Aspiration is Framework for Engagement

(And here's a framework you can follow...)

· Member Engagement

I see a lot of martial arts school owners who have very aspirational names for their business.

I don't want to compromise any actual schools by disclosing their names here, but I will tell you, you know the names in which I'm referring. Sadly, while the intentions are great for choosing these names, they become somewhat redundant over the years. The flame begins to fade as they get absorbed into the trenches of the day-to-day grind, too. They may even forget what their name represents!

Lately, I've read a lot of posts and positions on branding. But here's an added perspective from a Member Engagement viewpoint for you to consider. I call this process building your Engagement Statement.

This isn't a real school name, so I will use this name purely for example and proper context for this post.

"Greatness Martial Arts"

The idea behind choosing a name like this, is that by practicing at this dojo you will achieve greatness. Most school owners don't limit the walls of that greatness, either... Not just here at the martial arts school, but you'll obtain greatness in academics, the workforce, your own personal life, and so forth. Wow... That's a tall undertaking...

Perhaps one of the greatest engagement questions of all time comes to mind... HOW?

Here are a few questions you can use to help build your Engagement Statement:

(Insert any aspirational word you may have and substitute it for "greatness" to personalize this exercise.)

1. HOW does a student obtain "greatness" from your practices?

2. HOW do they find "greatness" in their life by training with you?

3. HOW do kids pursue "greatness" in their academics as a result of your program?

4. HOW does a working professional find "greatness" from the mat to carry them into the boardroom?

5. HOW is "greatness" reflected by your martial arts school within your community?

Here are some standard, canned responses, that are overly used/abused in our industry and passed off as


1-- Students at Greatness Martial Arts gain better self-esteem and confidence from practice. [Yawn.]

2-- Students at Greatness Martial Arts become more physically fit and have more energy in their daily life. [Yup.]

3-- Students at Greatness Martial Arts have better focus during their classes and respect for their teachers. [One can hope, anyway.]

4-- Students at Greatness Martial Arts can stay calm under pressure when the work gets intense. [Meh.]

5-- Greatness Martial Arts does a toy drive in December for kids in need. [So often? ::eye roll::]

Please, don't settle for that.

Take it even deeper... be specific, and explain what that all "really" means.

Let me help...

1-- Students at Greatness Martial Arts develop a reputation for their positivity when faced with challenges.

2-- Students at Greatness Martial Arts explore new opportunities, take healthy risks, and pursue the status they respectfully desire in life.

3-- Students at Greatness Martial Arts recognize their own brilliance and connect with their ability to gain proficiency in their studies.

4-- Students at Greatness Martial Arts grasp their significance and value they contribute to the company and are able to convey that distinctly.

5-- Greatness Martial Arts serves our neighbors whenever a need presents itself.

Now, craft that into an Engagement Statement when someone asks about Greatness Martial Arts:

We want to condense all 5 overly-worded sentences into one, solid and meaningful statement that sums it up.

At Greatness Martial Arts, we consider you our neighbor, and we believe in helping our neighbors pursue the life they desire, whether that's recognizing their academic brilliance or the significant value they bring to their employer.

Ah, now I understand how you deliver Greatness; the litmus test: Are you living up to your name?

Craft your Engagement Statement following this framework that actually says something about your brand that isn't regurgitated, generic or boring. I'd love to read your Engagement Statements, please share them with me when you finish, and don't hesitate to ask questions if you need help with the process!

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