Daily Inspiration: “Own your story!”


“Own your story!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

You are your digital bits. Produce them well! Your next career or business opportunity is now dependent on your digital video presence, and you’ve got to make sure you present an image that matters.

Context? I haven’t had a business card since 1997 – and looking at it today, it seems pretty primitive. My last actual full resume was pulled together in 1989 when I was in the midst of a massive career transition. Self-employed and working in a home office for 32 years, I long abandoned those relics of careers past for the digital bits that defined my future – multiple variations of a Web site, video highlight clips, social media presence, and more.

(Although, I will admit when I was applying to a professional director’s education program in 2010 – I thought I might do some board work and applied to an executive-level education program. The application process required the submission of a ‘resume,’ and trying to fit the vastness of my career experience into a small structured document was an excruciating process!

In just over two weeks, I’ll be participating in the ‘E-recruitment Congress,’ a Belgium-based event that examines workforce trends from the perspective of recruitment organizations and heads of HR for major companies. With the ‘great resignation,’ skills specialization, and staffing shortages –  and career paths based upon lifestyle decisions – there is a massive war for talent underway.  Those with the skills own their future.

I’ll be speaking to the issue of what happens in a world in which visual presentation now matters more than boring old career outlines from the ‘olden days.’

Here’s the thing – no one cares about what you did yesterday – they only care about what you can do for them tomorrow. If you can create a compelling visual or graphic story that positions you for that reality as you pursue your dream job or next freelance opportunity  – you own your future.

That’s one reason why I’ve invested so much time in my virtual broadcast studio – it’s become the killer weapon. When a potential client is looking for a keynote and wants to have an exploratory discussion of my style, content, and topic, I bring them in for a virtual visit, show them a bit of a story, and go in for the kill. It’s becoming deadly effective.

In that context, I was intrigued by an article in Fortune magazine:

You might be, like everyone else, sick of Zoom calls and the virtual life – but the simplicity of video meetings means that even as people trickle back to offices, events and conferences, your digital presence will still matter for a long time to come.

You need to look good – no, you need to look great!

That’s why your digital video presence should mimic the mastery of the visual image shaped by the experts at the task. Consider this image from a fellow named Keth Pelzer – he’s a minister in Philadelphia, and was featured in my book Now What: Reinvention and the Role of Optimism in Your Next Future. Imagine going to a virtual church service being led by this fellow!

Now imagine that you are positioning yourself for a new career or job – do you want a stale, flat visual backdrop – or do you want this killer style?

Or consider Marshall Fox – he’s got a design studio, and is using the same video production software that Keith and I use. Look at the style – it screams digital confidence. One look at his setup and you can come away convinced you can trust him with your work.

Do you want to show up for your next potential opportunity looking like that? Or this? I wouldn’t reject hiring this guy in a heartbeat.

In the olden days – pre-Covid – the things that mattered were your Web site and LinkedIn profile. It’s now quickly becoming all about your multimedia and social media content. Use them well. (And if you are really serious, abandon that Hotmail or AOL e-mail address, LOL. Get your own personal domain name.)





THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.