“It’s a perfect message. And it’s a particularly perfect message at this point in time.”
Those were the words of a business associate whom I respect, sharing his impression of my book, The Power of Promise: How to Win and Keep Customers by Telling the Truth About your Brand. The fact that this guy runs a significant company with thousands of employees made his comment all the more meaningful, and I was humbled by his remark.
Since publishing this, my first book, I’ve been experiencing a strong uptick in people reaching out to me. There is something magical about being a published author, and knowing that you’re making a difference not only with your immediate clients, but with an audience well beyond them, is extraordinary.
The premise of the book is that our word is our bond, both personally and professionally, and that our brand is our promise to the customer. They test this promise with every touchpoint they encounter with our brand, and quickly assess if we are telling the truth, or if we are lying. If we’re telling the truth, trust increases and our brand is enhanced. If we’re lying, trust is diminished and our brand is degraded.
I’m passionate about my work. It gives me joy to have a client tell me about the positive change that’s occurring with them personally or with their teams and their company as a whole. I love talking about the core values that have shaped who I am, which can be applied to businesses to help them grow and thrive. And then it hit me. I’m an imperfect messenger for this perfect message.
At first, I wondered how I could go on stages and talk about my book and the principles therein. It may sound ridiculous, but that’s the truth. I felt I needed to be perfect in order to move forward. This way of thinking has hindered me all my life. It may benefit my clients in terms of the quality of the product I deliver to them, but at its extreme, it can paralyze me.
Ironically, some of the most beautiful things in life are imperfect: an asymmetrical tree; a rocky pathway; real and meaningful relationships.
This is a moment in time when I can choose to release my attachment to the imaginary construct called “perfection” and as a result, move forward with great velocity. Or, I can choose to remain locked into the way I’ve always done things, and produce the opposite of what I say I want. There is no neutral. It’s one or the other.
My choice is to step into something new; to be an imperfect messenger of a perfect message. In doing so, I’ll call myself to grow and expand, and I’ll be able to teach not only from my successes but also from my failures.
I encourage you to take a look at your life. Where could you move forward if only you allowed yourself to be human, knowing that within all your imperfections lies your strength?