Saturday, 21 May 2016

WONDERWORKER WEEK: Courting Controversy and Breaking the Silence in Business

When it comes to your business content, it's hard to dispute the value of saying something a bit different, right? Something people haven't heard before.. Something to get people thinking and wondering and reassessing. When you're in business, standing out can often mean speaking up, and if the things you want to talk about are a little controversial, unusual or innovative, all the better! It's also fairly obvious that the person who is willing to speak up about the stuff which lurks beneath the radar is likely to pull an audience to that kind of content. This leads to engagement, discussion, your links being shared, your name being dropped. Business-savvy shizzle, right?

In any industry, certain topics do the rounds over and over again until they're done to death. They come around in different ways, regenerating, taking on a different shape as people throw their hats into the ring and absorb each other's opinions in the process. Discussions can become bland if most of the people who create responses via their content are just saying the same thing and backslapping all the time! The person who is willing to take the conversation into uncharted territory is often the one who attracts the most attention and the one to whom much of the crowd is thankful!

But the appeal of being the one to go 'off the beaten track' can be a little risky at times. It's important to be an honest spokesperson for your business. This means avoiding the desire to ruffle feathers and shake things up by voicing opinions which don't necessarily align with your truth. Sure, playing devil's advocate can be fun, and there's nothing wrong with experimentation in your thought process, offering ideas into the mix from an open, interested place. But you need to be clear on your position from the outset so that people understand your motives. If you've ever received praise and attention as the result of speaking out on something controversial, you'll know that it's definitely not a bad idea to consider using your business as a platform to start conversations through the epic power of brutal honesty. At the same time, you'll also be aware of how difficult it is to close Pandora's box once you've opened it. Sometimes, expressing strong and divisive opinions can do more harm than good in the context of your business-related content.

If you've got your finger on the pulse of your industry, you'll know that there are certain issues which everyone seems to whisper about. Some concerns are shared by lots of biz owners, but most are cagey about going public on the subjects which cause tension. There are some people out there who are willing to break the silence and be the catalysts for exciting hotbeds of conversation to thrive. This can reflect well on the business and it certainly grabs attention! But it's got to come from a genuinely authentic place. You've got to know that your opinions are fully-formed and that you are prepared for them to see the light of day, and to allow other people the right of reply. It's important to be aware of your reasons for tackling the controversial stuff. It's also a good idea to recognize that people process controversial, hard-hitting opinions differently. When you take a hard-line position on something, your decision shapes your audience considerably. If you're ok with that, cool.

Your business can certainly be the platform from which you speak your truth and encourage other people to connect with theirs. You can offer bold, empowering messages which reach the masses in ways you always dreamed would be possible. Your business can embody so much of your core being. You can even show parts of yourself in business that you always felt awkward or unsure about sharing with family, friends and partners! Your business is a learning tool - a force for self-discovery in so many ways. But it's also important to realise that you are not obligated to speak about stuff just because you have a business, and your business doesn't need to incorporate every single part of you if that doesn't feel right. Don't be afraid to speak up. At the same time, don't be afraid to decide that you don't want to.


Did you check out the Q&A on Youtube? Part 2 is coming soon!


You can now listen to my latest Wonderworker Biz Riff!