I’ve been reading more of ‘Brand You‘ by John Purkiss and David Royston-Lee. In the first part I completed the exercises and identified my ‘talents’ and ‘values’.
If I want to be successful with my blog and have it lead to bigger things, I need a ‘brand’ – this might sound like I’m turning myself into a box of cornflakes or a particular type of phone that may or may not be named after a fruit, but really it just means that there will be certain things people automatically associate with me. I have to ensure that these are the right things as well as making sure the association happens in the first place.
My talents and values alone won’t provide me with a ready-made brand. Lots of people will share particular skills and beliefs with me; what makes me different is the combination of these. It’s very unlikely anyone else will have exactly the same combination making my combination unique.
It’s from this unique combination that I can build my brand.
Each of my areas of skill and experience can be developed in many different ways. The way I develop these and inter-link them is something that should be unique to me.
For example, I listed ‘budgeting’ as one of my talents. My skill with budgets could lead me to careers in accountancy, book-keeping or even debt advice. Instead I use this skill to plan expeditions and adventures in life whether they be a year wandering through Africa or a decade spent renovating an old house.
This use of my skill serves me well when it comes to feeding my wanderlust habit and working towards my desire to live a life less boring.
My unique combination may seem obvious to me and serve me well, but if I want to develop a lifestyle where I can help other people achieve the same, I need to do more than just understand my abilities. I have to clearly understand how I can use them to benefit others.
The exercise relevant to this in the book instructed me to think of 4-6 ways other people might describe me and then to condense these into bullet point soundbites.
Each bullet point needs to be quantifiable, measurable and objective. It’s no good saying I’ve travelled a lot – a lot of travel to some people could be a 2 week package holiday each year, whereas others might not consider anything less than visiting over half the countries in the world and spending a least a month in each to be well-travelled.
Here are the 5 bullet points I came up with:
- Travelled and worked globally for over 30 years across 5 continents.
- Outdoor enthusiast and long-distance walker covering terrains as diverse as the central African rainforest and the Swedish Arctic.
- Social Anthropologist with MA from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies).
- Qualified teacher with in-depth knowledge of how people learn developed through having taught a wide range of academic and vocational subjects to students of all ages from early years to university level.
- Blogger for 5 years across several platforms.
When I see my life condensed into five bullet points like this, I can immediately see how my skills and experiences can feed into the lifestyle I want to develop for myself in the future. This leads me to my next lesson from the book: My Purpose. But that can be a whole post in itself.
Reflecting on my bullet points, five key descriptors jump to mind and I think they describe me pretty well.
TRAVELLER – WALKER – EDUCATOR – SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGIST – BLOGGER
What descriptors would you use to describe yourself?