226 MINISODE Andrea Shillington: Heart of the Message

Andrea Shillington is a top brand strategist who learned along the way that the secret of magnetic messaging is being more “you”. Known as the “Business Soul Architect” because she helps her entrepreneur and executive clients create heart-centered brands that align deeply with their passion and purpose, Andrea shares advice on how to differentiate yourself in the marketplace by focusing on what truly makes you unique, in particular leveraging those challenges and difficulties we often tend to keep hidden.

Melinda Wittstock:         Andrea welcome to Wings.

Andrea Shillington:        Thanks for having me here.

Melinda Wittstock:         I'm excited to find out what it is that's inspiring you right now.

Andrea Shillington:        Oh, My Gosh. So, so much is inspiring me right now. I've been working with clients in sort of the impact space to develop their brands for the world and really position their life's purpose work. The thing that really is inspiring me right now is helping them really tap into the heart of what that message is and not doing the things out there in the world that they think they should do or that their competitors are doing but to really land in a place … And this is what I love about what you're all about is to land in that place of authenticity, to land in that place that is truly activated from a place that is soul, from heart. That is really what I'm passionate about, and so when I work with my clients I foreworn them about my intake because I'm like I'm going to be asking you questions about your childhood and all kinds of deep things because I really believe that, that message coming from your heart is really about your story and tapping into the challenges around your story and the shame maybe that you've had, or the things that you don't want people to know. That's where the power lies with the message.

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh gosh, it's so true. People buy from people that they know, like and trust. I think Sally Hogshead say's this, when we're being more of who we are, right? Doubling down on really what makes us unique, that's when very special things happen, so that's wonderful. So, like all business owners and entrepreneurs I'm sure you have your challenges, we all do. I always like to demystify those for people. What are some of yours?

Andrea Shillington:        My personal ones, or ones that I'm seeing more in the market?

Melinda Wittstock:         Whatever really is an issue for you right now. They could be personal, they could be business, they could be both. I find that often they're intertwined but yes, what are some of your challenges?

Andrea Shillington:        That's a great question. I think that this is what I preach my clients to do, and so what I often find is the very thing that you're gifted at in the world is the very thing that you struggle with most yourself. So I'm actually in the process of writing a book and it is a very edgy, very brave, very bold book that I'm not really ready to talk about and publicize quite yet. It's like even in the process of writing that book, it's like I have to face my ego of am I really going to be this vulnerable, am I really going to let people know that much about me? And yet it's the very thing that I support people to do. It's the very thing that I'm preaching for others to do. I'm like oh, wow, I get to be my clients right now and it's uncomfortable. It's really uncomfortable.

Melinda Wittstock:         Isn't that interesting because I think of my passion for authenticity and I realized the other day that back when my parents, they were very, very wealthy and they lost all their money when I was about six and we had to pretend like we still had it. It was so inauthentic and now this whole mission of mine is around authenticity. God, it's funny right?

Andrea Shillington:        Yeah.

Melinda Wittstock:         Sometimes in those things that we struggle with even presently or certainly in the past, those are the things we want to go solve.

Andrea Shillington:        Yeah and I love that you bring that up Melinda because that is like … The fact that you know that, that's something you've struggled with in your childhood. That's when you know that what you're doing is absolutely on purpose. So I just love that you bring that story forward and I think we all have that story inside of us and the thing is, I think that some of us want to keep the mask up and they don't wanna actually put the mask down because they've had the mask on for so long because it does stem back to our childhood. So I think that, that vulnerability or that authenticity is actually taking the mask down and saying I'm a human too and I've struggled with this. Yeah, so I just love that you bring that up.

Melinda Wittstock:         Well thank you: I appreciate that. It's been a work in progress getting to the point where I'm aware enough to even be able to come out with a statement like that.

Andrea Shillington:        Exactly. Oh, I know, I hear you. That's my struggle at the moment too 'cause it's like it's my next, it's my next up leveling of authenticity, it's my own evolution over the past five years and it's like you know, oh my god. Am I really going to come out there and tell people all this stuff?

Melinda Wittstock:         Oh, I know, I know. So, along your journey what have been some of the things that you've learned that you'd like to pass on to other women now, namely in the form of your top three go to pieces of advice. Maybe it was something you wish you'd known at the beginning of your journey or you just see as best practice like do this and all will be well. What are the top three?

Andrea Shillington:        Yeah so I would say the top three is, the first thing is, the best brand strategy that you could possibly have is to just be you. I think that I work with a lot of people who struggle with, what is that thing and it's when we get to that place of story like you have like so many of my clients have, like I have. It's actually allowing yourself to stand in that brand and actually go out there with that message. It's actually really simple, right? But it's our ego that gets in the way of actually allowing our brand to be incredibly powerful. I even struggled with that myself. So you know, while I might have the branding expertise the expert often is also the student because we struggle with those things ourselves.

The other thing I would say is impact is differentiation. I think it's the future of differentiation, a lot of my clients, I think we're all kind of getting to this place of self actualization and a lot of us have our basic needs met in this beautiful world that we're living in today and so the clients that I work with are wanting to do that thing that makes a difference in the world. So too when you're creating your marketing when you're creating your messaging. The best thing to do is to put that in the foreground. That is something that can be incredibly differentiating for your business is to really own and stand in the strength of that.

Then my final one would be that confidence is activated truth, right? So kind of going back to what we were saying about the best brand is to be you and I think especially as women we often struggle with confidence and that confidence comes from putting that mask down and just allowing ourselves be who we actually are, to expose that truth, to expose those vulnerabilities.

Melinda Wittstock:         Yeah. Exactly. Oh, that's beautiful. So Andrea, how can people find you and work with you?

Andrea Shillington:        Yeah, well we have lots of resources available over at Brandsfortheheart.com so if you wanna get in touch with us you can go over to our contact page. If you're wanting some resources, just head over to the resources section. There's worksheets and there's downloads and all kinds of things for your unique needs. If it's a naming challenge, if it's a messaging challenge. We have lots of resources available for entrepreneurs.

Melinda Wittstock:         That's wonderful, well thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us.

Andrea Shillington:        Thank you for having me here and creating this space for us.

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