Are You Buying What You Are Selling Yourself?


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What would a commercial for your best, perfectly unique and fully fired up you look like? 

One of the most challenging, fun and enjoyable jobs I have ever had was being a commercial copywriter and producer. The challenging part of writing commercials was becoming intimately familiar with what the customer wanted to sell/say and more importantly was discovering what was relevant to the potential customer who would be receiving the message. I always tried to figure out what was the main motivation in wanting to buy what the advertiser was selling from the consumer’s perspective.

We all ask the same two questions whenever we are presented with an advertisement: 1) What’s in it for me? 2) Why should I care enough to pay attention to your ad? I always attempted to boil down an advertiser’s unique selling proposition, “what makes your business special, different, or better than other options.” Then I figured out what the advertiser wanted the potential consumer to do, feel, think, say, or do differently as a result of seeing/hearing the advertiser’s commercial multiple times. What was the desired end result? Then I could craft an appropriate story to hopefully communicate the advertiser’s message in an relevant, attractive, memorable, and compelling way so as to achieve the desired behavioral outcome. Usually, this was to convince more customers to buy from them more often.

One of the biggest challenges a copywriter faces is the constraint of time. Most commercials are either 60, 30, 15, 10 and/or 5 seconds long. The shorter the message is, often the more difficult it is to communicate the key point effectively.

I wonder if we all have running an endless series of commercials of self-talk in our brains. Our ego is typically our spokesperson of these internal commercials although mothers, fathers, bosses, and other family members can also serve as celebrity spokespeople. These are the messages we try to sell ourselves about ourselves. “Meet the amazing Andy. He’s a writer. He’s a motivational speaker. He’s a teacher. He’s a pilot. He’s a dad and a husband…” and on a “good” day I might actually buy what I’m selling myself. On a bad day, the message might be more like, “Meet the amazingly lazy Andy! Why get of the couch and play with the kids when there are so many channels of mindless TV to choose from and so little free time? His waistline is expanding right before our very eyes!” Good Andy or bad Andy, like any consumer, we do have the ability to filter out irrelevant messages that we are telling ourselves and choose to “buy” the more positive messages.

Earl Nightingale, a famous author and motivational speaker, wrote “The Strangest Secret”and in this book he said that the strangest secret in life is, “you become what you think about.” I think we become what messages we choose to “buy” from our private commercials we tell and believe about ourselves. I also believe that we have the ability to choose to change mental channels. We can choose to ignore the negative person we try to sell ourselves and rather choose to buy the positive, potential rich, fired up person we have the potential to be.

Here’s a fun exercise. Write a 30 second commercial about the “you” that you really are and feel called to be. What are your unique strengths, talents, features and benefits that make you the amazing individual that you uniquely are? Remember that you are not writing this commercial for others. You are not trying to sell them on buying you. You are writing for the inner you who makes all the value judgments on who you are and if you love yourself and if you would give yourself a passing grade in this life. Write to answer the following questions: Why am I uniquely me? What purpose do I best serve in this world? What makes me a valuable person? What are the top five reasons, I love being me? At the end of seeing your own positive personal potential commercial multiple times, what do you want you to do, feel, think, say and believe differently about yourself?

Once you have a compelling commercial. Read it aloud to yourself. Feel your reaction. Are you buying what you are selling? Does some internal negative-Nelly try to grab the remote control of your choice and attention and change channels back to the negative network in your mind? Does a part of you want to sue yourself for false advertising? Do you believe your own best possible you commercial?

What would it take to make you buy the you that you want to be? The strangest answer is simple one. You have the power to choose to buy into the positive message. Mental operators are standing by right now to accept your call to action! As the US Army used to advertise, you can “be all that you can be,” if you choose to do so and start thinking about what you want instead of fixating and fearing and worrying about what you don’t like and want for your life. As Mr. Nightingale said over 50 years ago, “we become what we think about.”  The Apostle Paul wrote, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2.

Now that you have the big message. What is your personal life catchy slogan or motto? Can you boil down your life commercial into 9 words or less? This is the the statement of your very essence. It’s who you are on a billboard or t-shirt. Maybe it’s who you want to be remember as on your tombstone. Mine is “Learn it. Live it. Share the Spark!” Those 7 words sum up who and I am, why I’m here, and how I live a life that is meaningful to me. How about you?

Try to write your own essence in 9 words or less. This slogan can then take center stage in your mind’s eye and begin to market to your inner you, who you are and who you want to be. Only you can and should be you.

I hope you will choose to buy some really good stuff to tell yourself about you. You are the only you that there has ever been or will ever be, so make the most of it. We in the rest of the world are counting on you!

I also believe the ultimate creator of the you that you are is available 24/7 for free consultations. If you are having trouble discovering yourself and your purpose, I suggest you call your manufacturer for some guidance. It’s called prayer and your owner’s manual is called the Holy Bible.

Time now for a word from our sponsor, YOU! Choose to buy living a life that is “FIRED UP!”

Satisfaction guaranteed or your old fizzled out old self back.

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About Andrew W Dix, M.S.
Author, Motivational Speaker, Performance Improvement Specialist, Executive Coach, Trainer, Reiss Motivation Profile Master and Private Pilot. Expertise in motivation, leadership, strengths, management, coaching, advertising and sales.

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