This year I had the privilege to attend HOW Design Live in Atlanta, Ga. It was a wild, exciting couple days crammed with TONS of fresh knowledge, inspirational talks, lots of intentional socializing and networking with some really phenomenal strangers.

The very first speaker I heard upon arrival, was a sassy, solopreneur named Terri Trespicio. Terri is a branding strategist and coach who helps visionaries, experts, entrepreneurs, and businesses figure out how to get the attention they want—and, more importantly, what to do when they get it.

The room she presented in was PACKED…people were sitting on the floor, on the stairs, on each other and even overflowing into the hallway. It didn’t take long for me to realize why – This chick has spunk!

Her talk was titled “How to Build Your Personal Brand on the Job” – perfect! A subject any in-house designer could benefit from. She talked a lot about passion and meaning. What does your job mean to you? What do you want it to mean? When there’s passion and purpose behind what you’re doing at work, it’s not hard to stand out. But what if that’s not a given?

For the record, passion and meaning are pretty abundant in a lot of the projects we get to work on at emcee11d, but for anyone who may be looking to dig a little deeper in the significance department, here’s my version of Terri’s advice:

You’re you. You’re not supposed to be someone else at work. You’re not living two lives; the you you are outside of work is the same you you should be no matter where you are or who you’re with. Be consistent.
You have to talk about your brand (yourself) in a passionate way.

  • Stand out (at work and everywhere else).
  • Confidence is contagious.
You building your brand on the job benefits your company too.

  • You have the potential to change the world through your work, and no one wants that more than your company.
Your job won’t deliver meaning to you, you have to deliver it first.

  • Working hard is not enough. Working passionately is where it’s at.
  • You have to give emotionally. Figure out how to really care about what you’re doing.
Be more than your job description.

  • Exceed expectations, no matter the project or circumstances. This is how you show more value.
Be difficult to live without.

  • Be different. Be someone that a foundation can be built around. Don’t just fit in.
  • Be the chef of your role, not the server.
You have to think as an entrepreneur.

  • Freelance is the same as in-house. Seek out problems, aim to do things better.
Think about what you do from others’ perspectives.

  • What do those people come to you for? What do you want them to come to you for? Then insert yourself into that area.
  • How do people feel after they work with you? Are you memorable? Are you mean?
Be an expert at something.

  • Find your niche. Figure out what you can do differently and why it matters.
  • Realize you are an expert, not the expert.
  • When you see yourself as an expert, other people will too.
Give your knowledge away.

  • The goal is to not just improve upon yourself, but to make other people better too.
  • Enable other people to be the sous-chef so you can work on your fancy entrees.

Pretty solid suggestions, right?! Even if these are ideas we heard once before, in some respect, Terri’s talk was a great refresher for me to really wrap my mind around who I am in my personal life and at work and how others see me.

Want more? Check Terri out here:

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