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Let's say you get hit by a bus tomorrow...

Day of the Dead

I listen to a lot of podcasts. Some of my friends might say too many and too often. Those friends are dead to me. Just kidding. But what I love about them (podcasts, not my friends) is not only the opportunity to learn and hear diverse perspectives on things, but they often give me ideas for this newsletter. (Ok, maybe that also ascribes to my friends.)

One such episode was talking about funerals. And how if the host and guest had their druthers, they'd lean towards the celebration of life type of event vs. the morose and devastatingly sad event that is most funerals. But what really got me is this idea that you can't control what people say about you at a funeral, and frankly most people are in no condition to be going on about the person who died anyway. (I might have some control issues.)

Write your own story

I realize that if you're dead, you won't know what people will say about you and therefore it doesn't matter. But, since my living is literally made helping people to tell their own story and carve their own narrative, this feels kind of important. But of course, writing about ourselves is hard. This is why I have a job. Most of us don't see ourselves the way others see us. We downplay what makes us special.

So, perhaps having others talk about us when we're gone makes sense. They will likely shine the light on the good things, the things we took for granted. The things they appreciated the most. And chances are those things aren't that we had abs, or worked hard or made a lot of money. More likely it's that we had a great work ethic, were dedicated and giving, and that we made them laugh.

Forget the rose-colored glasses

I'm not saying that all the less admirable qualities get swept under the rug, but it does seem like when people die, all that small shit doesn't matter. No one is eulogizing that one time you snapped at them, or your aggressive driving (although in my case...). They likely don't care about your morning routine or whether you ate organic. Because when we're gone, what people miss is, to quote Maya Angelou, "the way we made them feel." That's what matters.

Marketing is emotion

Making people feel is the crux of marketing but also the crux of business. Whatever we're selling, be it a service or a product, comes down to filling a need that people have. And our message around that product or service tells them how we want them to feel about it. We have complete control over that. We get to say what our mission is, our reason or our why, and the thing we want them to get from using our product or service. So many of my clients lament that "everyone does this" or "everyone says this" or "I don't know what I do differently." This makes me insane. Really. I yell at them!

Because who we are makes us different.

How we approach our offering makes us different.

How we engage with clients and customers makes us different.

The very fact that we exist out of the billions of possibilities when sperm meets egg means we're different. And that isn't just worth eulogizing, that's worth celebrating, acknowledging and sharing.

What are your reviews?

One thing I often ask my clients to do is to ask up to five people in their life for words that come to mind when that person thinks of them. These should be friends, family, colleagues, clients, neighbors, you get the picture. What always happens is that there are a few words that get brought up repeatedly by multiple people and those words are not only something we don't appreciate about ourselves, but show just what others see in us. Those are the things that matter to other people and we take for granted. Those are our differentiators that we assume everyone has (they don't).

Go write your eulogy

So, what would you want people to say about you once you're gone? It's not too late to tell that story now.

To share what you think makes you special.

To ask people what they think makes you special.

It's not too late to create your narrative and highlight all that makes you different from everyone else.

I promise you that you're special. In the immortal words of Oscar Wilde, "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken."

Want to take a little Field Trip?

FieldTrips are meetups to interact, learn and collaborate in an effort to level-up your creative life. These are free community-organized events built on the spirit of generosity that has powered CreativeMornings events for the past 10 years. And I'm fortunate enough to be hosting one in a few weeks. Join me virtually on 11/10 at 9am EST, for a guided class on using my About Me Mad Libs and building an About Page that, you guessed it, kicks ass.

Get ready to rock!

Teamwork makes the dream work. I'm partnering up with another branding badass, Chris Vaglio to share some Personality Brand knowledge on November 4. You'll leave with some real tips you can implement to turn your bio into a booming brand advertisement.

Meet the Mavens of Marketing

I love me some badass women. Especially women who have done and are doing amazing entrepreneurial shit. I was so excited to sit down with my friend and client Kerry Barrett, and her podcast partner Rachel Durkan, for a conversation around personality brand. Watch or listen.


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