Designing Your Own T-Shirt

In my last blog, I discussed the necessity of having someone (an advocate) that wears your T-shirt.

This person pushes your brand, especially when you are not around to see it happen.  They work to highlight your strengths, experiences, and successes – those key assets that are linked to your identity and establish your brand.

They wear your T-shirt to bring light to your capabilities as an individual and know exactly how those skills could support a new challenge or opportunity.  Opportunities that could take you to the next level of achievement and success.  Opportunities that would have otherwise NOT been brought to your attention or consideration.

Finding these individuals takes time and diligence but while we are waiting for them to enter our lives we need to do our diligence and work on our T-shirt design.

Steps to Designing Our T-Shirt:

The job of the T-shirt wearing advocate is to help broadcast your strengths, experiences, and successes to support your brand.   The T-shirt they wear represents you, completely – so focus and attention are needed in this phase.

Here are the steps –

  1. Determine your strengths (choose your fabric)
  2. Summarize your experiences (pick your colors)
  3. Highlight your successes (determine your logo)

Determine Your Strengths:

This is the first step towards creating your brand.  You must identify your strengths and make sure that those strengths are woven into the fabric of your T-shirt.

  • What are you good at?
  • What skills make you uniquely capable to succeed in a given task that others may not have the ability to do?
  • What are the talents you possess that you have knowingly or unknowingly sharpened throughout your life?

You may already know some of these answers but to make sure that you truly have an honest assessment, I suggest taking a test that is specializes at identifying strengths.

There are many available (free or at a cost) and a simple google search of “identifying my strengths” will quickly give you access to lots of information on the subject.  The test I’ve recently (about 2 years ago) taken is the StrengthFinder 2.0 Test which comes with the book purchase.  It costs $20 (as of 10.1.2018) and takes about 35 minutes to complete but is by far the best assessment I’ve ever taken.  I still look back at my last assessment to guide my current career decisions.  For reference my top 5 strengths are:

  1. Strategic
  2. Futuristic
  3. Relator
  4. Ideation
  5. Self-Assurance

Notice that I’m NOT talking about weaknesses here.  I do believe that understanding one’s weaknesses are important in our personal development but when it comes to designing your T-shirt… you only want the best of your abilities to shine through.  You want to make sure that the combination of the fabric, color, and logo are linked with the strongest abilities (your raw materials) that you have to offer.

Summarizing Your Experiences:

This is very important.  I absolutely believe that my past experiences are relevant to my future success.  I need people to know where I came from, the challenges I’ve previously faced, how I’ve failed and how I’ve succeeded.  Summarize your past (stumbles and all) to show how it has helped make you into the person you are today.  Use your past to add color and flavor to you T-shirt.  You are uniquely gifted and you have gained perspective which is extremely important in how you approach your current and future challenges.

Let your T-shirt show your maturity through past challenges and successes.  That way people know that you have fought battles and come out at the end but not without scars and lessons learned.

Highlight Your Successes:

Lots of people (including myself) have issues with making sure that they are highlighting the many successes they’ve had in life.  Don’t shy away from this.  This is your logo, it is the first thing people’s eyes are drawn to when they see your T-shirt, it is the focal point of your brand.

Imagine a superhero without a logo.  People may see the structure (strengths) and color (experiences) but they will not see how you’ve been able to transform these assets into their most concentrated form.

Why should they spend the time digging deeper into your potential if even YOU don’t acknowledge and advertise it yourself?

There is a time to be humble and a time to be purposeful with your potential.

Be purposeful.

Plaster your logo on your chest, back and sleeves – your T-shirt demands it of you.

Summary:

In this T-shirt design phase, we’ve discussed the key materials necessary for a great brand – the fabric (strengths), color (experiences) and logo (successes) and have come up with the following principles.

We will take the necessary steps to discover our strengths and make them a vital part to the structure and fabric of our brand.

We will leverage our past and current experiences to color our brand and enhance the look and feel of it.

We will highlight our successes and make them stand out loud and clear as the symbolizing logo and identification of who we are and what we represent.

So now that we have designed our T-shirt we are now ready to go on to the next phase – Making Your T-Shirt”

Thank you for reading, let me know your thoughts and stay tuned to the next entry!

– KD

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