You are a “Diamond in the rough” – first time I had heard this expression was in one of Disney’s great classics, Aladdin (1992). I was only 12 then, but the context of the expression really inspired me to inquire more … here’s what the merchant trying to sell Aladdin the magic lamp told him …
Do not be fooled by its commonplace appearance. Like so many things, it is not what outside, but what is inside that counts. This is no ordinary lamp. It once changed the course of a young man’s life. A young man, who, like this lamp, was more than what he seemed. A diamond in the rough.
The phrase is metaphorical and relates to the fact that naturally occurring diamonds are quite ordinary at first glance, and that their true beauty as jewels is only realized through the cutting and polishing process (Urban Dictionary).
The process of Personal Branding is very similar to the different phases that a gem goes through before becoming the jaw dropping stone we have to be dragged away from before we start drooling … This analogy was first introduced by William Arruda, President of Reach, and coauthor of Career Distinction, one of my all-time favorite Personal Branding books. However, I took the liberty of coining the term GEMANALOGY, not to be confused with gemology, which in our given analogy only serves as the first phase of our Personal Brand, where we get to learn more about our brand.
GEMANALOGY has three 3 interdependent phases: Extract, Express, Exude … noticeably the three words commence with EX, referring the importance of the External perception of our gem!
Phase 1 – Extract
Just like any gem, our brand needs to be discovered – extracted from the ground, carved out of the rocks … this requires dedication and patience! This where you get to know yourself … your vision, purpose, goals, passion, values, brand attributes and skills, and much more … I won’t be addressing how to go about discovering all of those in this post, but I’ll address the topic of Passion …
So what is passion? and how can you really find out what you’re passionate about? I’ll tell you one thing, it’s not easy, nor can it happen over night … here’s a helping hand though:
What fascinates you?
What excites you?
What turns you on?
What gives you a rush?
What could you go on talking about for hours?
What would make you get out of bed at 6:00 am?
What would keep you up all night?
These question should help steer you in the right direction. However, since we’re talking about cashing in on your passion, the aim is to do just that … therefore, I want you to think of your passion under that pretext. What would you do if you had all the money in the world? The format of this question, eliminates money from being an obstacle, and allows you to to truly think of aforementioned questions without bias.
Phase 2 – Express
After extracting your priceless stone, it’s time to cut it, polish it, and let it shine! This is the express phase of Personal Branding. In this stage of our GEMANALOGY, we should start developing our Personal Brand Marketing toolkit … your brand statement, bio, colors, CV (if you insist), elevator pitch and much more! Express is all about communicating your brand to the people that need to know about it.
Personal Branding is clearly communicating the unique promise of value that you offer. William Arruda
Communicating your brand is not a random act. It should be a comprehensive well developed plan that best serves the goals your laid out in the Extract phase.
Phase 3 – Exude
After unearthing your gem and giving it the cut and polish it deserves, it’s time to mount it onto the ring, the earring, the necklace … basically showcasing it to your intended audience. This phase is better known as Exude phase, where you abundantly exhibit your personal brand.
Be your brand in everything that you … remember Personal Branding is full-time lifetime job. Unless you suffer from MPD, there’s only one you – so make sure you remember that!
In our analogy, the ring, earring, or necklace are what we call the visual elements that support your brand … be it your logo, slogan, your physical appearance, your environment … yes, your environment … everything the you surround yourself with should reflect your brand and its attributes. For example, imagine you’re brand is all about fashion, and you dress like rag … does that emit confidence to you? I don’t think so …
The number one secret of earning attention is giving it – it’s BRAND KARMA …
It’s a new year, a time for resolutions – make your legacy that of this year’s! Think About It!