It’s been nearly 80 years since Lana Turner was discovered while cutting class and sitting at a Hollywood soda fountain.
Let there be no doubt—the days of waiting for your talent to be discovered are over.
If you want more, if you want to be noticed, it’s your responsibility to position yourself to move your career forward. You need to learn to tell the story of your accomplishments and your aspirations. It’s true that people love happy endings. But achieving the happy ending you really want, that’s up to you. When it comes down to it, nobody cares that you get exactly what you want.
Nobody cares about your career, that you fulfill your potential personally and professionally, or whether you accomplish your life’s mission. Nobody cares.
What happens in your career belongs to you. You are responsible for articulating and pursuing the career you want. Let that sink in for a moment—then, you can sit in a corner and cry or you can be liberated by being in charge.
Being in charge means telling your story. It’s about recognizing your skills, celebrating your gifts, and championing all that you have to offer the world. And if it doesn’t get out of your head, if you don’t find a way to share it with the world, you have passed up the opportunity to step into your light and go after what you want.
Make no mistake, it’s your story—to own and to tell. If you don’t, someone else will.
It happens every minute of every day. People size you up. They see you in a context that defines you. If you don’t create that context, if you don’t tell your story, someone else will. In that moment, you lose ownership of the story that’s all about you. If you don’t say what you want, people around you will assume you already have it or perhaps even worse, they will assume they know what you want and move you in a direction that isn’t right for you. Unless people know what you want, they have no way to help you get it. That’s why you must be able to tell your story.
Articulating your value and getting noticed is all about storytelling. And the best storytelling, like the best marketing and the best brands, is memorable. It’s concise. It’s purposeful. It’s evocative. It may be colorful. But most importantly, it’s true, really true. One hallmark of a great brand is the uncompromising truth of the story it tells and its unquestionable alignment with all it represents. As the face you present to the world, your story is the single strongest element you will carry on your path moving forward. There’s no more powerful way to be remembered and to set yourself apart.
But what if you just aren’t the type of person who can self-promote? What if extolling your own virtues is out of your comfort zone?
Get over it.
When you stake your claim to what you want to accomplish and set your life’s mission you can find your truth and say who you are. It will give you a voice.
Your story is about truth—your truth. The things that make you interesting and special may feel untraditional and off-center. Embrace them. That is exactly where your uniqueness lives. Hold onto it with both hands. The things that made you different in high school may have made you an outlier. Those are the very same things that will elevate you above the masses in your life. Don’t ever be afraid to be you. Be authentic. If you don’t, your life will never resonate in a genuine way, and the story you tell won’t point to what will make you happier.
There’s another reason your story is so important. Once you can articulate it truthfully, it will empower you. Your number one goal is to tell your story better than anyone else, before anyone else, and in a way that’s relevant, emotive and memorable. The strength of your personal story can become a self-fulfilling prophecy and an aura of purposefulness can take you a long way in this world. Quite simply, if you look like you know where you’re going, you will be amazed at the people who will let you—even help you—get there. Your confidence will inspire you, and it will inspire those around you.
Still not sure you’re comfortable promoting yourself? Go to the refrigerator, open the door, and know that light is on just for you.