“You stand more for everyone than they stand for themselves.”
I’m sitting at David’s Tea with tears streaming down my face….and not because I’m sad or frustrated. Because I’m completely and utterly moved by this feedback. The man sitting across from me is kindly acting like he doesn’t notice the giant tears (or the snot), but the emotion is moving me hard, and I’m not going to fight it.
Now to explain this, I have to rewind a bunch of weeks. Last month I asked one of my fierce supporters of a friend to run an exercise that Gina Bianchini suggested for anyone wanting to get a more crystal picture on their personal brand. It asked just a few simple questions about what makes me irreplaceable, what is holding me back, what they thought I’d be doing in 5 years, and an open forum for additional feedback.
It’s that feedback where the opening line of this blog came from. I’m overwhelmed with love and support, and fired up with ideas on what drives me to build out my life, my brand, and my own future business endeavors. But more than anything it reminds me that who I will be is actually made up of who I am each and every day. We’re all the makeup of a million tiny moments.
My brand is just a very businessy term for who I am. And who I am is built like a pyramid, one block at a time. So is yours. I learned some major lessons from doing this exercise, a few that are so personal they’re not even worth sharing (because they won’t make sense), but a few that are incredible reminders for any one of us building something, anything, in our lives:
Your value to all is the same as your value to one
I realized by reading the comments of everyone who gave their incredibly thoughtful feedback that what we aim to communicate to anyone as a brand, as a thought leaders, as heads of a family, as the owners of a small business, can be distilled down to one individual person. What do we want to communicate to one? What do we want them to feel…about themselves, about us? That value that one person feels is our value broadly.
Legacy is consistency
I don’t often think about “what my legacy will be” because I’m too busy living it half the time. But it’s a really valuable question to ask ourselves. What will we leave behind? Because whatever that is should truly be lived day in and day out. Are we perfect? No. I’m sure not. And I’m not always consistent. I have bad days, off days, but the more rooted in my purpose I am, the easier it gets to be consistent. And that consistent value that I bring to others will one day be my legacy…and I can’t think of a more significant driving force to add value in the same way to many, many people’s lives.
What they feel is what you should feel
The line that came after the one at the top of this blog was “Stand for yourself as much as you stand for others.” It was a tough one to read, because it’s true. The pep talks I give others should be the ones I give myself. I should feel the same confidence about my life decisions and dreams that I infuse in my friends (and strangers I meet). We all have to be for ourselves what we are for others. This is probably the hardest lesson because it requires trusting our gut, our intuition and seeing the beauty and talents in our self that others see. If we can see it in others, shouldn’t we be able to see it in ourself?
I encourage every one of you to do this personal branding exercise with a friend….I promise it’ll have a few aha moments. And I can’t wait to hear them below.