For some reason, otherwise interesting and personable people tend to put on their work clothes and check their humanity and individuality at the door.
To be fair, it’s not entirely your fault. The corporate world has spent decades trying to beat the humanity out of us and transform human beings into homogenous, replaceable cogs. And let’s be honest, on the back of last century’s industrial revolution, it was a good plan. Work was mostly routine, repetitive and ritualized.
However, it’s 2017 and the world of work has shifted. Repetitive work has either been off-shored, out-sourced or handed over to robots with AI that are more efficient, more obedient and less likely to unionize.
This, as it turns out, is actually a good thing. It means that what makes you human, unique and interesting (and interested) is your new competitive advantage.
So how do you take advantage of this? How do you unlock what is unique to you and transform it into a commercial advantage? How do you build a reputation as an influencer? An innovator in your category? And command the respect of your peers and the new business and fees you desire?
If you want to stand out (and you really do) you need to know your 4 Stands.
1. What do you stand for?
What is the contribution you wish to make in your world? What are you creating? Changing? Improving? Reinventing? What is it that you do that makes people’s lives that little bit better for intersecting with your work?
2. What do you stand against?
Whose apple cart are you upsetting? What status-quo are you challenging? What is the righteous fight you are starting and on whose behalf are you fighting for?
3. Who do you stand with?
Who is on your team? Who do you collaborate with? Where are the gaps in your expertise and experience and who will advocate for you and make these connections?
4. How do you stand up?
What is your tone of voice? What language do you use? What intellectual property have you authored and which media platforms are you using to seed your revolution?
This is an extraordinary time to be alive. The opportunities we have and the work we do is more interesting than at any time in our history.
So stop being so boring and take advantage of it!