Last week I had a conversation with Trey Pennington about Social Media Marketing and the methods that have worked best for me to find that next step in life whether it be a career opportunity, hobby or even personal life goals. I had discussed being yourself and being unique, this week I would like to further explore that topic as I get asked quite a bit by you the Destructo Devations reader “I want to do something new, but I don’t know how to do it.”
1. Look to the past– When ever I feel that pulling sensation of either cabin fever with my life or just the “feeling stuck” syndrome. I spend a day in a huge tupperware box I have, going through old family photos and home movies. Sometimes when I feel that sinking feeling of “going nowhere”, I look back on my life as a child and it really puts things in perspective on how far i’ve come and to not give up. Every time I go back and view a old home movie of myself at three years old, I realize that back then that these things now didn’t matter that much. It’s amazing the feeling you have when you put that mindset that money isn’t what your world revolves around, it’s that carefree childhood spirit that the best entrepreneurs have tapped into.
2. Get rid of negative people– Naysayers, people that gossip about you, those general debbie downers. Cut em off, don’t think that your friends make you. YOU make you. Many people get stuck in situations where their social circles have control over every aspect of their life and people that would stab you in the back to make themselves look better. This is the real world, people are fake, there are tons of snakes and sharks in any circle. Some people thrive off the success and downfall of others. Listen to your instincts and never let anyone use you for their benefit solely. YOU make your world, there’s a lot in this world we can’t control but take the reins over the things you can control.
3. De-Materialize– Look around your house, does it look like a thrift store? If so, it probably belongs there. If you need money, stop for a second and see what you can sell or downsize before you start complaining that you are broke. I recently got rid of half of my belongings and old clothes, most I just gave to Salvation Army… I’ve never felt so free!
4. Look in the mirror– After getting rid of so much stuff, I realized this was the perfect opportunity to start a new personal image. Just because that suit looked good in the 80’s doesn’t mean you still look awesome today. Sometimes we need to keep our image fresh and interesting to the public, just look at Madonna, David Bowie and Lady Gaga. Constant reinvention of the self! But what was the image I wanted to portray and how could I do this on a budget? Honestly, most of the time… I am a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal but i’ve always got a great pair of boots to back that up. Start small and find that one accessory that stands out, a great pair of glasses, nice shoes, a cool tie from Cyberoptix maybe? Whatever the accessory, make it you and make it unique, I have a cheap pair of red sunglasses that always gets attention. Sometimes though you need more help than that or have no fashion sense whatever, there are personal image consultants or look to a celebrity or someone that you admire. Steal ideas from their outfits and find the cheap knockoff of it….thrift stores are amazing for finding clothes! Sometimes I will splurge a little on key pieces that I will use a bunch (Shoes, Suits, Jeans) but never pay $30 for a t-shirt. I always again look back on people that I admired when I was younger for style choices, I can remember wanting Saffron from Republica’s haircut…but, I was always told by hairstylists “Good luck, it’s a hard hairstyle to keep up on curly hair” but I went for it (Big ups to my CHI Flat Iron!) . It really touches me when I get email from fans with their new hair color or bob haircuts inspired by me. Oh and always get a little teared up when a little kid goes, “Mommy, I want blue hair!”, I can remember being that little kid. Whatever it is, don’t be an exact copy of someone else, make it you!
5. Nothing is a disability– If you have a unique physical appearance or a disability, make that a part of your personal branding. Don’t be ashamed of anything that is a part of you. It makes you special out of a crowd, for example Mr. D is a videographer has to wear an eyepatch sometimes. I suggested maybe he should become “the one eye camera guy”. Honestly, sometimes I feel like a freak being six feet tall and super skinny. For awhile there I didn’t even want to leave the house, people can be very mean. Once I learned more about other people going through the same thing, I felt a shift happen in my thinking, I was proud of my height and was able to focus more on the uniqueness of it. Sometimes your success in celebrating your disabilities can inspire others as well.
6. The “Deets”– Details, details, details… all the fun stuff that comes with running a business or trying to promote yourself. Make yourself a press kit, business cards, get out to networking events, start conversing with people on Twitter doing what you want to do. Even in the unemployment line, start up conversations around you… you may find your new best friend. Every moment is an opportunity, always pay attention to the details and you may find yourself constantly with new opportunities for reinventing yourself.
7. Learn from others- One book that changed my life, was Design Your Self by Karim Rashid. This book has seriously been everywhere with me, through college, to Europe, Greenville and beyond. I don’t think there is a better book out there to reinvent yourself, Karim Rashid has taken his personal experiences as a graphic designer to create a guide to designing yourself. Not to mention it’s so easy to read and on the eyes, every page is a little piece of a typography masterpiece. It covers every single aspect of your life that could need redesign, even your love life. If you need a checklist or a one stop guide, hunt this book down now. Beware, don’t leave it in your bathroom or coffee table it might get stolen.
Never stop inventing yourself. We are never done, we are never finished with life until death. Keep life interesting and you will find new opportunities and inspiration for your next step. Open yourself up to the world and the world will come to you.
You only have one life… become the person you always wanted to be, RIGHT NOW.