5 min read

How to speak in "aha"

BCC Newsletter | Issue 099
How to speak in "aha"
Photo by Riccardo Annandale / Unsplash

This week I had a conversation with a few people around an idea I shared in a recent workshop:

"Learn to speak in AHA moments..."

The context was a workshop on growing your business through podcasts, and it was a principle I shared around being a good guest.

My favorite podcasts are the ones where I have to pause a few minutes in and hit play only when I've reached my desk and have an open note ready to capture all of the ideas and principles the guest is sharing.

So today I want to share:

  • what is an "aha moment"
  • where do you find them
  • how to use them in your content
"As a rule, we humans don’t care much about spectacle - what we care about is ecstatic understanding: in other words, cognitive ecstasy, that can be defined as electrifying cerebration of extreme psychical pleasure when we master a skill or learn something new, feeding our imagination. This ‘cogno-ecstasis’ can give us goosebumps of intellectual rapture of 'aha moment,' or puts us in motivational overdrive, otherwise known as the ‘flow state."
~ Alex M. Vikoulov

(Special thanks to Goodreads for that amazing quote!)

What is an AHA moment?

The simplest way I can define it is a moment of clarity. Whether you're discovering it yourself or hearing/learning it from another person, you know you've had an AHA moment when something becomes more clear than it's ever been.

A recent example for me occurred in the shower. I had just wrapped a grueling two weeks of presenting the 10k Challenge at the beginning of January, and now on the other end of it I was thinking about how to make it better, how to simplify it.

"It would be really helpful to have all this information put into a framework", I thought.

Then, like a bolt of lightning, it hit me.

I'm a film producer. I work in the movies. What if my framework was the MOVIE framework?

M could be Mindset, O could be Outcomes...

I rushed out of the shower, wrapped a towel around me, and ran to my desk still dripping.

I added Visibility, then Implementing systems, then finally Expanding impact.

I had it! An AHA moment! All of the content I had been writing and sharing from this newsletter to my blog, my book, my podcast, and my event perfectly fit somewhere in this framework.

I started sharing it online and things just started clicking into place.

Content became easier. Pitching became clearer and more effective. The business grew.

All from that simple moment of clarity.

How to find and create AHA moments

So, how do you do it? How do you find and create your own AHA moments?

(I don't know why I keep capitalizing AHA. It's not an acronym. Sorry to all the grammar monitors out there!)

These moments are everywhere if you seek them out.

Part of it is being in the right mindset to receive one.

If you're listening to a podcast while running you're not in a great place to receive an aha moment. It certainly could happen - I get them on my walks often - but if I don't instantly pull out my phone and capture the idea, it just as quickly dissipates into the ether.

Sitting down with a notebook when you watch a workshop or attend a keynote or listen to a podcast puts you in the mindset of wanting to learn and grow. The aha moments tend to come more frequently - as long as you're listening to a good source - when you're ready to capture them.

Creating them yourself has a similar approach. It's about asking yourself better questions.

Your brain will give you whatever you ask for. So if you constantly ask yourself, "why isn't this working?" your brain may give you unhelpful answers like:

  • you're not good enough
  • no one cares about you
  • you don't have the right credentials or experience
  • you don't have the connections

Those quickly turn into limiting beliefs if you repeat them often enough. Beliefs that guide the way you approach your work, the way you interact with others, the potential you see yourself having in your industry with your business.


Instead, ask your brain better questions.

"What is the one thing that I could do today to get the outcomes that I care about?"

"Who already has the audience I'm trying to serve with my business?"

"How could I be more resourceful?"

"What if this were simpler?"

"What matters most right now?"

Asking these questions leads your brain to greener pastures. You get better answers, and, every so often, mixed in with those answers is the clarity of the aha moment.

That's when you run to capture the idea so that you can chew on it, play with it, experiment on it, and form it into something that youcan now share with the world around you.

How to use them in your content

Aha moments very nicely become principles, values, maxims, and frameworks. These are the building blocks of a content business that consistenly shares valuable information with an audience.

(And, after you share that information, you offer to help with implementation, for a price. That's the foundation your business is built upon.)

My MOVIE framework moment has now turned into an email series, a podcast audio series, a 90-minute workshop, and likely will be the core of my next book.

When you discover an aha moment that someone else shares, it's important (read: essential) that you credit the person who shared it with you.

I learned "success is 80% mindset" from Tony Robbins. "Call the destination and ask for directions" comes from Derek Sivers. The "craftsman mindset" comes from Cal Newport. One that I got yesterday comes from a man named M. Russell Ballard - "what matters most is what lasts longest". He was talking about spirituality, and listed out things like your relationship with God and Jesus Christ, your family relationships, following the promptings of the spirit, and loving others. But could you apply the same principle to, say, your content? Your products and services? The values you hold in your business?

I think so.

Take your aha moments, go back to them, turn them into one-sentence principles or sayings, then share them freely and often. Post them on social media. Explain them in your long-form content. Then sell the framework that you've created that stems from years of your unique capturing of aha moments throughout your life.

This way, together they become uniquely yours. You then own the idea - purple cow, daring greatly, hell yeah or no, personal power, the obstacle is the way. All of these began as aha moments in the lives of the people we love to learn from, and associate with those ideas.

A few other tips, that I shared with @JensLennartsson over on Twitter:

  • lead with the main idea/aha, then support it with stories and evidence (in blogs or podcasts)
  • know where you are leading people. The aha is more powerful when there's a payoff at the end
  • everyone should create a framework for their business

Did you get an aha moment from this week's newsletter? Hit reply and let me know!