Recently I’ve been watching many of the videos that have me in them (Note: not the one above), and I noticed a few things:
I really don’t seem all that impressive
You know how the first time you ever heard yourself on tape, you really disliked your own voice? It’s a bit different from what you expected and not as “cool” as you thought. It’s the same for me when I was watching those videos.
It’s pretty interesting in the sense that, everyone who sees me in these videos feel that I am normal. I’m still the usual Yu-kai, being all weird but having some method to the madness, but when I look at myself, I’m like, “What?! Who is this guy?”
These are some of the observations I have on myself:
1. I have a nasally voice that could sound kind of sleazy Along with my fast talking speed, it could really resemble the sound of a bee. Quite annoying, and definitely not an impactful way of speaking.
2. My posture is somewhat slouched and awkward. It almost seems like I lack energy.
3. My body language is stiff and rigid.
4. Since English is my second language, sometimes I get trapped with strange diction or needing to rephrase my sentence midway through because of my grammar issues. Taking ESL and Honors English with Shakespeare at the same time in high school didn’t really help much. Luckily, I still use my original name Yu-kai, so people kinda expect that and I get away with a lot of it.
5. Even without the language issue, I seem to make a lot of socially awkward comments that just entertain myself. To be honest, I’m just truly a socially awkward guy due to my strange blend of all the cultures. I used to think that being my friend would be lots of fun, but after watching these clips I feel that being my friend requires a good amount of tolerance, hahaha. Perhaps it’s both!
So with all these things going on at the same time, I’m looking at myself and thinking, “This guy looks like a sleezy dork! Why would anyone want to work with him?”
It’s strange, because it does seem to be the case that everyone (I think…) who meets me and interacts with me thinks decently of me, and tell others about all these great things about me that I don’t think are necessarily proven.
No, I’m not trying to boast while pretending to be humble. I really don’t think what a lot of people say about me is backed up. After all, some people tell others I am extremely smart only after 2 casual greeting sentences. I don’t know where they get the idea that I am smart and to this day it is still puzzling to me how they arrive at that conclusion (I guess I’m just not that “smart” :P)
The key to building a strong personal brand without having an impressive image
So what’s the trick? There are A TON of things I need to improve on myself, but I could share what got me a decent brand name in the world DESPITE those awkward things that I do.
You who don’t have the dorky awkwardness, how much easier it would be for you to brand yourself well!
1. Focus on Vertical Networking, or making your current network successful
When most people think about networking, they think about meeting new people. That’s horizontal networking. Another way to make your network stronger is to help those already in your network to become successful. That way people respect you and you have built a stronger relationship since you were there for each other.
In an older blogpost, I wrote about the 6 Core Concepts of good FD Networking. It goes with the principle “networking starts with the self” and “in order to network, you need to be someone worth networking with.”
The 6 Core Concepts are: Integrity, Sincerity, Optimism, Confidence, Initiative, and Persistence.
If you always uphold these 6 Core Concepts, then you will be respected by people you meet.
2. Strong work ethics and a sense of mission
It doesn’t take keen observation to notice that a lot of people in this world become flaky and unreliable when things need to be done.
That actually means as long as you show good attitude and make sure everything that is in your responsibility gets done and gets done fast, you will have already stood out among your peers.
It pretty much means that if you have an uncompromising ideal to fulfill all your promises, and do everything you SHOULD do, your reputation spreads fast. That actually goes along with the core values of integrity, sincerity, and initiative.
3. Don’t be afraid to create unique value
School, work, and society overall often pressures you to conform – to be like everyone else.
However, you need to constantly find opportunities to break through your comfort zone and challenge what has always been working with a new idea of your own.
New ideas may not even be better ones, but unless you actually think about them, there may never be any improvement in the system.
The burden of innovation in your environment lies on your shoulders, not people who are smarter.
4. Work with good people
If you associate with passionate and bright people, your reputation will be associated with them too. Not only does the group accomplish great things that you will be known for too, but the experience itself makes you and your public image stronger. And of course, you could always learn a ton more working with inspiring people.
Find people who are higher leveled than you so you can level up faster at more difficult dungeons!
5. Live your day to the fullest
This means that you want to use your time well and constantly stay productive.
You have 168 hours a week, and it is really up to you how you want to spend that time.
A 40 hour week job is really not “full time,” it’s actually slightly lower than quarter time.
If you use the other quarter to sleep, that means you have the other 80 hours left to either do nothing, complain about your 40 hour work or make a difference in this world.
If you want to accomplish uncommon things in this world, you need to live every day of your life uncommonly. If you live every day just like everyone else, you will end up like everyone else.
10,000 Hours of Play
If you play your life like a gamer (Lifestyle Gamification), you will slowly build up your stats, level up, gain a distinctive reputation, and conquer quests that will open up new ones for you.
Life is a game, in which only hardcore gamers make it to the leaderboard.