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Reveal Your Message With The 3-Word Rebellion! with Michelle Mazur

content creation made easy

Whatever kind of content you're creating….

Whatever networking, pitching, marketing, speaking you're doing....

None of it will work if you have a murky, fuzzed up brand messaging…

Anything that’s unclear, takes too long to say or has people walking away from you going, “WHAT does she do?!”

THAT is a foundational problem holding back your success!

THIS is why you’re gonna be so excited after today’s podcast, when Jen speaks with Dr. Michelle Mazur.

Michelle works with brilliant business owners who love to shake things up but have trouble talking about it.

If you’re an expert who has trouble getting “what you do” clearly & easily - out of your mouth or your fingers – LISTEN IN!

Michelle shares with us the tools she uses to help people craft a powerful, captivating message.

One that makes people stop yawning & take notice of you! You’ll walk away knowing where to start to create your OWN 3-word rebellion – And start playing with a message your audience will nod along with – instead of nodding OFF to!

Find more about Dr. Michelle Mazur at  or


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Full Transcript

Jen Liddy

Well, I am really excited that you're here for the Content Creation Made Easy podcast this week because I don't know what kind of content you're creating.

I don't know what kind of networking events you're going to.

But I do know that if you have a messed up message that is unclear or fuzzy or it takes too long to say or people don't know what the hell you do when they leave talking to you, then you are going to want to stick around today for my guest, Dr. Michelle Mazur.

Michelle works with brilliant business owners who love to shake things up but have trouble talking about it. That is the clearest thing, right? Like, you know, you have some expertise, but you have so much trouble getting it out of your mouth or your fingers.

Michelle combines the tools of successful social movements with qualitative research skills. She has Ph.D, people! We're talking about somebody really serious today, and she helps people craft a powerful captivating message. And that's why she's here, because she's authored three books. She is going to teach us something about the Three-Word Rebellion, which is her way into talking about messaging.

Jen Liddy

And she's been featured in big deal places like Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and Inc. So Michelle knows that speaking about what you do in a clear and captivating way is the key to reaching people you can help. And you know, I'm always talking about this.

So I'm so glad you're here, and I'm so glad Michelle is here. Thank you, Michelle. Glad you're ready to share some brilliance with us today.

Michelle Mazur

Oh, yes, Jen, let's do this. It's going to be great.

 Jen Liddy

Why don't you give us a little bit of background? We talked before we were on the air about your very varied past and how you've lived all over the United States. But I'm curious, how did you get into this expertise in communications with your PhD?

Michelle Mazur

Well, it actually started in high school when I got obsessed with communication. I had to take this public speaking class. And in high school, I was very shy, very quiet, very awkward. Public speaking was terrifying. Plus, the boy I liked was in my public speaking class, which was just not great. And the first speech that I ever had to give, everything was shaking: like my knees were knocking behind the podium, my hands were shaking, my voice was trembling, and it sucked. And there was this little voice in my head saying, this is a really important skill, so you should master it. So I got a gentleman's C in public speaking.

 Jen Liddy

Because it's like.

Michelle Mazur

Yeah, you're not very good, but I'm not going to hold that against you. And after that, I decided to that if I wanted to get good at it, I should just do it competitively.

And I joined the speech and debate team because if you really suck at something, then you should probably do it competitively. But that's really where I honed the skill, spent hours just working on, like, how do you write a speech? How do you get a message across? How do you deliver it?

Well, I did speech and debate in college, and eventually that led me to -  when you're a debate person, you're always in the calm department, like, hanging out with the professors. Everyone knows you. And one of the professors pulled me aside. Her name's Doctor Pamela Cobflash. And she was like, I know you don't know me well, and we've never had a class together, but have you thought about doing a Master's? Like, what lady? You don't know me.

She's like, I hear a lot about you and how smart you are and creative. And she's like, I just think it would be really great for you. And that was the nudge to kind of get me into academia and just grow my obsession with communication.

Jen Liddy

I love there's so many good nuggets in that little vignette right there. Because first of all, if you're not good at something, naturally, So What?! That's a very big thing I see, especially when people are creating content or creating their message. Well, I'm just not good at it, so I won't do it right.

