Differences matter. There is only one YOU!

Underutilized Personal Branding Approaches

Let’s start by getting real. I’m not going to discuss traditional approaches to personal branding, which are tried and true … and boring. You are probably doing all that. I want to talk about you: the usable, juicy stuff that’s downplayed across one’s life.

Being different takes guts and feels uncomfortable – at first. Yet honoring existing (and continually developing) passions, interests and skills creates a one-of-a-kind package.

Sea of Sameness, a True Story

An early thirty-something woman tried to fit in for the first ten years of her career. Selling her first company at 21, she continued to work magic through active involvement in mergers, acquisitions and business development for new assets, and was responsible for over 20 percent of revenues. After years of circular interaction involving peers and clients, never-ending travel and even the process of building new ways to view products…she began to want to join a different team and gain more experience within her industry.

With a strong network; connections to the right individuals; mentors; an updated resume; powerful cover letters; and relevant current industry news in hand, she started searching. But the work she did, the people she knew and the results she could talk about didn’t truly open doors. She followed advice (of the time) and took care doing everything to maximize success in securing a new, more challenging role.

Turns out her connections, a network of real live human beings – the ones whom she helped by devoting time and energy – were looking for the same things. She became part of an ever-growing pool of like-minded people with whom support was reciprocated…yet they became her competition in regards to finding a position. This woman unknowingly let go of what made her different and subscribed to becoming the norm, even in the spirit of serving others. She found herself in a sea of sameness.

Ten years ago, that was me. What was the catalyst? A slow fuse, started over discussion about a particularly innovative idea that would deepen the connection between businesses and clients. The energy and excitement fell flat: they were comfortable.