First things first: Congratulations on coming out!
Coming out is an incredibly positive step, but it can be tough – especially after you’ve lived publicly as straight. I know. I came out when I was in my mid-50’s, married and the father of two.
Tough, yes, but I survived – and more than that, life got better.
Coming out in mid-life almost always involves a certain amount of fear, bewilderment and loss. You have shed one identity – one you knew and inhabited for many years – and have to figure out a new one.
That can be scary. It means dealing with a pretty fundamental question: Who are you? You’re no longer the man you thought you were. You’re no longer the man you said you were. Who are you now?”
You’ve been branded by others. Now it’s time to brand yourself!
Coming out means finally being able to live honestly – to be who you really are. But what does that mean, exactly?
What does the new gay you look like? How do you present yourself to the world? How do you live into your new identity? How does this lead to a successful life as a gay man?
Or, in marketing speak, “What’s the new brand?”
I have 25 years of experience in the marketing business, and I’ve been living openly as a gay man for more than 4 years. I can help you answer these questions, so you can move toward the best years of your life as the gay you.
Introducing Re-branding for Late Bloomers
I’m offering an intensive, three-month program based on my experience helping clients – both individuals and companies – clarify and articulate a brand, and develop key messages expressing that brand to targeted audiences.
- confidence, and
with a new personal brand.
Who is this for?
- This is for you – if you have come out after living publicly as straight.
- This is for you – if you are contemplating coming out, or already in the process, and want to make it as smooth and successful as possible.
What’s the idea?
Successful business and product branding is based on answering three basic questions:
- Who are you?
- What are you selling?
- Who are you selling it to?
It’s not all that different with personal brands.
- Who are you? How did you become the man you are? What are your fundamental characteristics? What are your core values and beliefs? Who do you want to be?
- Selling? What do you offer the world? What do you tell the world about yourself? How do you want people to see you?
- To whom? Who do you want to tell this to? Everyone will need to learn your new brand, but some people will be more important to your happiness than others. Different people will be interested in different sides of you. Who needs to know what about the new you, and – in the case of people who knew you as straight – how things have changed?
Why the product branding approach?
Objectivity brings clarity. By looking at yourself as a product, you can look at yourself more objectively – to see beyond your preconceived notions, and the fear, pain and shame often associated with coming out.
- What’s in the can?
- What’s on the label?
- Who do you want to buy the beans?
When these questions are answered clearly, you’ll have a brand platform to help guide you in living a great new life as an out gay man:
- Successful – as you define success
- Happy – as you define happiness.
- You – as you define yourself.
What to expect
- To get started you’ll complete a detailed questionnaire that helps me get up to speed on who you are and what you want out of life.
- Then we’ll have a 90-minute kick-off meeting, followed by up to four one-hour meetings. Homework assignments will follow each meeting.
- Between meetings, I’ll be available once a week via email to answer questions and review your progress.
- Meetings can take place in person if you live in the Nashville area, and via Skype if you don’t. If you don’t live in Nashville, travel arrangements can be made.
- The program can take up to 12 weeks, but if you want to move faster, we’ll move at your pace.
- You’ll come away with a set of concise statements defining you, your personal message, and who needs to know about you – your unique personal brand – and steps to take in expressing that brand.
Step One: Your Story
How did you get to today? Everyone has a story, and every story is important. Every story is valid. There’s no right or wrong way to deal with sexuality and coming out. It is what it is. So, step one is to tell yourself your own story and embrace your own story, so you can tell it to others.
Step Two: Your Values
What are the characteristics and core values that make you who you are – the unique and fascinating man you were born to be? Maybe you’ve been hiding all your best points. Maybe they’ve been shining for decades and your new gay-ness only adds extra luster. With your story as background, the statement of these characteristics and values becomes your brand platform, and guides how you present yourself to the world as a gay man.
Step Three: Your Message
Life’s transition points offer an opportunity for transformation. How has your story changed? What do you want the world to know about you – the new gay you? Maybe it’s much the same as before, only with a new twist. Maybe it’s all new – the real you out of hiding and ready to roll. Maybe it’s a combo of the two. Building on your brand platform your message expresses who you are.
Step Four: Your Path Forward
This is the marketing plan. Where do you want to go with this? Who do you present your new brand to – and why? How will you reward yourself? This last point is a big one. Coming out in mid-life involves, by definition, some degree of pain and loss. You deserve a good life – a better life – as you live into your new brand. In fact, living well should be a basic part of your new brand.
The plan articulates your path forward toward a rich life as a proud, fully out gay man – the man you were born to be.
Let’s talk about it