I’m a child of the information age and, throughout my formative years, this “age” made me promises. My top three favorites were: 1. an embarrassment of knowledge about people, places, and things, 2. limitless, constant connectivity, 3. flying cars.
I’m still waiting on the flying cars but, everything else is here. Between the internet, cell phones and social media, a business man in Wisconsin can acquire a customer base in Osaka, Japan without ever having to set foot on a plane or learn Japanese. Goliath is shrinking and David has grown 10 feet taller.
We are more interconnected than any generation before. Yet, so many are getting lost in the shuffle.
My work found me collaborating with several Fortune 500 companies, celebrities, and regular folks to help establish brand, maintain brand, or further brand. As a result of my work, I’ve asked a lot of people, “Who are you?” Almost every time, the person would tell me their name and what they do for a living. I was amazed. As human beings, we are complicated beyond our names and our occupations. These – in no way – tell anyone who you truly are.
Of course, I understand why the disconnection exists. We’re taught to not talk about ourselves because it’s seen as bragging and arrogance. This societal idea is detrimental to people who have to handle their own promotion due to budgets or other limited resources.
When someone asked me to start speaking about reputation maintenance and self-publicity, I originally thought the idea was very small. As I started talking to entrepreneurs, talent professionals, creatives and executives, I began realizing the issue is infinitely bigger.
The economy has removed most people’s ability to rest in sedentary careers. Most of us have to diversify to survive or even evolve in our careers. Yet, pursuing a dream can truly be financial suicide if you don’t have a plan.
I launched Do It In Public as a website for my speaking but, as most living things, it is growing into much more. My play on the term, “Public Relations,” and this idea of putting yourself out there has expanded into a free monthly newsletter with over 15,000 readers. Meanwhile, I am still speaking to groups about the power of voice and owning your own image.
If I can impart anything to the world, it will be that you must love your dreams. You must love them more than you expect anyone else to and you must teach others how to get excited about your pursuits. If you tap into your passion and the humanity behind your dedication, you can promote your dreams and yourself without being arrogant. In fact, you owe it to your passion/your product/your career/your business to promote it and give it every chance to thrive. It is the least you can do for something you love. – JD