they may think that by claiming it I’m being disingenuous or egotistic. The truth is I’m not claiming to have integrity (although I do, we all do), I’m sharing a way for you and for others to tap into your own values and create integrity based businesses and lifestyles in accordance to what matters most to you. By addressing integrity, I give it energy. This calls out the absence of integrity or illuminates the clear presence of it. This creates the space to reconsider how you’re showing up in the world and let’s face it, not everyone is prepared to do the deep work it takes to own their integrity.
Second, many people have not identified their core values (or have not revisited them for a very long time). This can be uncomfortable because this means the impact and messaging from media, family, friends, community, church, colleagues, government and more, have shaped worldview. This means you may not have fully embraced all that you can really be. If this realization is uncomfortable for you, it’s a good thing because you can pause to consider what really matters most and clearly identify your values instead of allowing the collective worldview to shape you and your message as if you’re operating on auto-pilot. This also means that deep work is in order to reconnect with core values and critical thinking skills.
The good news is you can build upon your own values and integrity whenever you choose and often our values change. So, even if you think you’re clear about your values, it’s a good idea to give yourself the time and space to revisit them regularly. As people we are ever evolving and as such, our values and integrity will evolve too.
This is crucial because business is personal and there must be an energetic alignment between personal values and business values to succeed.
With over two decades of experience in the marketing and advertising arena, I’ve discovered there are three KEY elements required when tapping into personal integrity (often one or more of these elements is missing, causing a huge disconnect and impacting results or lack thereof).
1) The first element is two-fold and starts with your VALUES. Your values directly influence your integrity. You must know what you value in order to share your value and add value to the world. Once you are clear about your values you can use those values to create a personal mission statement and a professional mission statement. If your core values are not infused in your personal mission statement (how you show up in your everyday life) and your business mission statement (your big WHY for bringing value and being of service to the world) there will be an energetic disconnect that will impact your success in all areas of your life.. Once you’ve clearly identified your core values, you’ll be able to clearly tell your story with integrity. Your story will attract your ideal clients, clients who have similar values, worldview, and integrity.
2) The second element is about service and ideal CLIENTS. When you are clear about your values you’ll take action with integrity. By owning your story and being the REAL you, you will attract your ideal clients so you never have to chase not-so-ideal clients again. It’s that simple although it’s not always easy AND once you’re in alignment energetically, it will all come together. You’ll be able to clearly identify who you’re meant to serve instead of trying to force a fit based only on monetary gain. By attracting the right clients and being of true service you’ll also attract more abundance (and experience less headaches).
3) The third element is your WORD. Remember, your word is your honor. It’s true. Simply put you have to have the right formula to support your word, your worldview and your integrity. There are no cookie cutter solutions to guarantee riches or success. In fact, much of what we’ve been taught in the marketing, copywriting and advertising arena is antiquated and broken (often lacking integrity). This includes the problem, agitate and solve approach often used to manipulate clients to take action. Instead, I suggest a new approach for all communications (marketing and otherwise). I suggest using my “Challenge. Solution. Invitation.™” formula. This offers a friendly approach to all communications based on values, integrity and true service.
Here’s a simple way to apply the Challenge. Solution. Invitation.™” formula to your life and your business.
1) Acknowledge the challenge. Be genuine and empathetic. Take the time to understand the challenges of your ideal client, friend or neighbor. When you fully understand and acknowledge the challenge others may be facing, you can begin to build relationships based on trust and integrity.
2) Offer a solution. Once you’ve identified the challenge you can clearly share your solution. This gives you an opportunity to honor your word by taking action to show HOW you can help. Hint: Sometimes your solution isn’t their solution. Don’t stop there. Consider your network and who might be able to help. Make connections to the right solution.
3) Extend an invitation. Be sure to let people know what to do next. By clearly letting people know about your solution
with a friendly invitation, you empower them to choose the right solution (your solution or a connection to a solution in your collaborative network).
Here’s the truth about integrity. Your values influence the level of integrity you possess. It’s often said that integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. I believe that integrity is doing the right thing by collaborating instead of competing. There is not another you. You cannot be duplicated but you can be the best YOU possible. After all, your word is your honor and often actions speak louder than words. What are you saying and doing? Is it all about integrity or something else?
Feel free to leave your comments below. What does integrity mean to you?
When you’d like to learn more about these philosophies and how to create marketing messages with Integrity, accept your FREE Copywriting Action Plan to discover 7 Power-packed Marketing Message Techniques to Help You Stand Apart from the Crowd, Be of True Service and Easily Increase Your Profits here.
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