Last week I attended a workshop in Denver about information marketing for “Info Renegades,” and Stedman Graham, one of the guest presenters, spoke eloquently about “Identity Development” which is crucial for any business, critical for any online business.
His take on identity development is “core development” or “focusing on what makes you feel good,” echoing the “Do what you love and the money will follow” tribe. Asserting that the world is quite different from twenty years ago when “If you went to Harvard you’d get a great job,” he stressed that our challenge now is to be able to navigate the twenty-first century. For that, we have to know who we are because everything has changed, including how society and business views us.
In this modern society, we have become a commodity with myriad external forces trying to control us by telling us who we are and what we need to be happy, to be successful, to be noticed. Being successful today depends on our taking back that control. Instead of being pushed around by external sources, Graham says we have to take charge of our own identity and how we change, because now more than ever, growth is critical.
“But how do we grow our own identity?” One might ask. I’m fairly certain he’d say, “Start by being clear on who you are.”
In fact, he mapped out some very precise steps and reasons for developing one’s identity:
- “Your ability to succeed is based on how much you love yourself.” (If you can’t say “no” to others, I’m guessing you can’t say “yes” to yourself.)
- Discover what makes you feel good. “Find something you feel like doing. That becomes your engine,” the one that drives your business, your choices, your life.
- “Get it down to one simple message–one word that describes what you do, your elevator message”–so people remember easily who you are, what you’re about.
- Develop that core message. “Become an expert or authority in your field. Whatever you focus on expands.”
- “Your empowerment is based on what you love. When you’re happy, you create an energy around you.”
- Decide whether you are a leader or a follower. “Only one per cent of the population is focused on independent thinking;” (they separate themselves from the external forces trying to control us.) “Love transforms you from the other ninety-nine percent” (love for yourself and loving what you do).
- “Organize everything around what you love” and “Eliminate time-wasters that have nothing to do with who you are,” because “Your most important commodity is your time.
I easily recognized those pearls of wisdom because once upon a time I taught them in self-empowerment workshops. That is to say, Graham’s wisdom isn’t limited to finding your internet niche but can serve you in following your heart’s desire whether or not business is involved.
Till next time, I’ll be Skating Thru the adventure of my life, following my heart wherever it leads. How about you? Found your “one true thing” yet?
_____Want more? Check out these articles related to Graham’s key points:
#1 Love yourself
#2 Find something you like
- Year 2 of the experiment: finding purpose
- So what did my 2011 really mean?
- A moment’s reflection discloses true meaning
- Co-creation, Step 1: What do you want?
- Where do you want to go?
- It’s gotta come from the heart
- Do what you love and . . .
- Follow your dream . . .
- Hold fast to your dream!
#3 Create your elevator message
#5 When you’re happy, you create energy around you
#6 Do you lead or do you follow?
- How to make those resolutions work
- Co-creation, Step 2: Focus your attention
- Why focus is everything
- Choose where you put your attention
- Act as if . . .