Are You Inside Out?

brand positioining notesI recently found some old notes I had written (probably some time in the last century) and came across a batch of numbered “points” that made me realize how important it is that we look at things from the inside out.

Are you living from the inside out?

I am not entirely sure where the notes I had written come from. They are either quotes from, or were inspired by, Viktor Frankl.

When I begin the work of helping my clients position themselves or their brands, they often struggle to find what it is that makes them unique. This brings me to the first Inside Out point I had written:

Work usually represents the area in which an individual’s uniqueness stands in relation to society and thus acquires meaning and value.

In today’s marketing speak, this simply means that what sets you apart from others and from your competition, is the way in which you serve other people. Whether it is customers or clients, competitors or partners, it is what you offer others, rather than what you do that counts.

Perhaps things will be a little clearer when you see the second point I had written:

The meaning and value is attached to the person’s work as a contribution to society and not the actual occupation as such.

This means that it  actually is not about YOU. It is not about being an accountant, but about keeping people’s finances straight. It is not about being a printer, but about getting people’s message out.

I’ll put it another way: People don’t pay you because you are an accountant. They pay you because you keep their finances straight. People don’t pay you because you are a doctor, but because you provide them with the medical services they need or want.

From time to time, we all need the reminder of the last point on my little list:

Where the actual occupation does not allow a sense of fulfillment to arise, the fault is in the person not the work.

When I re-read this last night, some 20 years after I wrote it down, I thought: “It’s not what you do that makes you happy, it is why you do it.” It’s actually your motivation they see.

Let’s use the same example: You are not happy because you are an accountant. You are happy because you get to provide a service to people who need it (and are willing to pay you for that service).

Next time someone asks you what you do, tell them what you actually do.

Answer with your inside facing outward.

And if you are not sure what you do…

Let’s talk!
Free consultation

Click to Schedule an Appointment

Author: Sue Hines

  1. Sue — it’s so true. Titles mean nothing anymore. It’s what you do benefit someone else either in business or your personal life. That’s where you get fulfillment.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted…Why WPBeginner is the Go-To Site for All Things WordPressMy Profile

    • Sue HinesSue Hines09-26-2014

      Fulfillment is what drives active commitment, Jeanette. If you don’t get anything out of it, you will soon lose interest.

  2. Susan CooperSusan Cooper09-24-2014

    With the massive amount of time people spend at work nowadays, it is more important than ever to make sure you are doing a job that you are happy to do and offers you fulfillment. We are defined by what we do. Make it meaningful. 🙂

    • Sue HinesSue Hines09-24-2014

      You have a way with words, Susan. Loving what we do is so important. It is not that hard to find something wonderful about what you do to focus your energy on. When you do, it all feels worthwhile.

  3. Michele HarveyMichele Harvey09-23-2014

    I couldn’t agree with you more when you say, “It’s what you offer others, rather than what you do that counts.”
    Neale Donald Walsch says, “Your life is not about you, it’s about everyone else whose life you touch and the way in which you touch it.”

    • Sue HinesSue Hines09-23-2014

      Love that quote, Michele. Our society does seem to be a more fixated on what you do when what you contribute might be more useful gauge of a person.

  4. CatarinaCatarina09-23-2014

    Absolutely, people pay you for what you can do for them. Not what your title is. Would be great if people all over the world that attach MBA to their name read your post:-) In particular in countries where an MBA costs $500. It’s sad that attaching three letters that they have paid for makes them feel so much better about themselves.
    Catarina recently posted…Do your customers recommend you?My Profile

    • Sue HinesSue Hines09-23-2014

      Love your sense of humor, Catarina. I had not thought about it from that perspective, but you are so right. Many of the world’s most powerful people don’t have any letters (and sometimes not even a even high school diploma) behind their names, from Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to Anthony Robbins.

  5. Jacqueline GumJacqueline Gum09-23-2014

    This truly spoke to me Sue. As I grow older, I see more folks, particularly in volunteerism, that get involved as a way to raise their profile. Often lost, is the cause. Seems lately, I’ve been very deeply saddened by this. “it is what you offer others, rather than what you do that counts” and ” “It’s not what you do that makes you happy, it is why you do it.” I wish more people would recognize this and get away from their egos.
    Jacqueline Gum recently posted…Divided… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

    • Sue HinesSue Hines09-23-2014

      Jacqueline, I am glad it touched something in you – as your post, Divided… Where’s The Justice? did for me. It brought a little light into a fuzzy dark space in my head. Have been jotting down notes ever since, and can’t wait to let it all pour out. You say you march to a different drummer, but I like the beat!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: