When Your Life Experiences Matter
At a recent conference, I was stopped after my talk by a woman who thanked me and then told me that what I said didn’t apply to her.
Ok. My topic was Using LinkedIn to Build Your Personal Brand. She was convinced that she had “no brand” and that when someone (like her) worked in so many different fields and jobs, there was no way to build a brand.
Now I was on the stairs of an old mansion, people were shuffling up and down between presentations, and although I gave her my card and doubted a follow-up, her comments really resonated with me.
No person ever has the same training and background.
That in itself is what makes all our work an amazing opportunity to see and do great things– because our own, unique perspectives make finding solutions possible. My whole life has brought me to this moment and there is no one else out there like me, with my unique perspective of problems.
I worked in several industries–none specifically related to each other. I had different titles, different paths, needed different skills—but each one held an element of my marketing passion. Each one was a perfect fit, at the time, because they filled a need in my process of growth, and I showed up just as they needed someone, like me, to solve their unique problems.
Every job we have ever held holds the keys to our current success.
All our experiences form for us the ability to solve problems with “new thinking.” Where we grew up, who our friends were, the places we traveled, the books we read, the summer camps, the concerts, the classes we enjoyed, our hobbies, our grandparents stories, our part-time jobs, and our internships all form who we are today.
It is a matter of tapping into that wisdom of our collective experiences that make the personal brand so powerful.
Some generations worked hard and felt rewards of just doing. Some generations were given clear paths to success, and some generations grew up with technologies that defined their perspective of the “one-world-with-a-million-possibilities.” Just accept that we are changing in every generation and that every generation offers solutions.
The conventional wisdom isn’t always the right solution
Look at Nokia or Blackberry. Focusing on the best solutions with the best thinking of the time put them out of business. They mocked the “other guys” as computer makers and forgot that their customers didn’t know what they didn’t know. Had they brought in a team of people from other industries they might just have been innovative enough to still be strong and successful. An outsiders view of an insiders world can make all the difference.
So to the lady who stopped me on the stairwell…
Embrace every single experience, job, position, and different opportunity you have ever had. And find someone who sees the possibilities of that power you have to see things differently. Learning how to leverage who we are as a unique individual is what personal branding is all about. YOU. Your unique gifts. Your super-power. Your collective perspective of the world.
Maria Bereket is a Marketing & Social Media Consultant. Her work is focused on bridging the gap in the digital divide, and her passion is working with small business owners because she feels that their work is going to change the world making it a better place to live. Follow @mbear88 or email me if you need a different perspective firstname.lastname@example.org