Happy Easter my people!
Am I late in sending this message of goodwill out? Maybe! But to my brothers and sisters in Ethiopia, today (22nd April 2022) is Good Friday. While the rest of us already celebrated the power of the risen Christ on the 18th of April 2022; the festivities have just begun in Ethiopia. Just in case you didn’t know, when the Roman church adjusted its ancient calendar in 525 AD, Ethiopia did not change its calendar and so, Ethiopia is seven years behind the Gregorian calendar. As such, today is the 14th of April 2014 (ሚያዝያ 14 2014). Yep, in Ethiopia this is the year 2014.
Why am I so invested in this? My colleague (an Ethiopian) has excitedly spent this past week planning for the ‘upcoming’ Easter weekend. What is interesting is that the rest of us who have just come from celebrating the holiday all felt the urge to correct him every time he talked about his Easter plans in the future. The fact that we are all in the same office living through the days as though we are in 2 different worlds is just fascinating to me.
This got me thinking.
How many times do we have the same exact experiences, living in the same exact environment as our loved ones but walk away with different lessons learnt? Here we are in the same office, living two very different realities driven by the circumstances around our heritage and cultural differences.
Life is all about perspective. And so is Branding, more specifically, Personal Branding.
When you study Personal Branding, you learn that it is all about embracing your uniqueness as that is what gets you to stand out from your neighbor, colleague, or friend. In branding, we call this your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). That is the unique benefit exhibited by a business, service, product, or brand that enables it to stand out from competitors. As an individual, your USP is what makes you stand out from the crowd, what makes you authentic. It is the combination of your skills, talents, abilities, and experience that no one else can offer. And one’s perspective of their skills, talents and abilities determines the worth they place on themselves.
In Personal Branding, you also need absolute clarity on who you are, what you need to do and why you do what you do to be able to define your Unique Selling Position and in turn your worth as a person. Only then will you be able to showcase and package your expertise for commercial impact.
This brings in a second point. Do we know how we need to package the potential we hold for impact? In learning about Ethiopia for example, I learnt that they have their own alphabet, they have 70% of Africa’s mountains located there, they have beautiful underground church structures, they have Christianity heavily embedded in their culture, the Biblical Ark of The Covenant holding the 10 commandments is believed to be housed in a church in Ethiopia and aside from being one of the biggest coffee producers, they have a very intricate ceremony around which they brew and serve coffee…..and, they even have some pyramids. Interesting, right!
But why does Ethiopia not feature as a tourist destination when planning a holiday? They probably have not used their Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to their advantage. They have not packaged themselves right. They have not understood their worth well enough to articulate it to the world. Smaller countries that just have a beach have managed to pull in more tourists than can be imagined. How? By actively taking control of the messaging shared.
Ethiopia is coming out of an economic rut right now. I pray the dust settles fast so that we can start to see the gem that is hidden underneath the rubble. Some economists have predicted a powerhouse rising out of Ethiopia, I hope I will live to see that day.
My parting shot today is this, embrace your uniqueness and do YOU! Just like my colleague was happily planning his Easter break long after we had expended ours and he did not allow the environment (and here I mean we, his fellow colleagues) to dampen his sprits, neither should you let what is happening around you influence your actions. Do you and Standout 4 Growth.
And to all my Ethiopian friends, a Happy Easter weekend Indeed!