The Invitation Sets the Tone

At my home studio, I have this mat at the front door, with large H E L L O rubber letters. This side of the studio gets a lot of direct sun beating down on it each day, so the doormat is starting to look a little worse for wear. The other day I went out to the studio and saw that the “O” rubber letter had come away from the mat surface and moved. All of a sudden I had the words H E L L staring back at me. What a welcome!


It got me thinking about how we create Invitations in our business and even in our lives, that set the tone going forward. Many of us don’t even think twice about some of the Invitations we send out to the world.

We make Invitations:

  • consciously and subconsciously
  • with intention and sometimes by chance
  • to bring people closer and at times to polarise, and
  • in alignment with who we are and sometimes in an unhelpful way against our natural style and approach.

The Invitation is not only found in the mat you use to welcome new feet. It’s in your sense of self, your values, your sense of purpose, what drives you, in your business strategy, in the photographs you use to market yourself as an expert, in your positioning, your level of product/service and how your client travels through the buying experience with you. It’s in the way you speak and listen, in your body language and in the way you dress. You are constantly Inviting the world to engage in different ways with you.

Taking into account WHO you are, WHAT you stand for and HOW you want others to perceive you, ultimately sets the tone for your entire personal brand. An Invitation has its own psychological ecosystem that is experiential in nature. Some would call it the onboarding process for new clients or the call to actions that you use in your marketing. But, it’s so much more than that. It is in the way you answer a phone call from a client, and how you ask them questions, how you leave a relationship, and even how you wish someone a happy birthday.

The Invitation isn’t only found at the very start, as they walk over the mat into my studio. It’s at all stages of the journey that they experience with me.

Without clear Invitations, relationships and interactions can come across as missing something. When you are following a prescribed strategy that is not in alignment with who you are, you go against the natural style of you. Some people will focus so much on the “welcome mat” approach for how they bring clients into their business funnel, but they forget to prioritise other just as engaging Invitations throughout the whole customer experience. Clients can become confused, lose interest or even feel disconnected from you when you fail to emotionally motivate.

According to research by Scott Magids, Alan Zorfas, and Daniel Leemon, the TOP 10 “emotional motivators” that drive consumer behaviour are:

  1. To stand out from the crowd
  2. To have confidence in the future
  3. To enjoy a sense of well-being
  4. To feel a sense of freedom
  5. To feel a sense of thrill
  6. To feel a sense of belonging
  7. To protect the environment
  8. To be the person I want to be
  9. To feel secure
  10. To succeed in life

These are the perfect types of Invitations that you can intertwine within your brand identity, your business structure and your client experience.

Why not also get playful with other types of Invitations you can create for your brand and business, that are aligned with WHO you are, WHAT you stand for and HOW you want to be perceived by your customers.  Some examples below:

  • To ask questions
  • To step up and be bolder
  • To find out more about you
  • To build connection
  • To find deeper meaning
  • To explore
  • To be still and present
  • To change something
  • To make money
  • To share a common purpose
  • To make an impact
  • To polarise people
  • To inspire an uprising
  • To build community
  • To trust
  • To unravel who you really are
  • To be creative
  • To let go
  • To feel strong
  • To succeed
  • To disrupt

To bring more Invitational type emotional motivators into your business and life:

  • Be super clear on your own personal identity – your values, beliefs and purpose.
  • Establish your BIG picture blueprint for where you are headed and what impact you want to make in the world.
  • Less talking and more listening to what your clients are wanting.
  • Flesh out the ultimate customer experience, and how you can bring Invitations into each step.
  • Develop a bold message that you stand by, that has an Invitation flowing through it.

Approximately 20 years ago, I came across this poem below which 100% sums up who I am, what I stand for, and how my clients experience my work.

This Invitation written by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, is my Invitation to you!
To Unleash who you are from the Inside OUT!

The Invitation by Oriah

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.

I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool, for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon… I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty, even when it is not pretty, every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,

from the book The Invitation

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you will bring a more Invitational tone to your life and business!
Add your comments below!

I DARE you to Invite the world in differently!


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About Louise

Customised transformational adventures with corporate headshots, personal brand photography, coaching, team building, team photography and facilitated groups for Brisbane businesses, change agents, and emerging leaders.

Contact Louise

Phone: 0402 283 219