From Jai Stone:
With 17 years of marketing and branding experience under my belt, its stands to reason that I am EXTREMELY strategic in everything I post. I don’t try to be perfect, just intentional. I’ve been known to have typos on my blogs and post photos upside down on my Facebook page. I just LOVE when folks correct me, it challenges me to grow and adapt. Plus, I don’t go around continuing to look like a dweeb! I know MANY people get offended when someone corrects them, but I’m just the opposite. When folks send me notes about typos on my blog, I’m like “yayyyy free proof reading”. So when fellow marketing maven Cynthia Malaran pointed out what she felt was a disconnect in my messaging, I took this as an experience that would be great to share.
Since I’m not an avid chess player, I didn’t think too deeply into the the image I chose to communicate my message. I kind of stopped at the fact that “it was pretty and inspiring”. Sometimes that’s all that needs to be said. But as business owners we MUST learn to welcome other perspectives and adapt as needed.
From Cynthia Cherish Malaran:
My father taught me how to play chess before I even started school. Fast forward to 20+ years later and I realize that those same strategic skills I was “programmed” with as a child were pointing me in the direction of becoming an entrepreneur. I left those office jobs in 2001 and I never went back, and never regretted it. Today, all those roads lead to my “Rome,” I am the Founder and Professional Nudger of Healing House Publishing and creator of the Business Blessings Network. Thank you, Mom and Dad. Thank you, Chess.
All of that said, it brought me so much joy the other day to see edgy sister-in-coaching, and fellow mindset maven, Jai Stone, post a powerful message with a robust graphic, one very gorgeous chess piece, in one of our all-women Facebook groups called “The BadAss Business Crew”. There are so few places to get and give sisterly advice, from one professional woman to another, and this is one of those havens.
I was thrilled to read Jai’s inspirational message, but when I did, I saw something was really off, so instead of staying quiet, I took on the social responsibility to speak up and connect:
I am loving this… but, I can say this much — knowing how to play chess is a MUST for any business person. Not just for deep strategy and muscle building, but because those who know how to play, will know that this chess piece is totally wrong for your message. Two reasons:
- It’s the King and we are Queens here in this group!
- Your message is strong but this is the King and although it is the important piece (ego) it is the weakest in abilities and neediest piece in the game of chess.
The King does not go far at all (and I remember a funny story from my chess teacher as a child, that it was because he was fat and lazy.) The King’s only purpose in the game is to avoid getting killed in a checkmate situation and keep hiding his chicken self. Playing chess you’ll find you keep making moves with the King that are running away and avoidance more than anything. Zero edge.
Now…. The QUEEN piece can move the FURTHEST and ANY ANGLE. That’s the symbolic visual message you want. The Queen is the piece with the edge, Jai. (Knight is pretty sexy too but kinda complicated.)
Gotta watch our graphics and consider what the image we choose suggests… It may look super hot, but it may be incorrect and hurting our big message efforts. Swap the King out with the Queen and this would be solid and you won’t have any whispers.
With love, from the Advertising & Graphic Design Retiree/Chess Player/Professional Nudger
* * * Jai was so gracious about sharing the learning, and I couldn’t be happier about that. The biggest lesson, really, in all of this is how we handle our “oopsies” with grace. Whether we like it or not, we are role models to everyone we meet, older and younger. Hopefully we’ve inspired you!
With grace and blessings,
Cynthia Cherish Malaran
Founder & Professional Nudger at Healing House Publishing | Creator Business Blessings Network | Curator 6 Women+1 Man Show NYC
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