Yo. It’s crazy that most times who we are and who we want to be are two different people. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Recently, I did a group exercise where we were tasked to pick someone and share with them what we believe their brand is.
I picked Rebecca. Rebecca’s brand, from what I know, is quiet and reserved. She doesn’t speak unless asked to. She doesn’t engage unless she has to. Rebecca became outraged at the thought of me thinking she was quiet and reserved. But Rebecca, I said, you’re quiet, and you don’t say much in the times we’re together. Regardless of how you would like for me to see you, I continued, quiet and reserved is your brand.
If Rebecca wants to be known as someone who is outspoken, full of personality and full of great ideas, then she must put more of that on display. I cannot read her brain and determine that she has great ideas.
It turns out that things don’t just happen. They happen intentionally. How we act, what we say, how we present ourselves, should all be calculated. Make it look smooth and effortless, of course, but have a game plan. If you’re quiet and reserved, like Rebecca, but want to be known for your great ideas — it might be time to start speaking up.
The best book on building and maintaining your brand is Legendary Brands by Laurence Vincent. While writing my brand bible, I wrote down words like voice, inspiring, original, confident, leader, smooth, effortless. And in our group exercise, these showed up as some of the words people used to describe my brand.
I’d like to say that it just so happens people see me this way. But it’s no surprise, and it’s no accident. In fact, as crazy as it sounds, I already know how you see me because I decided I was going to be that person. Maybe you can begin to do the same.