lamiki

on life, ambitions, and dreams

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Posts Tagged ‘personal branding’

Writing Prompt: Who are you?

This year for National Blog Posting Month, I’m writing prompts for a small group of bloggers. Here’s tomorrow’s prompt, and here’s the list of all NaBloPoMo prompts before this.

Work in Progress sign

Prompt #19 (Nov 21)

You are not your resume; you are a collective of your life/work experience combined. If you were to look at all the jobs you’ve had, the hobbies, the things you choose to do, and what excites you the most, what’s that common thread that weaves all of those things together?

Who are you at your core? What is it that you can’t, not do?

Who shook their resume:

Photo by Grant Kwok

When do you become a local Seattlelite?

Seattle Sunset over Elliot Bay

I was born and raised in the Seattle-area (read: suburbs) to parents who migrated West from the great cornfields of Iowa (or something romantic like that). I spent many summers crossing the Western United States on various pilgrimages to-and-from Grandparents houses and I can name all fifty states in alphabetical order and lay them out on a map from memory.

I spent my college years studying hipsterdom first-hand in the great city of Portland, Oregon, but made the journey back “home” to Seattle upon graduation.

I am – and always will be – a native Seattleite.

But as another Seattleite pointed out to me this past weekend – we are “rare.”

So today on Twitter I jokingly asked  –

Because, in all honestly, I don’t know where being a “Seattlelite” starts and ends if you’re (gasp!) imported. And got the following responses –

My question to you  – when do you officially become a local?

Photo Credit: Laura Kimball (me!)

The Side Project: All You Need is One

what you really look like when you multitask by ryan ritchie

In college, my screenwriting professor said that down in LA, every other person has a screen play in their back pocket. In these days of the hipster generation, I’d say that every other person has a startup, a side-project, or even a business that they’re working on in their spare time. And in tech communities like Seattle, I’d say that’s every person.

Ideas are everywhere. And the Internet makes it so easy to turn a ‘hobby’ into a business.

Are you a habitual side project starter?

You are full of ideas. You look at the world and problems that need fixing. And you know exactly how to do it.

You think up new projects and jump on them.  When you start, it’s like you’ve caught a fever — you brainstorm, purchase the domain name, snag the Twitter handle, and tell everyone you know about what you’re working on. You can’t be stopped.

But then it happens again. You get a new idea and it’s better than the one before.  You place your current project on hold or abandon it entirely.

The cycle repeats itself.

Question, are you jumping from project to project, because:

  1. You haven’t found that ‘one’ project that you really, really, really want to focus on?
  2. You believe that you can work on every single project at the same time (or switch as you follow your folly)?
  3. You don’t have the confidence that any of your ideas are ‘good enough’ to succeed?

Stop juggling side projects. Commit.

Projects, like goals, are most successful when you focus on one or two at a time. That way you can make an honest, full-blown effort at seeing one of those ideas through before choosing to go all the way or jump ship.

You need to specialize and focus on one project at a time. It’s why top companies focus their entire business on one thing, either having the best price, the best quality product, or the best service than anyone else in their industry. It’s why Zappos is known for great customer service, Southwest Airlines for price, and Apple for product (though the fan boys do help).

If you juggle too many projects at one time, you’re bound to drop one or keep them in the air at half mast. And multitasking may be bad for your brain.

If you’re constantly starting new projects, stop. Pick one and start working on it. Follow your curiosity and see where it goes. It might be everything you hoped it would be or it might be an utter failure. If it’s the latter, then scrap it and move on to the next one.

You may be surprised by what happens when you focus.

Photo credit: ryantron.

Picturing My True Identity

Laura in Madrid, Spain, Summer 2000

Tonight I had dinner with my friend Harmony who is taking a 100-day break from working and blogging about it. Yesterday she shared an old photo of herself that gave her insight to one of the happiest moments of her life and insight into her true self.

But it’s more than just a photo; it’s about finding who you are based on who you were from your past. As Harmony puts it in her blog post:

Right now I have two books on my nightstand (from the library). Redirect by Timothy D. Wilson and Public Parts by Jeff Jarvis. I am finished with the former and just a chapter into the latter. Tim may not be as good at writing as Jeff is, but he is a pretty damn good scientist. He proposes that so many of our societies ills and traumas could be cured with story editing. He describes a method for re-writing how you see yourself. By changing our own self image, we can be happier, more successful and healthier – and this is all proved with scientifica studies.

