Children: The Original Personal Brand Gurus
Kids have it nailed. If you want a quick lesson in some key personal branding basics, spend some time with a 5 or 6 year old. Bring some paper and a crayon to take notes, and you might just learn how to succeed in business.
They know what they want to be when they grow up.
For a 5-year-old, there’s no hesitation in answering this question. No qualifying parameters without a solution. No hemming and hawing, as you will find with most thirty-somethings and up. Just a simple straightforward answer. A fireman. A teacher. A doctor.
As adults, the choices get much more complicated — or so they seem — and we tend to waver in our decisiveness. We try to be whatever fits the opportunities available and lose ourselves in the process. What do you want to be when you grow up?
They spend a great deal of their time creating that reality.
If 5-year-old Jane wants to be a doctor, she does everything she can to become a doctor. She asks for the doctor’s bag and stethoscope for Christmas. She practices on her dolls and her friends. She draws pictures of herself as a doctor. She imagines herself as a doctor. She tells everyone who’ll listen that she’s going to be a doctor when she grows up.
The same should be true for any adult trying to build their brand. Live it. Breathe it. Dream it. Talk about it.
A 5-year-old will tell you flat out what he’s good at.
And he can tell you in about 10 seconds. No modesty. No shyness at that age. If you ask them, they’re right up there with Picasso, Pavarotti, and Michael Jordan. When they are good at something, they aren’t afraid to own it and even show it off.
As an adult, what are your skills? Can you list them quickly off the top of your head? What if you unexpectedly met the boss in the elevator and he asked you what your top 5 skills were. Could you answer him quickly and fluidly? Or would you say something and then curse yourself after he got off the elevator and you realized that you forgot to mention your most significant skills?
They do everything 100%.
At 5, you seldom see a child hold back emotionally. When they play a video game, they play to win. When they are on the soccer field, they sink their whole heart into it. They wholly focus on their objective.
If you truly want to succeed in your profession, you have to do the same. 100% whole hearted effort. Passion, focus, and stamina are what make the difference.
This is the wisdom of a kindergartener.
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