Putting Yourself Out There

Visibility is essential, regardless of your profession… unless your profession is that of a secret agent or ninja… in which case, props to you. However, for the vast majority of us, we are required to put ourselves out there in one way or another.

We publish papers, reports, and articles with our name attached. We present, sometimes on a daily basis, to groups small or large, and to people we may or may not know. We tweet nuggets of awesomeness. We post status updates with a picture of the gourmet toast we just had for lunch. We are drawing attention to our cause, to our work, or to our love of cat photos.

Perhaps the most unnerving part is that we are drawing attention to ourselves. Not always the most fun thing to do, especially in front of a group of strangers, peers, or professionals. Regardless of the personal or professional context, by putting ourselves out there we are creating a track record of our conduct. Inevitably, we must open ourselves up to new groups of people, like the students from the In.Business Eastern Region opening conference did this past weekend. If there was a single recurring theme among the challenges presented to the students, aside from business itself, it was being put on the spot, and opening up to a larger community. The students introduced themselves virtually in videos, in-person in front of a camera, debriefed the group on their results from the Music Mogul session, and made a pitch to a panel of high powered judges and lenders from the First Bank of Unama’ki! It was very rewarding to see the personal growth of the students over the two day conference, reflected especially in the 6 recipients of the 2014 Purdy Awards.

It’s been often suggested that you should “Do one thing every day that scares you” – whether its speaking up in class, introducing yourself to your professor, participating in the CBU season’s greetings video, or being a surprise rap artist. Indeed, it is only by regularly stepping outside our comfort zone, by making ourselves visible, that we prepare ourselves for the challenges and demands of our professions. Little by little, we ready ourselves to reap the rewards that come with the breaking of new ground.