And then the other piece is that mentor who steps in and says, “Hey, I can see something that you can't quite see in yourself and let me nudge you into it.”

These are all important things that we bring along our journey, especially as an entrepreneur.

Michelle Mazur

Yeah. And I always look back, especially at joining the speech and debate team, because I'm like, what was I thinking, like, getting up at 06:00 a.m. Every single weekend? But it was the one thing where I just didn't care what other people thought. And although I did want to do well, I just kind of was like, “No, I'm here to get better at this skill, and I don't care if I lose every single week. It's fine. I don't care what other people think.”

 Jen Liddy

What did 17-year-old Michelle think was so important about this? Like, you weren't good at it for a long time. It took you all this practice, what was burning inside of you that makes you keep going?

Michelle Mazur

I think part of it was my mom always, like, she always talked about people like John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and these men were great orators gave amazing speeches. And so in my head, I think I connected that ability to communicate with the ability to create change in the world or even in your little part of the world.

Jen Liddy

Yeah. Just to pull on that thread a little bit, I wound up leaving. I was teaching College, but basically I was teaching 13th graders at a community College, and I was teaching writing.

And I had done it for four years. And at the end of the fourth year, I was still banging my head against the wall at the end of the semester being like, “You guys still don't know what a thesis statement is. We've been talking about it for four months now, and you still don't know about it.”

And it was in that moment that I was like, they don't care about getting their message across. They don't care about communicating to other people and being understood.

And it was in that moment that I thought, “I can't do this anymore. I have to go figure out how I can do something else in the world because I can't keep trying to convince people that communication is important.”

Michelle Mazur

Yes. Well, it's interesting to me because I kind of see that parallel now in online business where everybody is like, “Oh, well, just give me a swipe, give me a template, give me a formula.”

And they're not thinking about the person on the other end. They're not thinking about how to communicate, what makes them unique, what makes them different. And part of it is because messaging, communication is difficult.

It's hard and it takes work. And people just want that quick fix, that fast solution. And then when it doesn't work, they're like, well, I followed all the swipe files. Why didn't it work?

Well, it didn't work because it didn't sound like you. It sounded like everybody else. You don't know how you're different. And it's like, we have to be great communicators and business in order to persuade people to be ready to work with us.

 Jen Liddy

Yes. And I love that you named it. It takes work. And we've been fed a belief that it should be easy. Why is it so hard? You're speaking your mother tongue. Why is this so hard?

And also, other people have done it and made six figures in six weeks. We've been fed all this bullshit about this supposed to be easy, but it just isn't easy.

 I mean, I'm here and you're here to make it easier, so let's figure out how to do that. But I'm really glad you've named all of this stuff for us. And let's start talking about messaging specifically.

Michelle Mazur

All right.

Jen Liddy

You are an expert in messaging, but I'm curious, what are the jobs that messaging actually does for us? How is it helpful?

Michelle Mazur

Yeah. So I think one of the things I want to dispel right away is there's a lot of misconceptions about what messaging is in the online space.

People will say, like, “It's your tagline’ it's your ‘I help’ statement, it's your content plan, the content plan, or your content buckets.”

That's what your message is.

And it's like, yeah, it's that and so much more because messaging is everything your business says, whether that's on a social media post, a podcast interview like this one, in a sales conversation, in your copy, in your emails, to your community, your opt in.

That is all messaging. It is really this comprehensive system that we use across all aspects of our business in order to be known for our work and to get people wanting to hire us.

So it's just not this, like, one small thing. And if you nail that, you have your messaging, it's like, no, it's very comprehensive. And you have to think about having a consistent message throughout because your message has very important jobs to do. So the three jobs I see messaging doing, number one is capturing attention. And as we know, it's super noisy.

We hear thousands of marketing messages a day.

So your messages job is to actually help capture attention, make people curious to know more. I know we'll talk about the three-word rebellion framework, but the three word rebellion framework is really good at capturing attention and making people curious, but also differentiating. you from everyone who does what you do.

And I always give the example from my industry of magnetic messaging, I see that message all the time from people who do, quote, unquote, do messaging. And there are hundreds of people are like, let's create your magnetic message.

And I'm like, oh, boy, you're all competing for the same little swatch of the marketplace versus, like, carving out your own unique space.

