This is a guest blog post by Dwayne Morris. Dwayne is the author of the book, the OUTRAGEOUS life. You can purchase it on Amazon, or get the introduction for free when you subscribe to his blog. You can also connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.
There seems to be a lot of buzz about developing our “brand.” It’s the idea that we need to find a niche and then begin honing our skills in that area. I must admit, it seems to work for a lot of people. They are the ones who have worked hard and thought long and are now seeing the fruit of their work. Reminds me of the question: When is the best time to plant a tree? Answer: ten years ago.
Are you trying to develop your brand? Let me caution you to keep your guard up as to prevent your brand-building to become the focal point of your life. I would submit that your brand is already built because YOU are your brand. Here are five strategies to consider as you are patiently working through this process.
Be Real - This seems too easy, but you would be surprised how many people try to be someone else. I’m all for learning from the successes of others, but flat out ripping them off is a “no-no.” Who did God create YOU to be? What makes YOU different? If you aren’t sure, ask five friends. There’s wisdom in collective intelligence. Be that guy or girl who strives to discover who you are in light of God’s love and plans for your life.
Realize and Develop Your Strengths - Over the course of your life, you have developed interest and strong abilities in certain areas. Here’s a good question: What could you talk about all night? We all have something in our life that puts a little pep in our step and gets us going. It’s a good chance we have some experience in that area and could help others who need direction.
We also tend to get noticed quicker when we bloom where we are planted. When we give our attention to the areas where we really shine, we establish a platform on which we can stand and leverage our influence for God’s glory. Too many people see all the reasons they can’t do something before they ever consider what they can. In my book, the OUTRAGEOUS life, I refer to this as our contribution being critical in God’s hands.
Add Value to People (everyday) - It’s one thing to have a passion and strength in a certain area, but you can’t keep it to yourself. You have to engage with the people around you and share what you have. The key is to pay attention to people. Look at the people around you like the pages of a coloring book and you hold all of the crayons. You get to decide how to color their lives. The question is how can you step into the lives of others and say or do something that will make them feel valued and appreciated? If you don’t know where to start, just ask others for their names and use it in the conversation. Dale Carnegie is credited with teaching us the greatest gift you can give someone is their name.
Never Embellish - Honesty is always the best policy. It doesn’t end well when we try to be more on the outside than the person we really are on the inside. Not to mention when we’re not completely honest, we are paving a road that will lead others to a dead-end of lost trust. When we lose the trust of others, we lose the privilege to influence them. This contradicts the whole intent of developing our brand. We are striving to gain an audience with people we want to help. It goes without saying that to be an effective influence, we dare not compromise our character.
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Determine to Serve Others - Serving others is the essence of developing your brand. It is the culture of generosity that wins every time. In “Leadership is Dead,” Jeremy Kubicek supports this so clearly: “I have chosen to serve the interest of others before seeking opportunities for myself. I invest first in their dreams and find that I am more excited about their journey than even my own.” This is the model we see time and time again in the life of Jesus. It was his leadership-development-filter: Matthew 20:26, “Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,”.
Where are you in your brand-building process? Do you know your strengths? Are you using them to add value to others? When we use the life the God created and equipped for great works for the benefit of others, then we are on our way to an effective brand.
I’m giving away 20 FREE Kindle copies of the OUTRAGEOUS life. Here’s how you can get a copy for yourself or for a friend:
- Leave a comment answering the question below. Include your email address in your comment - I’ll remove it once the giveaway is finished.
- Then, Tweet the following: “Looking forward to reading the OUTRAGEOUS life by @DwayneMorris. Details at www.MorrisMatters.com/outrageous #theoutrageouslife
I’ll email the winners a link to download a free copy of the book.
Question: What makes you and/or your brand unique? In other words, what’s your specialty?