When your labels dones't fit what you do - it's time to make a switch

How do you describe yourself? What’s your job title, the letters that hangout behind your name or how do talk about yourself on a first date?

Human beings love labels. We categorize. We put people (and ourselves) into tidy boxes that describe them perfectly (or not so perfectly). It’s how we make sense out of the world.

What happens when you outgrow your label?

When your role has evolved, and it’s time to break free?

You’ve got to find a new way to describe what you do that fits you and how you want to be in the world.

Here’s the thing when you create a label that is new to your niche, it’s important to make it meaningful to the people you want to serve.

Remember, when pop superstar Prince changed his name? He wanted to make a statement to his record label, so he changed his name to an unrprounoucable symbol making it impossible for his record company to promote him. Now, Prince did this because he was unhappy with his relationship with his record label – so he made it impossible for them to promote him.

Now as an entrepreneur, you need a name that makes sense. Standard titles might make sense to you – life coach, graphic designer, massage therapist.

But what if what you do is different from your competition?

I’ve been calling myself a “speech coach” since I began my business. I’ve never been 100% comfortable with this title. When you think of a speech coach, what do you think of?

Someone who helps you take the stage confidently, minimize your um’s and ah’s, and add vocal variety.

But that’s not ME – it’s not the focus of what I do.

While I can surely help with your stage presence, my genius is helping you design a message that solves the challenges of your audience, creates a huge amount of value, and motivates your listeners to act.

The delivery of that message is the cherry on the presentation content. When you’re crazy in love with your content polishing delivery become so much easier.

I’m ditching Speech Coach and calling myself a Speech Designer. I help people get their ideas out of their heads into the hearts and minds of the people who need their message the most. I design speeches and architect ideas, and it feels so good to claim the name.

I’ve kicked speech coach to the curb. But how do I know my people will get it?

I did my “market research.” I talked to clients, business mentors and the people who know me best. It resonated. The knowing nod followed by “I always hated that you called yourself a speech coach.”

What label have you ditched or how are you redefining yourself? Share the new you in the comments.