Remember high school? One of the most important titles you could get (aside from Prom or Homecoming King or Queen) is that illustrious yearbook title of Most Likely to Succeed. Your peers vote at the end of the year on yearbook superlatives that range from ‘Best Dressed’ and ‘Most Likely to Repeat Senior Year’ (ouch!) to ‘Best Personality’, ‘Most Athletic’ and more.
When it comes down to it, when the ink is set to the page, are those votes tallied and checked for rigging and triple-checked to dub the winners? Not usually.
It’s the Yearbook Committee, that handful of kids, who think they might want to major in Journalism one day, who ultimately decide who wins which rank. If they don’t like the votes, it could likely change. They can craft the future of the graduating class, all because they said so.
Because We Said So
For over a decade, Pantone Inc. has dubbed a Color of the Year. A gathering of color experts from around the globe has taken place in the Pantone offices since 1999 in order to choose the Color of the Year.
What began as a commercial printing company with little success, organization, or revenue, is now “the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards”. And here’s the best part: the Color of the Year project was an internal idea.
No one outside of Pantone’s offices asked the color giant to dub a Color of the Year. Pantone’s team decided 13 years ago that they had enough authority to dictate what color should be the Color of the Year.
And do you know who listens to this decision?
Graphic designers, fashion designers, florists, makeup artists, printers, branding experts, industrial designers, photographers, interior designers, screen printers, artists, illustrators, lighting designers, cartoonists, bloggers, costume designers, film directors, jewelry designers and wedding planners—just to name a few.
Meanwhile, Pantone prints the results of their meeting in the Pantone View, a color trend insight, forecasting, news and analysis service, and it retails for $750 a pop.
Today, global industry insiders recognize Pantone as the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries. The Pantone name is known worldwide as the standard language for color communication .
All because they said so.
Even my mom was famous for this line. “We’re all going to wear white shirts in the family photo.” “Why, mom?” “Because I said so.”
Having Brand Audacity
From the high school Yearbook Committee to Pantone to, well, moms everywhere, things are happening because they said so. And yet, entrepreneurs are often shy to declare anything for themselves. This is especially true for the solopreneur.
I mean, who’s to say I’m a systems expert? And who am I to call myself a “business owner” when I’m still trying to clear some of those financial goals I set for myself last year? And why should other people place their faith in me when it comes to their business operations?
Because I said so.
I’m a trusted expert in my field because I have the knowledge and experience to back it up. I’m a business owner because I pay my bills with money I made on my own watch.
And you are too.
Your ideas, research and vision, brand, your story—it’s all necessary and right and good. It’s all needed in this world. No one needs to bestow you with a title. Give yourself a title (or don’t!) and put your expertise into the world all on your own.
Decide on a Word of the Year. Name the Social Media System of the Year. Give someone the honor of being Leader of the Year in your industry. Do it without permission, but with your expertise. Don’t ask, don’t wait, just do.
Because you said so.
Val Geisler is the CEO of aspire&grow, a boutique consulting and support firm that works with solopreneurs and corporate clients alike to help them boost their bottom line with systems and technology. With more than 12 years of experience, she has worked with multi-national companies to non-profits to brides to make big goals happen. Connect with @aspireandgrow on Twitter.