So, you work for a brand/”mothership”…meaning you get a regular paycheck and a W-2 at the end of the year. Or perhaps you are the “boss” of the mothership. From your company work space (office, cubicle), you are on fire to make a difference, and bring some impact to the work you do, regardless of how big that mothership is. Thing is, it’s not always possible to make the difference you envision. Sometimes, depending on the situation/structure, you’re not exactly in control of how the vision comes to fruition.
Or, perhaps you are transitioning from one independent gig to another, and wondering what/who you want to be, do, have when you “grow up” (please don’t ever grow up, though).
Perhaps you have an idea for a business you are ready to start…or at least gathering up the resources you’ll need (please, create a business plan, would ya?).
While working for someone else, or doing “other things”, you become myopic in terms of who you are for yourself and the world. Perhaps you are so “busy” promoting and pushing a company/brand message that you forget your role and purpose in our world. Remember, business IS personal.
I remembered, after-the fact, that while I toiled away for the better part of two years on the marketing team of a Silicon Valley internet startup, I could have been building my personal brand at the same time. I got so immersed in “corporate life” that I passed up opportunities to build my own brand.
One small example is that I didn’t join Twitter using my own handle, @peopleFW, until December, 2011, after I left that startup. Bummer for me, but hey, it’s spilt milk. I’m there now, and I love my ‘tweeple’. And, I learned what I now coach my clients, since I started my People Forward Agency… Brand YOU.
So, here’s a reminder, no matter what you are, or do right now, if you are not already reaching out, growing relationships on and off line, centered around your own passions, experience, knowledge and learning-bases, start today. Jobs/gigs will come and go. YOU are here to stay!
If you like to write, start a blog. If you don’t have a blog, at least publish on LinkedIn Pulse like my friend Dr. Jason Richardson does, and be sure you are paying attention to the people behind the handles on Twitter and in your daily life, on and off line.
YOU are your brand
One of my greatest joys is to meet people I’ve met online, OFF line. I make every opportunity I can to forge relationships away from my screen, and it pays off in smiling faces and forever friendships. Every.single.time.
One such experience was in 2014, when I had the immense good fortune to meet my online friends The Internet Chef, Bridget Foliaki-Davis, and Mahei Foliaki, in Sydney, Australia, where they picked up Corey (my husband) and I from the airport, took us home to meet their beautiful family, and put on the most amazing Sunday brunch we’ve ever been treated to. They didn’t even know us…sight unseen, they treated us like family. Royal family!!
And on our next trip, we have plans to reunite with them, as well as meet some other Sydney friends when we pass through on our way to our place in New Zealand.
So, take heart; brand YOU. In other words, share your heart, your point of view, and start, if you haven’t already, being a bit more “public” about who you are, what you are up to, and how you show up in our world. It’s your choice, and a delicate balance about how much to share online. However, I can tell you that once you figure out your identity as a “brand”, and what you bring to our world, you’ll get in a groove and establish a solid reputation that you are in control of.
Let me know if you take any new steps and how it goes. I’d love to hear about your progress, here in the comments.