Set Your Beacon

People Can't Find You if They Don't Know Where to Look

There’s something bugging me; a feeling that I cannot shake. It’s the disheartening knowledge of knowing what I’m capable of and the disconnect with what the world thinks I can do.

Have you ever felt this way? Maybe when you applied for a job that you felt confident you would master but didn’t even get an interview? Or maybe you watched as a co-worker got promoted to a position that you would have been perfect for? Or, even worse in my book, your partner asked someone else to do a task that you knew you could handle?

It’s not that people think less of you, it’s that people aren’t thinking about you.

That might sound harsh, but the reality is, though we are the stars of our own story, we are barely an extra in the stories of others. The good news, you can stop questioning if you are good enough and start asking are the lights just turned off?

A beacon on a runway is there to help guide pilots to a safe landing. It’s not that a pilot couldn’t end up landing on a dark runway, but beacons help make it easier. More beacons make the runway more obvious. This is how it works for your talents. Take any example of what you want people to recognize you can do, currently for me, it’s writing. I feel like I can be a good writer, still having a long way to go though. I hope I can be someone who can inspire people with words, help businesses improve their marketing, and share my passions with others.

But if I never write anything, why is anyone going to believe this is possible?

Each individual piece of writing is an extra beacon on the runway, helping potential employers, publishers, or even just new friends, find me. The more I write, the more opportunities I’m giving myself to make my runway the brightest.

Because I’m a sucker for analogies, I’m going to continue down this airport path to make an important point. Your beacons need to line up. Setting up a hundred beacons in Seattle isn’t going to help someone who’s looking for Forth Worth. So it’s important to decide why you are choosing to share your accomplishments. If I’m focused on being a better writer, then sharing my writing is key to success; I need to make that runway bright if I want to be found. It doesn’t mean I can’t share my game development or an epic food pic (remember when those were a thing we did at restaurants?) but those are beacons at a different airport. Over a lifetime, it’s possible to light up many runways, but if you aren’t focused on any specific place, your runway will never be the brightest at any airport.

Okay, I know, this analogy is a little off the rails. No airport has runways competing for landing more planes, but hopefully, the idea makes enough sense to *cough* illuminate *cough* the point.

Have You Shown People Where to Look?

I hate the idea of personal branding because it feels, well, impersonal. It turns people away from sharing views contrary to what they believe their audiences perceive them to be and further engrains people inside of their own bubbles. But, there is one aspect of personal branding that holds value. Showing people what you can do.

Everyone, at some point, has been told that you need to prove what you can do not just talk about it. But sharing what you’ve already actually done, is the only way to set a beacon so that others can find you.

Think about what you want to do more of and then light up that runway. If your light burns bright enough you’re going to start guiding people to what sets you apart without ever needing to change who you are.

Quick Apology

If you are following me, you’ll have noticed I missed Sunday’s post. We were out and I have a nasty habit of never writing anything ahead of time. I’ll be back to my regular posting schedule this week.