Why the Past Matters in Creating Your Brand

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Well hey.  Look at that, you’re reading my writing!  At some point I thought that was all I’d ever want or need after university.  As it turned out, rent, food, healthcare, and tickets back to California twice a year also turned out to be things I wanted and needed.  That’s how I ended up working at a fortune 500 technology company as a retail clerk.  And then as corporate store support.  And then as a B2B rep.  And now in marketing.  It’s been a journey that began the moment I picked up the phone for my first phone interview, and which I almost derailed without even knowing it on many many occasions, at many many Manhattan bars those first two years working in the city.

The thing about building your brand is that everything that happens to you matters.  What happened to you to make you who you are, how you deal with those things and how you communicate their impact on you (and to whom), and whether or not you learned from them matters.  It drives me crazy when some hip, enlightened New Yorker tries to explain to me how they’ve “left all the negativity behind them” and they are starting fresh.  We don’t start fresh – we walk around with all of our stories rattling around inside of our heads like beta-fish, they fight for attention and sometimes eat each other leaving behind murky confusion and bits of the loser.

So why the enormous Tortoise in the picture?  Because its so easy – especially as a go getting twenty-something, to forget that the things we are doing now are the story of us next year.  The choices we make today will be the choices we have to live with tomorrow, and the people we give our time to will not only impact us, we become associated with them in the minds of everyone who knew us then.  Will you give yourself weight to carry around?  Or build an exoskeleton that will protect you from harm?  That tortoise will live to be over 100 years old, and carries enormous weight, that also serves as awesome built in protection.  He doesn’t turn so well, but he can motor pretty good when it’s time to eat.  Moral of the story: your actions in navigating the corporate world, regardless of your goals, need to be about making choices now that will give you options later.

 

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