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During a recent branding exercise with one of my clients, I coached her along a process of filtering down to only 5 words which describe the experience of her service and products. If anyone has ever been down this path, you know how challenging it can be. We want to be so many things to so many, particularly in business and it’s difficult to say “no” to the masses. Experts encourage niche marketing, which often means a potential customer, viewer, consumer may be left. That can be a tough pill to swallow in a hurting economy but we must learn to define our unique message and meaning before anyone else can believe it too.

For artists, many choose to avoid defining themselves or their audience in favor of letting their artistry speak for itself. If you’ve been down the path of Lady Gaga, and are in a place where you have carte blanche, go for it. For the rest of us, we need a clearer articulation. I myself have been challenged (many times actually) with the overwhelming responsibility of defining myself, and let me tell you it’s a lot easier to be a mirror to others than look deep into that reflection yourself.

But in the last few weeks as I work closer and closer with clients seeking to define brilliance of their words, artistry and performance in the language of marketing, I too have uncovered what I best bring to the stages of life and business. I must say it’s quite empowering to not only identify these five words, but to also embrace them with wide, loving arms.


OrchestrateTo arrange or direct the elements of (a situation) to produce a desired effect or performance. In my world this means keeping an eye on the big picture and the small details. Everything has purpose and meaning. And most of all, a resourcefulness for being, getting and applying exactly what is needed, in the right time and the right place.

DirectTo manage, regulate or give authoritative instructions to move towards a goal. Yes, this means leadership, driving teamwork and reciprocated respect, being on the front lines and assuming vulnerability so those around us can believe in our direction.

MusicalityA sensitivity to, knowledge of, and or talent for harmony, melody, rhythm, tempo, timber, dynamics and silence. Notice that nowhere in this definition does it specifically infer “music.” Musicality to me is in every creative performance. Harmony is to melody what consonance is to dissonance in a painting. Rhythm is to tempo what a strategy is to an action plan. A beautiful performance is when everything comes together effortlessly and moves an audience emotionally.

CreativityThe ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas. Everyone of us is a creation. And in that birth we are given all the tools to continue the path of creativity – hands, senses, emotions, and the time to become what we choose to make of ourselves. Pretty magical when you really think about it. If I’ve helped just one person, particularly my own child discover that in himself, then I’ve served my God.

AdvocateTo speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly. Ahhh, this is where personal truth becomes articulated presence, where “why” becomes “what” and where passion takes stage. To advocate and be an advocate we must speak without hesitation, reserve or filtering. And above all, we  define those beliefs with 100% conviction filled with love and joy.

Wow, I had no idea all this would flow out today, but I gotta say it feels AMAZING… and it’s today’s creation!

If you had only five words to describe your presence, your unique voice, talent and gifts, what would they be?