Your Next Big Idea: You.

Here's a snippet from comment left on my last post on how to screw up your next Big Idea:

"How do things change if the purpose of your big idea is *you* and not *the idea*? "

What an excellent question, and my assumption is that the writer is asking about promoting their personal brand. Well, it's quite obvious from the long hair on my head and the fact that I don't have my own action figure that I'm no Seth Godin, but I don't think the rules should be changed one iota whether you are asking strangers to look favorably upon a person, place, or thing.

I'm an advocate of promoting things, Big (and small) Ideas, and even people, by the artful weaving of damned good stories. We already know that storytelling is how we most authentically connect to each other. Advertisers who spend hours crafting even the smallest tagline are attempting to condense an entire story, relying on common knowledge to fill in the rest. Do we give that same energy to our own tagline?

As an experiment, write out the story you tell yourself about yourself when no one is looking. While most of us throw a lot of negative self-talk around, why not indulge in crafting yours out in its entirety, then when you've finished your masterpiece run back through the tale and toss out every negative point you've made. Take out the part about how you always say something stupid in the meeting, trip on your high heels, or miss the error in your blog post. Remove the lens of clients, family, and friends, because if you look at yourself through their eyes, that's when you'll have the tendency to describe what you do in cliches.

Rather than: Senior Database Programmer

You are: Knowledgeable in the craft of finding meaning in random bits of information. Weaver of bytes. Restorer of order from data chaos.

You get the idea.

Take your new story from the reworked positive pieces. This is your forward-facing personal brand.

Use it to tell your new story often, and tell it consistently. Create your blog, dream up your posts, write your 140 character tweets, and pimp your LinkedIn profile with this new tale in mind. Let it go viral whether through word of mouth or your social media bio. Append as your story grows and allow everything you publicly post filter through it. That's how you live the Big Idea that is You. Now, I'm off to take my own advice.

So, what's your story? Because that's the Biggest Idea you'll ever have.

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