I just got off the phone speaking with my mentor and friend whom I just adore and she reminded me of why I am so focused on stressing to clients the importance of living their passion and creating an authentic brand.
During the call my friend shared with me that her daughter, who is a successful engineer at a global software company, was looking for more creative outlets.
Creativity mattered a great deal to her and she realized that she needed to find ways to infuse that into her life beyond her job. So did she immediately create a business plan and start a company that was wildly creative? No.
She stumbled on her answer as a result of her life experience. As a mother, she found herself spending a lot of money paying for professional photographs of her children and she often found them disappointing.
So she did what she typically does—she threw herself into learning everything she could about becoming a good photographer.
Her goal was to solve a practical problem which was getting great pictures of her children to document the special stages of their lives.
But through her action-driven personality (which is a big part of her brand), she was able to stumble upon a hidden talent that has now evolved into a growing photography business.
So what does this story have to do with someone applying to business school?
I wanted to remind those of you committed to discovering and honing your brand to keep your antennas up. I often here “I don’t know what my passion is” or “I don’t know what I’m meant to do…”
The reality is that for some of you it may take a circuitous journey before you end up where you are meant to be.
Some of you may already have a clear sense of the things that are critical for you to live a passion-filled life. If you fall in this latter group, that’s fantastic.
You will likely stand apart in any pool were you are being evaluated (whether for an application or for a job); people are attracted to individuals who live their lives authentically and with passion.
If you are in the former group and are still unsure what that passion is, cheer up.
The key is staying open and first acknowledging to yourself that something is missing and then investing in the self reflection that is necessary in figuring it out.
This is more important than simply getting into a school.
Acceptance to a top business school can bring you many things, more money, greater network, new friendships, etc., but it will not necessarily fill the hole in your life if it is devoid of passion.
You can take advantage of the mini Personal Brand Audit (chapter three) from my book, The Best Business Schools’ Admissions Secrets.
Use this opportunity of self-reflection as you apply to business school to begin to look deeper into the things that give you joy and start today to proactively bring them into your life.