Since 1994, Jim Rubart has worked with clients such as AT&T/Cingular, RE/MAX, ABC and Clear Channel radio though his company Jr2 Marketing, but his passion is writing fiction. He's also a photographer, guitarist, professional speaker, golfer, and semi-pro magician. He lives in the Northwest with the world's most perfect wife and his two almost-perfect sons. No, he doesn't sleep much. You can reach him at jlrudini[at]comcast.net
Fascinating? Yes, You Are
Did it help?
In last month’s column I suggested understanding our biblical identity in God would free us up to discover our individual uniqueness and identity.
Did you get all that figured out? Nah, neither did I; It’s kind of a lifelong process, but I hope it started a shift inside your heart.
This month let’s get practical about discovering your brand and identity.
I must admit that I’m a bit reluctant to write this month’s column. Not because I’m worried about giving away the secret sauce, but because the subject of branding is so vast. Eight hundred or so words ain’t gonna cut it. Eight thousand would be better.
But let me at least give you an
exercise to get you a bit farther down the path:
Mix the answers to these three questions together and there’s a good shot you’ll come up with an elements and/or theme of your life that makes you unique.
“Yeah, Jim, sounds great,” you say, “but could you give us a real-life example of someone discovering their brand/identity?”
But of course.
As we’ve talked about in this column before, brand is not something you create, it’s something fascinating about you that already exists. Yes, I hear your plaintive cry: “But, Jim! There’s nothing that’s interesting about me!”
Maybe. But I doubt that. Highly. I’m guessing you are fascinating. I know, that doesn’t help, since you’re there and I’m just words on a page. So let’s get to that real-life example from one of my current clients.
Sandra came to me wanting to create a brand/identity for her personal coaching business. I described a brand to her as “Something unique and fascinating about you—that your audience wants—that can be promoted consistently.”
She responded, “There’s nothing unique about me. I got married young, husband left me, worked as an executive assistant at a TV station, got remarried, and become a personal coach. That’s it.”
“What about your marathons?” I said.
“How many people do you know—personally know—who have run a marathon?”
Sandra stirred her double-shot vanilla latte. “Well, my brother and . . . and . . .”
Sandra wasn’t an athlete in college. She wasn’t athletic even in high school. But she’d set a goal to conquer one of the toughest achievements in sport. I told her it was impressive that an “ordinary” non-athlete could complete a marathon. I commented she was an inspiration to her clients for that fact alone. But then we went deeper.
“Tell me the highlight of your first marathon.”
Sandra sighed, smiled. “When I hit the last three miles I was done, couldn’t run any farther and felt like my dream was about to die. At that moment my brother stunned me by jumping out of the crowd and running alongside me. ‘C’mon! Don’t give up!’
“He ran the twenty-third and twenty-fourth miles with me, pushing me, shouting, ‘You can do it!’ and ‘I believe in you.’ I wouldn’t have finished without him.”
“Do you mind if I state the obvious?”
“Isn’t that exactly what you do for your clients as a personal coach?”
Realization washed over Sandra’s face, and for the next ten minutes we brainstormed on how running and marathons could be the symbolic theme of her business.
Can’t you see the potential images? How ’bout a runner winding up a long mountain road, or a runner breaking through the tape at the end of the race?
Can’t you imagine the slogans?
Now think back to those hobbies and words friends gave you and your natural bent in social situations. How can you turn those things into a theme for your writing career?
Often it’s tough to discover the uniqueness inside because of the ol’ too-close-to-the-trees-to-see-the-forest syndrome. That’s why brainstorming with other people can be of great assistance in lighting up the bulb.
So do it. It can even be fun. Really!
(If you feel you need more professional help in this area, I do take authors through this process, helping them develop powerful brands and identities for themselves. If you’re interested in talking to me at: jim [at] jimrubart [dot] com.)
Remember. You are unique. You are fascinating. Let’s bring it out so the world will notice you not for your glory but so you can accomplish the critical mission of pointing them toward the giver of life.