When you first hear that I have a life-size cut-out of myself, I know what you are thinking.
Is this woman nuts? Who does that? Is she full of herself?
Yes, these are normal questions, but once you understand why I have it and what I use it for, you may find yourself ordering one too!
Almost a decade ago, I was Executive Vice President running the sales division for a radio company with markets across the United States. Part of my job was to travel to the various markets and meet with my teams ensuring they were delivering on goals, remained aligned with company strategy, and focus them on agreed-upon initiatives among various other things. As a single mom, the level of travel that I did was a challenge. I was either traveling every week or occasionally every other week; however, it was never enough. It seemed I was always missing a big event or important employee recognition party or an opportunity to address a large advertiser. My employer was constantly asking me to travel more. I challenged myself to come up with a better plan. Leaving my son each week and flying all around the country could not be the most efficient way to do my job effectively.
That is when I had the idea of creating a life-size cutout of myself. I ordered my first one and fell on the floor laughing. This would absolutely get my team's attention. The cut out would remind them of corporate initiatives as well as it would remind them that they had my support, and they would know that I was there in spirit. The first time I sent one to a market, I immediately got a phone call from the team. I received so many pictures of everyone posing with it, and I also heard that they knew my travel was tough, and they empathized with me. This was a home run. I was able to do something different, get their attention and focus, and they empathized with me. The cutout was a godsend.
I began sending the cutouts to clients that wouldn't meet with me or vendors that did something great as a somewhat face to face thank you. After I was fired in 2017, I began using the cutouts as a way to get myself booked on different TV shows.
You see, one of the biggest challenges we have in this world is getting someone's attention. Everyone is so busy, and while they may mean well when you are out of sight, you are out of mind.
One instance that comes to mind is when I met with the EVP of the Steve Harvey Show. Our meeting went fantastic, and he agreed to have me on as a guest. He let me know that I would hear back from him shortly. I have learned to make multiple touch points to ensure follow up, so I also connected face to face with his assistant. After a month with no communication, I began following up via email and voicemail and nothing. Crickets. I hate crickets. It had been two months, and I hadn't even received a response to my email or phone calls. I was frustrated. I figured I had nothing to lose. I sent the cut out with a note that read:
"Hi! Do you miss me yet? I miss you! Can't wait to see you on the show! I promise I am a lot more fun in person, although this cut out will have to do until you let me know the date you want me back for. Can't wait to see you, and THANK YOU!"
I immediately received an email from the EVP's assistant, letting me know I would be coming on the show as a guest in January. They loved the cutout, and I had found a way to separate myself from the hundreds of other prospective guests. At this moment, the cutout allowed me to stand out. But that is not the only thing I use the cut out for.
If you have seen my new TEDx talk
, then you know what I am going to share with you next.
After having been bullied at work when I was back in corporate America, I took it upon myself to launch a personal ad campaign to elicit confidence within myself and stand up to the bully. This was scary, but I felt I had a strong campaign to run, and I believed it would work. You see, I had been in media and advertising for two decades, and I knew the 5 step process to launch a successful ad campaign:
My personal ad campaign to elicit confidence within me was no different.
I used my life-size cutout as the image I would look to while I ran my ad campaign.
That cutout represented strength, my unique personality, and confidence.
If you are wondering if my ad campaign worked, I can tell you that it did. I stood up that bully, and I was able to choose me. I hope you run an ad campaign for you to elicit confidence within you. You don't need a life-size cutout. You can use any image that represents confidence and has meaning to you.
However, I highly suggest launching your ad campaign and standing up to your villains. If you want the whole story, check it out here
and please share if you want others to know that they too are not alone thank you.
PS: If you haven't watched my TEDx yet, click the link below. I promise it will be worth it.