I received my personal brand a few years ago.
As a single mother of two, working in a demanding professional role, it was a treat to have my niece visit from Australia and have her help around the house. While she was visiting, I facilitated an evening workshop and asked her if she could take care of the children. In my absence, my daughter and niece decided to do some baking. As my oven did not have a timer, they used the microwave timer to time the baking. My daughter watched me do this many times, so she knew it worked.
When I arrived home to the aroma of fresh baking, I was also struck by the heat in the kitchen. It took me a few minutes to appreciate that the girls had in fact turned the microwave on, instead of the timer, and it was very, very hot after cooking nothing for over an hour. The microwave cabinet was hot to the touch, and the cover for the electrical plug, slightly melted. Immediately flying into panic mode, I pulled the plug out of the socket. I thought a fire might start or the microwave would explode.
As I am 5’2” (on a very good day) and the microwave is at my eye level, I asked my niece to help me lift it out of its inset. I wanted to move the microwave outside immediately and ensure the cabinetry was not damaged. As we lifted the microwave down, I felt a terrible burning sensation in my chest.
We dropped the microwave, and I started screaming. I ran upstairs throwing off my clothes in my wake and jumped into an ice-cold shower. Unaware of my burning, my niece and my children watched from the accompanying room, gobsmacked.
Branded by the dime
Turns out, as we pulled the appliance down from above, a dime rolled off from atop the microwave and fell into my blouse. The hot coin branded me with the back side of a Canadian dime – a sailboat imprinted on my cleavage, fortunately where it remains unseen.
After the fact, we all sat around belly laughing at the situation. The microwave was no longer, but the story and my brand live on. I share this embarrassing story with you as a reminder to laugh at yourself when warranted. Sometimes the only two choices you have are to laugh or cry — I prefer the former.
–Jenny Reilly, CEO Jenny Reilly Consulting
High-Performance Leadership Coach and Consultant, Jenny Reilly runs her global leadership consultancy from Vancouver, BC, Canada. With over 25 years of human-resource related experience across a spectrum of business domains, Jenny Reilly advises individuals and businesses around the globe. She has a proven track record of helping others transform, improve and thrive. Contact Jenny for high-performance leadership coaching at Jenny@jennyreilly.com or call +1- 604-616-1967.