For me, memes are life. I use them to share stories, show empathy and support, market business, and make connections with others. I’ve been making memes for my own business and for my clients for a couple years now.

The reason I use memes is simple: Posts with photos get more engagement. In fact, Facebook posts with photos get 2.3 times more engagement, and tweets with images are retweeted 150% more. LinkedIn posts with photos get 200% more engagement than text-only posts, while 98% of LinkedIn posts with images earn more comments than text-only posts.

Also, memes offer a tangible way for parts of your story to be shared easily and effectively on social media. In other words, they are an excellent marketing tool.

However, recently, memes provided a more significant context for me than marketing, and I want to share what I learned.

I’m grateful to be the meme provider for Hilary and Sick Biz. Hilary recently shared this newly created meme in the Sick Biz closed Facebook group.

Upon reviewing the meme, group member and Admin, Galena Jenkins replied with this comment, “Ugh I so wish there was a better word for this. ‘Differently-abled.’ ‘Dis-ability.’ They are all so awful. Why can’t it be called something like creative and tenacious and resourceful?“

Group member, Andy Schulkind replied, “Gifted?”

Then, Group member Armando Cruz replied with the following comment and video response.
“This came to mind when I saw this post. I hope it serves you.”

In the video, Armando presented a general perception of limitations with a negative view; as one of lack, and something that holds those with limitations back. When reviewing the definition, he noted synonyms for limitations as “restrictions, restraints and curbs, control, or check.” Even bigger than relating to the synonyms, Armando asserted limitations when considered as boundaries can create, “A clear path to do something. Very often what may seem as a disadvantage…can really shift the paradigm of the way things are done.”

There were two specific examples that stood out to me in Armando’s video.

First, he talked about a restaurant and having too many options available leading to a point of “not moving forward.” Good marketers know limiting customer options leads to more sales, less confusion, and reduces the chance customers will be overwhelmed and abandon pursuit of services. Overwhelm is significant, and clearly impacts those with chronic illness.

As an example, I was recently frustrated with my meme program because I had 45 font options, yet I only use the same four to eight fonts consistently. I considered how much more efficient I would be at making memes if I eliminated the font options that don’t serve me.

When speaking of options that don’t serve us, the magnitude of this comment goes well beyond font choices. In our lives, when we eliminate projects, people, clients, and tasks that don’t benefit us, we can invite better to arrive and replace the things we eliminated.

He also indicated a good percentage of “Creators” in entrepreneurship experience some form of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) who limited their worldview and business practices to account for the “limitations” of the disorder.

In addition, he likened such actions as effectively using boundaries and stated limitations can be interpreted as, “An opportunity for boundaries and one less thing to worry about.” He continued by noting Creators with ADD are making massive shifts in the market because they’ve had to look at the world differently and have “hacks” or “workarounds” and skill sets to serve them and help them “break apart from the norm.” And truly, as entrepreneurs, breaking apart from the norm is an excellent way to differentiate yourself as a business owner.

More important than the examples that brought this discussion to life, I appreciated the way Armando helped the group “Reframe (a word with a negative connotation) in a way that can be of service.”

Truly, this is a choice we all have. Also, coming from a place of service is a much more beneficial place to operate from (for everyone involved).

Here are 10 more things I want to point out regarding the words we use and how we choose to frame them:

  1. The words we use matter.
  2. The way we use words, matters.
  3. The definitions we assign to words, matter.
  4. It’s important to recognize that we each assign different meanings to words based on our own filters.
  5. Checking for understanding with others when using specific words can lead to an enlightened conversation.
  6. The very same word can be used in a negative or positive light.
  7. We get to choose how we allow a word to impact us and whether that impact is one of service or not.
  8. Having frank and open conversations with others can shift perspectives.
  9. Being open to alternative definitions for words can change the way you perceive the world.
  10. Memes are great conversation starters.

If this conversation provided perspective for the way words show up in your life, check out the Sick Biz closed group to participate in these discussions and subscribe to the Sick Biz Podcast, Sick Biz Buzz.

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