Even though I have a thing about bashing the assembly-line style
some people were led to implement what they learn from business
trainings, I do acknowledge the value of programs, blueprints and
But I have also experienced – first hand and through my clients’
journeys – how cookie-cutter strategies and tactics can stifle our
creativity and derail us from fully expressing our individuality,
value and purpose through our businesses.
Undiscerning implementation of “do as I say” strategies creates
misalignment between your Truth and your action, which is
the root cause of your time and money drains.
Following the “tried-and-true” is definitely a great way to get up
and running – you don’t have to reinvent the wheel at every turn,
saving a lot of time, energy and guesswork.
But after mastering the basics and the mechanics, following those
blueprints and templates to a T can make you feel like a round peg
in a square hole.
The thrill of learning the skills and seeing initial results has
subsided. The mechanics of it has turned into a
of all, you look like everybody else.
You want more than just going through the motion.
You may start to question – is doing everything by the book going
to take me where I really want to be? Am I fully
living my own expression, purpose and value?
Or have I traded one job for another that gives
illusion of freedom but in reality, I am still stuck
in some kind of a box?
You are putting in the work, but your business is not growing as
expected (or “as advertised.”) Maybe you lost the FIRE – that
inspiration that got it all started.
You feel overwhelmed by the never-ending to-do list that keeps
growing because everything seems important but nothing feels “right
on” so you got stuck in limbo.
You chase your tail on the hamster wheel and spend a lot of money
on bright shiny objects under the illusion that some $297 program
will give you the magic bullet… just one more, maybe this one is
different and will help me break out of the box.
You have a bunch of letters behind your name, and a ton of awesome
ideas swirling in your head, but your “elevator pitch” sounds (and
tastes) like canned alphabet soup and your offerings look just like
That’s the predicament of being a multi-talented, creative and
aspiring trailblazer – to discern when to follow the
“tried-and-true” materials (because reinventing the wheel is
often stupid) and when to break out of the box, trust your
guts and follow your own creativity.
I have struggled with striking that balance, walking that fine
line. Often times, I questioned myself at every turn, faced my own
doubts and fears, and often second-guessed if I was crazy.
Have I Found the Solution to Breaking the Rules Without Being
Haha, there is no magic bullet!
There are many who talk a good game about not doing cookie-cutter,
but their “solutions” often involve yet another set of process that
falls into the cookie-cutter category.
I can’t say I got it all figured out, but I think I am getting
Solving a problem from the same level as the problem does not give
you a way out. Solving
the cookie-cutter strategies/tactics dilemma from the
strategies/tactics level can be futile.
So let’s zoom out, take it to a level above the day-to-day and look
at what’s behind it all. A little meta, if you will.
I have flipped my brain inside out to figure out the process I
innately go through with my clients to help them nail their message
and find their full expression through their business:
The Immutable + The Principles + The Thought Process
= YOUR Profitable Personality-Driven Business
New technologies, new platforms, new strategies and new ideas crop
up everyday. How do you decide what to pursue? (Other people, with
their own agenda, telling you that you “have to” get on it, is not
a good gauge.)
We know if we hop from one bright shiny object to another, we will
probably run in circles and get nowhere. But if we don’t adapt to
the changing business and marketing landscape, we are likely to get
Instead of looking at the constantly changing strategies and
tactics – the
outward expression of certain things based on the
environment(sounds reactive, doesn’t it?), let’s take a
step back and look at the two immutable components (aka the
“certain things”) of YOUR equation:
Alignment + Human Psychology
At the end of the day, a business transaction involves two parties
– you and your clients/customers. We want to make both sides happy,
that’s just good business.
Alignment addresses YOU, and Human Psychology addresses your
clients. Now we have both parties’ needs accounted for.
The foundation of aligned action starts with getting clarity
on your big “Why, What, Who and How.”
When you get clear on what drives you, step up to own
your superpowers, and line up your thoughts and
actions with the meaning you
want tocreate –
you have gotten yourself an unwavering guiding system to help
navigate your entrepreneurial journey and act in alignment with
It’s much easier to BE who you are in your business, and speak to
those who resonate with you and can be inspired by the way you
roll, than to change who you are to cater to a (somewhat randomly defined) set of people.
