When was the last time you said something provocative?

That you knew might make waves with your peers and colleagues? Or with your clients or potential customers?

And not just in your head, but out loud?

If you’re like me, you’re probably — mostly — watching your Ps and Qs and trying to get people to “know, like and trust” you.

So you bite your tongue when you’d otherwise like to be calling out so-and-so’s behavior. Or you stay mute about your own missteps because you don’t want people to know you’re not the “expert” you say you are on your website.

After all, that’s how we grow our businesses, right? Speaking an always-confident, always-happy language? So we’ll fit in and belong?

I get it. Those impulses to not rock the boat are hard-wired into our brains. (Ever seen Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?) We know intuitively there’s safety in numbers.

And when we speak out or get a little subversive — even seditious! — we know it’s more than likely that we’ll alienate a few folks. Possibly even potential customers. Gah! What could be scarier?

And yes, we know intellectually that we don’t all think, feel and act the same way. But the fear of burning a bridge keeps that smile plastered on our faces, pretending that all is well. Even when we know there’s absolutely NO possible way we can please everyone — not even for a nanosecond.

In business, those who stand out are the ones who’re brave enough to raise their voice, step onto a soap box and tell the crowd something life-changingly different.

Are you courageous enough to be one of them?

To say something important. Something that needs to be said (because nobody else will). Something that takes guts to say — or write — out loud.

This kind of challenge isn’t just for “lifestyle” bloggers. Nosiree.

If you blog as part of your overall marketing efforts, this mission (should you choose to accept it) is even more crucial. Your industry and customers need you to poke holes in the smooth veneer of their bubble.

They need you to point out when the Emperor has no clothes.

They need you to lead.

Also? You’re not the only who feels the way you do. Promise.

When you speak out, it’s a siren call to your tribe. The colleagues and partners and yes, customers who need you most will see you better when you’re standing on that soap box.

So what are you waiting for?

I’ll Tell You Mine, If You Tell Me Yours

Over the past several months I’ve done a lot of outside-the-comfort-zone blogging.

Those posts hit a nerve with quite a few people — they were some of my most shared and commented on posts. Ever.

To give you an idea of what I mean, here they are in all their glory:

Don’t Read the Instruction Manual: It’s Time to Improvise

Warning! May Be Hazardous to Your Business: Heroes, Gurus and Other A-Listers

Can You Failproof Your Business?

Game-changing Dynamite: Why I Feel the Need to Blow Something Up

No More Marketing: Why I’m Done

The Un-Sexy Side of Internet Marketing

Word Chef Confessions: I’m Afraid You’ll Find Out I’m a Marketing Fraud

discomfort-creates-pearlsSo, that “grit” you feel about that thing you’re not saying? It’s the same grit that can turn into a beautiful pearl — if you share it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re pointing out a failing of your industry, or confessing something personal — when you step out bravely and say what needs to be said, you help us see you as a whole and multi-faceted human. And that’s the kind of person we want to do business with.

Are you ready to start?

And when you’ve written your post, come back and add your link in a comment below. I’d love to help spread your ideas!

Questions? Not sure where to start? That’s what the comments are for, my friend!