In Honor of International Women’s Day- Who Are You? Have You Branded Yourself?

by Susan Butler

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Howdy boys and girls.

As March is the start of Women’s History Month and today specifically is celebrating the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, I felt this guest post by female advocate Susan Bulkeley Butler only fitting and proper.

Susan is the author of Women Count- A Guide to Changing the World.  I will be writing a more in-depth review of the book at a later date, but for now know that what I have been able to read has been GOOD stuff!

You’ll get a taste of Susan’s perspective on the role of women and what we are doing to define it for ourselves.  My favorite part of the post is where she states ” We need to make things happen for us rather than let things happen to us.”

So damn true and something I try to remind myself of everyday.

Life doesn’t wait for anyone, and when we want something bad enough, whether personal or business related, the best way to get it is to make it happen.  We often unconsciously live in a reactive state of being, coming from the mindset that all of these things are happening TO us, rather than BECAUSE of us.

Instead we need to be striving to live in an intentional state of being, and define our own lives.  Only WE can decide who we are and what we can achieve.  Happy reading!

Today, women find themselves in many roles… Career women, moms, wives, sisters, teachers, homemakers, PTA members, philanthropists, Sunday school teachers, students, etc. The list goes on and on.

How many more places can you add to this list?  Do you even know when to say no?  How much time do you devote to yourself?  By this I mean, helping yourself become who you want to be and not what everyone else wants you to be. Taking some time for yourself is very important – a novel idea for some of you, I’m sure.

I found myself in an interesting conversation when I retired from 36 years at Arthur Andersen & Co., Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). A friend asked me what I wanted to accomplish in 5 years. I finally answered:  “I want to have impacted ‘zillions’ of women and girls to be all they can be.”  Today, that has changed a bit. I want to help bring equality in sight for women by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote.

Some say that focusing on ourselves is selfish.  I say, it is being good to ourselves to ensure we are happy, which will only ensure we are happy in everything we do.

We need to brand ourselves.  Who are we? Who do we want to be? In order to answer these questions, we need to become the CEO of Me, Inc.  By this, I mean we need to take responsibility for ourselves.  We need to make things happen for us rather than let things happen to us.

Here is My Make-It-Happen Model

Develop your strategy for who you want to be and ask how will you achieve it?  Answer the following questions, preferably by writing them down so they will become real to you.

  • What do you want to say you have achieved in 5 years?  Start by writing “I am…”
  • Who is on your Board of Directors? Who will “help you achieve your goals?”  No one achieves their goals by themselves.
  • How will you develop your plan – with your goals and expected results – for the next 12 months?  In order to achieve your aspirations, these goals and expected results are essential.
  • How will you work with your plan every day, beginning now, to start meeting your goals?

As the CEO, you are also responsible for the rest of your brand, which includes your product, its packaging, and how you are marketing yourself. These are all necessary to achieve your aspirations.

Additionally, as the CEO of Me, Inc. you need to 1). Take responsibility for who you are and who you want to be, and 2). Spend time on yourself.

Successful CEOs do all of these things in order for their companies to be successful. How are you doing as the CEO of Me, Inc.?  How is your brand?  How is your 30-second elevator speech that describes you and what you do?

This Make-It-Happen model works.  I have used it for over 30 years in everything I do.  It will help you to make things happen for you rather than let things happen to you.

Are you willing to accept the responsibility of being the CEO of Me, Inc.?

If you adored this post, I’d appreciate if you’d share it with all the women you think are amazing.  (OK fine, men too if you want!)  If you have thoughts or your own observations, I’d appreciate those in the comments below.

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