So attention, differentiation.

And then the second part of this is it creates conversation. So once you get someone's attention, you have to know what to do with it. Because if, like Simon Sinek said, Start with ‘why’? But he didn't have his framework that went with it, you'd be like, great, start with why? What's that all about stuff.

So we have to know how to create conversations and strategic conversations that actually move people from not knowing us, not knowing if they have the problem we solved to understanding their problem, understanding our solution, and then making that sales decision.

So it's a very strategic.

The final job your message does is creating connection, cultivating connection between you and the other person. So this is storytelling, your story. None of that rags to riches stuff. We don't do that in my world. But your story, your experience, your clients’ stories, their experience, other people's stories in the world that support your work can all come in to create that connection. And that understanding. Like, oh, yeah, I really get my people. I understand you.

 Jen Liddy

So we're talking the jobs of messaging are wide and deep.

 Michelle Mazur


Jen Liddy

It's really quite systemic.

Michelle Mazur

Yes. And for me, after you create an offer and, you know, it sells, your next step should be figuring out, like, what is the message to sell this? But we tend to skip and be like, all right, well, I have this great offer. It's sales.

So I'm going to do some marketing, but you don't have the message to drive the marketing so that it gets resolved to the offer.

I'm sure you see those people market for marketing’s sake. And it's like, no, you have to be far more strategic!

So, yeah, it is wide and also deep. And then once you figure it out, it makes creating content so much easier because now you're not just creating to create, but you know that this content is leading people to your work.

Jen Liddy

What are some of the mistakes people make when they are trying to create this message?

Michelle Mazur

Well, I think mistake number one is they don't know who they're talking to. I see this all the time on websites where I land on a website and I'm like, I don't know if you're for me or not, like you're pushing this solution, but I don't know what the problem itself, and I don't know if it's for a person like me or a business like me.

So we miss that.

The other thing I see is that especially for experts, they get really trapped in their expertise. I call this phenomenon, like the Overlooked Expert Problem because there are so many people who are amazing at what they do, but they are passed over for people who have half the experience, talent, skills because they can't communicate what it is they do because they're so wrapped up in that solution and being the expert that they meet their people at the level of the expert instead of where people are at.

And then the final thing I see is, like, honestly, people don't get their ideas out of their head and onto paper where they can actually deal with it. We just spend time in our heads spinning on our message, and we just think, oh, well, I shouldn't really put anything out there until I figure this out.

That's not how you figure out a message, ever. It has to interact with other people, whether that's like a trusted advisor, someone like me, your business bestie. It just can't stay in your head. We have to get it out. So then we can actually craft and structure a message.

Jen Liddy

As an expert in messaging, do you find that you even operate better when you work outside of your mouth, like you work with somebody else? Do you find even you get more clarity when you're not operating in a silo?

Michelle Mazur

Oh, absolutely. It's interesting because I'm always testing different messaging angles. Yeah, it's fun.

And so, for instance, that idea of the overlooked expert that came out of a conversation I believe that I had with my podcast team because I was listening to this one podcast about it called Against the Rules.

And this season is all about experts and how experts are unknown, and the person who solves our problem isn't the person we actually see. And I was like, oh, this is what I'm seeing.

So if I didn't have that podcast, the conversation with my podcasting team, that helps me with strategy, I don't think I would have been able to articulate it.

 Jen Liddy

Yeah. I feel like people think for people who messaging is easy for, like, you and me, it's fun to fuss around with messaging, and that for us, it just comes naturally. But every single person works at their messaging.

Michelle Mazur

Yes. And for me, it's like what I help my clients do.

It's like, let's lay that foundation down so we know what your key messages might be.

And then let's start testing some of those messages and seeing how it works for you because. Yeah, that's the thing.

I feel like everyone even because I hear this, I work with a lot of people who do branding, copywriting marketing, messaging themselves. And they're like, I can't do this for myself. I need someone to do it for me or do it with me.

And I'm like, Yup, it's really hard to see what makes you brilliant. Sometimes we lose sight of that.

 Jen Liddy

 So let's talk about how you help people with your Three-Word Rebellion.

