Leveraging your uniqueness and developing your personal brand.
When hired to help a new company design their visual identity, I often find myself helping my clients develop the over all and long term vision, and I love it! Along with graphic and interior design, I also offer creative consulting in the areas of visual identity, social media, marketing and events to establish and build brands. This is the first on a series I will be writing about branding. And, to kick it off, I am beginning with what I consider to be the most important place to start – YOURSELF!
One beautiful thing about life is that we get to create our reality, just by choosing what we want – and what we want to be. It’s always easier said then done, but we know, if we make the right choices and put in enough effort, the sky is the limit when it comes to success in life.
I found this TEDx talk on personal branding that was really inspiring. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSobxLJRHTY featuring Anand Pillai. Below is what I learned, with my spin on it. I highly recommend watching the video as well as reading this (and maybe making a few notes / goals) since I am just high lighting the main ideas and leaving out some of his amazing stories.
I have always considered myself unique. I know I’m different and I love it. Fortunately, I have developed more then enough confidence, potential and charisma to convince and show my self and others that I am 100 percent capable to achieve anything I put my mind to, even if I may lack some experience. The good news is, you too were born just as I was….but sometime people fail to realize that they too can be truly amazing if they work on themselves.
“Do you recognize how unique you are?” – Anand Pillai
Do you? Have you ever stopped to reflect on the fact that your individualized identity was a 1 in 4 billion chance? There has never been a you before, and there will never be a you again. Do you know how freaking special you are!?
But, what are you doing to leverage it? Who are you, and what do you stand for? What do you want people to remember you as?
How do you leverage your uniqueness and develop your personal brand?
Your personal brand is a blend of your gifts, purpose, strengths and passion. Define these and reflect on them. Think about how you could develop them further. Find your core identity. This leads to reinventing yourself.
To reinvent yourself, you must move into the courage zone. This means trying new things and finding new ways.
Next, Believe in yourself. This could be a whole notha’ post so I won’t get to deep into it, but you have to believe in your self. If you don’t, no one else will. You have to say in your head and outloud, I CAN and I WILL and I AM. Even if it’s not true yet, our brains are programmable, and what you believe and program to be true eventually becomes reality. Think good things, motivate yourself, compliment yourself, love yourself.
OK, so there is work to be done, no doubt. It’s never ending really. How do you know if it’s happening? Anand provided these 5 signs that show you are in the process of discovering yourself.
Yearning – What are you yearning for, what is your unspoken desire? That is an indication of who you truly are. When you feel a yearning sensation to accomplish things you are in the zone.
Rapid Learning – when your brain gets wired to accept and understand all new info quickly.
Flow – Stated or unstated agenda, the steps you need to take to make progress come to you and everything starts falling into place. You may not be totally ready, but oh boy, it’s happening.
Glimpse of Excellence – Those moments when you realize that you just got a whole bunch of stuff done, with finesse. Wow, was that me? No…that’s the newer, better, more inspired you breaking through.
Signs of Satisfaction – You are working hard, but your enjoying the process and feeling satisfied when you recognize a job well done or note the progress you made.
Lastly, you must Reinvent – You must never stay the same and always be making progress. Anand says you should reinvent yourself every 18-36 months. 60% of your daily activity should be in your comfort zone, while 40% should be spent in the courage zone.
Personal branding is not only important in business, but in everyday life. To always become more may seem like a chore for some, but I hope this post stimulates and motivates you to work a little harder on yourself. Skip a few hours of TV or the bar and work on defining your vision of who you want to be, and how you want to go down in history!