Category Archive for: ‘Perfectionism’

Are You A “Closet Professional”? Get Your Horn Out & Toot It!


Inherent to the personal branding process is the ability to be able to know your uniqueness, own it and let others know it.  Of course, if this was easy to do everyone would be an expert at personal brand management, have more business and be happier in general.

Yet, as I always say, we find that people have a hard time being outstanding and shining brightly AND letting others know it.  Inherently, the problem is low self-confidence.  Therefore, we become “closet professionals” as I like to call it.  We go around hoping someone will somehow notice how great we are, like us and then hire us.

Last week I had the pleasure of hearing a speech by Edith Ramirez, the Chairwoman of the FTC.  She spoke at a local female lawyers luncheon.  Ramirez is a bright and capable lawyer,  having been on law review at Harvard with President Obama.

At the heart of her talk was the concept that women and minorities are not good at marketing themselves, or tooting their own horns.  She highlighted how an essential part of being a good attorney is having self-confidence, something we directly measure for our personal branding clientele.  If you are not self-confident about what you do, clients will feel it.

Ramirez stated that it is ok to say, “I’m good. Hire me!”

So how good are you at saying, “I’m good. Hire me”?  Do you have self-confidence and passion around your profession, be it a lawyer or otherwise?  If not, why not? 

Is Your Personal Brand Flawed But Fabulous?


Lately we’ve been seeing many clients with a need to be “perfect”.  Perfectionism is not an uncommon need and goal. This is especially true when we look at certain careers, such as lawyers and engineers and doctors….

The issue around the need to be a perfectionist is that since you are never satisfied that something is done “well” or “perfectly”, then you go into business paralysis, which I blogged about a few months back.  In terms of the results on your personal brand- it is tremendous and yucky.

Perfectionists often appear: 1) out of control  2) weak  3) confused because they can’t “decide”  4) lazy because they talk  and take no action 5) indecisive and/or 6) greedy because they appear to be hoarding a concept, plan or theory.    Now, who would want to do business with you if these are the judgments we have about you?

Of course, most of these judgments just are not true at all.  But you have to break through your limiting beliefs around being a perfectionist before you can save your personal brand and your business brand.

We recently had a client who did just this.   This client seemed paralyzed and couldn’t find her target market.  She is a lovely and talented professional working for a large organization.  The way she dealt with her perfectionist tendencies is to consider that she is flawed, but can still be fabulous.  She came to the realization that no one is perfect and perfection is something that can NEVER be attained, so why bother?  She now owns her “flaws” (although we can’t really find these flaws ourselves, but no matter- we are often our toughest critics!) and still believes she is fabulous.

This mental outlook has enabled her to find her target market, set up a personal branding strategy and thus, work to create solutions for her target market AND grow her business.  How fabulous is that?!

People are attracted to our shortcomings because we can identify and connect with REAL people who make us feel good about ourselves.  We want to know these people and do business with their fabulous, yet flawed personal brands. So next time you find something is just not perfect enough, consider that you can be flawed AND  fabulous.


First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.