What 3 words would others use to describe you?

A couple of months ago I stumbled upon this post at Mommalogues.

I rarely visit the site yet when I saw a tweet containing the link/teaser below it caught my attention.

What three words would your kid(s) use to describe you?

For two reasons.

First, it reminded me how long it had been since I asked someone to define my MizFit brand for me.

Im a believer in the importance of defining one’s brand and in remaining consistent in all facets of brand messaging.

The best way (in my opinion) to learn if you’re conveying the “brand-message” you think you are is ask someone to explain your blog-brand to you.

The three word concept works perfectly here.

Are the words you receive the antithesis of what you’d expected? Consider that information each time you post, guest-post, tweet, facebook, pinterest etc.

Are the words you receive close but not precisely the messaging you want to share? Same thing.

Is distilling your blog-brand to three words too hard for most people?  You many want to consider/challenge yourself to see if your brand is too general/addressing too many (broad) topics.  This is something only you can decide.

Second, I was intrigued by the opportunity to find out from others (friends, family, partners, children) if they saw me as I viewed myself.

I was curious if I posed the question to Ren Man & the Tornado what words they’d choose.

As with our No Excuses! exercise*, I knew this would force me to become vulnerable. 

What do I care (really.) if someone informs me my Miz-branding is out of whack?  It’s great information.  It’s helpful (I can tweak my messaging or perhaps learn what I thought I wanted to convey has changed).

It’s all, in a sense, at arms length.  Not super personal.

What do I care if the Tornado or Ren Man lets me know (after working to live my priorities) Im not the person I think I am? A lot

And, because the thought of asking them terrified me, I knew I had no choice but to do it.**

And, because I smuggled the Tornado to NYC last week for some out of Texas frolic-time, I was presented with the perfect opportunity to ask her.

Some might think asking a 6 year old for her 3 words would result in a shower of compliments.

I adore my child–but that’s not her. 

She’s told me my teeth are yellow (and asked if that will happen to her when she’s “old”).   Shes informed me when she thinks my outfits are mismatched.  Ive always let her know home is a safe place to fall & she can say what she thinks/feels. ***

I handed her three pieces of hotel-paper and asked her to write three words she thought of when she thought about me.

And I waited.

She presented me with the below (and thankfully read them to me, too).

wpid 2012 05 02 08.49.151 What 3 words would others use to describe you?

2012 05 02 08.49.575 300x225 What 3 words would others use to describe you?

wpid 2012 05 02 08.49.42 What 3 words would others use to describe you?

 

I know this post is far too long (& this is the edited version), yet I wanted to share the exercise and ask you consider taking part.

Think about the blog-brand you’re striving to create and take the emotional-risk of finding out if you’re sending out the messages you think you are.

Think about the life you are striving to create, make yourself vulnerable & ask loved ones/find out if others see you as you view yourself.

It’s scary.  It’s amazing. It’s eyeopening. 

(and yeah. it’s something *someday* I’ll ask Ren Man to do for me. Im not that ballsy yet.  Ill keep you posted…)


 

 

 

*Im doing this exercise again. If youve never done it before—I suggest trying it!

**of course we’re now having the discussions about hurting people’s feelings etc. I know all of the comments above have been proffered 100% as information with no malice intended.  To her it’s all information.

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Comments

  1. says

    Interesting tips about the blog branding Miz.
    I am going to get other people (you?) to define mine to me today!!

  2. Cate says

    I would not want to ask my son :) I’d be afraid of what he’d say.

    The Tornado is very sweet.

  3. says

    i’d say tornado nailed it! and i love those words, they are genuine.. like you!

    i don’t know what my hubs would say, maybe i’ll ask him…. after i cook him a lovely dinner. hehe.

    For myself, what words are my brand? hmm..

    maybe persevering life’s journey?

  4. Healthy Mama says

    While I, too, think HECK NO I WOULD NOT DO THIS I wonder what my twins would say?

  5. BK says

    Awesome! I’m going to do this!

    When I think of Miz I think
    Maintenance, non traditional, fitness

  6. says

    Oh Mizzy…how did you know? I awoke early (2AM) with an overpowering urge to write…some things people have said to me in recent days (a few more than 3 words but just as powerful) and my thoughts had taken me to that no excuses exercise….
    Yes, its scary…its amazing..its eye-opening and at least for me..it has stuck with me since the first day I did it…

    For me, it stripped away a layer of my own myths and allows me to continue to “peel the onion” on my path to self knowing..

  7. says

    I plan to steal this exercise the next time I present to young teachers. I talk a lot about making the move from “sage on the stage” to “guide at the side”. When most of us start out in teaching/training, it’s because we really want to be up in front of the room where everyone HAS to listen to what we say.

    And our goal is to get eval sheets that say “Mr. Carlson knows everything about XXX topic, and he’s so smart, and he has the answers to all the questions.”

    Only later in the journey (and some never get there) do we move on to wanting an eval that says “Mr. Carlson helped me to learn how to find answers to questions on my own.”

    And much, much later in the journey (for very few of us) do we look for evaluations that say “Mr. Carlson provided an environment where every student was able to start from where they were, move forward and build the knowledge they needed, and work together with the other learners to succeed in ways they had never imagined possible.”

    The words that you are looking for tell you a lot about where you are on your journey, whatever your job.

  8. says

    The girls did something similar to this at school last week. They were given questions about me to answer. Some of the answers made me proud….some showed me areas I need to work on to be a better parent.

    My eldest wrote that I’m 35 years old….I might not correct her on that one. ;)

  9. Rhoda says

    I really like how the Tornado didn’t mention exercise.

    You are so much more.

    • Miz says

      great question Nicole. you know, I merely took what she said at face value. as information and what SHE sees thinks and perceives. as her POV.

