Should is not your friend

“Should” is a bad word. She is not your friend.

by Rachel on May 30, 2013

I have been stuck on something so ridiculous. My tagline. Supremely STUCK. It has me in a mental cul-de-sac of insecurity and being unsure.

What is a tagline?

From wikipedia: A tagline (better known as tag line) is a variant of a branding slogan typically used in marketing materials and advertising. The idea behind the concept is to create a memorable phrase that will sum up the tone and premise of a brand or product (like a film), or to reinforce the audience’s memory of a product. Some taglines are successful enough to warrant inclusion in popular culture.


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The X-file’s tagline is “The truth is out there”

The X-file’s tagline is “The truth is out there”

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Nike’s Tagline: Just Do It

Nike’s tagline is “Just do it”.

The taglines that I come up with are either too epic – I don’t think I can fill it’s shoes (these are just too embarrasing to give you an example) OR they are boring and I realize that I don’t want to do the thing they are talking about (example: marketing that works for you).

Here is where I enter my mental cul-de-sac of circular thinking. Tonight I finally found the exit.

My circular thought process.

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Mental Cul-de-sac

1. DUH! This is just procrastinating. I put myself in my consulting hat and talked to myself as I would talk to a client. Branding evolves. The important thing is to just START. And that my tagline isn’t that important.

2. The “great tagline confusion” points to a bigger problem – the wishy-washiness about what I want to write about.

The truth is that there isn’t a wishy-washiness about what I WANT to write about. But when what I get focused on what I ‘should’ do – it causes confusion.

More on that in a minute.

3. I don’t want to be just a marketing consultant.

4. I want to write about my life in a way that helps people create the life and business of their dreams.

5. Anytime I sit down to write about a ‘business lesson’, it is dry and no fun at all. I keep writing them because I think I should. I don’t publish any of them because they are awful. But I  should write about business. 

It is what I know.

But I didn’t like when teachers said ‘Write what you know’ when I was in school. It seemed like terrible, boring advice.

This is what is true: The shoulds in your life hold you back from what you really want to do. Who you want to be.

Bonus truth: A tagline isn’t a lifetime commitment.


That is the exit point of the mental cul-de-sac.

Eliminate the ‘shoulds’ and focus on what is left. What you really want to do.

Should stops you from pursuing a law degree when you are a bookkeeper. Should keeps you writing technical mumbo jumbo when you really want to write a novel. Should keeps you being an art critic instead of painting your own masterpiece.

Should keeps you writing about business when you want to look at life more holistically.

Should is what you don’t want to do. And what you have no intention of doing.

Should is not your friend.

Should is the snobby girl that you wanted to be your friend in the 3rd grade. But she wasn’t ever a good friend. And when you are trying to get her to like you, you sacrifice what is really important. The magnificent uniqueness that is you.

Let go of should.

Stop using the word.

I dare you.

Then you can say/admit/realize what you really want. And more importantly: go after it.

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PinExt Should is a bad word. She is not your friend.

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