Talk the Walk
Express your thoughts and beliefs to become a better professional
When people are thinking about self-branding, many times they imagine only the “external” benefits. A person investing in self-branding is considered sometimes investing only in being more known, extending their network, and extending their value in the market.
Some people are not feeling comfortable with all of the above. They feel these “marketing” activities are not for them and they invent a lot of excuses why they should not do it, sometimes even convincing themselves that they have higher morale.
There is no question. Self-branding helps you get all of the above. However, in this article, I would like to point out that if you do it correctly it gives you even much more “internal” benefits. And those are the real reasons why you should start investing in self-branding and start expressing yourself.
Just to put this behind us let's talk about the social benefits. In today's ever-changing market and workspace, self-branding becomes almost a must. Whatever profession you are in, there are many great people out there at least as good as you and many times even better.
To get what you want, people need to recognize your skills. You need to have the right network. The next time you start something new, whether it is a new job, new entrepreneurship, becoming self-employed or anything else you can think about it, people will first look into your digital presence.
Getting yourself out there and expressing yourself with good content that best presents your value and values is the best way to even get a chance in your next adventure.
Let's start with the altruistic part. You probably have some knowledge. You owe the community to get it out. You can help so many people by writing, podcasting, lecturing, mentoring and many other ways.
There is no better satisfaction from getting a message from someone who tells you they just got better because they learned something from you.
These days I am blogging, podcasting, mentoring and also had the chance to lecture in front of 1100 people. It means I managed to reach and touch so many people and hopefully help them in small things in their work that I personally had to learn the hard way.
Self-Improvement (Walk the Talk)
This is where the magic happens. Starting to write or express your thoughts verbally requires hard thinking. You need to perfect the message. The first benefit is that you become a much better storyteller, a very needed skill in today’s workspace. It means you can better articulate your thoughts to other people and it makes it easier to make an impact.
The second impact is that many times in order to perfectly get the right message out there you need to read and learn about the subject you want to write or talk about. It’s the best learning program. It costs your time, but nothing more.
The less intuitive consequence is that when you start perfecting your thoughts and telling others how you think things should happen, you sometimes discover that you are not 100% there even yourself, but maybe 90%. And since you need to be authentic and “walk the talk” as they say, it makes it an obligation to yourself to get better.
I am always surprised when people I mentor take something I point out and do it much better than I would have done myself. Suddenly I start learning from them and further improve.
Regardless if you are going to get any social benefits, you owe it to yourself to start expressing. It is the fastest way for self-improvement and becoming a real expert in your domain.
It is not just about you. Your workplace and colleagues also win. You are getting better. You are becoming more strategic and you learn how to put thoughts behind your actions.
Every day you get into work, you ask yourself, what would my “out there” persona would do. It acts almost as a re-enforcement machine learning algorithm.
I recently gave a lecture at a product management conference in front of 1100 people. The day after, I came to work and started initiating a process that waited for some time which I knew would bring a big impact. Something in getting out of my daily job, re-energizing myself and getting an outer perspective on my daily tasks helped me see what was missing.
This is not a one-timer. It happens every time. A consultant many times manage to help organizations grow because they see what people from inside do not see. By getting out, you become this consultant for your organization while still staying part of the organization. It helps you get the right perspective.
Another aspect is that when you grow your network, your organization, colleagues, and friends win also. Suddenly you know many more people. People with skills. When there is a need for someone, you know where to find them and they will also answer your call. That's priceless by any standard.
Start expressing yourself tomorrow. You owe it to yourself to get better. You owe it to your workspace to get better. You owe it to others so they can learn from you and you can learn from them.
And if on the way you become a “name” and people get to know you better it means you did something good. It means you managed to get good content out there. It means you actually became better and managed to touch many other people and get them better also in the process.
Walk the Talk