Why we should market ourselves.
In 2005, the King of New York, Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter said, “I’m not a businessman – I’m A BUSINESS – man!” Jay was right. We must realize that each of us is a business and therefore we should market and promote ourselves as such. A business isn’t limited to tangible infrastructure as in brick & mortar facilities or skyscrapers. Sometimes a business doesn’t have all of the makings of the classic Business Model Canvas. I must note that lacking some of the Business Canvas offerings does not nullify one’s standing as a business. To further support my theory, let’s explore the definition and purpose of a business.
What is a business?
A business is defined as an organization or economic system where goods and services are exchanged for one another or for money. Some businesses are not ‘systems’, as one person owns, runs and manages the operation – this is the self-proprietor model. Yes, in most cases, the ceiling is the limit for those who go it alone. It’s hard to scale a firm when you’re a one man band, but some are able to find success in this route. And, too, some businesses do not receive monetary returns in exchange for what is given such as a non-profit organization.
So…if a person doesn’t qualify as an organization and/or an economic system, then which factor(s) constitutes an individual as a business?? I believe that someone or something shouldn’t be defined by a label or appearance, but rather by its purpose, abilities, and offerings. Yes, your storefront is comprised of your face and wardrobe of choice. And image and branding are important, but what’s inside is what matters at the end of the day. In realizing these values, and choosing to market and capitalize on them, not only do you know what you can do, but most importantly, you know who you are. Ladies and gentleman, these are the deciding factors that authenticate you as a business.
The King of New York
Sure, Jay Z fits the textbook definition of a business. He has successfully built his organization via networking channels and hired support personnel. Also, Jay has magnificently exchanged goods and services for another or for money. But what about the lone ranger, or a small team of entrepreneurs? Just like the self-proprietor, they lack the ‘organization’, but goods and services are exchanged for one another or for money. As mentioned above, purpose, abilities, and offerings with value are what truly counts when it comes to business.
For example, KFC is first and foremost a fried chicken restaurant, yet the chicken they market and sell isn’t REAL CHICKEN! Conversely, a firm like Discount Tire knows what its purpose and strengths are: a tire and wheel retailer with an emphasis on delivering supreme customer service. No frills, no thrills, no bullshit. What about you? Do you know what you can do? Do you know who you are? What can you offer to the world?
What about you?
No matter who you are, everyone can do something. Each of us has been blessed with talent and skill, i.e. our Value Proposition. Many of us are prone to use our superpowers in the workplace or for our own businesses. Some have opted to use their gifts in the non-profit sector or to help a friend, family member or stranger in need. Either way, like a business, you have something of value to offer someone or something, hence these endowments are to be marketed and used accordingly.
We should never depend on anyone to write our own narrative, nor should anyone know US better than WE know ourselves. It is imperative to know who you are. SWOT yourself if need be in order to find out what endeavors you should and should not partake in. Whether you are seeking profit or looking to make someone’s life a little easier, market yourself and your skills. Whatever your motive, the value that you add to the circle of life will help make this world shine a little bit brighter. What good are talents if we fail to market and promote them? How viable are these God given gifts if we never use them? Hence the reasons we should Market and Promote ourselves.
Spread the gospel and let the world know who you are.
In his book, Promote, author Rick Gillis offers the reader an array of strategies on how to market and promote themselves for employment. Some of the strategies recommended by Gillis include, but are not limited to the following:
- Take a personal inventory of their accomplishments.
- Make business cards to showcase one’s abilities and career endeavors.
- Distribute these cards while out in public, such as a trip to your mechanic, a visit to the hair stylist and certainly at any kind of networking function.
I understand how difficult it is for some to market and promote themselves. Some people are shy. If you’re not comfortable, you have to get over it and break out of your comfort zone. Others wonder if they can compete in today’s world when the attention span of most has been reduced or diminished. Maybe you don’t believe you have a chance to penetrate the psyche of today’s modern man & woman? Sun Tzu said, “The battle is won before it is fought.” Don’t focus on what you can’t do. Imagine and proclaim victory before you take the field, and with time, persistence and patience, you’ll be OK.
Perhaps the strategies listed by Gillis do not appeal to you? If so, they’re not the only means to market and promote who you are and what you can do. No matter what you do to market yourself, just make sure your ‘way’ is legal & ethical and do it ASAP! Remember that in order to qualify as a business, you need not have an entourage and revenue streams. I am a proponent of team work and multiple inflows of cash. However, sometimes one man can make a difference and a good payday is not always the pinnacle of success.
And lastly, aside from making a profit or helping someone in need, market and promote yourself to toot your own horn. I’ve told my friend ‘The Greek Goddess’ this time and time again and hopefully, she listens to me. Credit and recognition, when given and taken in moderation, are healthy for the soul. After all, if you’re good at something(s), let the world know and allow your light to shine from here to heavens.
Keep on shining, grinding and marketing yourself,