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You Are the CEO of "Me" ©

By Terri L. Norvell, Business Coach & Consultant

In this era of mergers, right-sizing and outsourcing, there is no longer "security" of lifelong employment with one company. To stand out and prosper in this new business world, each of us needs to learn new ideas, build up our skills and hone our abilities. The big companies (i.e. Nike, Starbucks, etc.) understand the importance of Branding, what it takes to become a name brand, and how to prepare for changing business conditions. As Tom Peters says "We are CEOs of our own companies: ME, Inc." How are your Personal Brand Management skills?

What Makes "Me" Different?
To start thinking like your own CEO and Brand Manager, ask yourself the same question that companies ask of each product/service, What makes my service unique and different from others? Look at your strengths and areas for enhancement, your professional image, your personal interests, and what you are "selling". Think in terms of the feature-benefit model. What do you provide that adds measurable, distinctive value? What are you most proud of? Finally, to define Brand Me, ask yourself what you want to be known for?

Action Application
Give yourself the traditional 15-words-or-less challenge to answer the question "What makes ME different?" Take the time to write it down, and then read it several times. If it does not light up your eyes and inspire you, do it again. Then try a reality test by sharing it with a satisfied client or co-worker. This is an important step in developing yourself as a Brand.

What's the Real Power of "Me"?
There is power in the name brands, but not in the organizational chart power. Rather influence power, a reputation for making a significant contribution in a particular area. We are often attracted to a Big Brand by the presence they project. It’s the same in our workplace, power is a matter of perception. If you want people to see you as a powerful brand, act like a credible leader. You are a leader…the leader of Brand ME!

Action Application
Think outside of your typical "job description". Opportunities to grow your brand are all around... volunteer for project work both inside and outside of your company. This is an ideal way to demonstrate your abilities, differentiate yourself and make a noteworthy contribution. Once again, think like a Big Brand. What skills and assets do you want to accentuate? Do you want a brand/skill extension or a whole new service line? Whatever you decide, add the projects’ results to your marketing brochure for "Me, Inc."

What's the Future of "Me"?
As you determine your career path, it need not be a ladder that you climb. A career path today is more like a checkerboard or a maze, where you gather a portfolio of projects and experience, to develop your skills. Creating a personal mission statement will guide you throughout your career stages. As CEO of "Me, Inc.", transfer your business planning knowledge to strategically position Brand Me for long term satisfaction. To be masterfully prepared for any change, think of yourself as self-employed within your company.

Action Application
Start by creating your personal definition of success. Is it money? Power? Fame? Contribution? Doing what you love? Once you answer this question, align your work, take on opportunities and devote your time to projects that fit your mission statement and vision of success. Stay focused on developing Brand Me in alignment with your business model. Remember, there is neither a single path, nor right way to achieve future success. So, enjoy the journey along the way!

Terri Norvell is a national business coach and consultant
for fast growing and entrepreneurial businesses.

More information about Terri Norvell - including an article list!

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