The three rules of Personal Branding for Everyday People ™ are:
- Know Yourself
- Be Yourself, and
- Express Yourself
Hearing stories of others can show us what steps we can take, and which personality traits will help us. Hearing other people’s stories also shows us what NOT to do, or how to act differently.
Your challenge this week is to see, read or hear the stories of three people. Get a glimpse into the life or career of someone else to inspire you in your own life.
You don’t have to get inspiration only from famous, wealthy, or accomplished people. Your next-door neighbor or the person sitting in the desk next to you likely has something interesting to share.
Take five minutes to read a news story about someone who has gone through trying times. Spend a half hour watching a biography on TV. Enjoy an hour hearing about the past adventures of someone you know.
Seek out stories from people you can relate to, who have similar challenges or barriers, or whose goals are like yours. Here is how to find inspirational stories:
Engage in real conversations with people in your community. Instead of just asking “how are you,” sit down with someone and ask what makes him or her a successful parent; how they got the job they have now; or what lessons life has taught them. Then, LISTEN to their answer. How did their feelings about the world or themselves change over time? What mistakes did they make? What were their successes, and how can you replicate them?
Read blogs, websites and biographies of notable people. People who live extraordinary lives have faced real, everyday challenges. Reading a few paragraphs of someone else’s story can show you a lot to help you in your own journey. Find out how that well-respected actor overcame addition. Learn how that multi-millionaire became a success without finishing college. Understand how that musician’s battle with chronic illness affects his art.
Treat your networking contacts as real people. Don’t just check in with your business colleagues when you need something. Take the time to engage in real conversations. Learn from their education or career choices. Find out how they balance their work and personal lives. Find out how they overcame financial setbacks. As you get to know your networking contacts, you will find that parts of your story are helpful to them, too.
Attend conferences, webinars and workshops. No matter the subject, all public speakers have a story to tell. The stories might not be their own. However, you can hear about accomplished people, and how they handle difficult times. Speakers tell these stories to help you relate to whatever topic they are talking about. They also want to inspire you to meet your own goals or make positive changes in your life or work. Many workshops and webinars are free or low-cost. Find ones with topics interesting to you.
After you’ve been inspired, revisit your career or personal goals. Is there is anything you want to change based on others’ experiences? Anything that can help you with your brand?
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