The past two months have been absolutely amazing, not for the lockdown but I really meant it for my personal development, education & training. I have upgraded my skills in certain things: building websites, establishing two non-profit organizations and mentoring for two private students. Not to mention that I am still able to take care of my house works (cleaning and cooking), I’ve managed to wake up by 6:30AM every morning and to cope with 1,000 multi-tasks. Now I’ve got to say that Covid-19 has changed my life for the better. I don’t need anyone to motivate me as I have enough energy to motivate myself to get my tasks done.
I’ve become a ‘how-to’ girl
This sounds much to me like I have become the character Andie Anderson from “How to lose a guys in 10 days”. I’ve got people to come and ask for me for advices on how to write an effective email, how to prepare an event proposal or how to enter a certain market when they’ve already got their products or services readily available. Then I’ve heard some people are trying to boost their popularity during Covid-19, because they are no longer able to travel so let’s all become super stars.
Then suddenly, I am getting a little tired, because I would love to help them, but I am unable divide myself enough to help each and every person for every situation that my assistance is needed, and because things take time, especially decent or good things will take even a longer lead time.
Honestly speaking, I am not the type of person who are so much into socializing. I still dislikes most organizations or any form of networks as they are not impactful enough, but rather full of lousy people. I didn’t think that I need a Master’s Degree. I didn’t think I would create a Facebook Page under my name, for what? I didn’t think that I would imagine myself one day after another, sticking into online learning and surprisingly, I am actually enjoying it, and the best part is, they are all working out so well for me. If I need something from someone, I will just need a call away, or an email or a message. Doesn’t it sound like miracle that I could get things done so effortlessly? No, I am not that great, because it doesn’t just happen after a night or two. I don’t do things just because of my life has been disrupted by a pandemic, I do things because I believe they are either what I genuinely need or the right things for me to do.
I’ve got some said that they wanted to be a thought leader
LinkedIn is a perfect tool for the matter of personal branding in a professional business context. Let’s take my LinkedIn profile as an example. I understand it’s not the TOP TOP profile of thousands or millions of followers, but I am confident that it is a type of profile that not everyone can have. My profile is professional and interesting enough to impress an increasing number of audience. I’ve started to talk about LinkedIn more and more often to both old and young generations and I can’t stress enough what LinkedIn can actually do for you if you use it wisely – for your life learning and career. The reason that I said you need to use it wisely is because LinkedIn itself can be full of trash and it can negatively impact on your mental health if you connect with the wrong type of people. Everyone can be the ‘wrong’ type of people if you cannot find the good in them, if they don’t add value to your life and especially if that person brings you more harms than goods to your own well-being. In this case, I would immediately disconnect with these connections without giving myself a second thought. I know I might sound a little harsh but life has enough trouble of its own.
Don’t be a Quodophile, if you want to become a thought leader
Let’s us be a little strategic here: You wanted to be a thought leader who has the ability to influence people, perhaps it’s worth looking at what Richard Branson or Bill Gates or their peer billionaire public figures do, or don’t do for their branding purposes. I am not referring to the fact that they would have been supported by their giant media and/or branding teams in order to keep their messages consistent and original. In fact, you might be doubting at times but you won’t be able to tell if it comes from them or from their media team.
The question is, how many times do you spot Richard Branson or Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos quoting someone’s else quotes or you would be the ones who quote their quotes? Not many to what I’ve got to see. If you are striving to be that significant someone who makes an impact, you need to be better than just a Copy & Paste type of person or a Quodophile, a term refers to “A collector of quotes”. If you have a good piece of information from a reliable source and you would like to share, you can do it once in a while, for those pieces of information that you think are impactful to people and that you don’t often see other people mentioning it. But if you think this is the way to go forward then think again – As a thought leader – you need to show your original thoughts. If you do the thing that almost every person in the room can do – such as being a-predictable-inspirational-collector-of-quotes or a-not-so-breaking-news-sharer, you might not be so different at all from the crowd.
Be original & Be an active learner
I know it’s easy for me to say now, because I’ve tried, I’ve failed, I have embarrassing moments of my life and I will still encounter other awkward moments in other contexts. However, I’ve got enough right to say as I’ve been using LinkedIn for more than 10 years, consistently, not only for the sake of connecting with people but also for the purpose of learning as well as for building my personal and corporate branding. I don’t know if I am skillful enough to call myself a LinkedIn expert according to Malcolm Gladwell discussed in his bestseller, “Outliers“. Malcolm said, to become an expert it takes 10,000 hours (or approximately 10 years) of deliberate practice, but I know I have somehow got into an advanced level that an immediate user would need to take years to advance their skills.
Having said that, we are all learners here in different aspects. I am not trying to outsmart anybody in the room and I do believe people choose to work with you because they appreciate you for who you are or for the work you do. For this reason, if you want to deliver a successful sales speech or to write an effective email, you can learn the techniques that you learn from various schools of thought, but please be authentic and be original to win attention and establish trust before anything else. This is perhaps one the best possible ways to market yourself in today’s world where self-proclaimed experts are readily to speak at any given moment to be in the spotlight. In the meantime, please keep learning and keep practicing when and where you can. You may as well consider getting a mentor/trainer/coach whoever you want to label them so that they can help you achieve your goals on certain work or life aspects.