      I guess for NOW (age six) it is how i’d like to be see?

      And I was so so so glad the word PLAY was there and not EXERCISE!

  10. says

    Carla – I always always love your posts & not sure this is my fave or not cause I say that every day! ;-) BUT I SO LOVED the pics Tornado chose for you – I mean, isn’t that what life is about & that you are apparently showing her fun, & play & enjoy life!

    I guess I may have to do it – it is scary!

    LOVE!

  11. addy says

    Ummmm no. Cowering in corner now. Make big scary thoughts go away pleeezzzzz…..

  12. says

    I think that this might be one of my favorite posts. You’ve encapsulated a lot of what I’ve been thinking about lately – about the life that I’m trying to cultivate for myself and my family, my blog/brand and whether reality matches with perception. I haven’t taken the exercise outside of myself but will do that.

  13. says

    I dare not ask my 16 yr old daughter
    love her w/all my heart but…she gets upset (why? I have no clue) when people say I do not look my age, or when younger guys ask me out..cougar I am not…though they’d like me to be apparently..and she freaks when people talk good about me..so I dare not ask her! lol

  14. says

    Interesting, insightful exercise. Definitely going to be asking around, with regard to my person as well as my blog. Feedback is how we change and grow for the better!

  15. Blogger says

    This is a really helpful post which I hope doesn’t become lost with the other piece of parenting stuff.

    All of us could benefit from stopping and asking readers to parrot back to us who we are, what we stand for and what they expect when they click to our site.

    Bravo, Miz.

  16. says

    When I worked for ‘the man’, we did 360-evaluations a few times–managers, peers, direct reports, etc. I was pleasantly surprised with the different positive comments each group chose to describe me. I was more surprised to see that every single group included ‘impatient’ as a descriptor. Truth hurts. :) (It wasn’t the having of it that was the problem; it was the showing it. I’m still lousy at it. LOL)

  17. says

    Well, given that I couldn’t do it in less than 10 words, i think i need to work on FOCUS!
    thanks for a thought provoking post

  18. says

    As far as my blog brand goes I wonder what others would say. I’ve been trying to be more focused, etc. But how that’s translating? No. Clue. lol. Something for me to ponder today!

  19. says

    This is so interesting! I wonder what mine would be? “Weight loss” is the first one that comes to MY mind, and maybe “cycling” next. I bet my readers would say “Cheeseburgers.” :)

  20. says

    I asked my kids this once.. they told me I grouchy. It was an eye opener. I realized I was bringing personal and work related problems to the table.

    I quickly turned the attitude and my way of thinking around. Became more aware of the feelings I was expressing. And fixed the problems that were causing the grouchiness. So, it is worthwhile to ask the kiddos what they think of you.

    I should ask them again… see what they say. Tweens/teens I think are a bit more critical. lol.

  21. says

    Ohhhh! That’s a good question. Maybe I’ll put that out to my readers to see what they come up with. Ummmm, maybe not. I don’t know if I’m that brave.

    I would hope my hubs and kids would have nothing but lovely things to say about me!

  22. Cheryl says

    Daughter said- “Persistant, Strong (mentally and physically) and Relentless”

    Hubby said- ” Beautiful, life-partner and Independent”

    Why would one be afriad to ask the most improtant people in their lives thought about them….???

  23. says

    Oh Miz- love this as usual. My kids would describe me as “sweaty” for sure. :) I have to think about this a little and let it sink in…….

  24. says

    Those are 3 awesome words to have your child think of in relation to you. Sounds like you are living your priorities.

    I,on the otherhand, am too scared to ask my children LOL.

  25. Melissa Burton says

    Enjoyed this post tremendously! As a to-be blogger trying to come up with the “best” name this will certainly help. I’ve been struggling with what makes a good “brand” vs just being me. Once this massive test is done in mid-June, I will make my blog debut!

    Many thanks!

    PS – Love the name “Tornado” for the little one.

  26. says

    I think Tornedo got a bonus word…not only are you funny, it looks like you’re FINE too! She’s a wise little girl!!! What a fun exercise, I don’t have kids, but may ask my husband for his 3 words.

  27. says

    I shall ask this question tonight. While I’m couch-azzing and demanding the husband to fetch me coffee while also saying deny the kids access to my Alpha-Bits. (this is who I am). I should get a fantastic response.

  28. says

    One of my fave things about my kids is how it’s “all information” to them. They are the perfect examples of kind and curious honesty. And I’m glad you clarified that “fire” = “funny” ;) As for me, this feels SO HARD. But, 3 words: raw, funny, compassionate. (I hope).

  29. says

    Wow what a great exercise. I wonder what people would say about me. friends, family, new readers, seasoned readers. If we don’t asked for feedback how do we every uncover our window of mystery?

  30. says

    oooh very interesting!! if i had to describe your blog in three words, i would say original, welcoming and thought-provoking. (the hyphen makes the last word only one word, right? ;) ) and i think the words your daughter used to describe you are PERFECT!

  31. says

    Not only is this an eye-opening, learning experience to find out about your blog brand, but to do this with friends and family, even acquaintances or people you work with would be a great thing to try just to see how you are perceived by the world. It could be completely different than what you thought you gave off, or how you wish others saw you, but this may be helpful in trying to change for the better. I’m probably not going to go home and hand my friends some paper and ask them to write down what they think of me, but possibly in the future I will try this and re-evaluate how I believe I am seen and heard by others.

  32. says

    FABBB tip/idea, Carla! I know that I love getting feedback on my blog and how the brand appears from the outside. Asking people to describe that to me with 3 words forces them to really pin it down and get me a concise answer. Woman, you rock.

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