Who Am I and Does The World Agree?

Next step is to discuss with friends, family, coworkers and possibly your boss if these core values are evident to others.  Feedback is important so you need to be as objective as possible and not to become defensive when you hear something disturbing or surprising.  This is the stage for serious reflection so take as much time as needed.  Ask open ended questions and try to get those individuals to cite examples of how they feel this value does or does not fit you.  If it does not match, ask what other values they feel better suit you and why. 

Compile these conversations together and look for common themes or phrases.  Start to create a “60 second commercial” about yourself and test it out in front of a mirror.  Look at your facial expressions to see if you come across happy, sad, confused, etc.  If you feel that it does not flow, ask for help from some of the people you contacted before.  The objective is not to make this “perfect” but for you to get your message across effectively and for you to be comfortable and at ease with the message.  It is also imperative for your advocates to be able to relay it when speaking on your behalf.

Speaking of advocates, how many do you have?  The ideal number is 25 people.  These are individuals who can sell you as well as you can sell yourself.  You need to stay in touch with them regularly so they understand you today as well as your goals and wishes for the future.  These advocates can be a mix from your personal and professional life.  If your list is heavily skewed to one group, you need to make a concerted effort to develop relationships with others.  The key is that you need advocates who are honest, trustworthy and passionate about you!

As you make a life change, it is important to revisit your personal brand and to “tweak” it if necessary.  Reflecting on past accomplishments and “Aha! Moments” can also help you when revising your message.  Keep it simple and straightforward is the recipe for success.