Susan Chritton - author of Personal Branding for Dummies
Susan Chritton, M.Ed., PCC, NCCC, is an Executive Career Coach and Master Personal Brand Strategist. Susan guides professionals looking to engage their authentic self in the world through personal branding.
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Personal branding is about how people remember you. But being memorable doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, sometimes just being who you are and staying true to your brand is more important than perfection.
I recently attended a family wedding that had been carefully planned with all of the lovely details accounted for. It was an outdoor wedding at Lake Tahoe, CA with a weather report of a 75 degree day. The skies were blue, the lake was sparkling but as the time for the wedding approached we began to feel drop, drop, drop. No, it couldn’t be. This was an outdoor wedding with nowhere to go but under the trees. The wedding progressed, a few umbrellas were raised and as the groom said his vows then came the thunder and lightning.
The hail started as the ceremony ended with everyone running for the small porch and the building overhang. But during the 30 minutes of crazy weather, something interesting happened. Everyone decided that bad weather was not going to ruin the day. All 110 of the guests crowded onto the porch, sipped champagne, and listened to some early toasts to the bride and groom.
As a rainbow appeared over the lake, people pitched in to dry the tables and ignite heat lamps.
This adversity got people talking to people that they probably wouldn’t have talked to. The skies cleared into a spectacular Tahoe night. Everyone danced and comments could be heard for weeks to come – “That was the best wedding ever and one we will never forget.”
The wedding wasn’t Martha Stewart perfect, but it was memorable and that made it great. Having a great brand, much like having a great wedding, is about being authentically you. Staying true to your brand, even if you aren’t perfect, is what makes you memorable.
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Being Memorable May Not Always be Perfect
I grew up on a farm, so the words "I'm bored" rarely if ever came out of my mouth. I learned at a very early age to avoid those words. If my parents heard those words, they would cheerfully reply, “You’re bored? O.K.! I've got ten or twelve chores for you!" None of those chores were pleasant, and I realized the importance of entertaining myself and keeping my youthful ennui under wraps.
Boredom seems to associate itself with youth and old age. When we are young, we search for excitement and new adventures. When we grow old, we no longer have the stamina for such activities and many of our previous diversions have become redundant. The road narrows. Our options are diminished, and we find ourselves "scaling down." A juicy steak and a glass of vintage champagne somehow lack the magic they once displayed.
The challenge presented by a long life requires us to recharge our batteries as best we can. As in most of life's requirements, there is no reward without effort. We must make the mental, physical, and spiritual effort to find those elements that give life its meaning. Unless you are a member of the super rich, the Rolling Stones won't be providing a concert at your front door.
A very wise Englishman, Sir William Osler (1849-1919), stressed the importance of a hobby. "No man is really happy or safe without a hobby, and it makes precious little difference what the outside interest may be --botany, beetles, or butterflies, roses, tulips or iris's, fishing, mountaineering or antiquities--anything will do so long as he straddles a hobby and rides it hard." Sir William also stated, "Things cannot always go your way. Learn to accept in silence the minor aggravations, cultivate the gift of taciturnity and consume your own smoke, with an extra draught of hard work, so that those about you may not be annoyed with the dust and soot of your complaints."
Not every day is a circus day, filled with acrobats, clowns, and dancing bears. We are forced, from time to time, to create our own show, and make the effort to renew our interest in this fascinating game we know as life. You don't always have to win in order to enjoy the game. Just let them know you are still on the field...
I so very much enjoyed this inspirational read! Penelope
A touching and intimate correspondence between
Anderson Cooper and his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt,
offering timeless wisdom and a revealing glimpse
into their lives.
Though Anderson Cooper has always considered
himself close to his mother, his intensely busy
career as a journalist for CNN and CBS affords him
little time to spend with her. After she suffers a brief
but serious illness at the age of ninety-one, they
resolve to change their relationship by beginning a
year-long conversation unlike any they had ever
had before. The result is a correspondence of
surprising honesty and depth in which they discuss
their lives, the things that matter to them, and what
they still want to learn about each other.