When you go shopping at a grocery store, we have our brand name products that are bright, flashy and eye catching that screams to you…”BUY ME!”. As we walk along, mixed in are those generic, plain and uninteresting labels that suggest: “I am a decent substitute”. You have to ask yourself which one are you? Brands don’t sell themselves…years of recognition and solid reputation is what sells them.
I don’t want you to be that loud and overbearing brand that just over powers. At the same time, I don’t want you to be that meek and uninteresting thing. I want you to be classy and attractive in a subtle way. I want people to see you for the person you are and know that your reputation is quality. One way to do that is to live your brand. What I mean by this is have you ever thought of capturing a quote that speaks volumes about who you are?
Years ago, I embedded a quote that is synonymous with me. It is: “Everyone’s life is an autobiography…make yours worth reading!” This quote spoke volumes to me because I was at a point in my life where I was generic and just doing…but doing what? The realization was that I am (actually we all are) building an autobiography; however, mine was not that interesting. It became a challenge for me, in a positive way, to live each day and to think of how I am creating that interesting autobiography. For me, this quote is not just a collection of words that sound good. They are living and breathing words. You will find it at the end of my email, in my website, included in my book and in conversation. Over the last 22 consecutive graduation ceremonies, I think I have counted 10 separate times that it has been incorporated into the valedictorian speech. This quote is me. I get stopped by people after many years and they still remember the words and it rings a sweet sound to my ears.
Also, there is a more recent quote that I have embraced which is: “Discover the Extraordinary in the Ordinary” This is a daily reminder to me that we live in the ordinary if we choose to see it as ordinary but if we just look at things from a different perspective, they can be quite extraordinary. For example, a simple jigsaw puzzle piece can be a gripping metaphor for connectedness. It emerged out of my TEDxSFU talk in 2011 and blends nicely with my signature quote.
So how about you? Find a quote and one that is not just ‘a good one’ but rather one that you can incorporate into your life and live. Put it at the end of your email and if you have a personal business card, have it prominent so it sparks a conversation. Something that becomes attached to you and it is you and you are it. A brand takes years of hard work to build and this has to be reflective of your being. Your brand is your reputation…what does it say about you? Take your brand-width and make it your bandwidth!
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