Recently, I was flipping through the myriad of cable channels and I came across a reality show (shall remain nameless) and the main person is a budding international entertainer – every bit of eight years old. Despite the girl’s age, her mother says that she wants her daughter to be the next Beyonce.
For all intents and purposes, I get it. She wants her daughter to achieve the fame and fortune of Beyonce; although, there are a lot of demands and pressures that come from having a persona like Beyonce’s. The problem isn’t in having an inspiration to look up to, rather the problem is that the mother is not encouraging her daughter to live in her authenticity and develop her own brand.
How many times have you sacrificed or traded in your authentic self to satisfy the brand labels that others have put upon you? Or perhaps, you have been hired into a position and are expected to act like your predecessor and thereby never given the chance to truly be who you are. Maybe you continually take on work projects where your true talents aren’t being used?
Here are some tips to stand in your brand authenticity:
- Ask the uncomfortable questions to trusted colleagues about their experience of you.Often times what we think others see in us does not necessarily match their perspective. People close to you will tell you the truth, but that requires you to be open to feedback.
- Get clear about your personal brand and own your uniqueness. This requires you do some work with resources like Tom Rath’s “Strengths Finder 2.0” and learn how to play up your authentic attributes.
- Hire a Personal Branding Coach to help you develop a personal brand strategy by identifying your brand attributes so you can take action to show up as your authentic self.
- Define your work by actively seeking out projects where your brand personas can be fully realized so that you can contribute to the project’s success. Leverage that success to be invited onto other projects.
The bottom line is you need a brand plan in order to get recognition for your authentic brand persona and get the career success you want.
My favorite authenticity quote is from Oscar Wilde. He said, “Be yourself. Because everyone else is already taken.”