Managing your Learning Process

Ever since I was given ‘life lessons’ on taking care of myself as a lady should (sic), I have made it a point to visit the nail spa at least once a month. I have not been a very loyal customer, but I have tried to experiment as much as possible. Which led me to having an interesting conversation with the nail artist on how this time around, he would do something different. The plan…. Great nail art on my nails…. And I was totally sold!

His excitement as he spoke about his exceptional skills in nail art had my imagination ran far and wild. You can imagine my reaction when the version of art I ended up with were cute little love hearts drawn on my nails. Did I say cute? Yes, very cute!

I guess the definition of good art varies depending on who you are!

Under normal circumstances, I would have requested for a re-do because my expectations were very different, but in this case, love was in the air.

What was interesting about this scenario was how he sold his expertise to me. He had so much enthusiasm in his voice that I did not think to ask for evidence of previous work done. I really did think that he was the best artist in town because of his enthusiasm. So, for the next 3 weeks or so, I will be spreading love everywhere I go.

This experience got me thinking; How many of us are willing to sell our expertise even when they are seemingly ‘undercooked’? I suspect the nail artist is in the process of expanding his skill set. He probably has practiced casually on his friends and now, he needs clients to start building his portfolio and in turn buy into his newly acquired skills.  Not sure how many test subjects have gone through his laboratory but the fact that he is willing to challenge himself is a very big step up.

The same is needed when it comes to reinforcing the value of your Personal Brand. Your expertise is one of your key differentiators and it needs regular upskilling to standout. Sometimes, this will mean putting yourself out there before you are 100% ready. And how you handle this process is what will either elevate or destroy your brand.

How then can you manage your learning process in the journey to building your Personal Brand?

To master your expertise, you must be willing to experiment until the master within has been unearthed. For this to happen, you must continually solve problems around your area of specialization. And managing the learning process as you work on the solutions is important as it allows you take charge of the perception your Personal Brand leaves behind as you experiment on your audience.

To manage your perception in this learning process appropriately, you need to:

  1. Tame your enthusiasm. While your level of enthusiasm speaks to the passion behind the project, one must be careful not to oversell themselves. Enthusiasm is very contagious and while the learning process can be exciting, that same excitement can exaggerate your capability to deliver and in turn damage your brand’s reputation.
  2. Manage your audience’s expectations: Your enthusiasm will get your audience to the door, but it is how well you match their expectations that will keep them coming back for more of your services. Different people use their imagination very differently. One statement can elicit different reactions from different people depending on their experiences and level of imagination. If this is not synchronized between the various parties, then there is a high likelihood that a misunderstanding will arise. By laying the expected outcomes bare upfront, you manage your audiences’ expectations.
  3. Be exceptional even in the small: We do not always have to start with the big and complex initiatives or projects to master the expertise game. We just must be exceptionally good even in the small and simple. In the case of the nail artist, the love hearts are his ‘small and simple’ beginnings and I, as the customer have been proud to walk around with a whole lot of cuteness in my hands.
  4. Never stop learning: Learning should be a continuous process. Today, we live in a sea of knowledge that is it is easy to get overwhelmed. The trick however is to identify learning goals that add to your personal vision, development, and expertise. Over time, you will be able to sift through the real from the fluff and hopefully be one step closer to being identified as one of the wise men of your industry. Even the bible urges us in Proverbs 1:5 to “Let the wise listen and add to their learning”.
  5. Identify your struggles and work on them. The learning journey is one that positively embraces failure. Understand that mistakes are part of life and being comfortable failing is critical to your growth provided you are willing to learn from your mistakes as they will help you improve.

Remember, Personal Branding is not just about shouting from the mountain tops; it is about being careful to ensure that what you are shouting about is something worthwhile.

Have you ever listened to someone with a sigh? Wondering why they had to say what they said out loud? Don’t let those around you get embarrassed by your words. Reflect on your learning experiences to improve your Personal Brand.

Manage your learning process and #standout4growth.

Looking to get started on your Personal Branding Journey? Click here to join the Personal Branding Coaching Programs for Aspiring Professionals just like you

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