Declare Your Manifesto

A manifesto is more than the last ravings of a lunatic. Or the musings of a politico.

It’s a public declaration of what you believe to be true for your work, your company, your big idea. It’s stepping into the light and holding yourself accountable to your belief system.

Depending on your style and voice, you can play it straight like gastronomic entrepreneur Claus Meyer or Bruce Mau Design. Or have some fun with it, like Jonathan Adler or Lunch Beat.

Time to create your manifesto? Start with the statement “I believe” and jot down your core beliefs about your work, your people (those you thrill to serve) and the world you most want to live in. Don’t worry about the exact words, just broad-brush the concepts. Come back to it again and again until you’ve got your basic mindset down. Then you can play with word choices until it feels exactly right.

Decide how to share it. Is this a communiqué for your clients, your team, the planet? Remember, your manifesto has no mustering power if it’s private. Give it the light of day, talk about it, share it, use it to uncover more of your people.

I’ve declared my “Be unforgettable” manifesto in print and poster form (click here for a copy ) and in video (look to the far right).  You don’t have to go on camera—but you may want to give yours a place of honor on your website.

Give your ideas a chance to spread—air your manifesto here with a link to your site…

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  • Dare I go beyond “make a difference” and add other concepts? A lot to think about. Not eve sure how I would include in my website as constituted. Do not currently use “make a difference” on my website; though it starts 90-95 of any of my elevator speeches.

    • Rochelle

      Hi Corey, a manifesto doesn’t work for everyone, but it has served me well, including in the first business I started years ago. It’s more than a tag line though–so your “make a difference” might be your starting point. How do your clients make a difference for example? How do you make a difference? And it doesn’t have to all be publicly stated, but it can be a differentiator…

  • Thanks for sharing this Rochelle. I have saved & printed it and will make the concept work for me.

  • I really like your idea. I try and do that in my elevator speech. You certainly have thoughts worth considering.

  • Does the “elevator speech” really effective? Or is just conversation to pass time on the ride up / down?

  • I’ve always thought the whole “elevator speech” was a tad silly. Who pitches on an elevator–an enclosed space with no escape? But the concept of being able to clearly articulate who you are/what you do–in a sentence, a paragraph, a couple paragraphs, a page–is spot-on. Just don’t try it in an elevator 🙂

  • I like the idea of crafting a manifesto to explore our own business and personal values and beliefs, it can surely be a good starting point to build a branding statement, or maybe create a few compelling headlines and hooks to use in our marketing communication. By the way, thanks for sharing your manifesto – inspiring indeed! Cheers.

  • I love this!!! I’ve recently become connected with several authors, speakers, motivation coaches (and the likes); it’s no surprise I’ve come across your website! What is awesome however, the fact that this find its smack dab in the middle of a firestorm sparked bybJon Acuff’s book START!!! Wow! I know it’s God timing, things lining up in a step-by-step fashion…at any rate I’m super excited to write my manifesto, although I think I’ve been writing it this whole time!!!

  • Bill Ferdinand

    Rochelle, wow! I very much enjoyed your video, what a shining example of “walking your walk”! Inspiring!

    In the spirit of a manifesto, this came to mind.

    Risk more than others think is safe.
    Care more than others think is wise.
    Dream more than others think is practical.
    Expect more than others think is possible.

    -Cadet maxim, USMA, West Point NY.

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