It happened to you and it’s uniquely yours. No one else has your story. No one else has your particular mixture of experience and ability. Not only did God make you unique in all your parts, but the life He lets you live is just as uniquely yours. Nobody else experiences the world in exactly the same way as you. These concepts are important to understand, because they form the basis of your personal brand.
What is a personal brand?
A personal brand is “whatever you do or bring to the world that is uniquely yours.” Surprisingly, the more you stick to what is uniquely yours and the more authentic you are in what you do, the more interesting it is to others and the more marketable it is.
You need to demonstrate who you are at the core, in the most authentic version of yourselves, is what you should focus on bringing to the world. In other words, only do what only you can do. It might be inspiring to know that when you do exactly that, you will be the most fulfilled. It’s when you are doing precisely what you were built to do that you feel the most alive. Any time you stray away from this reality you feel less yourself, less alive, less real. Life isn’t about finding employment that pays the bills and then hanging on through the years waiting to die. It’s about discovering what you were built for and then doing it with all your unique abilities.
Quite often I see people wanting to become a public speaker, becoming an author, or aspiring to be a blogger. Many times they’ve already made an attempt but the effort hasn’t gained traction. They need to determine their true authentic personal brand. Find out what they have that is uniquely theirs, and bring it to the world. There will always be a market for the best they’ve got to give. They’ve got to focus. They’ve got to bring it all to bear on their great unique brand.
One example: Raju Srivastava, is an Indian comedian, and more popularly, an observational comedian. He is known most for his acute scrutiny and comical timing about various aspects of Indian life. He has evolved into an overwhelmingly successful entertainer and has fanatical fans yearning to see his shows and following him on event tours. He has done plenty stage shows in India and abroad. He also launched a series of his audio cassettes and video CDs.
His big break, however, was the comedy talent show The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. He finished as second runner-up and then took part in the spin-off, The Great Indian Laughter Challenge – Champions, in which he won the title of “The King of Comedy”. He was noticed by many film makers and got regular assignments in movies with bigger roles. Srivastav is now considered as one the best comedians in India.
If you see his early shows with comedy based on fiction than observation, you will notice that it doesn’t really match his brand. The jokes were good but the topics were fictional and it’s obvious that in those early days he hadn’t really struck the chord of his true authentic gift, of his personal brand that would someday delight millions.
But as soon as he performed situational comedy in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, a star was born. He had hit upon it – a sitcom genre that whisked people away from their serious and boring lives.
Imagine going to a Raju Srivastava event. You take in the enthusiastic crowd, you laugh out aloud. You feel relaxed and happy as you too escape your boredom to a few fun figurative moments.
But what would happen if Raju finished up his concert and failed to perform any situational comedy? You would not only feel disappointed, you’d feel cheated. Raju HAS to perform at least two comedy items at every concert because it is the classic embodiment of his personal brand, and Raju, being the consummate entertainer and crowd pleaser, knows this better than anyone.
This principle applies everywhere. How disappointed would people be if Madhuri Dixit came out with a quiz program? Or if Sehwag was allowed only to bowl? These people, and every successful person in every walk of life, have succeeded by finding their true authentic gift and then giving it over and over with gusto.
Which brings us to some important questions.
- What is your unique brand?
- Which are your particular foundational attributes or gifts?
- What are your unique experiences?
- What innate talents have you got that are uniquely yours?
- What makes you feel the most alive and fulfilled?
- What things do you do that seem to bring the most accolades from people?
If you answer these questions and package all of this together, you will be at least heading in the right direction. Whether this means you will write books, blog, create music, speak on stages, preach, start a company, paint, organize something, lead a charity, invent a new technology, or whatever, if you line things up to be a product of who you are and what you uniquely can contribute, you will succeed. By this, I mean that you will find meaning and fulfilment in contributing something that only you can contribute.
Don’t live anyone else’s life for even a minute. It’s yours. It’s unique. Find your niche gift and then present it with all you’ve got until you can’t do any more. You can live your own brand!