By Dr. Laura Hills, President, Blue Pencil Institute, www.bluepencilinstitute.com
I was saddened to learn of the passing of Annette Funicello on Monday. I first encountered her in the 1960s when I’d watch reruns of “The Mickey Mouse Club”. I looked up to her then because she I was an awkward, gangly girl and she was older and so much more mature and poised. I wanted to be just like her. A few years later, one of my guilty pleasures was watching Annette Funicello in those terrible beach movies with Frankie Avalon. Later, I admired Ms. Funicello as she faced her life with Multiple Sclerosis with so much dignity. But what stands out to me upon her passing is that Annette Funicello was truly one of a kind. I can’t think of anyone else like her. She had a personal brand. And certainly, in a time when stage names were the norm, you’ve got to admire a girl who went into show business with the name Funicello. She was as memorable and unique as her name.
Blue Pencil Power Question™: What is unique about you?
We live in a world of cookie cutter celebrities, fashion knock-offs, and subdivision homes. But as much as we want to fit in by having the latest gadget or by wearing the color of the season, we also have a need to express our individuality. Self-branding occurs when we create a purposeful emotional response when others hear our name, see us online, or meet us in person. And the most successful people have a unique self-brand. They are not carbon copies of others, but rather, uniquely themselves.
Most everyone wants to fit in. That’s OK. But be careful not to lose the very thing that is different — and therefore special — about you. Use your uniqueness. Cherish and embrace it. Think about what you can do to make yourself memorable. People will have an opinion of you no matter what you do. But a unique personal brand directs how others perceive you. Don’t strive to be a generic or poor man’s version of someone else. Find what is unique about you and celebrate it.