©2007 Irene Chan (istockphoto)

Is the marketplace spinning you in all directions with no focus?  How do you get off the spinning carousel and get back in the driver’s seat?

According to Daniel Pink in, A Whole New Mind, we have moved from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age. With globalization and shareholders demanding more ROI, large corporations, small business owners and employees alike are experiencing uncertain economic times. Only one thing is certain, increasing your marketability increases your chances of thriving in modern times.

How do you increase your marketability? Marketability is a tenuous term and is referenced by a plethora of career articles. It’s defined as being in demand and therefore relatively easy to sell.  Marketing usually refers to products and services. However, we’ve all heard over and again that you need to identify the concept of You as a product. Once you accept this notion, you are ready to become an asset to your organization, to your internal and external clients. The core of everything you do embodies ‘your brand.’  Everyone is born unique, but how many are remarkable? Fear holds you back from being your personal best. According to Seth Godin in his article, In Praise of the Purple Cow: The opposite of remarkable is very good.

One’s natural instinct is to blend in, to be accepted. Marty Neumeier, in The Brand Gap asserts that human beings are social animals – our natural inclination is to go with the group.  But blending in may mean that your work performance is only very good. You don’t stand out and you are not as remarkable or marketable as you could be.

Conducting a personal audit of your marketable skills is the first step toward becoming remarkable, or a purple cow. Are you valued as an asset to your company? To your clients? Are you marketable as a product? Are you marketable to your current employer? Ask yourself, what do you do that’s really special? If you have trouble with this question, ask your closest colleagues, or your best friends. It is so easy for us to criticize or judge our own performance. How many of us look inside for the answers? If your current position is just a paycheck or if your heart isn’t in your business, how does that reflect in your current environment?

Many enlightenment experts acknowledge that life is but a mirror of what we feel inside. How does your external world look and feel? Even if you’re not in the ideal work or business situation, there must be something or many things that you do exceptionally well. The key is to uncover these great treasures. As individuals, we are all equal, but unique and special in our own right. To use our special gifts, talents, and abilities and promote them to a current employer or to our internal or external clients, we must first uncover them. Take a marketability quiz and see if you’re ready.

To begin you will need to conduct an audit of your previous roles and accomplishments. Identify a peak performance period when you were at your absolute best. Try to remember your specific activities, who was involved, and all the factors that impacted your top performance. Pay special attention to your workflow and successes. To guide you through this process of discovery, consider taking the free online assessment offered by purchasing the new updated book, Strengthsfinder’s 2.0.

Diane Stafford, career columnist for the Kansas City Star states, “You can’t change the other guy. You can only change yourself or your response to the other guy.” In this lifetime, you are the major star in the movie of your life. Everyone else is either a secondary or tertiary character, or maybe not even a character. How will this process unfold? The journey to becoming remarkable doesn’t have be an impossible feat, such as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. It can be as simple as the way you answer the phone, the special care you take with clients, the magic you create when you come into a room, or the special quality you add to a meeting. Think small, think baby steps.

The key to success is adaptability. Change takes us out of our comfort zone, activates fear, and stimulates the fight, flight or the freeze response. In the 21st century, it is our mind that gets in our way. So, how can we get results in an easy and effortless way? How can we get unstuck without struggle or the need to change? The answer is play. As adults, we have forgotten how easy and fun it was to play in the playground. There were no expectations. We just had fun.

Riding the Merry-Go-Round of Time

How do adults play?
When all we want to do is dismay.
What is the allure of sophistication,
Procrastination, dread, and indignation?
Conformity, tried and true.

Being silly is the cure
For creative spirits that are demure.
Visualize riding the merry-go-round of time.
Situate yourself comfortably as each chime
Signals reverting back yet another year
Passing adulthood by until you’re there!

A resurfacing of your inner child
Will bring about metamorphosis that is not mild.
Be prepared to jump in bales of hay
Giggling, laughing, imagining, in the name of play.
Counter intuitive to patterns of thought
Creativity and Innovation will be sought.

Wanda Ropa © 2007

Posted by Wanda Ropa, The Success Coach.

One Response to “The Creative Approach to Marketing in Uncertain Economic Times: Musings from Your Success Coach”

  1. Dyana says:

    I really like the quote “You can’t change the other guy. You can only change yourself or your response to the other guy.”

    I realize I have been doing this recently at work with a new supervisor that I just can’t connect with or realy even tolerate at all. Maybe in self defense or subconsciously I have recently begun changing my responses and reactions when dealing with her. As a result I noticed the last two dealings we have had have been much less stressful for me.

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