About Being Extraordinary in the Age of Vulnerability
As more and more of us splinter away from the corporate grind and put ourselves out there in the freelance world, and as we aim to be known and hired for the value we bring to business and to the world, we face the challenge of overcoming the concept of commodity pricing in the marketplace, or rather, being the lowest common denominator. If your competitor charges X for her services, how can you possibly charge Y? Let me tell you how: It’s not about price point. It’s about value.
We must stop thinking of ourselves as a widget for sale and instead consider ourselves a dynamic and influential presence in the ecosystem of our business world. Now there are challenges of being really seen in the marketplace today by your peers, customers and colleagues. It’s called fear. Denial. Refusal to own your own power. Empowerment is essential for personal brand development. Empowerment is everything. You must be willing to be seen for who you are, what you stand for, and how your choices really create your “brand.”
We live in a world where the ones who are called to shine their light need to step up to the plate. I am including myself in this list. I know I am meant to do bigger things and play a bigger game. I’ve been hiding too. But no more. Staying in a place of disempowerment is not an option. Putting things off that you should do today, forgetting, staying in confusion and chaos, or worse, apathy, is like telling your soul to “get lost, I don’t need you.” That’s your EGO talking!! Silence it, and get a move on!
But we are now in the Age of Vulnerability, as noted by social researcher extraordinaire Brene Brown. Vulnerability is not a weakness. It’s a strength. In fact, Brown even says vulnerability is the “birthplace of innovation.
Please understand, being vulnerable does not mean going on reality TV and talking about your affair with your cousin. Being vulnerable means revealing something meaningful to the world, sharing some experience that you have gone through that will help others in the end. Did you sell your business? Change jobs? Start a garden? Even if it was a rough or sad personal experience, it most likely has some value for others. What have you experienced recently that might be useful to share? Note that it doesn’t necessarily have to be about your business. Share your life with folks. They want to know you.
This is about Being Extraordinary. Showing the world how amazing you really are. We’re talking here about creating your own authentic identity. It’s kind of like a fingerprint.
No two people are alike. That is why the idea of competition is becoming very old school very fast. We do not compete. We collaborate. We co-create. We build community. We get super creative when it comes to expressing ourselves. In order for people to want to work with you, they want to know what you stand for, who you are. You must define your own personal brand.
In the words of marketing genius Andrea Lee, “We must be bold. We must be provocative. We must be a bit outrageous.”
In my own heart of hearts I would like people to say I am a “bad-ass brand builder.” Because ultimately that is what I do. I just use a lot of tools to get you there so people might call me instead a copywriter or a search engine marketing consultant or a visibility coach. Any of those terms would work but really I want more of my personality to shine through, so what can I do to make my own brand stand out more above the crowd of average “copywriters” for instance?
This is where vulnerability comes into play. You have to actually admit what you really want. And then you have to tell people! You must be FEARLESS. No ‘what ifs’. Ok?
You can no longer afford to hide behind your dream of “someday.” Who are you? What is your special role to play in the world? What impact do you want to have? How can you communicate that? By forcing yourself to fit within a three-word description, you really get down to the essence of what it is you do and how you do it. What three words define you?
People will either like you or they won’t. Some people won’t like that I use the word Bad-Ass. They won’t want to work with me because I swear. And that’s ok. I like to swear! So people that work with me know that. My tribe will find me the more I put myself out there, the more I shine.
You will too.
Contributing writer Melissa Charity Waldron is an award-winning former TV/radio producer of 20+ years, international best-selling author and sustainable food advocate. She is the founder of Red Hot Now, where soul purpose meets business strategy and online visibility. Melissa is on a mission to merge spirituality with business so that Spirit Conscious Entrepreneurs can unleash their potential and get seen, heard and valued for the gifts they bring to the world. You can find out more at redhotnow.com or connect with Melissa on Facebook or Twitter.