…… Like a Sore Thumb!

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…… Like a Sore Thumb!


A great brand, a great personality and a great course will always stand out of the crowd. So is a terrible brand – whether in person, product or company. However, we want to stand out for the right things, for a greater good, for positive influence. To achieve this, we sometimes need to go through a process similar to metamorphosis just like the caterpillar goes through various stages to emerge as a beautiful butterfly. Some might be painful, others need a lot of work and sacrifice but as with every transformation, Robin Sharma tells us that “Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”

To enjoy any fruits of success, we must first put in the work. A few pointers to getting your brand to be a household name positively recognised as a great product, service provider, or personality:


The first major step in getting visibility is de-cluttering. This involves understanding and unconditionally accepting what you are good at and gradually shedding off that which presents a challenge to you. Crowding yourself with too many skills weighs heavily on your mind and in some instances could bring confusion and mental fatigue from handling them altogether. When you are lighter of weight, you tend to travel faster.

Learn to drop off that which is not building you, that which is a distraction and that which is not adding any value to you, your brand and even your life.

Mastery of Skills – area of specialization

As soon as a child is able to utter the first word and use their motor skills, we are advised to expose them to all manner of learning. Early Childhood education experts say that they should learn as many languages as possible, as many instruments as their little hands can hold and as many sporting activities as their petite bodies can endure. The reasoning behind this theory is that their brains are as empty as dry sponges and thus can soak in as much as can possibly be absorbed. However as children grow, the brain tends to move towards issues that are of more interest to the person, or things that are easier and more enjoyable. A few adults are able to juggle several skills and be great at each one of them. However, the majority of adults in the world can only be great at a handful of skills.

Steve Martin reckons that, “You should be so good, they cannot ignore you.” It’s hard to ignore the athlete who wins the gold medal at a marathon, Colonel Sanders for his secret recipe that gets his Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets a growing customer base by the hour or Joel Osteen for his powerfully encouraging sermons, just to name but a few.

When people hear of a skill or an art, they should be able to quickly associate it with your name and be caught up in exclaiming how good you are at it. For a great brand, the mention of your name should be followed by some positive exclamations.

For example if we refer a friend to a mechanic by the name Abdul – who has created a great brand for himself, and there are other people who know of his service and are within earshot of the conversation, the discussion should go something like this:

Jane: “Am looking for a mechanic, could you refer me to one?”

Me: “Oh yah! There is this guy Abdul on Ngong road….”

Emily: “Yah!!! You use him also? He is so good. He keeps his promises on time of completion, will show you all the old parts that he has replaced and his prices are very fair.”

Me: “He actually gives you another car in case yours will take more than a day at his garage and he…”

Emily: “He can pick and drop the car for you also.”

Jane: “Waoh, how convenient?”

When you have mastered your skill and deliver it with passion and value, other people will be your business and brand evangelists. You will not have to struggle to market yourself.

Continuous personal development

Once you are great at your area of expertise, it is crucial to build your soft skills, your leadership skill and life skills. You might be so good at what you do but if you are not able to eloquently express yourself in public, then no one will recognize your brand as fast as you would want. The greatest investment you can make for yourself and your brand is to invest in your personal development and growth.

Attend courses on leadership, on public speaking, on networking, on business and social skills. Learn from other industry experts also on how they have managed to be successful, learn from your peers on overcoming challenges and identifying opportunities from different avenues, learn from your staff members, from friends and family– and remember that you can learn something of value from everyone that you meet. Intentionally plan to attend a few personal development courses every year and consciously pick life lessons from the people that you interact with on a daily basis.

Develop other skills

Life is full of seasons, some with scarcity and others with abundance and as such we must prepare for each of them. Whether in your career or business venture, there will be great times and there will be dry times. To prepare for the scarcity ridden seasons it is important to develop one or two other skills that you can use when the going gets tough for the main line of work. You must have something that brings in the bread and butter in such times, a skill or an art that can be able to bring in money to pay the bills. In some businesses, the seasons are easily predictable and so you can be able to prepare well in advance. In other industries or owing to environmental, political or economic changes, the seasons can change drastically and without prior warning. In either circumstances you must be well prepared to absorb the shock and stay afloat.

Give your best and you all or nothing at all

Whenever my children request our indulgence in some Kentucky Fried Chicken, I am unable to resist the temptation. Sometimes I am curious what the secret recipe includes, but at the time of devouring the finger licking chicken, all I can think of is how great it tastes. I believe Colonel Sanders must have tried enough recipes before settling on this particular one. He must have been up a few late nights and he must have been totally excited when he finally figured it out. He knew that this was not only good but it was his best – and hence the resulting success.

If you are not willing to give value, to give your best and to give your all, do not be surprised that your success is average or your brand has settled in mediocrity. All great stars become great because they did not withhold their passion, their value and their greatness. They put in their all and gave it all out to the world.

What are you giving out to the world today?

To your success!

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