You rep­u­ta­tion is your ‘tool­kit for life’

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - FRONT PAGE - DAVID JAMES

‘‘When peo­ple think about brand­ing they think, ‘put­ting lip­stick on a pig’, you know, some­thing on the sur­face and unau­then­tic,’’ says lo­cal writer and pub­lic speaker Fiona Fen­wick.

But Fen­wick’s chal­lenge is to change peo­ple’s minds about that.

She wants peo­ple to think more about per­sonal brand­ing as a way of ‘‘walk­ing the talk ... of be­ing au­then­tic’’.

‘‘I think we’ve heard all the self-im­prove­ment mantras and for­mu­las by now. You know, the ‘think pos­i­tive’ move­ment, diet and ex­er­cise your way to health and wealth, how to win friends and be­come a mil­lion­aire on­line. ‘‘The list goes on.’’ Fen­wick says all of those flashy jar­gon-rich move­ments have for­got­ten the sim­ple prin­ci­ple of au­then­tic­ity and trust­wor­thi­ness, and Fen­wick’s new book Stand Out and Step Up says there is one thing that costs noth­ing to in­vest in; rep­u­ta­tion.

‘‘The best thing about rep­u­ta­tion is it costs you noth­ing, and it’s your best as­set,’’ Fen­wick says.

‘‘Peo­ple talk about their cars, or their houses as be­ing an as­set. But your rep­u­ta­tion is some­thing you live with day-to-day. It’s the one thing we should in­vest in the most, and it’s prob­a­bly the one thing we in­vest in the least.’’

The book is based on Fen­wick’s 30-plus years in pub­lic re­la­tions and com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and the writer says a lot of peo­ple miss the boat when it comes to suc­cess be­cause they have a poor idea of how they are seen by oth­ers, ver­sus how they see them­selves.

‘‘I’ve talked to bosses and CEOs who say about them­selves, ’I am prompt and re­li­able’, and then seen the whole room burst out laugh­ing be­cause they are the most un­re­li­able per­son they know.

‘‘There are many peo­ple who think they are warm and friendly and in­clu­sive. And then I’ll meet them some­where, and they’ll be rude to the per­son they are buy­ing their cof­fee from.

‘‘What does that say about you?’’

Fen­wick’s claims are sim­ple: put your money where your mouth is. A per­son may be­have with in­tegrity in sit­u­a­tions where it mat­ters to them - when they have some­thing to gain. But ne­glect that rep­u­ta­tion in other ar­eas of their life, such as their per­sonal life.

‘‘I’ve writ­ten a rep­u­ta­tion tool­kit for life. I’ve asked the ques­tion, ‘how does any­one - from a stu­dent or a busi­ness owner - stand out from oth­ers?’’’

And the book is step-by-step in­ter­ac­tive text that helps nur­ture a greater self-aware­ness, to ‘‘stand out from the crowd’’.

‘‘One thing I said about writ­ing a book like this, is that I told my­self that I would never stand up and talk about a con­cept un­less I’ve lived it and had the ex­pe­ri­ence,’’ Fen­wick says.

‘‘There are too many peo­ple writ­ing books who just think it’s a good idea to do it. But there’s no sub­stance to it. In this book I ask the reader ques­tions: Who you are? How do you want oth­ers to see you? How can you live your life more au­then­ti­cally?

‘‘Be­cause if you don’t, the wheels will even­tu­ally come off.’’

Stand Out and Step Up,

Fiona Fen­wick with her book

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.