seven ideas on finding your voice

These are all human eyes.

Each one looks so different (you can find more here)

But that’s not the extraordinary thing.

The extraordinary thing is that each one looks at different things. From different angles. Each one sees the world in a different way.

Just the other day I had a 75 minute skype video conversation with Michael Margolis of


Our conversation somehow wove together the notions of niche, point of view and story telling (and me talking about a sex workshop I went to and all sorts of unintentional innuendo). I’ll be sharing it with you all in the coming months.

And then today, I read an inspiring blog post about ‘finding your voice’. So, I thought I’d jot down some of my understandings about it.

Why is some marketing inspired and inspiring and other marketing feels gross? Why do some websites (like my friend Carrie‘s) feel so wonderful and like home and others feel slick and hypey? Why do some sales letters feel so real and authentic and others feel forced and contrived? Why do some people seem so trustworthy and others . . . we’re not sure.

Probably a lot of reasons, but these days I think that so much of it has to do with finding our voice.

Finding our own style. Our own way of saying things. Our own unique point of view and take on things. Telling our own story of the world from where we stand. Speaking from our own experience without apology. Finding our own way in the midst of a broader community.

It’s not about having the loudest voice – but the truest voice. The one that can harmonize best and solo when needed.

It’s about having the courage to call a spade a spade. To point out when the emperor has no clothes.

When you meet someone who’s found their voice you just melt. They’re so trustworthy. They’re not exuding a false confidence or bravado. They’re not posturing. They’re comfortable in their own skin. They’re not leaning on anyone. They exude what Stuart Wilde spoke of as a Silent Power. They’re walking through the world giving, not taking. There’s something so simple about them. It’s not complicated. It’s clear.

And remember: the confused mind always says no.

As you find your voice (both in tone and message) the world becomes less confused with you. It becomes clear about who you are. And you become not a searchlight desperately looking for people, but a lighthouse. A beacon calling your ships to safe harbour.

You won’t draw everyone; you’ll draw the right people. They’ll self select in. They’ll hear your words and your tone and they’ll say, ‘Yes. I’d like to hear more of that.’

Is there marketing to be done to magnify your voice and make sure it’s heard? Of course. But that’s another conversation.

There are so many ways to find your voice and, in his beautiful post below, Leo Babauta shares his take on this.

Here are a few of my own.

seven ideas on finding your voice

idea #1 – Be curious. I suppose this is the thread through the rest of them. Follow your curiousities. Because you’re the only one in the universe who feels them in just the way that you do. You’re the only one with those particular eyes that see things just as you do.

You can trust your curiosities to lead you perfectly.

They’re the best part of you that guide you your whole life towards wholeness.

idea #2 – Get some space. Do you ever just look at the front door and think, “I just want to walk on out . . . and keep going?” It’s a human itch my colleague Nicole Moen writes about – the urge for pilgrimage. The need to get out of our routines, habits and everything keeping us stuck where we are. The need for a fresh start. The need to begin again. To get space from all the expectations and demands on us so that we can begin to hear ourselves again.

idea #3 – Reflect on your journey. We do a lot of living, but not a lot of reflecting. You’ve been on a journey from somewhere to where you are now. And, on that journey, you’ve learned a lot. Much more than you realize. Think about where you started and where you are now.

What do you know about the journey now you wish you’d known back when you started? Go for coffee with a friend and share your stories. Listen deeply to each other. Reflect what you hear in each others stories. There’s non stop learning to be had here. A note: sometimes we are just too close to our own lives to reflect on it. Sometimes we need a guide to help us. It could be a friend, a guru, a mentor, a counselor or therapist. Someone who loves you and is deeply skilled in listening.

idea #4 – Let yourself bitch (privately). Don’t try to be so positive, people pleasing and accommodating. Stop being so accepting and forgiving for a few hours. Let yourself be human. Let yourself complain viciously about all the bullshit you see around you: in your community, in your industry, in the world. Be ruthlessly honest about what you think and feel. Write it all down.

And realize that you’re not alone.

And realize that others feel this way too and they feel alone.

