Last Friday, I attended Entrepreneur.com’s “Winning Strategies for Business” event here in Long Beach. The main reason I went was to hear Michael Port, author of Book Yourself Solid, speak … and he did not disappoint.
Although he talked about things I already know, he put them in a different light than I had seen them before, giving me a new perspective. But there was one thing he said that gave me pause, and almost had me in tears when I started to really think about it and let what he said sink in.
He was talking about developing a personal brand identity and how part of this was why you do what you do and what you stand for. He said that standing for something means making difficult decisions and sometimes saying “no” to people or things that are not in integrity with what you stand for. He also talked about thinking bigger and being bold about who you are and who you serve.
When I first came up with the “Own Your Awesome” brand, I vibrated with alignment. This was IT. This was the business I had been trying to develop and build all these years. I knew in my heart of hearts, my soul of souls, that this what what I was meant to do.
And then I began to realize all that brand promised and what it meant for me and how I live, breathe, eat, be in my everyday life. I had created very big shoes for me to fill! For how can I ask others to own their awesome if I wasn’t owning mine.
It is a rare day that I don’t ask myself, “Am I owning my awesome here?” And there are days when I realize that no, I really wasn’t.
I’ve also realized that not only does what my awesome looks like shift from day to day depending on a variety of factors, but that there is a gap between what “awesome” I’m capable of owning today and the “awesome” I aspire to own.
I’ve grown to understand that it is OK to not live up to your potential in every moment. I’ve begun to be gentler with myself when I don’t quite meet my expectations. As long as I’m doing my best in every given moment, then that will suffice.
And then, one of the panelists at the event mentioned something that I think is very good advice when applied to owning your awesome. His name is James Clear and he talked about how making incremental improvements over time can get you to where you want to go often much faster than just barreling full on toward that goal. He talked about establishing constraints … such as a 1% improvement rather than a 10% improvement … so that the improvements you make are sustainable. (In fact, he posted an article on his blog about it later that day. You can read it here.)
And I realized that although I have this big vision of who I am and want to be, its OK to get there by taking baby steps today. As long as I’m making forward movement, one step at a time, that’s OK. If I can say I’m better today than I was yesterday, then I’m owning by awesome in the best, most sustainable way.