Early this summer, my daughter decided she would help out in the garden by weeding. It was much needed – the weeds were taking over the area where we’d planted a pumpkin seedling and several kinds of flowers. Due to the drought conditions this season, many of the seeds we planted, both flowers and vegetables didn’t germinate well. She was trying to give the seeds that did germinate the best chance of surviving and producing the blooms we enjoy during later in the summer.
I’d been in the garden over the days before she weeded and had noticed about five or six little zinnia plants poking through the hard, dry crust of the ground. A couple days later, I went out and could only find three. This was in a row that was about ten feet long! I asked her if she knew anything about those seedlings and that’s when I found out she’d been weeding. (She’s thirty years old.) The plants she was pulling were small and nondescript. They had no flowers on them. It was very difficult from her perspective to determine what was a flower seedling and what was a weed.
The same thing happens with our personal brand. This story is a great metaphor for identifying and developing your personal brand. Just as it was difficult for my daughter to determine what was a keeper and what needed to be discarded, others can’t see what parts of you need to be cultivated and strengthened into your personal brand.
When you step into the authority over your own personal brand, you become more fully who you are. There are others out there who will shape your brand to fit their needs. They’re filling slots on their org chart or seeing part of what you can provide and identifying it as something they could benefit from in their organization. The only problem is this direction and opportunity may not be where you want to go or how you want to develop your personal brand. This leads to a question; who makes the call on your personal brand?
When you identify and take authority over your personal brand, you make the call on what your personal brand entails. Identifying and developing your personal brand clarifies which opportunities are weeds and which are seedlings that need to be nurtured. You decide which career path is best for you. You decide if the next position you are offered makes the best sense in achieving your long term goals. You have the opportunity to achieve your goals because you know who you are and where you want to go.
How do you decide which opportunities are weeds and which are seedlings that need to be nurtured into bloom? Share your experiences here. And I’m open to walking the path with you as you determine which seedlings you want to nurture as part of your personal brand.