A business that reflects your personality and superpowers stands
out. The unique positioning makes competition a
non-issue and allows you to charge a premium price.
Human Psychology and Behavior
Now we look at the other side of the business dance – your
Thank goodness they are human beings just like you
– it makes tapping into their emotions much
People buy with emotions, and from those they connect with and
trust. To establish that connection, you have to understand how
they think – hence, their psychology.
If you look at a variety of successful business and marketing
strategies, the one thing they have in common is tapping into certain human psychological needs
They elicit/trigger certain psychological needs and drives that
turn potential buyers into buyers.
When you know what feelings and emotions you want to elicit (e.g.
safe, relieved, inspired, motivated), and you know how to make your
ideal clients feel that way – you can tap
core of “what makes them buy.”
You have to say the right things to the right people –
communication is an art, and there is no cookie-cutter,
cut-and-paste way to do it.
With this understanding of your audience, you can select the
strategies and tactics to create that certain emotional response in
YOUR ideal clients.
+ Trust + Inspiration + Resonance + Authority – taps
into human behavior and psychology for successful marketing, and
they are also the building blocks of a personality-driven business.
Now we get to those “tried-and-true” blueprints, systems and
what-not’s. Good news, you don’t have to toss them out the window.
We have to learn the rules before we break them. The parameters
give us something to “react” to, or build from, so we are not
starting from scratch every time.
It’s kind of like a design project… At the
beginning of every project, there is a “program” detailing the
requirements and restrictions. It’s like the industry best
practices you find in the “templates and checklists.” They are
good guidelines and rules to be used as starting point but they
are not set in stone.
They are man-made; they can be questioned and broken to achieve the
ultimate intention of the project (equivalent to acting in
alignment and meeting the psychology of your niche.)
They are not the absolute truth – they can be adjusted based on
circumstances. They are means to an end. Sometimes, rules are made
for us to question and break – and in the process, we gain more
clarity and grow our conviction.
“Dissect” business and marketing strategies or tactics to
understand the guiding principles behind them; learn their
rationale and translate
them into expressions that are in alignment with what you stand
More often than not, at the core of the most successful and
timeless strategies or tactics are about tapping into human
psychology and behavior. They don’t turn obsolete; and overtime,
they often evolve into a set of principles that guide actions
rather than a prescriptive set of tactics.
The Thought Process
Because you are not a mindless drone executing other people’s
ideas, you do have to use that noggin of yours.
We go back to your big “Why What Who How” and DISCERN
how to act and communicate in alignment with our
Nothing is set in stone, and that’s the beauty of having the space
to tap into your creativity.
It is about posing questions, challenging the status quo, and
asking “what if.”
We need to release the need for certainty and let go of
preconception so we can enter into a rigorous and unbiased
iterative process that can refine our clarity and open up
An iterative process requires an open mind and the willingness to
fall flat on our face. It is about having some clarity, take action
– and in the process of having to make choices and decisions, you
arrive at more clarity and conviction.
It is a journey with no set outcome in mind (although guided by a
big vision), and the final expression is more often than not a
pleasant surprise of individual creativity.
So there you have it: the essence of the intuitive and alchemical
process to create meaning and individual expression through
You have heard the expression “garbage in, garbage out” – if you
don’t set a solid foundation and use your clarity, value and
conviction as the input, it’s unlikely you can create something
awesome, something you can call your own, something you can be
proud of in your business.
This process may look simple on paper, but the practice is not for
the faint of heart.
Ditching the “tried-and-true” stuff requires you to face your fears
– the fear of not being good enough, the fear of change, the fear
of being vulnerable/criticized, or the fear of missing out. (You
can read more about these fears here.)
Often times, when you are up against your fears or blind spots, you
need someone to remind you of your vision, to hold that space of
expansion and transformation for you to step into…
… and to unapologetically
call you out on your BS when you try to hide from
your vision and superpowers.
If you want me to be that someone for you, I would love to chat.
I am piloting a Clarity+Alignment+Action
Mentoring Program for the Maverick Entrepreneurs who
are ready to bid adieu to cookie-cutter marketing, and fully
express their creativity and individuality through their