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Perhaps one of the hardest aspects of starting and building a new business is finding and articulating your brand identity and mission statement. When you work for someone else, it is real easy to latch onto the personality of your employer and make that part of your own identity. Since I am often asked to explain the meaning of our business name, I wanted to share the story of my journey:
For 10+ years, I would introduce myself and immediately talk about my role at Hilton. I was so in love with being a "Hilton guy" that it became part of my personal brand story and proverbial elevator speech. The romance of being part of the company's storied history offered a sense of belonging that helped me work at a high level of engagement. It was awesome, but.....
After leaving Hilton, I needed to explore ways to change the narrative and define myself outside of my former employer. I knew I wanted to find something unique; something clever; something that could change the conversation. Then I found a site called the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows by John Koenig.
John is a linguist, who invents new words to describe "emotions that we all might experience, but don’t yet have a word for”. He crafted the word ambedo, which he defines as "an act done purely for its own sake." I was immediately drawn to this word not only because it describes moments that I had previously been unable to define, but it also aligns well with my spirit and pursuit for genuine hospitality.....
In today’s world, nearly everyone has a smartphone with access to a camera. We try to capture life’s moments as they happen so, we can share with friends, family and social networks. But then there are those moments when our phones aren't handy and we miss the opportunity to share it with others...the moment has come and gone. In the past, I would describe those moments as "gifts from above" or rather Life's way of reminding us of an eternal presence. Thanks to John, these are now what I would call ambedo moments.
For me, genuine hospitality cannot be scripted or fabricated. It should be a series of ambedo moments that come together to create a memorable experience for guests. After all, hospitality is a gift that is shared when we show up, awaken our senses, and become present with those we serve. That is why ambedo serves as the inspiration for my new brand identity.
Being able to articulate this means that when I meet new people, instead of using an employer to build credibility, I'm compelled to share a story and my purpose. Rather than being the latest job on a resume, I can define myself through a personal mission statement. Whether you are working for yourself or for someone else, I encourage you to discover your own purpose and develop a personal mission statement.
Are you able to define your personal brand? Do you already have a personal mission statement? I would love to trade stories and hear about your journey, so please post a comment below or send me a message.