This was an excerpt from a Personal Brand seminar I did a couple months ago. Hope you enjoy....
It just begins, the connecting of the dots somewhere, it's an awakening, a *pop* and suddenly your have the gift of attained perspective. Usually after a life changing moment, a big smack in the face, a reality check sent from some lightning bolt above, an epiphany. You'll feel a certain wisdom and urgency, like a gift, a peaceful easy feeling of "oh shit, that makes sense". You won't likely lose touch with this, not like a dream or a passing thought. The calling for you to begin your journey will smack you down like a bully someday. So look for it already!
I was explaining to a friend of mine and his daughter, how to grab the most meaningful starting point, the beginning of the story telling that, if certain handpicked references of her life are gathered and put in to an organized chronicle, sorted, packaged and displayed accordingly, they can become the fabric and/or platform of her personal brand. Oh, she doesn't have a product, a widget, a commodity or service....yet. She doesn't need one right now in my opinion. Neither does anyone when embarking on an overhaul or starting from scratch, like Sarah is. All that she has right now is a kick-A first impression, and a great referral via DNA from her father Mitch. She'll need more, however, a lot more distinction relative to others her age, others competing for jobs and/or optimal position in the world. This is the plight for those who are young and those needing to re-invent.
Everyone has a personal brand. At the fundamental level, personal branding is at the core, the hallmark importance for all of us (If we seek to excel at something). At the bare minimum, it is our acquired environmental system of characteristics. Those things that evolve and/or materialize simply out of our being placed in to the system: our phone messages, our cars, our clothes, our body language, our demeanor, our interests, our patterns our activities--they all say something about us. Combine that with our personal belief systems, our politics, our advocacy's, how we express ourselves, our individuality, our art likes, our music likes. These are all referencable and determinable platforms of our space, our distinctions, packaged up with a big label on them for all to see and judge, assess and relate. Our names are just formalities (unless crafted just so). It is what we do that matters, our contributions to the world, our passions, our dislikes for some things, our reputation, our sense of humor, our perspective on how the world works, all on a shelf for someone to find for what ever reason. Who gets chosen?
We compete for the attention of others each day with our personal brands. It's how we go about seeking relationships, personal and professional, emotional. Some of us doll up our containers quite nicely with expensive accessories, jewels, cars and material things that we carry around, flash dancing our way to the top with appearance enhancing device, keeping up with others who have cooler devices. We'll live in expensive houses, raise off spring that emulate our style, our continuum. A huge investment is made in the accessories. Often trinkets requiring large investment, over compensating material things that clog the senses of those observing. It's a shallow shrouding, a veiling, hiding that which can often lack substance. Material items of prestige, the keeping up with the others who acquire more symbols, more accessories, a standard of branding in its own category, materialism.
Now, I am not saying that everyone creates a false image of ones self. I am just saying that there is a whole lot of that going on. And without the resources to pull it off. This is dangerous. It is new money trying to keep up with old money. It is credit card maximization, society demand for that which appears to be the standard. Combine access to lending, like in the housing market prior the crash, and the truth eventually surfaces. Not a very interesting story. But Falling From Grace and the authenticity surrounding an event like that is a great starting point for those headed in a new direction. Stay with me...
So what I am saying is that the authentic story telling begins at a point of reference, and that, if you do not have a story to tell, you need to "internally" agree to a starting point and begin your journey--
Get your story on, mah brothers and sisters! it is really quite liberating.
And don't lie for God's sake--big rule. Lying about your achievements is worse than the materialism gig. Both of these fatal moves lack authenticity and require the familiar ball-and-chain explanations that creep in to your daily process, your soul, forever. Be humble, tell others of your humility if need be, your starting point. Profess, like when you got married, in front of a whole bunch of people that you are off on a new thing. (Regardless of whether it worked in marriage, yo). Remember, being on a journey is what matters. Professing, chronicling, telling your story will provide needed discipline. I didn't make this stuff up.
Yep, there are probably reasons within you for those old tall tail stories of yesteryear. There are reasons for whatever over compensations, all those efforts that produced yet another chapter titled: My list of personal lack of fulfillment's. Shed all that crap from high school, from failed attempts at success, from relationships that fit like a square peg in a round hole, from the job that you hated but stayed with, the career that doesn't fit. You are on your new journey, the past doesn't matter. Varoooommm!
Nope, the story telling begins when you start the journey, the start of kick-A things, that which is relevant to the energy within you, your moment of Ah Ha!--the pursuit of adventure the unveiling of the spirit of journey. When accomplishments and achievements materialize-those bucket list items important to living rather than existing--those "I did what I said I was going to do" things so authentic and so "turbo endorphin-ed" that you crave more moments just like them...we chronicle. Repeat as needed, by all means, pontificate!
We connect the dots along the way, we look back and reference that which got us there and craft out our story telling--the elements of our personal brand, our distinctions. Let the story unfold and embark on the power that got you to the crossroads, those pivot points, the connectors--a fork in the road leading to somewhere else with a new experience and even newer challenges. An authentic chapter in the life of someone special that references one of the themes in common literature: The Great Journey, the Capriciousness of Fate, The Nobel Sacrifice. Mold your destiny, behold your journey.
I suppose I could bore you with my story, but you likely already know some of it. This because I put it out there for all to see, the personal brand, the distinction, the image one gets when recollecting the space I take up, hand crafted, surgically placed for all to form opinion. I will continue to ramble on, into that which my sister rolls her eyes and my wife of 21 years who puts up with all this crap would surely lament: "Dude, a little less caffeine". They and any number of my friends who occasionally shake their heads in exhaustion from the spew of rhetoric, the ongoing out there pontifications of levitation. Let's just keep getting better shall we?
Enjoy the weekend...