Thursday, March 29, 2007

Branding Yourself

In running Company of Women, I get to meet some wonderful women with amazing stories to tell. One such woman is Diana Bishop, who was our guest speaker last night. With no notes (which always impresses me), she told her story with humour - always keeping her audience attentive and entertained.

With self-effacing honesty, she shared her fascinating climb up the journalism ladder, from the early days when her assignment was to write about white asparagus, to her national break when she covered a story about three ducks stuck in the ice , to her years in China as one of the first female foreign reporters with CBS, CTV and then NBS.

There she was at the peak in her career, earning big dollars but something was missing. Many of us would have just stuck it out, but Diana felt compelled to follow her heart and see where it led. She left her job, unsure of what the future would unfold.

When she reflected back on her career, she realized that what she truly loved was the storytelling. She turned her seasoned interviewing skills into a business through which she helps people share their story and then packages it so they can use the material as a marketing tool to brand their business. And it works.

Her advice to the women in the audience was to find their passion, to think about their special talents and find the one thing that truly differentiates them from anyone else, because when you build your brand on who you are and what makes you unique; no one else can come close.

Many of the women told me that they'd been really tired when they first arrived, but following Diana's presentation, they felt energized and renewed. They left with a bounce to their step, full of enthusiasm and hope. Thank you Diana for your story - it warmed our hearts, let us laugh out loud and gave us food for thought. What is my one thing? Stay tuned.

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