Ming the Mechanic:
The Brand called Me

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 The Brand called Me2003-01-21 18:33
picture by Flemming Funch

Various management gurus, like Tom Peters, are talking about "The Brand called You". The idea is that the world and the job market are moving so quickly that you can no longer count on just getting a job and being safe from then on. Increasingly we are free agents who continuously need to market ourselves and forge new and changing commercial relationships, and to always create our own job. So, to that end, it is critical to be aware of what your brand is, what your selling points are, what your core competencies are, and to have your own rap, so you can quickly convey that to others.

I also get to think about a workshop/program I did, called IBI - Income Builders International - which is a weeklong, very expensive, but rather effective program that in part helps you find what your own personal WOW is, and trains you to present your "thing" in a compelling way in 30 seconds. And all of that is good. I'd really like all of us to be really clear on what our THING is, our WOW, the thing we're here to do, and which we're passionate about. And I think something will click if we are also able to present it clearly and simply, as we then can forge economic relationships more easily.

But now, my own problem is, unfortunately, that at this point I can't really tell you what my own core competency is. I am quite capable in several, rather diverse areas, but I can't tell you in 30 seconds what I do, without making you confused. The kind of stuff I usually would feel like putting on my business card would tend to make people look puzzled and ask "How on earth would you make money on that?". My current business card says "Linking the people who change the world". Sounds good, and I get a certain amount of admiration for that, but nobody's gonna hire me to actually do that.

I'm a computer programmer, a skilled and experienced one. But that is not really what I want to be to the world. I'm getting too old for that, and I don't want to spend all day thinking about logical problems.

I'm a personal counselor and the author of two manuals/books about counseling techniques, and I've seen a lot of success in that area. Yet I only see a couple of clients per week at this point, and it is not my main focus of attention.

I used to be somebody people would come to to have things explained, to make complicated things simple. A philosopher who had the answer to just about anything, including the big questions of life. Nobody comes and asks me anything any longer, so I don't think that's it.

I seem to have a certain knack for gathering people together, and inspiring people. But most of the time I don't know what to do with them once I've gathered or inspired them, and I'm not great at leading and delegating focused work.

I'm obviously a writer, as one of the things that flows most easily would be to write something like this weblog here. I can probably do that in my sleep, even if the world is falling down around me. But I'm no good at writing other people's stuff. I can't write ordered articles on a schedule.

There are more roles I have - networker, event organizer, actor, creative person, evolutionary agent, healer, solver of problems, diplomat, futurist, designer of new systems for people to organize in - but this could easily get long. And it doesn't really add up. I don't mind being multi-dimensional, but I'd still like to be able to be clear on what I am, and where my services are needed, and how I can present myself.

So, please, if any of you happen to know, tell me what my brand is.

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22 Jan 2003 @ 01:50 by shawa : Something like...
"Hero" - ? ;-)

22 Jan 2003 @ 02:16 by ming : Heroes
Heheh. Does that pay well? Maybe in the time of Ulysses it would be a good job to have. Or, Homer, rather.  

22 Jan 2003 @ 05:39 by paquetse : Branding for money
To me how you brand yourself depends heavily on who you're talking to. If you're talking to someone as a human being, then I'd say you're something like a "Connector". But if you're talking to someone as a business partner, you need to explain how you're going to help them make money. Not how you're providing value, rather how you're providing money. To them, preferably. Now because you're able to take on so many roles it's quite difficult to pitch yourself into a single niche. How about something like "I understand a lot about people, computers, and communication. I help get things done."?

I have a similar problem to yours, but for now I just say that I do research, and most people seem to get that it's worthwhile even if it doesn't directly bring in money.  