Michelle, this is how I first met you. We just met today, but I've known about you for a while because I heard you on a summit talking about your three-word rebellion. And it really stuck with me. And so I'm so excited for people to hear this. Please share. What do we need to know about the three-word rebellion?

Michelle Mazur

Yeah. So the three word rebellion is a message that encapsulates the change that you want to create for your clients. It is a message that is sticky, that is easy for other people to spread.

And most importantly, it's a message that's not about you. It's really about the people you want to reach. So some famous examples of three word rebellions that inspired this framework. So Simon Sinek, Start with Why, which was so brilliant because it makes you go like, oh, I should start with my why. Cool. Wait, what is my why? I have no idea.

 Jen Liddy

I got work to do.

Michelle Mazur

Yes. I better go buy his book or watch his TEDx Talk!

Or Mel Robbins in the Five-Second Rule. When I first found out, I was like, what is that? Should I be following that? I don't know. I better go watch the Ted Talk, buy her book, figure out if this is a useful concept.

And for me, the five second rule was always so brilliant because it's like, oh, you count backwards from five and you take an action. It gets you out of procrastination.


Like, so simple. And yet she sold millions of books, self-published, no less, and has this amazing speaking career. That message, it's the thing that draws us initially in.

And so if we can distill what our work is all about in two to five words because it doesn't have to necessarily be three, but it needs to be very short and words that are a phrase because I hear people will tell me if they're like, “Oh, my three word rebellion is purple monkey dishwasher.”

And I'm like, yeah, no, those are three random words that only makes sense to you. Like, no one's ever going to remember that.

So when we have this message, then it's like, okay, this is what I'm leading with. This is the message I want to be known for. And then we can build the whole messaging ecosystem around that so that we're actually leading people to our work.

Jen Liddy

So how do we get started with our own three-word rebellion? Because I don't imagine this is easy to do for people.

Michelle Mazur

No, but it's fun. The first part is super fun.

Jen Liddy

Sometimes when I'm talking to somebody and they're rambling on and they have this very long word filled with jargon or the word transformation or empowerment or whatever that took them so long to come up with this super long message. How do we get down to this laser focus, three word to five word message?

Michelle Mazur

Yeah. So the first thing we have to do is going back to let's get your ideas out of your head and onto paper.

So I use a process called free writing. And free writing is like, you just let it all out, right? You just write. You don't censor yourself.

You don't worry about grammar or spelling. You don't do any self-editing. You just go through and you write.

And so I created questions based on social movements that help people kind of tap into number one, what are you rebelling against?

What in your industry just kind of ticks you off. And then on the other side of that, it's like, what's the change you're trying to create?

And I think some people really get stuck with that second part. And like, well, how am I going to make this happen? It's like, no, it's not about the how. It's about the what if? Because the purpose of this is to gather your people together to create this change, to have this impact.

For me, it's just like it's time to be dreamy and not limit yourself by worrying about the how you're going to do something.

 Jen Liddy

For most of us, we probably already know our house. We probably already have our programs. We already probably have ours. We just don't know how to talk about it. Succinctly. Yeah.

Michelle Mazur

And I think it's also going that one level deeper because I see people get so solution oriented. It's like this is how I fix things. And it's like, yeah, but what does that actually do for people? That's great. But what is that kind of change that bigger?

Like, for me, the three-word rebellion is about growing your business into this movement, which is very aspirational, right? So it is kind of this bigger message. But we get so like, I'm a coach and I coach.

Jen Liddy

And that's what I do.

Michelle Mazur

And coaching will help your life and you'll live a better life. But we don't like, well, how are you going to live a better life if people actually accepted your coaching? How do things change?

What is that ripple effect and kind of diving into that? Because really that's where the transformation and the message lives. Like, the rebellion stuff is great. It is your foil. I always help clients come up with a villain that lives outside of their people so they don't feel like they have to blame themselves for the problems they have.

But then it's like your three-word rebellion is what slays the villain.

 Jen Liddy

What's your three word rebellion?

Michelle Mazur

Three-Word Rebellion. I love being asked that question. I am super meta. My whole business is meta.

 Jen Liddy

Is there anything else people need to know about creating their own three-word rebellion?

