By the time you read this, I will have changed every online profile I can find from “businessman, writer, and public speaker” to “businessman and content creator.” This refined tagline is more descriptive of what I actually do and easier to say when someone asks what I do. It’s about understanding my current position and shifting that positioning so the world has a better idea what it is I do on a daily basis.
Position and positioning
Before I start throwing buzz words around, let’s settle on a couple of definitions. For our purposes, “position” is where we currently are. Think of it as reality. You may not like it, but you and your audience know and understand your position. It’s neither good nor bad at this point. It just is. “Positioning” on the other hand is the act of shifting your position from what it is to what you want it to be. So there is not such thing as a bad position; just bad positioning.
If you are going to make the effort to shift your position, it’s important to know where you are and where you want to be. For example, I love creating content of all kinds. That can be blog posts like this, videos, public presentations and even private, small group presentations for our customers. While that can all be called content creation, the terms writing and public speaking don’t encompass all I do. My position is content creator, yet I was telling the world I was a writer and public speaker. That means my positioning statement was inaccurate.
Align your position and purpose
Your purpose is what drives you. It’s what makes you want to get out of the bed in the morning and kick some ass on a daily basis. On a personal level, my drive is to stay self-employed for the rest of my life so I can be a disruptive innovator without having to justify myself to others. One level down from that purpose is my current business goal of promoting open color systems in which no one business or individual “owns” color. It’s a color democracy of sorts.
A lifelong purpose of disruptive innovation requires that I spend a great deal of time evangelizing change. That requires communication and communication requires content creation. Putting it all together, lifetime self-employment dictates that I be a decent businessman, and being an evangelizing disruptive innovator requires that I be a content creator.
Labels vs positioning statements
If you are like me, then you are not a big fan of labels. A personal tagline is a type or label, but it’s a necessary one. If you can’t tell people who you are and what you do, how on earth do you ever expect them to want to work with you?
What’s your current position and is your positioning statement properly reflective of that position?