22 Jan 2003 @ 11:43 by shawa : Being a hero...
...in certain circles, pays extremely well. *grin*  

22 Jan 2003 @ 13:11 by ming : Money
The most successful jobs I've had in real companies have been where somebody high up recognized me as very valuable and sort of protected me. Because I would usually clash with the normal corporate hierarchy of middle-managers and paper pushers, etc. So I have several times had a strange arrangement where I reported to the CEO of a company and I could sort of make up my own title. "Director of Information Systems Research and Development" was one. Or "System Designer" was another. And the truth is that I can often be very helpful in getting things done, as sort of a catalyst. Things tend to get figured out if I'm in a meeting, even if I weren't scheduled to play any big role.

I suppose other people who've been successful in branding themselves along those lines would be consultants who had a list of satisfied clients to refer to. Or people who've written books. In other words, they don't necessarily explain what they're going to do, but they can refer to past successes, and proof that they know what they're doing.

But it is a good point about having to translate it into how it will make somebody money. I have quite an aversion against that, but I might have to find a way of getting over that.  

22 Jan 2003 @ 13:27 by mmmark : Economics
Unfortunately we do not have a viable economic system and so we all have the dilemma you mention as freemasons, and at the same time we cannot compete with large corporations’ budgets. We’re in the same boat, the sail is up. But the wind isn’t blowing. We probably share the notion that money is not an objective, which makes it harder for us to fit into a dying system. I guess we have to create a new civilization that is sustainable. I also believe that a civilization must care for all members and integrate all people into a mutual support system of some kind. How do we do force the evolutionary curve for health and earn a living at the same time?  

22 Jan 2003 @ 14:07 by paquetse : How about...
"Expert helper"?

(hmmm... maybe not impressive enough...)

I kinda like the term "facilitator", but don't know all its connotations.  

22 Jan 2003 @ 16:20 by ming : Wind and Facilitating
I also have this distaste for directly addressing the money issue, and it kind of seems like what I'm here to do doesn't directly translate into money. But at the same time I can see both sides of it, and I can see the value of becoming very clear on what it is you do. Sometimes things don't happen, not because there is no money, but because I'm very fuzzy about what I'm going to do. If I can sharpen it up, people will better know how to connect with it, whether we're talking money or not. Kind of like how anti-gens in the body attach themselves to specific kinds of 'problems', by being configured to fit together with them.

I really like 'Facilitator' too. But it might be difficult to convince people that they ought to be facilitated, so it might not be enough, unless one has a portfolio of great past accomplishments one can show to people.  

22 Jan 2003 @ 23:31 by strydg : don't become an employee.
"Consultant-Facilitator-Mediator on the Threshold of Change." submit resumes. they'll know you if they need you. then do what you do.  

23 Jan 2003 @ 01:41 by ming : Employee
Oh, I certainly have no intention of becoming an employee. But since that probably means I'll need to make and maintain more different relationships, it is even more important that people know what they need me for.

"Consultant-Facilitator-Mediator on the Threshold of Change." - I like that!  

24 Jan 2003 @ 05:59 by paquetse : Or..
"Evolutionary agent" or "Intelligence catalyst" (these are perhaps scary, just brainstorming here)  

24 Jan 2003 @ 17:09 by ming : Labels
The paradox is kind of that I prefer labels that are somewhat mysterious and broad, like those there, but at the same time I'm looking for how I can make it clear and focused what I do. Kind of like 'consultant' or 'sorcerer'. It doesn't really tell people what exactly you'll do, so there's a lot of freedom there, but at the same time, if you have a track record of doing wonderful and magical things, people will feel like inviting you in to do your thing for them too.  

Other stories in
2012-05-03 00:04: An evolving path
2012-01-02 13:52: 2011 Accomplishments and 2012 Aims
2011-11-17 02:20: Your inner piece
2011-02-01 00:05: Slow Mo Flow
2011-01-22 18:40: Recognition
2010-08-23 00:36: Where's Ming?
2010-07-20 14:24: Getting other people to do stuff
2010-06-22 00:27: Inventory
2010-06-19 23:10: Conversations
2009-10-28 12:31: Then a miracle occurs

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