Michelle Mazur

Yeah, I think so. You'll get a lot of great writing. And here's the deal.

Even if you can't find your three-word rebellion right away, you will have content, ideas for days to share. Like, it could be podcast episodes, blog posts, social media. However, your marketing. You could actually start sharing some of this and seeing how it resonates with people.

And that might be a little scary because you're talking about some of the things that tick you off or big picture changes you want to see.

But then it's really this process of letting that free writing sit a little bit and then diving back in to start looking for standout words, stand out phrases, great verbs to really start unearthing it because it is this unearthing process.

I believe your three-word rebellion already exists. It's just buried in a whole bunch of words, and we have to pull it out and polish it up and then it's ready for you.

 Jen Liddy

I love this. My brain is, like, firing with what mine could be or do I already have it? Do I already use it? Is it being woven into a whole bunch of things?

Michelle Mazur

And I imagine.

Jen Liddy

Do some people come up with more than one three-word rebellion statement?

Michelle Mazur

Yes, I have seen. But I always want people to pick one because you can only be known for one thing.

And I think that's where entrepreneurs, business owners, get themselves in trouble.

They're like, I want to be known for this and this. And it's like, no. Like your people are always going just to remember one thing because that's what they have the capacity for. And if you don't choose, they're going to choose for you.

Jen Liddy

Right? And it might not be the thing you want to be known for.

Michelle Mazur

I know. And then all of a sudden you're like, how am I known for this crap?

 Jen Liddy

I know.

Michelle Mazur

It's like I have to take control of the message. It's really for me, it's about this advocacy. It's like I'm going to advocate for this one message.

And the thing is, it's like your message will evolve over time. Your three-word rebellion is not something that's written on your tombstone.

You'll use it for three to five years, and then maybe your business shifts or what you're interested in shifts. And so your message will shift. And then you go back through the process and be like, okay, well, what's the new message for this.

 Jen Liddy

When you're thinking about your three-word rebellion, it's what am I for and what am I against? And really sussing out those things to unearth what you want to be known for.

Michelle Mazur

Yeah. That is the raw ingredients of what your three-word rebellion is.

 Jen Liddy

No, go ahead. Sorry. Yeah.

Michelle Mazur

And then there's like, I talk about this in the book, but there are different types of three-word rebellions, whether it's like that battle cry that starts with a verb.

So start with y or my client, Carolyn Mayes, who's Uncage Your Epic Credentials. She writes BIOS, or we have the naming the change agent.

So my three words rebellion is a great like, this is like I'm going to get people get clear on their message and three words Mel Robbins, the five second rule.

And then there are declarations and mantras like everything is figure out about Marie Forleo or one of my clients has Questioned the Drink. She works with people who are questioning their relationship with alcohol.

 Jen Liddy

Yeah, that's really fascinating. You question the drink, you're just like, I kind of know what that's about. Now I kind of get who she is and what she's about.

Michelle Mazur

Yeah. And it's great because it's like, oh, if you don't know her yet, you're like, oh, she's going to help me figure out what my relationship with alcohol is. But even if you do know her, it's a good mantra to take forward. Like, as you're navigating the world, like questioning the drink that you're about to have.

Jen Liddy

Tell me you mentioned this is something you say a lot. You talk about a category of one and being one of a kind. This is a mantra of yours. Can you go a little bit deeper on being in a category of one?

Michelle Mazur

Yeah. I feel like messaging is a great way to carve out your unique space in the marketplace.

And I want to use the word niche because that always implies other people. But it's like if you look at the marketplace so all the content marketing people in the world, you have to carve out your own unique place.

And if you're saying going back to the magnetic messaging, everybody who's saying magnetic messaging, well, there's a lot of supply for a limited amount of demand, which means you're competing on price.

You can't be known. You're saying what everybody else is saying, and there's no real reason to choose you. Whereas if you have that unique, one-of-a-kind message, you're creating your own little space in the market.

So I think about three word rebellion or Donald Miller's Story Brand or Tampson Webster's Red Threads method.

Each of us has carved out our own unique spot, because if you want a red thread, you have to go to her. She's the only game in town.

 Jen Liddy

What is that?

Michelle Mazur

It's kind of a way to build an argument for your work, for an idea.

