I recently took an on-line quiz that tells what color crayon you would be – if you were a crayon. I was yellow. Okay, it’s a silly quiz but it got me thinking about a person’s true colors. Are you showing your true colors to the world or are you a chameleon, changing colors depending on the person you’re meeting with, or because of a certain image you’re trying to project in business or at work?
The expression, “showing true colors”, stems from the time of the fighting sail when ship captains would fly the enemy’s flag in order to infiltrate their territory. Then, before attacking, the offensive ship would change its flag to the true colors of the ship’s country. In today’s social terms it means showing your true self and in some connotations where your loyalties lie.
The same principle applies when it comes to your personal brand. Your brand encompasses your points of distinction that make you uniquely you. Think of it as a one-of-a-kind crayon box full of your specific true colors.
A healthy brand continues to evolve and as long as you’re true to your values and philosophies the brand still projects your true colors. Speaking from my own experience, I’m continually tweaking my brand, but the core values and philosophies behind my brand are resolute. What remains fluid are new opportunities and changes in the marketplace. Then it’s all about being flexible enough to allow those opportunities that align with your brand’s philosophies to expand your business or your brand.
Case in point, the re-launch of my website as well as the launch of new programs in my business are a result of exactly that – paying attention to the opportunity signs that can be seamlessly incorporated into my brand.
How do you know what your personal brand is?
- Set aside some time to reflect on what your personal and business philosophies are – what personal code do you live by? Examples: work/life balance makes for more productivity; great success comes from great risk; when you live your values the results take care of themselves.
- If money were no object how would you choose to do?
- What qualities and behaviors do you respect and consider essential? These would help you determine what your core values are. Examples: speaking truth; respect for others; humorous outlook on life.
- Make a list of your distinctive descriptives – what sets you apart. Be completely honest with yourself.
By answering these simple, yet thought-provoking questions a glimpse of your brand starts to emerge. The true colors in your crayon box. Your brand then becomes the barometer by which you make career and business decisions.
As usual, the Bard said it well:
“We know what we are, but now we know what we may be.” William Shakespeare