Last updated on February 26th, 2023 at 02:13 pm
At some point on the dreamer’s journey, you will find yourself at a “D’oh moment.”
Oprah likes to call them “Aha! moments” I think possibly because “Aha” may sound prettier when you’re having a light-bulb moment — that moment where you see a missing piece of your dream puzzle. It’s certainly a reality check — whatever you want to call it.
There’s a caveat to dream “D’oh” moments: To have one requires that you’ve already put some serious time and effort into your dream. You have to spend more than just last week working on your dream. Without dream practice, you won’t get sudden “D’oh” clarity.
All dreamers come to the alter of the dream process looking outside themselves for help and answers, instead of turning within and tapping their human potential. It’s natural. Everyone does this at the beginning of their dream journey.
It’s OK — just as long as you don’t get stuck there.
It’s a lot like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz looking for the people of Oz to get her back home to Kansas when she had the power all the long. Don’t you think that she sure went through a lot to find out that she really had the ability?
Your dream can only be guided by you.
I continue to read through the workbook, Heart of the Visionary, looking for tidbits to share with you on the business side of dreaming and running a top website. Right in the middle of my review of branding, I was slapped right upside the head with my very own “D’oh moment.” I’ve always thought of branding as being not myself — me– as my own brand.
I stared at Shiloh’s thoughts on branding and I decided to turn to Google search and ponder the question that was looming before me: should I create my own brand too?
The first thing Google search did was smack me on the other side of my face with this quote from Tom Peters in Fast Company —
“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”
He goes on to say …
“If you want to grow your brand, you’ve got to come to terms with power — your own. The key lesson: power is not a dirty word!
In fact, power for the most part is a badly misunderstood term and a badly misused capability. I’m talking about a different kind of power than we usually refer to. It’s not ladder power, as in who’s best at climbing over the adjacent bodies. It’s not who’s-got-the-biggest-office-by-six-square-inches power or who’s-got-the-fanciest-title power.
It’s influence power.”
I was still thinking about branding while on a phone call with fellow dreamers, Iman and Heather later in the week. I blurted out,
“I’ve been thinking about starting my own website about me and all that I do online. I’m thinking of branding myself and finding some way to buy something close to my name online since there are about 25 very famous, successful other Catherine Hughes’ out there.”
“Um, sweetie. You already own you.” Heather quickly responded as if she was reminding me that my hair is still red.
“You own the website catherinemhughes.com. I picked it up for you years ago when we were contemplating all this (referring to making 8 Women Dream a big thing).”
Ok, well yes, sometimes people do help you along with your dream. Everyone needs a Heather friend who helps you get out of your own way, but you still have to do the work yourself.
“I can set up my own website?”
“I’ll transfer it to you tomorrow.”
As the author of Heart of the Visionary, Shiloh Sophia McCloud puts it, “Branding expresses who you are and how others perceive you and is the foundation for all of your communications.”
And the reality is that we now live a big part of our lives online. If you want to make money at your dream, then you need to take control of your online identity and include yourself in your branding.
Call it “You 2.0”.
Personal branding expert, Dan Schawbel, states, “There are two main reasons why personal branding is becoming a core part of our culture. Sadly, it’s nothing revolutionary! First, we are all being judged all the time, even when we’re sleeping (our online profiles are still up). Second, we have to constantly sell our ideas to teachers, managers, venture capitalists, our friends and family, to make things happen in our lives. We have to convince them to take action.”
I know this, really I do, but in all the building and developing of 8 Women Dream, along with my other work online, I somehow left myself out of the equation. This is pretty funny, since fellow dreamer, Iman Woods has imanwoods.com, Kelly has kellyswanson.net, and Sue has suelevy.co.za.
It’s not like it hasn’t been staring me in the face.
But this is why it’s important to read books and have mentors to remind you of what’s important as you travel on your dream journey. Sometimes you are so busy whacking away at the weeds in front of you that you forget to look up at the blue sky. You need to be looking for new information and seek out new possibilities to be successful at dreaming big.
I wanted to have the shell of the website catherinemhughes.com up for you to see at the publication of this post, but the transfer is still in process (ah the Internet). I will share my thoughts on building your online brand with a website in later posts and show you what I’ve done.
I’m sure it will be right after I have another “D’oh” moment.
Catherine Hughes is the editor and founder of 8WomenDream. She’s also a magazine columnist, content creator, blogger, published author, and former award-winning mom blogger. Catherine collaborates with companies to craft engaging web content and social media narratives. Her work, highlighting stories of the resilience and success of Northern California residents, appears in several print magazines. Outside of work, she treasures motherhood, her close friendships, rugby, and animals.
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