Building a Brand is all the BUZZ pt 2 of 2

So how did I get here?

I’m the kinda gal that never wanted to be beholden to a man.  It’s not that I’m a man hater (to the contrary, I loves me some mens!!), but I never wanted to be the gal who had to wait for her husband to get home to turn on the grill, so I learned how to fire it up myself.  In fact, in my house, I’m the grill master.

Eons ago, I had an idea to build a piece of art which needed to be made using power tools.  My husband started to build the art piece for me until I demanded that he STOP!  I wanted to be the one to do it. He showed me how to use the tool, and then I built the piece myself… years later, I even became a spokesperson for Skil power tools, teaching women how to power it up with power tools!

Doing things myself initially grew out of ego, and not wanting to be a weak, unskilled woman who was beholden to a man.  But then it morphed.

When we bought our first home, we didn’t have enough money leftover to hire a fancy schmancy general contractor for our remodel, so I became the GC and grunt worker.  I had champagne taste and a beer budget, so I did what I could myself, and only brought in the high-paid pros when I could go no further.  Once the pros where on the jobsite, I shadowed them to learn what I could, so I could replicate it next time.

Shadowing true professionals has single-handedly been the most influential aspect to building my brand.

If you’re struggling with either finding your brand, or choosing between several areas (i.e., design, parties, DIY, food, etc), might I suggest looking beneath the surface, like I did.  There is likely some commonality in your interests; connecting the data points might be the task.  If you need help with that, this book is an oldie and true a goodie:  What Color Is Your Parachute? Funny enough, I’m currently midway through the workbook in an effort to further refine my brand, which is always evolving.

Having this “Dame on a dime” brand moniker still allows me to be exactly who I am, but it has created a way for others to classify me.  People feel better when they can put you in a box.  Allow them to do so, as long as you know the totality of your brand.  Whatever you do, do NOT (I repeat DO NOT) allow your brand to be portrayed as something it is not.  It won’t last the marathon.  Sure, it might be great for a little sprint, but once you’ve tuckered out, you’ll be back to trying to figure out what your brand is.

So, what IS your brand?  Tweet me your definition @TracyMetro

 

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Building a Brand is all the BUZZ pt 1 of 2

Am I poor?  Uh, no.  Well, I must be rich then, right?  Hardly.  I’m somewhere in between… by American standards, that is.   If I don’t struggle financially and don’t need to turn a McDonald’s packet of ketchup into a bowl of tomato soup, then how did I become a “life on a dime” expert?  I must just be cheap then.  Not exactly.  I simply don’t like the concept of feeling beholden to anyone; henceforth, how I became Dame of the dime.

Allow me to give you a bit of history on me.  For years my agents and managers have mandated that I build a hyper-specific brand for myself (oh, by the way, I design homes, throw parties, upcycle junk, cook, etc on TV).  If I gave you a dime for every time I was told to choose ONE area of focus… well, you know how that sentence ends.

My team would tell me that my multitude of skills confuses people.  What I heard was: God forbid one person should be good at doing more than one thing!  Truthfully, I think the reason I was requested to choose just one area was to make me “an easier sale” for them.  See, if I was super specific, I could be put into a tiny little box, and would only be considered for shows that were looking to fill that tiny little box.  Less work for them.

Since I refused to choose just ONE area of focus, there was always the unspoken threat that I’d never get hired for another TV show, again.  My retort?  “Nobody puts Baby (AKA Tracy) in a corner!”  Why can’t my brand be more than just ONE thing… because I truly AM a multi-potentialite!  In a world full of experts, I’m proud to call myself a generalist.  Unfortunately, I’ve been alone in this camp of thinking, much of the time; though, my NEW team actually embraces my multitude of skills, and sees them as MORE ways to sell me!  Ah, two sides of the same coin.

But then I began to look beneath the surface of my myriad of interests and skills, and noticed that indeed I DO have a brand. I AM an expert… an expert at doing things on a budget… designing homes on a shoestring, throwing parties with pennies, cooking dinner on a dime, etc.

