When we grow up as kids we remember the kid that always told everyone how great they were. This was usually the kid who was terrible at something. So as we become adults many of us don’t like to talk about our accomplishments. As I write articles and books I can become uncomfortable too when I share some of my work. It reminds me of a line I have heard Robert Kiyosaki mention about why it is called a best-selling author with the emphasis on selling. Each of us needs to learn ways to showcase our skills.
First off we need to understand how important it is for us to promote ourselves. Think about how you approach a job interview. We think of the reasons why someone should hire us. What talents do you have? How can you showcase them? As you put your resume together we want it to show our accomplishments. As you talk to people about what you do share with them some of your proudest moments.
To advance in your career, we need to build on our successes. Learn how to present yourself in a professional manner. How you frame that achievement is important as well. If you can bring it all together in a good story then you have something!
Create your story
Companies that sell a product well create a story to bring it together. Apple sells products that embrace simplicity. If you have read the Walter Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs you learn about his fanatical desire for things to be simple. In an environment where many companies add features to things as they become gaudy, Apple went towards simple design.
When we get to the point where we can make what we do a good story we have focused on our thing. As Gary Keller the founder of Keller Williams Realty describes in his book The One Thing. It is the thing we do better than anyone else. I know I can get going in too many directions at times. When we focus on one thing we do well we can really craft our story.
Practice your story
Be ready to present your story at any time. We never know when the time will come and we will have to tell it. Meeting new people, you should have your story and branding together. If you don’t you will come off as an amateur. Trust me, I have started things before I was ready and lost business because of it. Take time to have everything ready and impress those potential clients or future employers.
Focus on the facts
As you create your story and begin to market yourself keep focusing on the facts. You don’t want the story to grow bigger than reality. This can create a backlash if you begin to place fast and loose with the facts. If the story is based on the facts you won’t have any problems with people misjudging you, at least on the facts.
Similar to some of your favorite companies you need to develop your own brand. What subject do you want people to associate with you and your brand? Cultivate this personal brand by your work and your online identity. If you are on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or any social media make sure everything is in alignment.
We need to stay humble as our careers progress. Working with people who have found success and let that come to their heads is hard to watch. We need to have people around us that keep us in check. I am lucky to have good family influences that keep me in check.