9 Odd Strategies for Coaxing Out Your Brilliance

Personal BrandingSuccess Strategies

The nice thing about being human is that you don’t have to be normal. You can choose to be odd, for example. I prefer odd. Particularly odd brands. If there’s a quirky or idiosyncratic vibe going on, all the better. Why? An odd brand tells me something vital is going on. For a personal brand, that’s hugely appealing.

Personal brand pumping

If this kind of stuff interests you, I’m going to pile up nine odd strategies that will get your creative juices firing, and your personal brand pumping. If you start practicing even 50% every day, you’re going to notice a difference in the way you feel, how you perceive yourself, and your own creativity and brilliance is going to start working for you to the max. Here goes:

  1. Doodle. This practice involves exercising your right brain and one hand. Just start doodling. Not a doodler? OK Then pick up a crayon or paint brush or magic marker, anything that might amp up your inner creative genius. It works, believe me. If you don’t believe me, check out Sunni Brown, leader of the Doodle Revolution: www.sunnibrown. (Stop looking so anxious! This is the best route (most fun) to tapping into your brilliance.)
  2. Steam I’m not talking about letting off steam. I’m talking steaming brussel sprouts. According to Brian Collins, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Collins, his NY-based innovation-led, brand-building agency, going vegan three days a week increased his creative energy, shifted his mindset, and he lost weight along the way. You can hear Collins on NY Brand Lab Radio raving about life, branding, business and his favorite steamed lunch: www.zingyourbrand.com/radio. Go check his site: www.collins1.com.
  3. Lemming If you feel tempted to do what everyone else is doing, catch yourself. Stop right there. Want to be a lemming? (By all means.) But the courage to resist following the crowd is a sign of courage, integrity and conviction. Please don’t jump off the cliff. Be brave, create your own oddly brilliant brand – and do it your way. It’s the best decision you’ll ever make.
  4. Desire This is a feeling. It’s about a longing. It also happens to be a quintessential brand attraction magnet. Get clear on exactly what it is you do best, what’s so oddly different about you. Leverage that and you’re on your way to stepping into your brilliance. FYI The ‘oddly different’ is exactly where your brand power lies.
  5. Pulse So how do others really feel about your brand? Do an informal survey. Ask this question, “On a scale from 1 (blah) to 10 (sparky/zingy), how would you rate my brand?” This is called checking the pulse of your brand. FYI You want honest answers so don’t ask best friends. As soon as you get your average rating, you’re going to know what you need to do.
  6. Homeless Always carry a piece of fresh fruit in your bag. Why? The next time you pass a homeless person on the street, stop. Offer them a piece of fruit if they’re hungry and listen to their story. That’s what Karen Karp dared our listeners when she was talking on NY Brand Lab Radio recently. She’s president of Karp Resources, an enlightened innovator in the business of food, and she starts up remarkable conversations with homeless people on the street. Open up your world. You’ll discover heart-felt treasures. It’s another key to your compassion and brilliance. www.Karpresources.com
  7. Underbelly When’s the last time you checked the underbelly of your brand? It’s that part of your brand that doesn’t see the light of day. It’s the part that might not be serving your interests. Perhaps there are some serious issues you’re ignoring. Dare yourself to see what’s lurking in the corners. Put the spotlight on the issues. Address them, sooner than later. You’ll feel freer. (You have my personal guarantee.)
  8. Soar If you want to live a little, turn off your computer. Go catapult yourself into a different zone every day. Go soar. If you don’t, your creative genius is going to get stifled. Step outside. Smile at a stranger. Gaze at swans gliding in a lake (I did that today.) Choose a different café and do nothing. FYI Your brilliance is begging for down time.
  9. Spike If you brand is lacking oxygen, it’s a pretty good sign you’ve got a Dead Brand Walking on your hands. Energy is the most invigorating and luxurious force in the world. Use it. Spike your brand energy. Re-invigorate your brand voice, attitude, language. Don’t keep people at arm’s length. Your audience is craving real and authentic. Dare to give your brilliance to them.


Mary van de Wiel is best known for her global expertise when it comes to coaxing out the real power in brands to dramatically increase sales. Van is founder and Creative Director of ZingYourBrand.com. She is the author of soon-to-be-published Dead Brand Walking: A Brand Therapist’s Viewpoint. Follow her on Twitter