Keep sifting the debris until you only have left stories that pay it forward
Think about a supermarket of which you are not a fan, and how their ad campaigns disinterest you. Now think about reading stories about this company that really appeals to you; – perhaps the animal lover, reader, educator, social worker, dreamer. This unexpectedly alters the way you perceive this company.
As your perception changes, you slowly move from being a sceptic to becoming curious. Perhaps you’ll ‘give it a go’ and after trying it you might find that your preconceived ideas were biased and that you could even find yourself becoming an advocate for their product(s) or brand.
We can’t pay for a good public reputation, or at least you could try to but it’s like trying to purchase patience in a packed convenience store. There is no currency for investing in a good public reputation, other than finding your true self and by default your true product, and then telling stories about its vision, aspirations, and purpose.
You are endeavouring to shape, alter, or even diverge from the dominant public perceptions by whatever angle you choose to pursue. Are you the go-getter, the adventurer, the trusted ‘familiar face’ or the zealous fellow embarking on a new adventure? Are you trying to marry all of the above by being passionate about becoming a trusted advisor or market leader that could appeal to Millennials and Generation Z? When the target audience becomes ‘a state of mind’ and you can align your brand with that authentically, then the fun starts.
Convention has taught us otherwise but with Generation Z entering adulthood and entering the market, we are suddenly required to embrace the concept of a bare-footed CEO in an interview, or an approachable Socialite as the public relations officer of the company. Incidentally, we have also seen what it really means to be generous in today’s terms – giving to others while with those traits that money can not buy – time and attention.
Our time becomes the reputation currency which we have to balance consistently and mindfully by making sure that we are a great 6 or 8 out of 10 in all facets of the life wheel, rather than a solid 10 at work only, and a 2 as a spouse, parent or friend. Investing our time, mindful of this balance, will have spin-offs in other areas of your life.
If you have built your company on Legacy but times have changed and you are agile enough to adapt with the times and thrive, then be sure to breathe the new culture into both your internal and external stakeholder communications to truly bring new life to it. What you believe in, ultimately becomes your reality, and will become a reality for your customers should you be willing to allow them to join in your journey where you succeed and also when you make mistakes.
A gentle reminder, if you allow others to make mistakes, then allow yourself too – but keep the pace of moving forward and upward in the avenues, fuelling your passionate purpose. If you are not expanding or contracting where you have to, you will feel unease. Unease is good. Use that unease as a motivator to drive your transformation to the vision you want to achieve.
I like to think of it as an around-the-world journey with no clear itinerary, but I am only allowed to pack 10 items. Inevitably there will be many thoughts about whether you have all you need for the trip ahead. The trick is to keep on packing, and perhaps more importantly un-packing, until you have found your ‘top 10’ for your unique journey.
Your journey may require you to have more courage at the bank, at school or at work. How about less stress before bedtime or in your mad morning rush routine, more 1-on-1 with your partner, less binge watching of “The Witcher”, more salad, less moaning?
Whatever it is, try ignoring it as you may, and you will find it screaming at you in no time.
Learn to listen to the ebb and flow of your life tides, stay true to your path and keep seeking the balance, – acknowledge and own your most valuable currency, and strive to identify what is in that perfectly packed suitcase that arms you for whatever the journey may hold.