May 11, 2012 2 Comments
This post is about YOU.
Did you know that you, me, and everyone else are all CEOs? Isn’t that exciting? Entrepreneurship EXPLOSION up in here!
Have you heard of a little concept called Personal Branding, and the company called “Me, Inc.”?
In a nutshell, each one of us is (perhaps unknowingly) our own brand.
YOU have a very distinct set of qualities that make you unique, and you need to know what those qualities are in order to manage your brand.
I will say that again, because I believe in the transformational power this statement has if you really take it to heart and internalize it:
You need to know what qualities you have that make you stand out, make you unique, and differentiate you from others.
These days, it’s not enough to be “good enough”, or even “very good” at what you do. Anyone can learn the basics of a job function and get the work done.
NOT everyone can do it the way you do it though. Not everyone can make that presentation sizzle with your artistic touches, not everyone can dig into technical details the way you can, not everyone can run a meeting as smoothly as you can, etc. etc.
Figure out what it is that makes you different, and WORK IT.
And no, it’s not enough to just know that “I’m good with numbers.” or, “I’m creative.” Get really, really, really specific, and then once you know what things make you stand out, make sure others know it as well.
There is so much power in specializing, and in being known for the very specific way in which you add value.
Read this from FastCompany.com. Here is an excerpt that I think is really helpful:
“Your next step is to cast aside all the usual descriptors that employees and workers depend on to locate themselves in the company structure. Forget your job title. Ask yourself: What do I do that adds remarkable, measurable, distinguished, distinctive value? Forget your job description. Ask yourself: What do I do that I am most proud of? Most of all, forget about the standard rungs of progression you’ve climbed in your career up to now. Burn that damnable “ladder” and ask yourself: What have I accomplished that I can unabashedly brag about? If you’re going to be a brand, you’ve got to become relentlessly focused on what you do that adds value, that you’re proud of, and most important, that you can shamelessly take credit for.
When you’ve done that, sit down and ask yourself one more question to define your brand: What do I want to be famous for? That’s right — famous for!”
The rest of the article has some great ideas on how to go through the exercise of figuring out what differentiates you and how to communicate that to the world. This should all give you PLENTY to work on this weekend, and come out of it with a strong sense of who you are, how you want to be perceived, and how you can be seen as indispensable by anyone who might have the privilege of receiving your work, your gifts.
Once you know what makes you special, and once you have honed your special skill enough that it is undeniable, you will have the freedom of being confident in your value. No longer will you need to hide behind what you think your employer or the workplace wants you to be, because your value is in who you actually are.
Allow this, as I have, to be the first step in the next phase of your personal growth. If nothing else, you will gain a clear vision of who you are today, and perhaps the things you want to work on to become the version of you that you want to be tomorrow.
Hopefully, though, you will gain much more than that, and will be able to tap into your power to own your success.