Why not speak up and let them know they’re one of many? Why not pose questions in facebook statuses and tweets asking, ‘does anyone else feel this way?’ And now that you know what you’re against take all of that and reverse it – what are you for? What do you want instead? Refine it. Clarify it.

idea #5 – Let yourself appreciate what you appreciate. Think of all the things you’re naturally drawn to in your life. Who are the colleagues you’re most drawn to and why? Who are your mentors? What fascinates you in your industry and in your life? Where are you nerdy? What do you actually spend your time on (vs. where you think you should spend your time).

idea #6 – Answer these questions. In depth. Take a friend out for coffee and give them a print out of these questions and have them ask you each questions, one at a time, until you have nothing left to say and then move onto the next. Delve deep, deep, deep. You might be surprised at how much you have to say. You might be surprised about how strong your opinions are.

idea #7 – Engage in conversation with people about it. Once you’ve bitched, clarified, delved and refined – why not express it in some way? Maybe it’s a poem, a rant, a song, a manifesto, a video, a set of principles, a diagram, a pie chart, a doodle etc. It won’t be perfect – but it will get the conversation going. And that’s what we want. And you will learn a lot from that conversation which will help you clarify for yourself what you believe.

Want some more ideas and thoughts on this? Why not read what Leo has to say below . . .


Finding Your Voice

by Leo Babauta.

Creators of any kind must find their voice.

We are writers, musicians, designers, programmers, parents, builders of anything. But we are not truly expressing ourselves, and speaking the truth, until we’ve found our voice: the tone, style, tenor, pitch, personality we use to express ourselves.

Our voice is our essence, writ plain for the world to see.

A reader and fellow writer asked me how I found my voice. And I have no easy answer — I’m not even sure I can say I’ve fully found my voice yet. It’s a quest that doesn’t seem to end — not a Grail quest, really, but a constant retuning as the essence of who I am neverendingly changes.

But I feel I’ve found something that has the texture of truth, even if only a tactile approximation. I’ll share some of my thoughts, but keep in mind I don’t hold the answers firmly at all.

I’m learning, and I hope my learning helps yours. This is written for writers, but the ideas are the same for anyone who creates anything.

to read the rest of this brilliant post: click here

About Tad

  • Tad. Thank you. I just want to meditate on this. And I have a couple of thoughts in the meantime…

    1) you’ve found YOUR voice. To listen to you is beyond the words, but the intention. The meaning. The spirit of the exploration. This, to me, is gold. The point of your post!

    2) Nicole Moen, and her ‘art of pilgrimage’ has transformed my thinking about ‘movement’. It’s vitally important, be it a way of moving to a place in the world, or around the block. She’s brilliant. As entrepreneurs, we need to design ways to explore structures and models that nourish us as individuals w/o it being an ‘extra’ to our businesses. It is part of the essential design. 

    And we equally need to design structures through which to break the concrete of our routines. 

    I’m in the middle of a 12,000 km roadtrip with my family and my business to explore this very thing, and I don’t know where I would be without it. 

    Nothing, in my opinion Tad, is more important for the self-guided and especially self-financed person as exploring what they want to say. 

    We don’t have to get it ‘right’, we just have to get it up there. Enter the debate. Tweak. Evolve.

    Love this blog post Tad, for the same reasons as  you are lifting up.



  • love you alex.

  • I love this post, Tad. Love it. I so often ask my clients what they LOVE in their businesses. What is the part that doesn’t feel like work? (And then we shape the rest around that.) But now I’m also going to start asking what they’re curious about. That’s so inviting. Never, ever, ever have I found that when a client boldly speaks her truth (and not so boldly – hey, the truth doesn’t always have to yell) that she hasn’t been rewarded. Focus is freeing. And glorious.

    But there is something else I want to write about here. You and Alex. When I was traveling alone in Italy, one of the things that moved me every single time was seeing male buddies hugging and kissing hello. That flagrant affection made my heart feel big. It made me feel a part of their happiness to see each other. And it made me see how sometimes locked up we are in North America (which is a generalization, I know… but, really, I think we gotta sway our collective hips a little more.) 

    I feel the same kind of joy witnessing the admiration, affection, respect and love you and Alex leave for each other in posts. Like spots of happy tears across the internet. 

  • Tad, thank you for this beautiful post.
    Being true to one’s self feels like it should be simple, but it is amazing how fear or wanting to “figure things out” can get me all bunched up and away from the simpler path of what is true for me. I call it following my “golden compass” when I am in alignment with my true self (and things flow and feel inspired– it’s always leads to the cool stuff) yet constant reminders are needed to keep the social self– that wants to just “fit in” and be a short poppy– from making the key choices.

    I deeply appreciate your true voice in the marketing arena. And this post in particular represents how much you care about creating some truth in this world. You helped me again and again with your own drum beat of writing to keep looking for the “good marketing” instead of falling back on the gross.

    I also love the metaphors of the eyes — those pics are amazing. What a brilliant way to show how nature (and our nature) already gets this.

