Welcome to #3NoMoreThan5 in 5, from the wild! I am in southern California visiting with friends, and I got asked a question last night: How much have you changed since we were kids? That gave me pause, but I should back up!
So, I’m visiting my friends, Anthony and Andrea. I’ve known them both since we were in grade school. We lost touch over our college and early career days, but reconnected I believe at our 30th high school reunion. They had been married to different spouses. Their first marriages didn’t work out, and the universe at some point brought them together, so today, Anthony and Andrea are married and living happily ever after.
Having dinner with them, the question Anthony posed, “How much have you changed (if at all) since we were kids?” made me stop and think. It made me stop and think because I’m also listening to Business Wars podcast. BTW/sidebar: really cool if you want to get the inside story on different companies. And the series I am on right now discusses the brands of Louis Vuitton and Gucci, and how their brands evolved overtime. Sometimes being at the pinnacle of fashion, other times not doing so well in having to pivot or make changes.
Listening to that podcast and pondering Anthony’s question, I thought about the labels that are placed on us or perhaps we place on ourselves overtime. I can distinctly recall three labels; One from my youth, one from my college years/early career years and another in my corporate life that are somehow connected. But what I don’t know is which came first: The labels or the brand.
As a kid I remember being told my an aunt of mine that I was the stupid immigrant kid. Yeah! No joke! Straight up told me that I was an immigrant kid and probably won’t amount to much. Sounds harsh, but oh well, that’s what I remember. I also remember, and Julie will tell you this, that in college I was pretty obnoxious. I wasn’t afraid of being loud, I wasn’t afraid of being brash… Not always the best look, but definitely a part of who I was and I own that component! And in my corporate life, I remember being labeled “charismatic.” That I could talk to anyone, communicate really well and bring people together under one banner, mission or project.
So, was I a dumb immigrant kid who used that label as a motivating factor to drive myself, work hard and succeed (whatever success might mean to people)? Was my obnoxiousness, that sense of fearlessness and brashness what contributed to me later being perceived as charismatic? Because I owned my space, I owned who I was (flaws, faults, worts and everything) and grew into that skin and developed a level of comfort in that skin. I don’t know? I don’t know if the labels led to the brand or if those components were already inside me and it was just a matter of refining those elements as I matured in my business world and my life in general.
What I ask you to ponder are what are the labels that you feel governed or influence who you are today. Are they beneficial? Do they help? And in what ways are you manifesting those labels? To the betterment or detriment of where you want to be?
So that’s my question for you, and in the spirit of #3NoMoreThan5 in 5, think about what those three labels are and what they mean to who you are and who you want to be. Until next time, cheers!