Bear Grylls describes Ky as “one of life’s fighters and survivors”. Read on to find out about the fight of her life. And, how I approached her personal tagline.
I’ve been known to do some risky activities in my life. In fact, just last week I took an extreme nap. It lasted nearly three hours, and I think I even punched myself
mid-snore … but I napped on.
I was feeling pretty pumped about my punishing past time, till I read Ky Furneax’s bio.
Ky’s new life started with a bang
To understand the heights of Ky’s success, you need to first understand the depths of her challenges.
Ky broke her back in a car crash at the tender age of 19. One day she was an active, outdoorsy, sporty gal; and the next day she was lying flat and still.
She stayed that way for many months, with doctors telling her she’d have limited mobility for the rest of her life.
What most people would hear as a crushing prognosis, Ky simply heard as a challenge. No sport? I don’t think so. The end of outdoor activities? We’ll see.
To assist with recovery, six months into her gruelling rehabilitation a friend took Ky rock climbing.
She was hooked.
(Yes pun lovers, she thought it rocked.)
From debilitation to discovery
Eventually Ky became an outdoor team leader for an adventure company, spending her days climbing, rappelling, sailing, kayaking, canoeing and hiking. That was just the start though. Before long, the tenacious woman who dodged death and dismissed her diagnosis decided to become a stunt person. As you do!
Ky found a fighting instructor in Vancouver and proceeded to train almost seven days a week for five years.
The hard work paid off. She landed high profile roles in movies such as X-Men 3, Hancock, Elektra, Agents of Shield and The Avengers; and she doubled for Hollywood stars such as Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Sharon Stone & Ellen Degeneres.
She was also the stunt double for Jamie Alexander in Thor. This role landed her a Taurus award (equivalent to an Oscar) for Best Female Stunt Performer. Oh and by the way, she’s currently doubling for Jamie Alexander again, this time in the popular NBC series, Blindspot.
Check out Ky in action, below. Warning, after watching this video you may need to lean against a wall and chug down an energy drink.
More than just movies
Here’s a summary of other cool things Ky’s done:
- She co-hosted and produced Hike for Survival, a 100 mile trek across the Sierra Nevadas. She took no food or water, just lived off the land using a pocket knife.
- She featured in The World Out There and MTV’s Made, where she coached a teenager who wanted to learn outdoor survival skills.
- Ky has also been on the Discovery Channel’s hit show Naked and Afraid, where she and a fellow adventurist were placed in an alligator-infested swamp area for 21 days with no food or water. Oh, and as you probably worked out, she was naked. In freezing temperatures. Without Ugg boots.
- In March 2014, Ky’s first book, Girl’s Own Survival Guide was published by Penguin Australia. The US titled, The Superwoman’s Survival Guide was released in April 2014.
What Ky’s up to now
Amidst everything else, Ky is now channelling all her life experiences into motivating and empowering others. She’s popular on the speaker circuit and would like to grow this side of her brand. As a result, she wisely pursued a personal tagline.
Taglines can take time
A lot of people think a tagline or slogan is instantly plucked from the air based on a pun or a whimsical idea. Maybe this is how some people do it, but for me it’s much deeper. I send a questionnaire to my clients, and I use their answers to develop tailored tagline concepts specific to the message they want to deliver. If I don’t have enough information I keep researching, I keep digging, and I keep asking questions.
The nuts and bolts of Ky’s tagline – the descriptor
With Ky’s tagline, the first step was creating what I refer to as the descriptor. The descriptor states who she is and what she does. It basically provides some necessary, foundational information in order to ensure that the creative component of the tagline will make sense and shine.
Ky has her nimble fingers in lots of pies, so the challenge was trying to include most of her titles in the descriptor without it being too long. As you can see below, all the titles in the descriptor are necessary because they’re all intrinsically linked to her personal brand. Naturally, if she dabbled in ferret breeding or lettuce sculpting, we’d exclude those things.
Ky Furneaux. Hollywood stunt woman. Survival Expert. TV Host. Author. Speaker.
Creative component of Ky’s tagline
The next part of the tagline is the creative component. Here, we capture the essence of Ky’s main message in a creative and memorable way.
Ky outlined a number of messages she wanted to convey. One of them was the importance of ignoring the limitations others place on us, as well as the limitations we place on ourselves. Once we do this, we enjoy a rich, fulfilling life.
Playing around with tagline concepts
I submitted a range of tagline concepts to Ky, and while she liked a few of them, she was particularly partial to: Love your life. Lose your limits.
I was delighted Ky liked this concept because it was one of my favs too. However, she wanted a more powerful word than ‘love’, suggesting ‘choose’ instead.
What a great idea. The word ‘choose’ not only strengthened the tagline, but it rhymed with ‘lose’, which made the tagline even more memorable. Nice one, Ky! (That’s the perfect example of how the revision process works, and how creative collaboration leads to powerful taglines.)
So that’s the story behind Ky Ferneaux’s groovy new tagline. If you are an industry expert, book author, blog writer, Thought Leader, speaker or business owner, consider having a personal tagline to help boost your brand. It’s one line that tells many stories.