CGM blog: Why being a Soul Business is best

Is your business a Soul Business?

By that, I mean do you communicate from the heart?

If not, you’re missing a trick.

Soul Business is the ethos we work to at Chris Green Media and it is based on fundamental principles that work best in life as well as business.

Its core is effective communication – not just telling people what you do and how you do it but primarily why you do it.

Communicating your message – and your purpose, mission and vision (be it in the form of words or images) – should be done with confidence, clarity and purpose to provide something concrete for people to buy in to.

You can bend your chosen communication methods around the message but it should never be vice versa. Message matters most.

Soul Business defines building trust as your No 1 objective.

If people trust you, everything else follows. There is inherent value in being trustworthy (worthy of trust) be it ethics, integrity, passion, endeavour, enthusiasm, resourcefulness – they’re all cut from the same character cloth – having ‘character’ rather than being (something of) ‘a character’ (i.e a ducker and diver). We all know the difference.

People arguably talk about vision and mission too much – purpose is what really counts.

This cuts two ways:

– Your private purpose (your own ‘why?’ which the rest don’t need to know) and

– Your public purpose – the vision of your business you wish to portray to the wider world which can result in great strides if you communicate this to your team, suppliers, key clients and networkers etc.

Creating a sense of mission often leads to components being greater than the sum of their parts. Motivated and inspired people will work for more than the money – but on a seemingly ethereal, higher plain by pouring their heart and soul into projects they truly believe in.

We see it in sport all the time – teams with seemingly lesser talent beating those crammed with well-paid stars who are there mainly for the money and hope of glory. It’s not always enough.

The best communicators connect with their audience. They make the goal seem real and believable and therefore achievable.

There are no scatterguns or blunderbusses, they are targeted and focused – and if you want to prove how stupid most of us are, just look at how poor we are at failing to ask those who are often closest, like us and ‘get us’ most, first?

Too much marketing is aimed at vague dim and distant target audiences – people who need considerable convincing rather than those closest to us who require the least persuasion. How dumb are we?

Winning buy-in is the main aim of the game.

Too much overt in-your-face selling (often without listening – an all-important skill most of us need to master) usually makes people back off.

We need to draw people in gradually by winning their hearts and minds. Sociologists call it bricolage – the meaning and value we all place on functional items like clothes, cars, food – which are laden with deep seated connotations, identity and brand loyalty.

To this end, content is, and always will be, king. Quality content, in fact, and lots of it.

We can now all create relevant content that enables us to connect with our audiences.

If we do this effectively we can make amazing change happen – not just for ourselves or our businesses, but for the greater good. We need to get our heads up here, guys. We can make a better world via the global village. Interconnectivity has never been easier.

And the most effective form of communication? Storytelling. It is in our genes.  We’re a storytelling species – it is what we do and how we learn about the world from our mother’s knee to going to the movies, reading books or telling our mates down the pub what happened.

Books, blogs, websites, newsletters, social media, video – we have loads of storytelling means to tell the stories of our business.

Oh, and nothing beats a dead honest true story – making them too tall is identifiably false and, anyway, most of us lack the imagination to match true stories. You just couldn’t make it up. We say that all the time. Why? Because it is true. Stories tell us loads, though…

And the end result of doing all these things and more?

Well, that buys something most of us really truly, madly, deeply want more than anything – to sleep peacefully at night with a sense of right-ness – knowing we are connected with people in the right way for the right reasons – from the heart, from the soul and always  sharing the ultimate sense of wellness that comes with knowing yours is a soul business.  

Soul Business is a regular blog, book (coming soon) a talk and a marketing development programme.

CGM’s next Soul Business talk is on Wednesday, September 5 from 2pm to 5pm at the CGM Media Centre. Cadbury House, Worcester, WR3 8SG. Book your seat via Eventbrite.