Unlock your super powers: why what you know is less important than who you are
When it comes to being famous in your field, your personal brand matters more than you know.
When I talk with future A-Listers, I hear two objections over and over.
1. I can’t become famous in my field until after I…
2. I can’t be well known as the expert on [topic] because someone else already is that expert.
Let’s tackle Objection #1.
This is one particularly plagues those in a technical or knowledge-based industries, like information technology, engineering, architecture, and law. These stars-in-the-making spend too much time and energy waiting “until they know more.”
Recognize any of these symptoms?
“…after I take this program on x.”
“…when I know more about my topic, I’ll…”
“I really need to have two more years experience and then I can [go for my big dream/do what I want/call myself a leader or an expert.]”
Don’t get me wrong. You’ve gotta know your stuff.
But when you see “knowing the most” as the only way to stand out, you’ve set yourself an impossible challenge. Because there will always be someone who started before you did, knows more than you do, and there will ALWAYS be more information to learn.
Your super power is the ability to explain things simply and put your ideas in a framework that works for your audience. That’s what people want and need – for you to be their “easy button.”
And now to Objection #2, or what I like to call the “that seat’s taken” syndrome.
Wondering if you might be suffering from this syndrome? There’s really one dead giveaway:
You don’t pursue opportunities to share your ideas about the subject you’re most passionate because you believe that the big name gurus already “own” the topic or that it’s already been said.
If that were true, we’d only have one Italian restaurant, one shoe store – *gasp*, one song…you get the idea.
So what does matter?
Instead of knowing the most, or believing that it’s all been said, focus on sharing your information and your ideas from your perspective.
It comes down to two things:
1. Your personal brand
2. Your point of view
Your perspective and your framework are valuable in the marketplace. There’s no new information. Only new ways of saying it, conveying it.
And there’s someone out there struggling, stressing until they hear it from YOU. Your language. Your way.
Never be afraid of disagreeing with the conventional wisdom on your topic.
Inspiration time! Here are two examples of the same ideas and information being shared in entirely different ways. (Hint: it’s all about personal brand and point of view.)
Message: Women should be ambitious and ask for what they want.
Messenger A: Sheryl Sandberg and the Lean In movement.
The Lean In message encourages women to believe in themselves, be ambitious, and take the lead, rather than waiting to be noticed for good work. Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, first shared her message in a 2010 TED talk that boasts 4.6 million views.
Messenger B: Alex Hayden Hernandez and the #BossBabe movement.
Since launching six months ago, the #BossBabe movement has racked up more than 30,000 followers, mainly through its Instagram account, which combines Beyonce worship with business savvy advice.
At the core, the #BossBabe message looks a lot like Lean In. BossBase followers are urged to dream big, have confidence in themselves and to ask for what they want.
The difference is in the movement’s brand and the perspective. Lean In is earnest, corporate and professional. #BossBabe is sassy and sharp, with an urban vibe. The Instagram description is, “A digital girl gang of badass, sexy, millennial established & aspiring business women.”
The world isn’t short of people giving personal finance advice. Names like Suzy Orman, Jean Chatzky and Jim Cramer pop into your brain before you can say, “Mutual fund!” Here are two guys who’ve built empires teaching people to become better at money.
Message: Become financially savvy, so that you enjoy a great future.
Messenger A: Dave Ramsey
Ramsey preaches a radical solution to debt problems. Create a budget, cut up your credit cards, pay cash for everything and be frugal for your long-term financial security.
Messenger B: Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to Be Rich
Ramit’s I Will Teach You to Be Rich approach to financial management is even more radical, when you consider the conventional wisdom: scrimp and cut out daily luxuries to build your financial future.
Sethi’s philosophy is that you can live a rich life by automating the big things that impact your financial situation so that you can really enjoy the smaller things that give you pleasure, like lattes, $200 jeans and drinks with friends.
Ramsey’s work reflects his Christian perspective.
Sethi calls himself “your Surrogate Asian Father” and boasts about his magnificent eyebrows.
Bottom line? Both are strong advocates for financial education, but they have very different personal brands and points of view.
Your Fame Boosting Assignment:
Stop “waiting until” and start taking action on your big ideas today!
Contrarian advice or approach? Don’t bury it, bring it!
This week, think of three ways that you can inject more of your personal brand and point of view into your business. There’s a crowd out there, just waiting for YOU to hit the stage.
This is great! Everything in this article rings true. Such good stuff! Thank you!
Lori, Lori Lori… timing is everything and there are no mistakes. I have read a lot of different information over the years with varying perspectives. I came across your site a few weeks ago and I cannot tell you how. (I guess that was my first tip.) I just want you to know that there is one thing that is very prevalent in your message and presentation that I simply love, actually two things. The first is that you are having lots of fun. I can hear it in your voice, and the second is you love what you do. (Tip number two) That to me is the magic which engages the mind and hearts of those that are truly looking for answers and sometime even those who are not. Great stuff in this article Lori and very timely for where I am and what I am thinking. You didn’t say you were a mind reader as well:-) Thank you for the gift.
Lori, thanks for the reminder that “There’s no new information. Only new ways of saying it, conveying it.” It’s too easy for me to forget that timing and chemistry are big parts of business success, since there’s no telling when the person that *I* am perfect for will be ready, willing, and available to hear my message.
Thank you so much Lori for reminding us to recognize our own value and step up. I loved the comparisons you shared and how each will attract clients who resonate with that particular brand. Thanks as always for the assignment!
Everyone does have superpowers – great tip – stop waiting, take action now.
Thanks for this post. Something you said struck me particularly. You said …..Your super power is the ability to explain things simply and put your ideas in a framework that works for your audience…. This is a particularly timely reframe for me. Thank you.
Thank you ohhh amazing woman!! This is JUST what I needed this week!! especially because i have a thought that’s been peculating in this head for some time and this helps me see that even if there are 1000 of me out there… none are actually Me! So many people hold themselves back because of #1 and #2 and I am grateful for you for helping to slash down those walls for us!!