Uncovering that hidden, little gem has allowed me to filter all of my brand choices through the sieve of “creative curator with oodles of style and a strong financial sensibility.” It might be a bit of a mouthful (and truly is still a work in progress), but it allows me to make brand choices based on that concept vs my emotions.

Check back next week for the other half of my BUILDING A BRAND BlOG!

What’s your brand?  How did you figure it out?  Tweet me @TracyMetro and share your words of wisdom!

 

Posted in Clutter Tamer, Craftortionist, Foodini, Party Ideas, Strong Woman, Thrift Freak, Tracy Metro | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

#KokoChain

You know how you might have an idea about how something is supposed to go, but then it happens in a totally different way and you’re sorta bummed because it wasn’t your original vision?  Kinda like rain on your wedding day (thanks, Alanis Morissette).  Well, that’s sorta what’s happening with my #SocialExperiment and #KokoChain.

My IDEA was for the necklace to travel the globe via people ASKING to wear it.  But, what seems to be happening is that people are actively SENDING it to their friends to wear.

Truthfully, I’m not all that bummed.  It’s slightly different than what I imagined, but at least #KokoChain is whizzing around the globe.  Currently, she’s on her way to London!

Do you want in?  If so, tweet me @tracymetro using #KokoChain and I’ll be sure to put you on the list of custodians!

If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about CLICK HERE to read the original blog!

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Baby you’re a firework!

Happy 4th, ya’ll.  As I’m sure you also experience, many of us Americans take for granted our independence… which got me thinking how the good ol’ US of A has celebrated the holiday, over the years.  Has it always been about BBQs, beer, and bikini’d babes?

Here’s how us Americans have been doing it for the last 100+ years:

Whatever YOUR July 4th looks like this year, I hope it’s a picturesque one!  Tweet me a photo @TracyMetro

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What’s better… to lend money or an ear?

Who hasn’t been asked to lend some dough to somebody?  A friend, a co-worker or even a family member?

Today I was at Whole Foods (AKA Whole Paycheck) and I noticed a mother and her blind son, who appeared to also be mentally challenged, in some way.  After I got my salad, I went outside, sat down and began eating.  A little while later, the mother and son walked out and sat down next to me.

This mother was so loving, nurturing and full of patience.  She fed him, caressed his arm and spoke gently in his ear.  I’m not sure WHY I felt the need to barge into a stranger’s life, but I wanted to praise her, so she knew somebody noticed her life’s work.

I taped her on the arm, said, “Excuse me.  I don’t mean to interrupt, but I just wanted to let you know you are an inspiration.”  Immediately, tears started rolling down her face and she looked away, back to her son.

I chastised myself for being so assumptive that she actually needed praise from a complete stranger!  I felt so self-centered and like a total douche… until, she turned back and said, “I’m not normally like this,” as she wiped away tears flowing down her cheeks.

Of course, I figured she was upset about something with her son and his difficulties.  Nah, turns out, she had made peace with the life she’d been left with 14 years ago, when the doctors erred upon his birth, and left him in this state.

She was upset about her husband.  She poured her heart out to me, a complete stranger.  I sat, listen, and offered a few words.  After all, I had JUST come from my shrink’s office, so I was feeling pretty shrunk and capable of dispensing wisdom.

I wanted her to feel safe, so I shared some personal things.  It was such an incredible 15 minutes, or was it an hour?  I hardly know as time stood still.

After I left, I pondered what that was all about?  Did she so deeply need an ear that the “universe” (sorry to be so hippy dippy) masterminded me to reach out to her?  What if she had needed money?

Would I have loaned a complete stranger a couple of bucks?  Or, would I have felt like she was giving me a shake down, and that I would never be repaid?  No matter, lending an ear is something that never needs to be repaid.  It’s a gift.

When was the last time you truly connected with a complete stranger?  Tell me @tracymetro

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