I am about to make a connection that may seem odd. But bear with me, because the purpose is to remind you of the power of you and your brand.
First, a few questions:
- What do you want to be known for?
- Do you ever experience professional envy?
- How do you tend to respond to times of economic uncertainty – whether it is macro in nature (e.g., the overall economy) or micro in nature (e.g., your personal/business economy)?
Recently, I shared with a friend that a certain social media personality triggers me. I don’t begrudge this person her success. (I’m actually happy for her and feel we need to “see” more examples like hers). At times, though, I am miffed by her (seemingly) meteoric rise in recognition. My term for this feeling is professional envy.
Bet on Yourself
However, the more I reflected on that conversation and “worked” through my feelings, the more I realized I needed to focus less on the attention the social media personality was garnering and more on what I was doing to double-down and bet on myself.
And that’s when it hit me: The same is true when it comes to navigating periods of economic uncertainty.
And a great place to start doing this is with your answer to question #1 above. Because whatever your answer is, that is your brand.
What do you want to be known for?
If you’ve ever given yourself permission to take the time to ask this question, then you know that these eight “simple” words, when woven together, are really profound. Mostly because your answer not only has an effect on the choices you make, but also on the choices others make regarding you. Especially when it comes to your business.
What you want to be known for (i.e., your message) is really the anchor that positions you in the marketplace, otherwise known as “in the minds of others.” It is what helps you stand out so that you and what you offer aren’t viewed as a commodity.
Start with you
So, if you don’t already have an answer, here are a few (more) questions to consider as you work to develop (or refine) your message…
- What do you do, how, and why?
- What’s the difference you’re making with your body of work – for the people you serve?
- What are your goals and your values?
After you’ve answered the above, how can you convert your answers into a single sentence that expresses your vision, strengths and what you want people to know about you; your company; your expertise; your skills; and your perspective?
As for me, I want to be known as the person who explores the human side of money, by helping people prioritize their behavior, choices and emotions with money – over the math of money – in business and in life.
The mind of others
When it comes to your message (and mine), there is someone on the other end. That’s why it is beneficial to view your message as a conversation with this purpose: to connect.
And more than likely, your message needs to connect with multiple audiences. So…
- Who are your audiences?
- What does each audience need or want from you?
- What do you know (or are assuming) about your audiences’ goals, interests, needs, and wants?
- Where and how does your message vis a vis what you’re offering intersect with the solution they need or want?
For each audience, you’ll likely need to tailor your message in a way that causes them to take notice. I certainly do this. The core of my message is the same, but I tweak it slightly for my clients who hire me for speaking engagements vs. my coaching clients – because they have different needs/wants/goals.
Create an emotional hook
Sometimes, you need to create mental images so that your audiences can connect with your message emotionally. Enter storytelling and social statistics.
For example, for a pre-pandemic speaking engagement, I shared a statistic about the number of employees employed by Fortune 500 companies (approx. 28 million people). I asked the live studio and online audiences to think of the S&P 500 (something they probably hear referenced daily) and how the represented companies employ approx. 17% of the nation’s workforce – or the population of the state of Texas. I then said how U.S. small businesses employ approx. 57 million people. Yet, tax and healthcare reform is done with the smaller percentage of people in mind.
This was one of many tactics that helped me to create imagery with an emotional hook – especially since part of my message was to reinforce the power of small business ownership and to encourage voting for politicians that support small businesses.
Here’s the Odd Connection
The way to respond when the gremlins of professional envy bubble up are the same as when you’re navigating acute times of economic uncertainty – whether on a macro or micro level:
Tap into the power of the concatenation of your personality, expertise, knowledge, perspective, skills, self-trust, interests, brilliance, etc. and how these coalesce to help you solve problems for other people — as only you can do!
Betting on yourself helps you to:
- Evaluate and take calculated risks
- Evaluate opportunities
- Assess trade-offs, or when to say “yes vs. no”
- Maintain a proactive stance and growth mindset
- Identify where you have some “holes” or vulnerabilities that you haven’t tackled – or not sufficiently enough
- Deepen your intuition, which is needed in order to turn common information into personalized insight
- Interrogate what’s beneath the surface of your feelings of envy or financial insecurity, so you can get curious about what that is inviting you to do next
One at a time or all together, the above is how you “clap back” at professional envy. It’s also how you avoid letting economic uncertainty cause you to obsess about fear, lack, and scarcity.
As the title says…
The time is always right to bet on yourself.
So on a scale of 1-5, how are you doing in this regard?
If your answer isn’t a “5,” then receive this as a nudge to develop (or refine) what you want to be known for.
Because, your brand makes room for you personally, professionally, and financially.
And it’s a key tool for betting on yourself.