Finding a way to say YES

I’ve recently been asked to do a number of speaking engagements on building your personal brand statement, so I thought I’d share some of the key outtakes that I’ve learned along the way. When we set out to build the Robinson Duo’s brand we spent a huge amount of time looking ourselves in the mirror and distilling who we were as a Duo and what we wanted our brand to say.

There are some pretty great personal brand statements out there, such as Steve Jobs ‘My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better’ or Sir Richard Branson’s ‘Don’t betray your dreams for the sake of fitting in. Dreamers move the world forward’.  What I love about these statements is that they both really reflect their individual and I think many people would simply read the statement and attribute it to the person.  Job done, right?  Well, in a sense.

Personal brand statements can take time to develop, but the longer you take to discover yours, the further down the track you’ll be.  So, start now!

I stumbled across my personal brand statement when returning from maternity leave (after having our first son Tom almost 4 years ago). When I returned from maternity leave to mine and James’ former business, Au Pair Link, I felt as if our culture had changed. We had become more bureaucratic and we were constantly saying no. In fact, we were working incredibly hard to fit within our set of boundaries – instead of thinking outside of the box. This meant that we weren’t meeting our customer needs and expectations and that we had become slow to action.

I gathered the team for a pep talk and for the first time formulated what I felt the problem was, we were working incredibly hard to say no to ideas and innovations – rather than finding a way of saying yes to them.

I thought long and hard about what that actually meant and distilled it to ‘Find a way of saying YES, rather than a reason to say no’. The reason why this is so important is that I believe that raw, “crazy” ideas come from a good place (trying to innovate/change/adjust and inspire). While the idea might not be perfect at first, generally if you take some time to consider what the problem was in the first place – we can find a way to say YES.

So what’s your personal brand statement?  Check out my previous blog on distilling your personal brand, that’s the first part of this exercise.  Once you’ve realised that brand for yourself, what does that mean to other people – what do you stand for?

One sentence that defines your place in the world.  Job done?  Well, in a sense.