I feel like she serves not necessarily the people we serve, but more of the startups, the bigger companies to find. What is that thread that goes across your products or your idea to get people to buy in?

Or like, for me, it's like, well, if you want a three-word rebellion, you pretty much have to come to me. Like, I'm the only game in town.

Building a story brand, Donald Miller and his consultants, they are the only game in town.

So we have really carved out this niche where if you're like, oh, I want a three word rebellion, you just can't go to anyone. Like, if you're like, I want a magnetic message. You have hundreds of people to choose from.

Jen Liddy


Michelle Mazur

But a three-word rebellion, it's just me.

Jen Liddy

I really love that. I know my brain is working overtime right now thinking about what this would be just to kind of make a clarification for everybody listening.

So I call myself a content creation specialist, and I really focus on making content work for you, regardless of the kind of platform you want to be on.

It's much more about, like, permission and accountability and the tools. I'm not a go deep expert. I am not going to be able to teach you every single nuance of how to use email marketing.

Michelle Mazur


Jen Liddy

Like, there's people who are very specific about that, but I'm not.

And I don't want to be that. And there's something very freeing when I realized because there's a moment, I think in all of our businesses where we're like, shit, there is so much competition out there.

And can I have a successful business and you're looking around and you're seeing everybody who's so brilliant.

But when you step into your space, as you said, it kind of lets all of the other people who have their space just go away and be who they are. In fact, if somebody wanted to learn specifically, like email marketing or podcasting, I'm not a specialist in that way.

Right. So to be able to refer somebody to another expert is very freeing for me. And those people are not experts at the thing that I'm good at.

Right. Like teaching people how to be accountable and show up regularly, all of that crap. So I just feel like once you get this, there must be a lot of freedom and relief on the other side and empowerment as you step into that and really just own it.

Michelle Mazur

Yeah. Because we have this tendency, especially in online business, I feel like it's like monkey see, monkey do, right?

It's like, oh, well, this person is really successful, and we're given this message like, oh, well, then you should just follow their steps, do what they do.

I've heard the message of rob and duplicate, which as an academic, I'm always like, that is not cool. That's plagiarism.

But if you do that, then you sound like them and you sound like everyone else. And then all of a sudden they're your competition versus like I look at my own spot in the messaging world and I really view other people more as my colleagues and I'm not right for everyone, right. Like someone else's methodologies might work better.

So it is this very freeing thing and I also think for people who are more generalist or who are more of those multi passionate who are like bringing in a whole bunch of different ideas to get their clients results, they have a lot of tools in their toolbox creating that overarching message about that result, that change can be really freeing because you can still be known for something and be more of that generalist or be more of that multipassionate who has a ton of tools in their toolbox.

Jen Liddy

That's such great permission. You've just given everybody on the there's a place for everybody to find their three-word message regardless of the type of entrepreneur that you are.

So great. Thank you so much for sharing all of this. Well, it's not just information, it was really inspiration and motivation to get to carve out your own place on the internet. It's vital at this point. Can you tell us the ways we can get into your orbit?

Michelle Mazur

Yeah. So if you're interested in learning more about the three-word rebellion, I've created a mini audio workshop that takes you through the process and that's at the book is available everywhere.

If you're like, No, just give me the book. I want the book, then go to or wherever you buy your books.

If you're just interested in connecting with me, the best place to do that is Instagram. I'm at Dr. Michelle Mazur.

Jen Liddy

Nice. Thanks.

The vitality in your message is I just can't put enough importance on it and I want to encourage people that if you have been struggling with marketing or content creation or any of this or you go to a networking event and you feel like you trip over your words when you're talking about yourself, this is the place you need to start with your message clarity.

So go to  , connect with Michelle on Instagram at

or buy her freaking book and just consume it, people.

Is the book just called Three-Word Rebellion? You're going to find it, right?

Michelle Mazur

Yeah, they're going to find it.

 Jen Liddy

Yeah, I love that for you people just want to take some information and go get that book. Michelle, thank you, so, so much. I really appreciate your expertise and your time.

Michelle Mazur

Thank you for having me. It's been my pleasure.

 Jen Liddy

I'll talk to everybody next week. Bye!

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