How does your story end? Personal branding is about determining your Mission. Each one of us is called to help others in a unique way that only we have been chosen to do. You have a unique cause and a legacy that will result from the fulfilment of that cause.
With the death of Whitney Houston recently I was saddened by the incredible loss of life and the potential impact that Whitney could have again contributed to society, and especially to aspiring young singers.
You only have to tune in to the auditions for the many singing and talent reality shows to recognise the Whitney Houston’s songs are popular, challenging and inspiring.
I am often saddened when I see people lost. My definition of lost is living a life without purpose. As people we often focus on our selves, what we have, what we don’t have. Really our job while on this earth is to serve others. Think about the times that have really made you happy and complete, many of us will identify it was a time that we were helping others. We felt truly valuable and valued.
One of the most difficult things you will be required to do is to remain on purpose and to tackle those issues and distractions that take us away from our purpose. They can be a host of different things such as self doubt, procrastination, depression, addiction, rescuing others and over nurturing. List is endless.
So the question I pose to you is: What's Your Cause? What's Your Legacy?
I have been reading Passion @ Work by Shivani, and was challenged when in the first chapter she asks, “Have you a Funeral Plan? What does it look like?” I often pose the question to clients about what their eulogy will contain. What will others say about you at your funeral? Shivani takes the issue to the next level and asks you to consider who will be there? What will they say? How will they react to your death?
With the passing of Whitney Houston, I deeply consider this insight and my life.
Will people mourn your passing? A significant loss to humanity because of the impact you made? Or will it be a quiet passing and hardly a tear shed because potential impact was never shared with others? Will it be large or will it be small? Will it be a celebration of a life lived large or a life half lived?
At the end of your life you will ask yourself these types of questions:
Did you make a difference?
Did you matter?
How were you significant to others?
How did you leave your mark?
How will you change a life?
What did you do that only you could achieve?
At the heart of personal branding is discovering your life purpose. Was Oprah’s brand the result of her identifying her calling and her platform and growing it? Absolutely.
Will Harry Potter and the story of a single broke mother who persisted with her dream to write his story remain an incredible brand long after the story is finished? Absolutely.
You have so much potential. Take a step into the adventure that should be your life too. Discover how you can build a brand like Oprah, JK Rowling, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. Learn how to discover, build and position your personal brand to live a truly memorable life when you grab your copy of Brand Yourself.
While Whitney Houston’s story has ended, may be too soon. The fact remains that a generation heard and was moved by her voice. Her voice has faded but the memory remains of her beauty and the often difficult life of celebrity highlighted in the movie, Body Guard and the reality show, Being Bobby Brown.
I am moved by the memories her songs invoke and I am sad that so much potential, promotion and further opportunities were lost due to her inability to conquer her drug addiction that drew her away from her calling and platform. Despite the incredible success of her singing career we see a women still craving love, struggling with self doubt and self worth issues and losing the battle of self will to addiction.
Here are some interesting facts about Whitney that tell of a remarkable life incomplete:
Born into Gospel Royalty, her mother Cissy Houston, was a gospel star. Dionne Warwick, her cousin, and Aretha Franklin was her God mother.
Begun performing in Church as a soloist at age 11.
Won six Grammy awards included one for record of the year – for a cover of Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You, and another for album of the year for The Bodyguard.
1987 - Released the album Whitney. She becomes the first female to debut at No 1 on the Billboard charts. The album includes hits I Wanna Dance With Somebody and Didn't We Almost Have It All
1991 - Sings the Star Spangled Banner at the Superbowl. It is so popular it is released as a single and shoots to No 1 on the charts. After 9/11 the song becomes the first benefit song for victims.
1992 - Stars in the Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. I Will Always Love You becomes her biggest hit. The movie grosses more than $400 mill
1992- Marries bad boy singer Bobby Brown and descends into life fuelled with drugs
1993 - Gives birth to daughter Bobbi Kristina
1998 - Whitney was a strong opponent of South Africa's apartheid rule and lobby's for the release of Nelson Mandela with a benefit concert in London.
2000 - Sold over 170 million records before descending into a very public battle with substance abuse.
2001 onwards – Drugs continue to impact on Houston’s career ; concerts and appearances are cancelled
2005- Viewers are stunned at the shocking contents of the reality show Being Bobby Brown exposing Houston’s habits and unhappy marriage.
2007 - Divorces Bobby Brown
2010 - In an interview with Oprah Winfrey she said by the time The Preacher's Wife was released, "(doing drugs) was an everyday thing. I wasn't happy by that point in time. I was losing myself."
2012 -Dies on the eve of the 54th Grammy Awards. Stars offer many tributes to Houston personally and within the Awards Cermony, including:
Kelly Rowland said Houston embraced and encouraged young female performers. "We lost our hero ... I hope she knows how much she impacted, not just music, but the world."
Billy ray Cyrus said Houston "sang the backdrop of our lives". "She really was the soundtrack of a lot of the emotions and storylines and different moments that we went through. She's been singing the songs that we all were living."
Mariah Carey wrote, "Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend ... She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth."
2012 – Jennifer Hudson sings a Whitney Houston medley at the Grammy Awards as a tribute.
Jump the Q! And Brand Yourself for a life of purpose! Your personal brand should reflect your abilities and potential. Rachel Quilty, Personal Brand Strategist, known as ‘the Authority’ on personal branding and author of must- have book ‘Brand Yourself’. Go to http://www.JumptheQ.com.au for FREE strategic branding tips. Rachel encourages Jump the Q clients to think strategically when developing a personal brand to get that job offer, gain that promotion or win that client.
Jump the Q assists you to strategically and systematically leverage your professional profile and build your personal brand to become the authority in your industry. Get your free personal branding tactics and tips at http://www.brandyourselfblueprint.com
We assist you to develop your Personal Brand Strategy by:
- Discovering your purpose.
- Designing your best personal brand.
- Devising a personal marketing plan.
- Developing your Signature Brand.
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