Hello everyone! This post is going to be a conceptual one. I tried to wrap it up in a metaphor and to provide analogies, but my mind was not cooperating. I know you’re all smart people, so if you have any metaphors or analogies, share them in the comment section!
Last fall, a professor introduced me to the concept of self-leadership. He said that that a person cannot lead and organization or group if that person cannot lead their own life.
The same professor also introduced me to the concept of Me Incorporated. As a person, you are the owner, operator, marketer, R&D department, front-line staff, and product of a company called “me”.
Those two concepts are permanently entwined until the end of life. Without leadership, Me Inc. will operate inefficiently, market itself poorly, develop unsellable products, and hire the wrong staff.
Today, I am going to focus on the concept of marketing Me Inc.
The Lifelong Marketing Campaign
People already do this every day. We prepare ourselves for the showcase of the world; we perform rituals for that showroom shine (shower, brushing teeth, etc), and present ourselves in the package we want others to see (wearing clothes, shoes, etc).
We bring our values, personality, and attitudes wherever we go. There are things we can do better than the next person in line. We interact with others, and they interact with us.
Leading Self and Branding
This is where self leadership begins; think of it as a marketing decision. What are your values? What is the image/brand that you want to project? What do you do better than the other guy? How will your personality traits affect how people see you? How do you interact with people?
Punk rockers do this very well. Black denim, metal studs, mohawks, piercings, and attitude combine into an image that stands out amid the everyday and average.
The most important point to consider is “If I market myself this way, will it help me reach my goals?”
For me, it boils down to two overlapping things; my personal image and my professional image (or brand; whichever you prefer). I say overlapping because when (not if) an employer spots me on the street, I do not want my image to say something stupid before I even get an interview. Conversely, when I am in professional attire, I do not want to hurt my chances of personal interaction.
So what is your image or brand?
At the end of the day, you must lead yourself where you want to go. It’s your life, after all.
Did this basic overview help you? Did I completely miss the ball? Tell me in the comment section; I’m always eager to hear your thoughts.