Is that a shrimp on your nails, or are you just glad to see me?
Don't be afraid to be 100% YOU
Hey, Illuminate Me tribe!
With a headline like that, I know you must be eager to read on. But before you do, I wanted to give you a quick heads up that I’ll be leaving soon for a two-week family vacation in Europe to celebrate our daughters’ recent high school and college graduations. Since I want to be fully present during our travels, this newsletter will also take a break, but it (and I) will resume on July 10th, no doubt feeling refreshed, re-energized, and ready to share lots of illuminating new content. Until then, please enjoy this week’s edition. Thanks for your support, and see you in July!
(Oh, and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and dad-like folks out there!)
No, it’s not my lunch order; it’s my favorite nail polish.
I’ve always loved this color. It’s the perfect combination of red, orange, and pink — a warm, vibrant, and fun hue — and so ME. Every time I see it on my toes, it makes me happy.
And that’s just it.
For years, it was relegated to my pedicures only, never manicures. On my fingernails, I opted for “Mademoiselle,” a lovely translucent, pale pink. Wearing a color like that was always acceptable and appropriate, especially in business. It would never draw attention to itself.
Instead, it blended in so much that it nearly disappeared.
It finally occurred to me that I’d been treating my professional presence in much the same way, always worried about fitting in rather than highlighting ways I stood out.
(You’d think a former branding consultant would know better, but fear of rejection has a funny way of warping your logic.)
Here’s the hard-to-hear—and accept—truth: not everyone will like you. Not everyone will appreciate what you have to offer.
And they won’t find you unless you stand out.
Attract them by telling your unique story. (Even if it involves Cajun Shrimp.)
But Amy, I hear you saying, it feels icky to talk about myself.
I know and don’t worry, I’ve got you!
Here’s how to tell your career story when you hate talking about yourself:
Gather intel on yourself to see what’s out there—and determine if it’s current and helpful or out-of-date and potentially embarrassing.
Make it easy for others
A great career story helps your intended audience quickly understand who you are, what you offer, your value, what differentiates you, and how you can help them, but it requires clarity. When you’re clear, you make it easy for others to keep you top of mind as the go-to person in your industry.
Remove irrelevant experience
If something isn’t relevant, it’s muddying your message and will confuse or lose your intended audience. Be ruthless about paring down your profiles to support your destiny, not your history.
Share your wisdom
Amplify your thought leadership by consistently sharing your perspective and insights on social media content and by thoughtfully commenting on other people’s content. When you aim to serve, you help others know, like, and trust you.
Let others sing your praises
Endorsements aid in personal branding because they serve as social proof from those who’ve worked with you, adding credibility and legitimacy to your career story.
Even when you’ve embraced being 100% you, there will be trying times that make you question whether it’s all worth it.
Rest assured, disappointment is universal but manageable.
In my latest Forbes article, I share three ways to deal with things when nothing seems to go your way.
A big part of telling your story is cultivating your communication skills.
The finest communicators understand the difference between being overly reactive and thoughtfully responsive.
ICYMI, in my recent Forbes article, I shared three questions to ask yourself to be more of the latter.
Shine on, and see you July 10th!
P.S. When I’m not writing this newsletter or sporting crustacean-themed nail polish, I’m a social media ghostwriter. (Yep, that’s a thing). I help founders, entrepreneurs, and CXOs craft their stories to communicate and connect better by magnifying their reach and impact. (Think personal branding and thought leadership.) Learn more here.
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