Make Sure Your Brand is “Shovel Ready” for Opportunities That Come Your Way

Economic stimulus is all over the news these days, with CEOs of major corporations coming to Washington to beg Congress for money to get their corporations back on the right track. Well you are the CEO of your brand, which is your very own individual corporation. And the federal government may not be likely to stimulate your brand (unless you’ve managed to lose billions of dollars in the last year or so), but nobody’s stopping you from stimulating it yourself.

Let’s assume you don’t have a pile of cash waiting to be infused into your brand-building efforts. What can you do to provide your brand some much-needed stimulus? Your options are almost limitless. Take a class to learn a new skill in your field, or even earn a degree to enhance your knowledge and mastery of your profession. Join a professional networking group, or take an active leadership role in a group to which you already belong. Attend a professional networking event and have at least five meaningful conversations with potential contacts. Volunteer to take on that orphaned project nobody wants to claim at your job and then produce a stunning success. Show up a little earlier in the morning and go home a little later in the afternoon. Call an old friend or colleague you’ve lost touch with and see if you can help each other build your personal brands. Smile at everyone you meet, you never know who is a potential client or customer.

When you stimulate your brand, you make it shovel-ready so that when an opportunity for career advancement comes along, you are ready to take advantage of it. It’s one thing to possess experience and knowledge, but it’s another thing to possess the right experience and knowledge. And even if you possess the right experience and knowledge, unless your brand clearly conveys that fact, you will probably get passed over in favor of somebody who did a better job stimulating their brand and is therefore more shovel ready for the opportunity.

The old saying goes “Opportunity knocks once.” But I’ll fill you in on a little secret: opportunity doesn’t knock. It silently passes to those who have positioned themselves to grab it the second it becomes available. By the time an opportunity is widely known, it is already long gone. Stimulate your brand today, and be shovel ready for that next big break tomorrow.