  • hey carrie, yes. telling the truth is so rewarding. and i think so many people have so much truth they don’t even know they have (if that makes sense). like they’ve gone through so much – they have so much raw experience but they’ve never really reflected on it and asked, ‘what could all this mean?’ and when they do there’s often wonderful things that come out of it.

    and yes. i love alex’ work so much.

    and i love you! i love how my clients adore you. it makes me so happy to see you received in the way i was hoping you would be.

  • heather! thank you. this notion of the ‘social self’ is really powerful. that part that just wants to fit it. yes. i can feel that strongly in my own life. i’d not thought of it much in marketing and business. have you written about it?

  • Katie

    This is so beautiful, Tad!

    This might be the first time I’ve seen “marketing” feel so sacred and wonderfully human.

    I like your advice to “Let yourself appreciate what you appreciate.” It reminds me this line from Mary Oliver’s poem, Wild Geese: “You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles though the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” Authenticity. It’s the only way to truly belong.

    Thank you. I’m excited to follow your work. I was just introduced to you by Michael Margolis.

    Warm wishes,


  • Gabriella

    Damn, do you ever write good material!  Especially love “get some space” which is so challenging in internet world!  Off on my pilgrimage I go!

  • I did write a post about this…

    And I am thinking about writing another…will keep you posted!  

  •  Dear Tad:  These are wonderful questions to probe deeper into the essence of who we are.  And may I make another suggestion relevant to this question of finding your voice? 

    One of my mentors once said: “The voice is the muscle of the soul”.  The voice is the resonant sound that communicates to the world what we carry within us.  If our actual voices – the ones in our throats – are constricted, shaky or closed – this will have a huge impact in our connection to our deeper self and in how we communicate our message to the world.  The more we open to the full range of sounds our bodies are capable of making, the more expanded we become. 

    Yes, the voice is my passion, and I love working with people to help them uncover the riches that lie just beneath the surface.   “Sounding your soul” is a wonderful practice that sustains and nurtures all of who we are and supports the process of reaching our full potential. 

    I think too, that the more comfortable we are with the sound of our voice, the more confident we become in stepping into the fullness of our gifts. It’s a way of waking ourselves up.

    Earlier this morning i read another  blogpost by a teacher of the Fitzmaurice Voicework, Noah Drew.  It’s a great summary of how the voice fosters community:

    “When we speak or sing, our bodies and the bodies of our listeners vibrate together, move in sync on a cellular level. And this shared vibration — when it is allowed to be full of ourselves, our needs, our longings, our humour, our passions and our brilliance — does something simple and remarkable: it helps us be less alone.  Here’s the full link of the post:

    Thanks for the great conversation Tad. 


  • hmmm. i like this. how can people find you and hire you to help them with this?

  • Wonderful post and such deep rich comments made by others. Often it’s so hard to find our voice, both written and spoken, because we’ve been told as a child,  “children are to be seen not heard,” or not listened to because of age old prejudices against women, and people of colour, etc  And I could go on.

    While we may be feminists and activists, and have helped bring down some of the barriers to our voices being heard, deeply encoded in our cells, are these old 
    stories of how our voice is not to be valued. Deeply encoded is the fear to come out and show the world who we really are.

    Today we have many exciting energy techniques such as EFT and the Healing Codes, which can help clear ourselves on a cellular level of some of these fears.
    Working with a sound healer like Wende, is another way to unleash the blocks in ones voice and ability to express. 

    A combination of methods, including the ideas mentioned in your blog and commentaries, can allow us to find our true voice. This process is a journey- but what a worthwhile one!

  • katie! beautiful! you take it so many levels deeper into all the things that KEEP us from having our voice in the first place. of course. and yes – even those of us who work for justice and having people’s voices heard . . . isn’t it amazing how we still think our own personal voice is not valuable. amazing.

  • hi tad: my website gives info about my approach to voice and sound –  along with some programs i’m running and excerpts of music. Also be happy to talk with people directly through em@gmail:disqus il –

    Hope you’re having a sizzling summer and i know you’re on deck for Lissa Boles Jupiter-Midas effect series — will be tuning in!  Wende

  • Great post, Tad. Got me thinking about my inspiration to write and share and confirmed some important points. Follow your heart, your gut, your instinct – whatever you want to call it – is easy to say, but sometimes much harder to do. Especially when the path leads into uncharted territory.

    This post helped me see the value in pursuing my own course – however off the beaten track that takes me. Thanks!

  • hey jay. yes yes and yes. you might like this too:

  • Another good one, Tad. Seriously, this site and your newsletter contain everything I will ever need to know about marketing. A true godsend. Blessings.

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