Three words… a great exercise for me, and for you

Continuing on the “who am I” train today… it’s actually a great exercise periodically.

What are three words I would use to describe myself? What are three words others would use to describe me? Are they the same?

Okay, so I was asked this recently. My three words today would be smart, committed and positive. The words sometimes change a little, depending on what’s swirling around me. You’ve probably done this too, right? If not, do it right now… stop reading and ask yourself what three words best describe you, and then come right back here. You might use words like driven, bold, pragmatic – or today’s word of the day on my dictionary app – pedagogue (I’ll save you a Google search – it’s someone who teaches). The point is to ask yourself about you – your fingerprint, your personal brand, your “thing.”

Here’s where it gets real. I ask others their three words to describe me. And not just my mom, who, let’s be honest, thinks I’m pretty close to perfect (sorry, siblings – lol). Seriously – if you’ve never done this, it’s enlightening. Ask a cross-section of people in your circle – social, work, family – what words they would use to describe you. Some of them will be very affirming… and some might be hard to hear or read. And that’s the thing about this exercise – if their words are on par with your words,  great! The attributes most important to you are on strong footing. The scholars call this brand congruence. I call it me being me – can I get a “Whoo hoo!”?

If, however, you feel they’re missing the mark a bit, I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing – in fact, it’s a good point of reflection. The fact that you asked and then actually do something about it is the important part, because a lot of us just be-bop through life assuming we know what others think… not so much, for some of us. So for that, fist-bump for you.

When my circle’s words aren’t exactly what I had in mind, it’s where I start to ask myself what little changes I can make to get closer to who I want to be/think I am. Maybe it’s working on a bad habit, or remembering to be grateful.

Wish me luck on my next round of words from those in my circle, and the fine-tuning that is sure to follow.

 

So what’s my story? What’s yours?

Me again. Still figuring out this blog thing. I equate it to my professional world, where I work in marketing. Buzzwords abound, as in every industry. But stringing together a bunch of buzzwords – does that really tell my story? Is that who I am? Am I an experienced integrated strategic communication professional, laser-focused on the touch points that impact downstream revenue for internal & external stakeholders? Well, yes… but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, right? Blah, blah, blah. My story is more than that.

My team and I work with business owners and marketing decision makers — people who are trying to tell their story to their potential customers. And my advice is always to figure out what makes you unique. Your brand is your fingerprint, distinctly you. Your story shouldn’t be the same as anyone else’s. What’s “that thing?”

So that’s where I am, at least in the context of this blog. Examining my fingerprints, so to speak, looking for my voice. It’s kind of exciting – and not just because I get to break out my thesaurus, my favorite reference book. And there you go – now you know at least one of my fingerprints, maybe my thumbprint, reads something akin to nerd.

 

So this is me, starting a blog…

meblog2

My sister and I have always said we’d like to write a book. Baby steps.

Where I work, we talk often about a crawl-walk-run approach to projects. You don’t start out running a marathon, so it makes sense that our wildly funny and best-selling epic from our incredibly interesting lives (my blog, my description… ever the optimist, right?) will have to start with a first sentence, a stretching of writing muscles, so to speak. Before we even get to that momentous first word of our sisterly tome, I need to get used to putting my thoughts into written form, developing a style. Not that I have a problem with speaking out, mind you.

I work in advertising, currently in marketing, so I am used to speaking, writing, presenting. But not always completely original material, so to speak. I hope this leads me down the path of sharing interesting personal insights, writing about things I know in a way that you’ll want to read what I have to say. That always makes the best writing, in my opinion. I am looking forward to writing about what’s important to me professionally – marketing, advertising and branding. With a sprinkling of fun things that are personal to me, thrown in to keep it amusing.

So here I go… my journey of a thousand miles is beginning. As soon as I hit the publish button, I will have taken my Confucius-y first step (actually, that quote comes from Lao Tzu, but you get my point).

The picture above is me, marking the occasion. I hope you’ll stay tuned.