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Piano impostor, it's a thing...
ā€œSing your song and have an impact..."

authenticity content marketing mindset personal branding personal stories storytelling-truthtelling Jun 27, 2023
Karolien Vanhelden - Personal Branding - Piano Impostor

Some days ago we took our bags and went to the seaside. I just love strolling around next to the beach with my camera ready-to-flash. And I stumbled upon this blue grand piano. It brought back memories. I have played the piano for more than 10 years, so I was immediately attracted by this beauty and wanted to take a picture of this still life. What I didn’t notice was a TV crew waiting for someone like me to pass by… They took me by surprise and wanted to know if I could play the piano and if I wanted to share my music and my music story with them. I froze. Impostor kicked in. Can I still play the piano? I don’t have a score with written music! What will the people who pass by think of me? So I gently declined their offer…

Reflecting upon this experience afterwards, I realized that my reaction is in conflict with what I always advize when it comes to personal branding. We have a responsibility to shine, to share our truth and to follow our passion. The blue grand piano taught me some lessons…

  • Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it. (Tom Lehrer)

If you don’t do it, someone else will. Indeed, when I was watching from a distance, I noticed others didn’t care at all if they were good at playing the piano or not. Someone played Frère Jacques with one finger and even with mistakes. But he had fun whilst doing it and his friends were laughing. They had a good time.

So it all starts with believing in yourself and sharing your gift with the world. Because if you don’t show your knowledge, someone else, who might be less knowledgeable or experienced than you, will. Get out of your own way, don’t stay under-the-radar, show yourself and have fun whilst doing it.

  • When you play, never mind who listens to you. (Robert Schumann)

Maybe this is put too bluntly, because personal branding is about serving others. But the message I want to give you is: Go for your success.

We all know the game “1-2-3 piano” we played as kids: The group stands at the starting line and one person at the finish line, facing a wall. In the meantime everyone can run towards the finish line. But when that person faces the group again, everyone must freeze. If not, you should go back to the beginning. The winner is the one who reaches the finish line first.

That day at the seaside I froze, thinking that someone would be watching me. It is nice to play the game as a child, but don’t play it as a grown-up. Don’t freeze when others look at you, but run towards the finish line and go after your goals and success no matter what.

  • To play a wrong note is insignificant. To play without passion is inexcusable. (Ludwig van Beethoven)

A lot of my clients don’t dare to share their stories, because Who cares?. Well, in the first place, you should care. Telling your story is important, because you make a bigger impact than you realize. As long as you share your story authentically and with passion.

When the TV crew asked for my music stories, I could have talked about plenty of memories.
- About when my piano teacher fell off the stage during a rehearsal, hurt himself badly and I couldn’t stop laughing whilst I continued to play the piano.
- About when I had a piano lesson to rehearse a Quatre-mains and during the whole lesson both of us were hidden in the toilets because we didn’t feel like playing.
- About the beautiful duets I created with my talented friend Annelies, she playing the flute and me the piano. Unfortunately she passed away some years ago…

Share your stories. You don’t know whose life you are going to impact. There are people out there who need to hear your message, how insignificant you think it might be. When I continued wandering next to the seaside to join my family again, I kept on hearing Billy Joel’s lyrics:

Sing us a song, you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well, we’re all in the mood for a melody
And you’ve got us feeling alright

And that summarizes my message for you: Sing your song and you will have an impact on people.

Want to shine, share your truth and follow your passion? I can show you your unique personality, in what situations you excel, how you fascinate people and how you add distinct value with my Your Personal Brand kickstart with Fascinate® program (Available in Nederlands and English!). Let's connect to see how I can help you to sing your own song whilst fascinating at the same time your audience...

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