If we could merge this “surprising new science of psychological change” with the message in Jeff’s book, “how sharing in the digital age improves the way we work and live,” you would end up with more or less what I am doing here with this blog.

Tonight when I got home, I went through my boxes of photos to find one that represented the image of how I see myself. The one that stuck out the most is the one at the top of this post. This one was taken in Madrid, Spain during the summer of 2000. I was 14 and on a student ambassador trip to Italy, France, and Spain. It was a summer of self-discovery and figuring out who I was, which is something that is bound to happen as a teenager studying abroad or traveling internationally with other teenagers.

This photo was taken before our final dinner of the three-week long trip. And the girl pictured here turned into the one below – a freshman in high school, with confidence of steel, true friends, and blue hair.

When I think of my own self image, this is who I think of.

Laura and Jaclyn, freshman year

Building My Brand: Laura’s Next Chapter

What is one thing that About.me, LinkedIn, Facebook, and even Twitter have in common? It’s that all four of those sites were designed to tell other people about you. About.me does it in a brief biography and by connecting all of your other personas around the web in one place. LinkedIn is tells your professional story. Facebook has an ‘info’ tab as well as the story of your likes, friends, and activity. And Twitter does this in the 160-character bio and through every single thing that you tweet.

All four of those sites were designed to tell others who you are and determine which box to put you into.

Up until last week, most people knew me as a nonprofit marketing girl. And before that I was a book-publishing girl. But I was never okay with that title either and that’s because in all of these cases, both labels only described one facet of my life and answered one question that people would ask of me, and that is: “What do you do?”

We are more than what our job titles and our job descriptions define us to be. And titles are kind of outdated anyway. It’s not so much who we are, but what we do that matters. As a good friend once said, it’s not how you begin or end a story, but what happens along the way that matters.

Find the common thread in your brand

You are not your job title and you are not your career. But you are the person who does incredible work within the functions and responsibilities of your job.

Whenever I advise people who are unhappy with their job, but don’t know what they want to do next, I ask them to write a list of all the projects they worked on in the past and especially the ones that they felt the most empowered and successful doing. From there, we’ll be able to see the common thread that connects their past positions and recommend the step they should take in the future.

I have had a professional background that covers a lot of job industries and backgrounds, but there’s one thing that’s in common in every single position that I’ve held. In each position where I was the most successful, it was at a startup or a new company that allowed me to build things. It was usually a marketing communications role (either officially or not) that was never filled by anyone else before. I had big goals to fulfill and it was up to me to figure out how to get there.

In the simplest words – I build things for a living.

I helped build Wordstock, Jolkona, and this blog. This is what I love doing. And that is why when I was given the incredible opportunity to help build another company, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Time to put on my Scrappy Face

Scrappy Face's Scrappy Dachshunds

Starting today, I am joining Scrappy Face, a small business consulting firm that is launching soon. My official title is social media strategy and community manager, but what’s more exciting is with this opportunity I will:

Build – their brand, their community, and their service offerings. I’ll be leading social media strategy for Scrappy Face and for their clients, product and service development, and another cool, super secret project.

Be a part of a company on a mission – Scrappy Face was born out of heart. It was created to help the dreamers and risk takers move from overwhelming stages of paralysis to action. Scrappy Face was designed, as the banner on their website says, to help “a person who is little but can really kick [butt].”

Continue to be an entrepreneur in training – three weeks ago I came out as an entrepreneur in training, and while I am not the founder or owner of Scrappy Face, my position on the ground floor of this firm will allow me to learn the skills I will need to launch my own business when the time is right.

Learn – from an amazing founder and CEO, clients, and community of thinkers, builders, and do-ers who are bootstrapping, self-funding, and side hustling to make their dreams happen.

Scrappy Face logoToday, I’m excited to put on my Scrappy Face and I hope you will too. Join us on Facebook and follow us Twitter, you don’t want to miss this.

For more about the journey that’s ahead, read this post from the founder and CEO of Scrappy Face, Kate Walling: Claiming Scrappy Face: The Story of Launching My Second Startup.