Could you imagine that a quote from Albert Einstein, long before social media, could actually be referring to branding yourself by recreating your story intentionally all these years later? How could climbing a mountain, either in real life and/or metaphorically speaking, be a key to successfully branding yourself?
Branding yourself is simply finding ways for people to connect with you. Connecting lies in your story: being vulnerable, memorable, relatable and believable – note I did not say being the best.
This blog will share how by recreating your story intentionally you can remove the biggest block to successfully branding yourself. Just as a salesperson needs to believe in their product/service, you need to be passionate about your story – all of it.
Consider the phrase: “Mind Open.” We often hear about the importance of our mind set; I propose we give it another name, “mind open.” The more I read and observe the more I believe that ideas and beliefs are not really new, they are simply presented to us in new ways. Concepts of thinking are simply packaged for us to receive them in the way that made sense to the “presenter”; then we repackage them when we internalize what they mean to us. You become the “presenter” when branding yourself; focus on connecting with the magnificence of your story and how you got up the mountain.
#1 Branding yourself and recreating your story intentionally with a mind open They say “when the student is ready the teacher will appear”; decide to benefit from new “packaging of your thoughts.” Think about some of the diverse events that have occurred in your journey and the way you described them then, and later, and now. Sometimes we forget how absolutely amazing we were/are and other times we hold on to something that we could benefit greatly from letting go. How do you allow these experiences to define your life and in turn impact branding yourself? Have your ideas about them changed at all? Have you found ways to value everything with an invincible optimism? This energy will impact people when branding yourself.
I would like to share a story about what could be deemed to be the forerunner of “branding yourself”, the elevator speech. Sometime ago when I was guiding a discussion about the best answers to the interview question, “tell me about yourself,” a lady in the group raised her hand and volunteered, “I have a memory of a performance appraisal from over 5 years ago that I think of every time I am asked that question.” She then proceeded to share what the employer had said to her, all very critical and judgmental. I remarked that she had an amazing recall of what was said. She replied, to my horror, “Of course I do, I carry it with me;” then she pulled it from her briefcase. I say “horror” because for me that took holding on to something negative from one person, in one’s whole world of experiences, to a whole new level. I asked her what it would take to tear up that performance appraisal. It was clear this was probably not an option. I then asked if we could agree that she would leave it with me overnight and consider tearing it up tomorrow or later that week. She agreed.
The next day we met privately in my office and I asked her if she could imagine the benefit of destroying this one and only poor performance appraisal she ever received in her life. “Not yet”, she replied. A few days later we met again, privately. This time she pulled another copy of the same performance appraisal from her briefcase, confessed that initially, she could not give me her only copy, and now she was ready to rip up both copies. I watched and I thought, wow, a human shredder, as she tore them into small bits of paper. I knew I was witnessing the power of “letting go” in action.
What could this story possibly have to do with branding yourself by recreating your story intentionally? Branding yourself is an art and you hold the “brush” in painting the masterpiece of who you are. How can you pick the attributes, pictures and stories that brand all of who you are if you allow anything to hold a place in your mind that might diminish your greatness? How can you imagine for your future, and help others to do the same, unlimited possibilities not yet achieved? Branding yourself includes all of your potential and that comes from within, from your belief. There is no room for doubt or holding on to what I call the blips of negativity that cross our path.
As a career coach I came up with a phrase for people’s cover letters: “everything in my life has prepared me to be an ideal candidate for this position.” This became very empowering because we talked about how even the job experiences that didn’t go well and perhaps even those that ended by one being fired were learning experiences. We let go of thinking “if it’s not a perfect match it won’t work.” Imagine if you could create the image of you as the “ideal choice” for all who see it.
It is the same with how we view our life. Can we value it all? Can we learn from it all? Can we build our brand on it all?
Recently I saw a heading: Should you break up with your old self? This came from the book Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza. When I read the book I became both fascinated and thrilled that science and the spiritual world could collaborate, rewire the brain, reach our deepest limiting beliefs and open up a whole new world – a chance to find the wonderful nuggets in it all branding yourself with a powerful gratitude that can make one unstoppable. This takes work and commitment to achieve but it can be done.
#2 Branding yourself and recreating your story intentionally with the gift unique to humans – We humans have a gift that transcends all other forms of life. If we master the way we think we can harness the power of this gift and turn virtually anything into a force of energy, not an anchor of defeat!
A failed marriage 30 years later, a betrayal of business partners that resulted in massive debt and losing a million dollars, an error of judgment we can never take back and so many more life events that are common place. On the flip side, what about the exciting times when we excelled, surprised and delighted the world with our unique self! Anybody, at any moment, can choose to recreate one’s story intentionally and thereby label each event as a stepping stone to what made you unique, enlightened, more compassionate, grateful, determined and so many other things that only come with time; as Albert Einstein so eloquently put it, they become: “a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles on our adventurous way up.”
#3 Branding yourself by recreating your story intentionally and asking questions: What if this is my finest hour? How can I find the wisdom in failure? Recently I read something the poet John Keats wrote in a letter, “Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an Intelligence and make it a soul?” I am not a proponent that suffering is a good thing but I do believe it can be a great teacher, if we allow it. Losing and winning are both part of the journey of life; it is by embracing that little-known fact and surrendering to the process that we can find our power and rewrite our story and bring value to every chapter. Branding yourself with irresistible appeal and powerful relatability is possible now because you “own it”; you have removed the biggest block to branding yourself and you see the results of the lessons. Being passionate about your story is inevitable.
#4 Branding yourself by recreating your story intentionally is “like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views,” (of yourself) and finding the platform in today’s amazing world of technology and social media to express your value. Branding yourself is a process whereby you “school an intelligence” and make it a “one of a kind” that has immeasurable value and relatability. Your uniqueness is learned and earned so each chapter has a “winning” component to it. Over time we come to know that failure is not final and success is not permanent. Be intentional today, don’t wait. Climb your mountain, gain new and wider views, discover unexpected connections between your starting points and now; feel a gratitude and inner peace with it all.
Have you rewritten a chapter in your life recently? Share how this empowered you to move forward to greater heights. Send me your successes for it is in sharing that we empower each other!