2 posts from month 07/2011

Asking My Mentor About… Self-Confidence

Exploring Peer-to-Peer Mentoring

July was the second installment of Christine and my monthly Peer-to-Peer Mentoring series. On her blog, I answered her question: Along my career path, I travel wearing many hats. From a writer and designer's perspective, what tools do you use to portray career evolution to your audience? More specifically, how do you keep your bio updated to portray the ever-evolving you so it represents your business as extension of yourself rather than a mere list of accomplishments?

My Question to My Mentor:

Do you have difficulty feeling confident about the work you do and the value it adds? If so, how does it manifest itself? And do you have any tools you use to boost your confidence when you feel it faltering?

Christine's Answer:

For starters, I’ve never felt like I fit into the status quo. Not at school as a kid, not at other jobs etc. Now I can look back to see this was an opportunity I’ve been able to grow exponentially from. Not fitting in raises questions early on, “why am I not like the others?” “don’t they like me?” “what should I be doing to fit in?” Turns out when I pushed and pulled to fit myself into the confines of spaces I wasn’t shaped for, it felt uncomfortable. And, when I did at times wedge myself into spaces I didn’t fit, turned out a lot of the other people in there, weren’t so happy either. So, I decided, (sub-consciously perhaps), early on to be a shaper. It was a risk I had to take because the other reality wasn’t working for me.

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The Pirates Knew the Value of Meaningful Branding

Pirates

I like to think about pirates when I think about branding.

Branding is an abstract concept and I find hard to understand or explain. So when I'm thinking about branding, I think about pirates.

As I see it, pirates are one of the oldest and most effective brands.

Just imagine that you were sailing on a big, wooden ship in the middle of some cold, lonely waterway and you saw a ship appear in the distance. As it heads towards you, you see that it flies a flag... and as it gets even closer to you, you see what's on the flag... GULP... a skull and crossbones. Seeing this logo, you immediately form an idea of what kind of experience is in store for you, courtesy of the pirate brand. The pirates also had a brand promise - YOU ARE F*$KED - and they consistently delivered on it, client experience after client experience.

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