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Tanvi Bhatt

Tanvi Bhatt is the founder of Thought Leadership Labs-India's Premier Company on Thought Leadership influenced Personal Branding for CXOs- where she empowers Leaders to become Thought Leaders, and Thought Leaders to become Icons.

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BW Businessworld

Be Iconic In 100 Days: 100 Steps To Build The Brand You

Take a moment to absorb this brand leadership epiphany: A hundred days are a lifetime in the life of a newly elected leader or the president; but a blink and a miss in the lifetime of branding!

Photo Credit :

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Some of the most iconic world leaders have achieved in the first 100 days of their presidency what some presidents have not-in their entire term. History celebrates the achievements and the impact thereof, of the Roosevelt presidency, the Reagan presidency and of course the Obama presidency with poetic accolades; the changes they brought into the system within the first 100 days of their presidency are not only remarkable but outright inspirational. That brings us to the second part of this newfound insight-the ephemeral relativity of 100 days in branding: how does one build a brand in 100 days-especially when it takes years or even decades in the world of branding to build a brand that is celebrated for its value, consistency and commitment towards building credibility, reputation and legacy. 

The most iconic brands of the world right from Coca-Cola, GE, IBM, Toyota are at least a few decades old-if not a century; and the same is true with an obvious variation in the timescale for people brands too! Icons like Jobs, Branson, Musk, Dr. Kalam, Tata and Teresa, have become such beloved people brands today because of the three common traits that all iconic brands share: Value, Consistency and Commitment to serve, to change the world-which they personify in every act of reason.

We started this series of articles with article No. 1 in the series of 'Be Iconic in 100 days- 100 steps to build the Brand YOU'. This is the third week, where we take you through the next 10 steps to build the Brand YOU:

(How to use this 'Be Iconic Blueprint': Go ahead and accomplish one step every single day for the next 100 days religiously; when you complete these 100 steps in the next 100 days-you will be surprised at the clarity you have about your life, your happiness, your brand and more importantly how to leverage the true potential of the Brand YOU and #BeIconic!)

Week 3: "Brand Your Story"

Stories seduce: We human-storyteller-beings have been romancing stories from time immemorial; and even today we still resort to story-telling to communicate. Stories stir people, they evoke emotions, they inspire actions, and they change the world-one story at a time. Your Personal Brand is the story of this inspiration and how it is changing your YOUniverse for better! The beauty of these stories is that they inspire, connect and celebrate the spirit of your dreams. They have the power to transcend time and space, geographies and civilizations, to inspire one more generation of dreamers and doers.

This week we celebrate the power of stories; as I show you the 10 steps to build and brand your story, as you passionately build your legacy. Remember, today you are not only telling your story, but shaping the story of your future, your legacy. Make it Iconic!

1. Be Inspirational
Everyone likes a good story; but we love the inspiring ones the most! Inspiration is the mother of all great inventions, the beginning and the end of the most powerful stories ever told. Begin your story with what inspired your dreams; Walk them through the journey of the unfolding of this inspiration into your legacy; End it with a humble dream-a dream that inspires million new dreams! Never Dream Small.

2. Be Aspirational
Inspiration begets Aspiration. What do you aspire to build, create, accomplish, change or transform? Aspiration lies at the soul of extra-ordinary stories. Aspirational Leaders dream of 'Beyond'-and that's what makes their stories so inspirational! Always focus on a dream/goal larger than life; push yourself to be better than the best version of you; set your sights on excellence beyond belief. The best way to aspire and achieve is to constantly challenge yourself to bolder milestones. Never Settle.

3. Be Relevant
How does your life, your experiences and your story make your work relevant today? What did you learn from your ups and downs? Are your lessons/insights universal for others in the same boat? How did you overcome your challenges and emerge victorious? Highlight the most relevant life experience from your index of stories and make that your selling point. Never be Ambiguous.

4. Be Relatable
People fall in love with other people whose stories resonate with theirs. We are always seeking a little bit of ourselves in others; that's the singular secret behind the epic success of story-telling through generations. People need to identify with YOU, relate to your ups and downs and finally get inspired by your tenacity and commitment. They must relate to your pains, your passions and your purpose that shapes your story. Only when they relate with you at an emotional level, will they buy-in into your dreams! Never be God-like.

5. Be Repeatable
The most celebrated stories are the most repeated stories because of its relevance and readability. But in reality, the repeatability of your story depends on its inspiration quotient! Every story that inspires becomes un-forgettable as it touches your life and transforms something deep within. We love repeating these stories to our communities as every time we repeat this story-it not only inspires the community, it once again ignites our souls to dream, dare and do. Never be Forgettable.

6. Be the Underdog
The rags to riches stories always make for enthralling reads! If you have ever been on the brink of losing it all; if you have ever been down and under in business; if you have built your career from ashes to palaces; if you have given your career 30 years before witnessing a miraculous breakthrough- pride in your trials and tribulations. Ensure that you showcase the good, bad and the ugly of your life to the world; the humbler your roots, as glorious will be your honor! Never be Ashamed.

7. Be the Hero
It's your life: You deserve to be the HERO of your story! Real life super-heroes are rare and often silent miracle workers. I suggest otherwise. I recommend you to celebrate your 'Super-Heroship', to inspire more real life super-heroes. Espouse and evangelize the cause, the change, the commitment you have made to your community; real heroes stand for something. What does your brand stand for? Stand Up, Step Out and Speak-On. Never Hide.

8. Be a Dreamer
Story telling is important to communicate your journey mapped; but 'story shaping' is what differentiates leaders from thought leaders. Leaders lead; but Thought Leaders dream! Be the dreamer who envisions and evangelizes the 'story of his future.' The story of HOW he is going to change the future; The story of WHY he is going to change the future; The story of a dream which is beautifully weaved in the poetry of your story! Never Just Lead.

9. Be an Artist
Stories are only as powerful as the Story-teller. If you have a fantastic story but are NOT able to voice it with passion and eloquence, little will matter. Story-telling is an art, an art to be mastered by you. Public Speaking is the most powerful medium to tell your story; so set the stage, share your story and make it come alive in the eyes of your audience. A story teller must master the art of public speaking with passion and panache. Never be Vanilla.

10. Be Magical
Everyone loves a fairy-tale; and those who truly believe in them, make them come true! Add a touch of magical serendipity to your story to up its inspirational, aspirational and unforgettable quotient. Show how you combined your passions and purpose to shape your destiny; to magically transform your dreams into reality. Make Magic happen by weaving serendipity and destiny into your reality. Never stop believing.