Be You… But Who Is That?

In order to figure out how to market yourself, you have to figure out who you are first. Nur Costa breaks down how to achieve these goals in her article “The Art of Self Branding.” Her steps greatly lend themselves to three categories: find it, say it, show it.

Find It

The first step is to figure out who you are to other people already. Ask people what they think of when they first think of you. What comes to mind? Asking people from only one portion of your life will result in a one-sided view of yourself. Make sure you get people from every aspect of life; family, friends, classmates, professors, co-workers, peers, etc.

Step two is realizing where you are amazing, where you are struggling, where you can improve, and what may come at you that you can’t handle. A SWOT chart, like this one, will help identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Step three is to situate yourself among peers that are better than you. Surround yourself with people that will push you to be better. If you are the best out of your peers, you won’t be as inspired to make yourself better.

The fourth step is finding your place in all of your work. Finding something you love to do, something your good at, and something people ask for are all pretty easy things to do. Unfortunately, it is more difficult to find something that fulfills all of these requirements, but this is a very important step if you are going to enjoy what you’re doing.

Say It

Step five is putting all this identity into action. Make sure that your readers or viewers know exactly who they are looking at when they view your work. Use corporal, concrete language to show exactly who you are and what you’re talking about.

Step six is to realize that a short mantra can drive your vision to another level and keep you going when you hit the dreaded writer’s block. Make yourself a mantra that you can repeat to yourself, maybe end your blog posts or videos with, or make an inspirational sticky note of.

Show It

Step seven is realizing that your work does not exist in a void. There are other works out there as well. Look at them, see how they market themselves, see what they are doing well and what they aren’t. Use that. Steal like an artist, as Austin Klein would say.

Step eight is making sure people know that you’ve made this wonderful thing. By networking, more people come to know about your work and get to see your work. If you’ve put this much effort into something, make sure people can see what you’ve done and that you’re proud of it.

Step nine is putting all of this into action. You have made the plans, written down your objectives, who your personal brand appeals to, what you want to accomplish, and more. Go make it happen!

Step ten is just making sure that you keep up with the people in the room with you and with your own goals. If you start to slip, jump right back on the horse and remember what you started this for. You can do it!

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Women Coach Sports

Women are able to play a variety of sports in college, but do the schools’ coaching staff accurately represent the variety of teams found on college campuses? It’s clear that women can coach just as well as men in most scenarios, but do they get the chance to? Do women on these college teams have female coaches to look up to?

Anything You Can Do, Pat Can Do Better

Women don’t have as many female coaches to look up to. Last June, the collegiate women’s basketball community was devastated by the loss of one of these women they could look up to, Pat Summitt, the Head Coach Emeritus of the University of Tennessee’s Lady Vols basketball team. Summitt achieved an overall coaching record of 1,161 wins and only 212 losses.  To put that number in perspective, the male coach with the most wins is Mike Krzyzewski with a record of 1,070 wins and 329 losses.  Why then, are women not coaching as much as men across the sports world, even among women’s teams?

Pat Summitt has the most wins in college basketball out of both men’s and women’s.
Credit: University of Tennessee

At Furman

Closer to home at Furman University, we have a pretty equal division of sports. Furman sponsors seven sports for females, seven sports for males, and two sports that students of either gender can play. One would think that this means the coaching staff would be pretty evenly divided between males and females. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Only four out of the sixteen sports Furman offers have a female Head Coach.

Put Me In As Coach

Hopefully in the future, women who play these sports in high school can come back to their alma mater, like Furman University, and coach the women who come after them because they’ll need that influence.

How does gender play out in the coaching world?

Women Play Sports

Everyone knows that women’s sports are considered less valued in today’s society than their male counterparts. We’ve seen it with the United States Women’s Soccer team and their wage inequality compared to the Men’s Soccer team.

High Schools

These differences don’t start and end with the professional level. Even at the high school levels, women’s teams are less likely to be supported than their male counterparts. I attended a women’s soccer game at a local high school to see what kind of turnout they had versus the men’s game later that week. I noted that this team did not have nearly as much support as the men’s team.

Girls are getting into playing sports, but do they have the support they need?
Credit: Keith JJ

At Furman?

Hoping that the women would get more support on a collegiate level, I looked at Furman University’s attendance records for sports that have both a male and female team. The results remained the same. At Furman, the Women’s Soccer team averaged 466 attendees per home game in their 2016 season. The Men’s Soccer team, however, averaged almost twice that amount, coming in at 875 attendees per home game. Unfortunately, this carries over into other sports, like basketball, as well. While the Men’s Basketball team had an average of 1,633 attendees at each home game, the Women’s Basketball team only got less than a fourth of that support, at 382 attendees per home game.

Working Women

If women are putting in just as much work into their games each time they step onto the field or court, why aren’t we supporting them just as much? Take time out of your schedule to check out one of the female teams at your schools and show them some support.