What I Learned—Week One

I have learned a tremendous amount in my first week at Lindenwood. The fact that you need to present yourself in a positive light was not a brand new topic. For that matter, the fact that you need to promote yourself wasn’t new to me, but I now have a lot better idea how to go about doing so.  If you’re reading this, and you have toyed with the idea of promoting your brand more it is worth it.

Granted, I have not even scratched the surface of promoting my brand. There is a lot more that I need to be doing, and in time I am confident I can push my brand to where I would like it.

One of the quickest, and best ways to promote your brand is through social media, specifically Twitter. I have loved Twitter from the time I first opened my account. It streamlines information in a way that no other form of media really ever has. Twitter is constantly changing American culture, and it also can connect its users to each other.

Over the weekend I got to have a conversation with entrepreneur and blogger Tara Joyce (@ElasticMind). Twitter gives students like myself the opportunity to interact with people who are pursuing careers in the discipline that we are studying. This chance to dialogue with accomplished professionals serves the purpose of teaching and inspiring.

In addition I have gained followers, a lot more than I would have expected actually, since posting my original blog. I gained even more after following some of the internets most influential bloggers in class on Friday. That is a pretty neat blessing.

Another thing this week taught me is that being a qualified person is not enough to make you an employed person. There are students all over the country who have similar skill sets, and are willing to work for cheap. As desirable as those characteristics are it is no doubt an employers market. They can and do pick and chose who they want to hire. In this market you have to make hiring directors take notice. Being a qualified candidate will not get you very far anymore. You have to stand out. As I learned from studying Seth Godin you must be unique, or as he says, a linchpin. Don’t fit it. Reliable is good, but only so long as it is coupled with creativity and unique characteristics that make you irresistible as a prospective candidate.

The Gary Vaynerchuck video shown during Tuesday’s class made me think as well. It is nice to hear that one can succeed in life doing what they love. There is no need to be bogged down in work that is a grind. If you aren’t in love with your job it might be best to do something else. At first, it will be hard, and it could be expensive, but it will be worth it in the long run. Being your own boss, and working to do something you find worthwhile does not have to be a pipe dream. The bottom line is there is less risk involved than ever before when it comes to being an entrepreneur.

So in review, I learned information this week that will have an impact on the rest of my life. I learned the internet is a powerful tool that can be used to produce revenue, marketing yourself is all about showing novelty, and Twitter is a powerful tool that I had been underestimating.

If you haven’t investigated the benefits of personal branding I encourage you to do so soon. I thought I knew the importance of personal branding, and even though I know more now than I did a week ago I have a feeling I’ll be saying the same thing again a week from now.


About brettmcmillan

Believer. Broadcaster. Story Teller.

Posted on January 9, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Being qualified isn’t enough to be employed… so true. You really have a talent for finding the most important lesson and bringing it to light. This is a great summary of the week!

  2. I have learned too that just being capable in what we do isn’t good enough anymore we have to definitley stand out in some way to be attractive to potential employers. Twitter is great to get quick responses, especially if its someone really interesting.

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