You’re Better Than All Bran:
Beyond Bullet Points in Bios
There’s you. . .and then there’s “paper you.” Paper you touts a thousand dull facts that are about as exciting to ingest as a bowl of All Bran.
As a social entrepreneur, someone who is driven by making a difference, not just a profit, enquiring minds want to know what sparked your passion, how you’ve struggled, how you’ve triumphed, why you persevere.
They want Captain Crunch, with Berries.
Here’s the thing: between the positions and accomplishments, the organizational participation, and the published papers, there are real moments that make you who you are–interesting, damn it!
So stop hiding behind your acronyms and accolades and tell your prospective clients and customers who you really are.
The biggest part of my job is getting people to talk about the random stuff that they think has absolutely no bearing on their professional persona. They dish . . . and dish . . . and dish, often apologizing for their verbosity or randomness. And I say, bring it on! More! All the while connecting the dots that shaped how they came to be who they are: a person with genuine passion and purpose; how they they came to be where they are—in exactly the right spot—making a living and a difference.
I love this part of my job. I love that I get to help people unearth the small moments that are actually huge. And once we figure that out, well, it’s game on. Passion? Purpose? Real, honest, revelatory moments? That’s what persuades people. Not sanitized accomplishments. You’re more than the sum of your bullet points. You’re better than All Bran.
When I meet a new client, I send them a “Getting to Know You, Good Egg” questionnaire. Here are some of the questions you can ask yourself that have absolutely nothing to do with degrees earned or revenue generated:
What did I want to be when I was a kid? When I was a teenager?
How did I suffer? How was I privileged?
What worried me as a kid? As a teenager? What worries me as an adult?
What moment(s) opened my eyes to a problem or injustice?
How did I get from one stop to the next on my career path? And how did I feel along the way?
Who knows, maybe you’ll get to know yourself a little bit better, Good Egg. You’ll definitely be better positioned to get your audience to care. If you want more help bidding adieu to “paper you,” drop me a line. We’ll share a cup of coffee (over the phone, computer, or in person), talk, and figure out who the hell you are and how to best share your story.