Before the Seahawks went on their current 8-0 run to the Super Bowl, the team had one of those “It’s Not About You” moments. Earl Thomas – E.T. – in an expletive-filled physical altercation with teammates, phoned-home with one simple message: “It’s not about you!” (see the article here and watch the video below for the full story)
The phrase “it’s not about you” can be personally transformative but also has critical implications to your personal brand. With the personal consulting movement and hyper career transitions, personal branding has been evolving as an essential aspect of our professional development. Bring an Earl Thomas “it’s not about you” passion to your personal brand with these six personal brand characteristics:
- Be Free: Freely share and be shared.If you don’t have enough information to give away for free, then you don’t have enough information to get paid. Freely give and relax, it will come back to you. Like, Share, Tweet, and comment about other brands. Simple engagement demonstrates an “it’s not about you” attitude, which becomes a part of your credibility. Do you care enough to engage with others without a thought of “what’s in it for me?”
- Watch your Pronouns: Pronouns expose. Listen and watch your pronouns. Delete “I” whenever possible and replace with “we, us, our or you.” True authenticity is often unmasked with pronouns.
- Start with Why: People don’t buy what you do, they buy “Why” you do it. See Simon Sinek’s TED talk.
- Lead with a Story: Stories connect, lead, build credibility and most importantly stories are memorable. Yes, I’m biased, but telling stories through video or in person is extremely powerful.
- Social Networking: Remember social networks are part of our personal brand and everyone can see it 24/7. Don’t be fooled for a minute that they are not watching. If you don’t engage with your social network, this may say something about your brand as well.
- Build a Brand Brief: Every personal brand needs a creative brief. At GoNetYourself every client completes a creative brief with every video. Your personal brand needs the same simple test. Under the honest microscope of “it’s not about you” can you describe your personal brand in 2 sentences or less? Be sure to answer: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.
- Share with us your “it’s not about you” story below for a chance to win a Starbucks gift card
- Ask us your questions for our Live Stream Video Event with our friend Lisa Hufford to take this dive further into personal branding (see Bio on registration page). Lisa has written a book on personal branding and will be answering your personal branding questions. Do I need a personal website? How do I get a personal website? How do I create content? How do I amp my personal brand?
- Join us live on Jan 29th at 8:30 a.m. PST – Sign up Here
Russell Wilson often says, “Separation is in the preparation”. My question is does this slogan apply to everyone no matter what your age? I cannot foresee every curveball life will throw my way but I’m still learning to prepare for them. If we prepare in 5 foundational areas of life then we’ll be prepared for the moments of great separation.
Here are the 5 Key areas of my preparation:
- Prepare your Character: I once had an innocent conversation with an All-American player from Penn State about his legendary coach Joe Paterno and if Joe would catch Bobbie Bowden’s all time win record. Our conversation can be summed up with his one comment, “Jeff, you don’t know Joe… it’s all about the win, it’s always all about the wins.” Hindsight now reveals Joe’s character flaw of pride allowed him to overlook one of college football’s greatest tragedies. Joe now has “no recorded wins.”
- Prepare your Knowledge: A lifetime of learning has always been a part of my DNA. It’s allowed for me to transition relatively smoothly between careers. I read a lot but there’s definitely still a passion for reading and going deeper. *Life is found in the footnotes! – Book of the Month: Antifragile by Nassim Taleb
- Prepare your Relationships: Let me ask you, have you heard a painful truth about yourself in the past 90 days? If no, then it might be an indication your relationships are not being prepared well. Allow people close to you!
- Prepare your Self: Know yourself. It’s crazy to think I’m pushing 50 but I have not stopped learning about myself. Brutally honest self-evaluation drives meaning in my life, more importantly it infects those around me. *The Evolving Self by Robert Kegan
- Prepare by Giving: Gratitude + Giving are the steroids of life. Gratitude is the blood flow and giving is the heartbeat of all great preparation. Seeing the world from the perspective “it’s not about you” is the center piece of all preparation. When we live with gratitude and “give well” all other 4 disciplines, yes I said disciplines, can function with greater meaning.
I have always said my purpose in life is to, “walk deep, love well, and prepare like hell”. The “separation is in the preparation” isn’t a motto but a way of life. As I told my son Cyrus (see video), “You will have many times to either prepare or not care; most people choose to not care enough to prepare. Make sure you care enough.”
*A great professor once taught me if you want to understand history, read deeply into just one great individual story and the history of the world will open up in front of you. He said, “Remember Jeff, to make sure you read the footnotes – this is where you find gold.”
The passionate noise of the 12th Man has become a metaphor for my life’s distractions. The 12th Man’s deafening noise comes screaming out of nowhere and wreaks havoc in my life. In life, noise can be more than just what we hear. It can be emotions, addictions, useless busyness, even the all-powerful face painted nut job of success. For a moment think of yourself as Colin Kaepernick and ask the question, “How am I handling the 12th Man?”
Here are five sounding boards I use in my life.
#1 Awareness: Be aware of the noise. Know where it’s coming from? I have learned from GoNetYourself that sound can be both magical and highly mysterious, but it’s the game changer to almost everything I do. Identification linked with honesty is the key to self-awareness.
#2 Cool Tools: There are times in life when I need a personal sound check. I have found keeping a detailed log of my daily habits is powerful. Identifying times allotted to daily activity over a 30-60 day period is acutely piercing to the heart. This little exercise will be your sound test to where noise is coming from.
#3 Communicate well: Learn to use noise to your benefit. When everyone else is frantic, calm communication allows for execution. Communicating well is key: be clear, be purposeful and be honest. When the power of the 12th comes, simple honesty brings clarity to most communication issues.
#4 Listen well: Listening well is the art of being ok with yourself. Listen to what people are not saying to you. Directly and indirectly – feed on feedback. Has anyone confronted you recently? If not, seek out feedback.
#5 Prepare well: Noise can scare the living bejeebers out of you and in the 4th quarter it rips your heart out. Understanding how to handle noise is all about preparation. Trust me the 12th Man is coming…prepare well. Preparation will enable you to relax in the midst of chaos, allowing precise execution. The key to preparation is knowing what is most important. Over the past few years I have seen the “Financial Crises – 12th MAN” wreak havoc in people’s lives. Those who already knew what was most important never flinched – they just narrowed their focus.
The greatest players cannot deny hearing the 12th Man ringing in their ears but instead have a unique ability to tune it out with keen focus.
P.S. – Please don’t forward to Colin – everyone else is loudly appreciated!
Comment below how you deal with the 12th Man in your life.