The Strat: Do Away with the ‘Shoulds’ and ‘Oughttas’

The Strat
By Valerie Sokolosky

A Reach-certified Personal Brand Strategist offers tips and advice on our favorite topic – personal branding!

Do Away with the ‘Shoulds’ and ‘Oughttas’

Do what you like to do…not what someone thinks you should do?

This was brought home recently while I was traveling across country for a speaking engagement. Sitting next to me was a disappointed mother who was going to the university where her second son had chosen to study business.

She told me that she intended to get with the advisors at that college and ask them to help her son (who was finishing his first semester!) change his major to something she felt was simply more opportunistic. “I think my son is wasting his time in this major. He should be an engineer, or a doctor or maybe an accountant. But business – aughhhh. And I want someone to tell him that!”

You can imagine what I was thinking, especially being so passionate about the importance of being who you ARE, not what others try to mold you to be.

Believe me, it was hard to keep my mouth shut. But I did! Clearly, she was not in the mood to listen, having her mind made up that she knew best for her son. I can only say – that’s a sad situation for her son….and I wish him well. Hopefully, he can be persuasive about HIS desires for HIS future – and stand up for what he believes in and likes.

For the rest of us, I wonder how often we have felt the need or been influenced to be less than authentic. It’s never too late. Stay true to yourself, know what you want to be known for – and stick to your guns, as we say in Texas!

Valerie Sokolosky is an author of 8 books, a speaker and the owner of Valerie and Company, a firm that focuses on people skills through training programs and executive coaching. She contributes regularly to Success Magazine, SW Airlines Spirit Magazine and Dallas Business Journal.

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