You have to judge a cover by its book

Let’s take a book, your book.

Your book is the value you bring to the marketplace. The cover of your book is your personal brand. In other words, your cover is the assessment that the marketplace makes about the value you bring too the marketplace.

What is the value you bring to the marketplace?

In simple terms, your value is directly proportional to the “positive delta” you bring in the marketplace (in a reasonable timeframe) to the things and people you touch. The real question is – By how much will the things and people touched by you experience an uplift as compared to the impact by other alternate options?

Both your book and the cover of your book make a big difference. In my opinion, your cover has to be slightly better than the book so that you constantly are stretched to grow into the cover you are portraying. However, such is not the case most of the time.

Here are four possibilities:

1. Hopeless:

Your cover and your book are both of low quality. The marketplace severely discounts your value and pays the price of a commodity. You are now in competing for dollars in the “lowest price” war.

2. Over-confidence:

Your cover value far exceeds your book value. In this case, you might not have a lack of opportunities as you can talk your way through them. But you have trouble keeping them. People will sooner than later discover the discrepancy and push you to the right place.

3. Untapped Potential:

Your book value far exceeds your cover value. You are a “frustrated” hidden gem. What you lack is a good story about the value you bring to the table. You expect the marketplace to make and tell the story about your work but nobody has the incentive to walk that extra mile. You have to wake up and learn to tell a great story.

4. High Potential:

Your cover value matches or slightly exceeds the book value. You are poised to grow but only if you keep your head on your shoulders. If you attempt to walk on the clouds, you will move to the “over-confidence” category and experience a disastrous fall. Your best bet is to serve well and accomplish more.

You influence the value of your book and the value of the cover of your book. Handle this with care.

All the best!