Leadership

How to get and hold attention—it might not be what you think

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You don't have to market yourself to get and hold attention. But in order to advance in your career and in life you do need to be memorable. You have to recognize that you are a brand. And to see that as a good thing.

But contrary to popular belief, it's not about manufactured-marketing.

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The best brands are built on not only great products, but also on truth. They have founders who are who they are, who are doing what they really deeply love. They have people within the company who shine — because they are 100 percent themselves. They attract partnerships and business relationships that are built on mutual respect.

As I've built up Hint, I've thought a lot about how to build up the brand. My personal brand. And the brand for the company.

Here are four ideas I try to live by that may also help you:

1. Love what you love

You might be interested in baseball or data analytics or some obscure type of Jazz music. It doesn't matter what it is in a business or personal context. LOVE it! Gush about it! Let your personality shine. People want to do business with those they know and trust. The only way for people to really know who you are is to see who you are. Those unique parts are what make you beautiful.

2. Give up comparison

It's never about proving anything or being better than, not even better than who you were before. You were great then, you're great now. Just different. Celebrate the changes. Celebrate the differences. Celebrate the people around you.

Keep looking forward at where you want and expect to go — believe it. Comparing yourself to anyone or anything else only gets in the way and slows down the process. You are PERFECT just as you are. Believe it.

3. Just dance

This means that change is a necessary and important part of life. It's how you grow. As these changes come, allow yourself to transform and be transformed by them.

Think about the people who have the most lasting impact on culture and the way they've lived their lives in phases — each of which was entirely different. David Bowie. The Rolling Stones. Picasso. They held and hold attention because they were constantly evolving. And because they were supremely talented and always honing their skills. Which leads me to the fourth point…

4. Keep learning

Hire a speech coach and get better at public speaking. Work with a writer's group or editor to polish your writing. Take a class about anything you're interested in to make new friends and gain new skills. They don't necessarily have to be directly related to your current job. Follow your intuition.

You'll be surprised at how the new relationships and skills ultimately weave into everything you do. It's not the thing you choose to learn that matters. It's the choice to be open to learning. When you have more to share, attention flows to you naturally. Because you're just so dang interesting.

Kara Goldin is the founder and CEO of San Francisco–based Hint, a brand that produces leading unsweetened flavored water. Kara is an active business speaker and writer who has been named Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business, one of Fortune's Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, Forbes' 40 Women to Watch Over 40 and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2017 Northern California. In 2016 she launched The Kara Network as a digital resource and mentoring platform for entrepreneurs.

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This story originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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