Walt's Life Rhyme #308     Oh, My Word!    A unique brand of inspiration by Walt F.J. Goodridge! (Originally sent as Walt's Friday Inspirations)

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''Oh, My Word! ''

So what's the word you bring to mind?
What word do you now own?
What attribute above all else
are you most widely known?

Do people think you gracious, great
or giddy, good or glad?
Perhaps they think you surly, spiteful
shallow, sick or sad

Perception is reality
know this, and if you're wise
you'll learn how others see you
for their truth lies in their eyes

And if the word's consistent
with the best you strive to be
Then count yourself among the few
who like what others see

But if that word reflects a you
of which you're not too proud
then make the change your goal
so that in future all are wowed!

So, I'm reading a book called the 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, and started thinking how to translate what I'm learning about building brands in the business world, into the language of personal growth.

Here's an exercise for the bold and daring. Ask your closest friends and family what one word they associate with you. (Tip: Don't do this if you can't handle the truth!) Volvo owns the word "safety." (If you want a safe car, you look to Volvo.) Kleenex owns the word "tissue" ("Pass me the Kleenex!") Federal express owns the word "overnight." ("Fedex this to our client in Seattle"). Xerox owns "copier." ("Xerox this for me, please.")

Similarly, as you endeavor to grow into the new you, like any entity seeking to make its mark in others' minds, know that there's probably a word that comes to mind when others see, think or hear of you. And the key to being all you can be, at least in others' minds, is knowing what that word is. That's your brand. That's the word that represents your brand attribute. And when it comes to branding, the reality of what you stand for is the perception others have of you. In other words, you are what people think you are. [Note I said "when it comes to branding" not in ultimate reality.]

What if you don't like what you hear? What if people think you whiny, rigid, bossy, difficult, boring, or offer some other colorful expression to describe what makes you special? The bad news is that, like a first impression, it might be hard to change current public perception. (that's why Coors bottled water and Levi Strauss Shoe ventures both failed). The good news is, you can always change friends! Just kidding. But seriously, life gives you the chance to establish a new brand identity with each new person you meet. Use the feedback from those who know you, to help you grow into the person you want others to know!

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Walt's Life Rhyme #308
(Oh, My Word! )
© Walt F.J. Goodridge
Originally published: 08-22-2003
''I share what I know,
so that others may grow!''


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