Simply Said
Simply Said
Simply Said is the essential handbook for business communication.

Uniquely You

06-14-2017

But, recently, while flying to Dallas on business, the cover of the airline magazine caught my eye. A bright-eyed photo of James Corden – the guy who sings karaoke in cars with celebrities on TV at like 1:00 in the morning – peeked out over the edge of the little leather flap that holds the magazines and airplane safety cards in place. Typically not one to pick up the in-flight magazine, I couldn’t resist that picture and quickly found the article.

Instantly I was sucked in. Knowing nothing other than his face and his reputation, James has already built an attractive brand that makes a tired traveler like me respond to the article. There’s something about him that is unique and special, and I wanted to know more.

Here’s what found that I like best about James: his positivity, his energy, his humanity. Reading this article, I connected with his love for life and abundance of joy. I couldn’t wait for the plane to land so I could spend the next hour searching YouTube for reruns of Carpool Karaoke.

Who am I?

As I read the article, I began to consider my own personal brand. Early in life, my mother noticed I woke up each day with “a certain joie de vivre” she’d say and labeled me an optimist. She always encouraged me to harness that energy, and quickly that became my purpose. I liked the way it felt when I could make other people smile. And that positivity served me well throughout my life.

Any time I faced difficult moments – and believe me there were many – I always reverted to that feeling that every sunrise is a new opportunity. And I’ve noticed that other people take notice. My friends, family, and colleagues define me as positive, energetic, optimistic, and outgoing. I’ve spent years building this brand, partly by accident, yet also with a goal to infuse myself and the people around me with positivity. I’m fortunate enough to have found a career that allows me to use my personal brand to bring out the best in others every day.

Last month, one of my favorite young clients called me in tears. Frustrated that she felt invisible, unable to connect closely with her peers or colleagues, she was consistently passed over for projects and promotions. She expressed a desire to reinvent herself, feeling that her personal brand wasn’t what she wanted it to be. The words she used to describe herself were mostly negative and self-deprecating, and unsurprisingly, that was how she was being perceived by her peers.

“Who do you want to be?”, I asked her, and then encouraged her to write down three adjectives that describe the character, personality, and brand of her best attributes. Once we had a basic definition of who she aspired to be and how she wanted others to see her, it was much easier to find ways to show these characteristics to her peers and colleagues. She embraced these more positive attributes and directed her actions toward showing them.

As I passed along James’ article to my client, I highlighted the quote that really stood out. “Everything behind you is gone, everything in front of you is unknown. So, if you can try to just be the best version of yourself at all times…if you’re just trying your best the moment that you’re in, your life will be utter fulfillment.”

It took time, but she was soon moving into roles and finding opportunities where people were giving her a chance to shine, leveraging her unique strengths and abilities. Each new encounter gave her the opportunity to direct her personal brand into the things she wanted most, and to connect with the people who could get her there.

Who are you?

Each of us has the power to build our brand and direct our outcome. It starts with knowing yourself and aligning the reality of who you are while guiding the perception of what others see. Your definition is unique to you, built on the attributes you were born with, those you learned and developed as you grew, and even ones you admire in others.

Be Uniquely You. Shifting other’s perception of you takes time. Building a brand doesn’t happen overnight. But, it starts with some simple steps:

  • Define your unique talents, attributes, and character
  • Learn by asking for feedback and input from trusted colleagues and friends
  • Align perception and reality by showing up the way you wish others would see you
  • Strive for excellence by doing your best every day
  • Stay true to your course

Start today and find your utter fulfillment. What adjectives describe the best version of you, and how can you communicate that to the world? Perhaps once you know, you can sing it in a car with James Corden.

All the best,

Jodie Stewart
Exec|Comm Consultant

Exec|Comm
What's your message to the world?

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