Have you ever stopped to think about how you’re managing your public life? Okay, maybe you’re wondering, “What public life?”
So, let me explain.
Most of us will agree we have a personal life and we have a work life. Yet, we don’t usually think about having a “public” life. We know politicians and celebrities have public lives. But think we do not. Yet, the reality is that your success is driven by the positive regard of others. Though you may not have looked at it this way, your reputation exists by virtue of the way your public sees you.
Actually, because you know your professional presence online is important, you no doubt have a LinkedIn account. And there’s a good chance you’re on Twitter. You may even have worked to build your personal brand with online profiles that include your unique attributes, motivated skills, and other information you hope will attract people who may be able to hire or do business with you. While you might not have thought of it this way before, your web presence is one facet of your public life.
Still, your public life cannot be contained inside passive online profiles. It needs to be dynamic. If you want to earn positive regard of others and attract opportunity, you need to “put yourself out there.” As principal ambassador of “brand you,” you need to regularly engage with the people who make up your audiences, both online and at face-to-face meet ups! It’s the only way you can make the kind of emotional connections with people who can support your success. Think of it this way: No connection, no brand.
Yet, if you think of this as “networking,” it will seem daunting. It’s not. So, don’t think of it that way. Instead, think of your public life as ongoing conversations that are intended to help you get to know and establish friendly relationships with members of your community. To build those relationships, your focus, needs to be on them. Not you.
This is not new idea. A wise man once said:
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
That man was Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People. As I see it, Carnegie offers timeless advice with ongoing relevance. In his writing he capture the essence a successful public life. So, if attracting the positive regard of others is important to your personal brand – and it is – you would do well to (re)discover his principles.
So, how are you managing your public life?
Written by Walter Akana; @WalterAkana