Quietly Leaving Your Mark: Personal Branding for Introverts

[To my fellow introverts:]

Like you, I struggle with the dilemma of deciding between being known and having a quiet, private life.

Note the present tense. I still do.

What I learned is this: 
In order to have the quiet, private life that I want, I must first be able to provide for it.

Yes, I’m talking about the 3rd most taboo subject: Money.

Let’s get real.

You need a fair bit of change to live in the most expensive city in the world (according to The Economist Intelligence Unit - EIU). As do I.

Prime opportunities go to those who are at the top of their field. If you’re not up there with them, you’re getting second-rate projects that they rejected or were never going to enter their field of vision anyway.

What that means for you is that you are fighting with a lot of people for very little gain.

Is that really how you want to live out the rest of your life?

This is my perspective.

I’m done being passed over for meaningful projects that I know I’ll be great at, which instead got handed to the loudest person in the room.

I’m tired of being treated as if I’m slow or invisible during unnecessarily raucous meetings and ‘brainstorming’ sessions.

I have had it with people wondering whether I’m good at what I do just because I take time to think rather than talk constantly and offer information they may or may not want.

This is why I built my personal brand around who I am and what I wish to achieve.

It required a lot of thought and a lot of work, but I am on my way to leading the life I want to lead. It’s going to be a journey, and I’m glad that I have friends along for the ride. (You guys know who you are!)

If this is a journey you have heard of but haven’t embarked upon, I encourage you to take the first step and start building your personal brand.

If you’re concerned that you don’t know what to do or which direction to head, it’s alright. You don’t have to go it alone. We can be your guides and show you the way.

Join me and my friend Eugene Seah on the 10th of July (it’s a Tuesday) from 7 pm to 10 pm at Synergy Hub @ 45 Middle Road #06-00, a mere 5 minute walk from Bugis MRT station.

I will be showing you how you, too, can quietly leave your mark on the world and those around you.

Quietly Leaving Your Mark.jpg

Personal Branding Workshop with Eugene Seah

On 13 Feb (Mon), I was invited by Eugene Seah to sit in on one of his personal branding workshops. This time, it was with The Singapore Professional Golfers' Association. The attendees consisted of many golf coaches, some of whom have been coaching their learners for years. I'll admit that I didn't know there were so many golf coaches in Singapore.

At the start, things went off a little slowly. My thoughts were that golfers were more likely to display introvert characteristics. They would likely prefer to take a back seat and absorb information than they are to readily respond, After all, they chose to play a sport that encompasses small groups of players in a huge expanse of quiet, serene surroundings. 

Nevertheless, with Eugene's generous outpouring of energy, engaging demeanour and useful personalised advice, the golfers eventually warmed up to him and became highly enthusiastic.

A trio of takeaways from a trainer's perspective:

1) Use familiar terms

Seeing as how the attendees were all golfers, Eugene used acronyms like BOGEY and ACE to emphasise certain aspects of this branding workshop. The use of such familiar terms was clearly visible in the attendees' increase in response to him as he built more and more rapport with them.

2) Focus on one or two points only

The amount of time available meant that there was no way of going too in-depth into the concepts of personal branding. As such, instead of doing a touch-and-go on many different 'modules', Eugene chose to focus on one main area - in this case, the subject of Style.

3) Consciously connect with the audience

There are numerous ways to connect with an audience and Eugene managed to do quite a few of them.

He was there early to mingle and talk to the participants.

He also identified and gave airtime to individuals who were more open to sharing at the beginning, thus encouraging the others to open up as well. 

Finally, he asked for and used the first names of those that he interacted with during his workshop.

It was a great experience to learn from and observe a fellow trainer.

Thanks, Eugene, for the invitation and the opportunity.

The Singapore Professional Golfers Association.jpg

October's APTS Meeting

On Thursday (last Thursday of the month again), I was, once again, at the APTS meeting. One of the first announcements was about our collaboration with another association of professional speakers - Asia Professional Speakers Singapore (APSS).

The speakers that night were Jeremy Foo and Matthew Quek, both of whom doubtlessly added great value to the attendees.

Jeremy taught us how to communicate with the media (not social media) and told us why it's important for our careers as speakers. One of the points that struck me was his reminder that journalists are always on the lookout for new stories and fresh perspectives. They are generally open to hearing us out if we have something of value to share.

Of course, that doesn't mean that we should simply mass e-mail every journalist we can find (although some people do that). Rather, it takes some effort to pitch a story and to help journalists, even if it isn't a story about us or our brand / company.

Matthew was a vocal coach and he taught us to use our voice effectively, especially since it's such an important part of our work. Using the voice incorrectly can hurt our health as well as our credibility.

He went on to guide us through exercises to produce better vocal quality and also gave us useful tips on how to keep our voices healthy.

All in all, it was a very pleasant evening, interspersed with charming conversation and getting the opportunity to help others.

Picture taken from  APTS website

Picture taken from APTS website

Speaking at LLiBrary

Today, I spoke alongside Eugene Seah and Claudia Ong on Personal Branding. As it is Eugene's specialty subject, I had a little research to do so I would do the topic justice.

The talk itself was rather short, at an hour. It was meant to be a lunchtime seminar, so participants could come in during their lunch hour to benefit. From what I understand, these events will occur every Thursday at the same time - 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm.

I met Kevin, who runs these lunchtime events for the National Library Board (NLB), and is already planning far ahead and looking for speakers for 2017.  It's certainly an intriguing avenue to expand into and I'll keep in touch with him.

After the session, I got to talking to a few of the participants and one of them explained that she was exploring a work path that is similar to what I am doing now. I offered to link her up with one of the companies that I work with. Hopefully, this will be of benefit to her.

Speaking at the event was good experience and a great opportunity to meet other people and to add value to their lives. It's something that I intend to continue doing.

Here's to many more future events to touch lives and change mindsets!

Speaking at LLiBrary 1