Wednesday, March 11, 2009

White Marbles

My wife has this analogy with horses. She trains them, and trains people to work with them using the Parelli natural horsemanship program. I'm not much of a horse person, but we talk about what she does, and I've learned some interesting things there. One of them actually caught my interest and made sense when applied to branding as well.

She tells me that horses have great memories. They remember what happens to them and how you treat them. They also remember how others have treated them.

She says that each time a horse has a good experience, it's like putting a white marble in their "jar." If they have a bad experience, it's a "black marble" that gets put in there and over time these white and black marbles make up the sum of their interactions with humans.

You don't want a horse that has too many black marbles in their jar. Not one you want to get on and ride, and we've met a few of them.

I talk about your brand, your image, and how people view you. Your brand is a sum of the good and bad things that people learn about you, from your appearance, your resume, your writing or posting on the Internet, pictures, the results of Google, etc. Each of these things is a white marble, or a black marble, in terms of the opinion that someone forms about you.

In terms of your career, and finding a job, your modern resume should contain more white marbles than black ones. Everyone will have some black marbles, but the idea is that as you build and grow your brand, you overwhelm the black marbles with lots of white ones.

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