As part of “personal branding,” some people use a motto or a tagline to briefly convey what they do. It’s like a mission statement that fits on a business card.
In 2016, I was straddling a variety of activities and wasn’t sure how to summarize what I did. I aspired to write books, but I hadn’t published anything yet. I needed a provisional, transitional tagline that I could use for the coming year, mainly to inspire myself and self-direct to my next step. Working with a coach, I came up with “Identifying the good, amplifying the useful.” Vague, yes. But it accurately reflected my self-understanding at that time.
I strive to make the world a better place, so affirming my orientation toward anything “good” and “useful” referred to my ethical motivations and my desire to connect with others and deliver something of value to them. My typical strategies of “identifying” and “amplifying” relate to my habits as an avid reader and prolific writer.
Eventually, I added the Spanish version: “Identificar lo bueno, ampliar lo útil.”
Three years later, I felt that “identifying” and “amplifying” weren’t very clear ways to describe what I do all day, and it occurred to me that “GOOD AND USEFUL ENDEAVORS” might look cleaner on my website. Visually, it fit better under my name, “TUCKER LIEBERMAN,” as a subheading. But this shorter version of my tagline didn’t mean anything. Without the action verbs “identifying” and “amplifying,” my involvement in these mysterious endeavors was made even less clear.
I remembered that it was time to entirely update the tagline. After all, I had initially only intended it to serve me for a year, but, since then, more than three years had passed.
What had I done during those three years? Why, I’d written and published books.
So, my new tagline is that I’m the author of my latest book. The book is, I hope, a good and useful endeavor. I hope readers will find that the book speaks for itself in that regard.
And my email signature? I’d already added my published books to it. Does the email signature still need a vague motto that no longer motivates me or explains anything? Indeed it does not. The tagline goes away. The books stay.
I will remember to keep my tagline current. You, too, should feel permission to create, update, or remove your own tagline when it is time.
P.S. Want to be informed when my book, Ten Past Noon: Focus and Fate at Forty, is available for sale in March 2020? Join my email list.