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This Unique and Controversial Approach Will Propel You Much Further in Your Career

This Unique and Controversial Approach Will Propel You Much Further in Your Career

Personal Branding Experts Leonard Kim and Ryan Foland share an unconventional method that will get you to the top of your career — whether or not you believe it to be true. 

It may surprise you, but I never really had dreams that I ever thought would amount to anything, like becoming an executive at a company, getting married or having a home with a white picket fence, or at least a version of it. I thought they were pipe dreams. Things that would never happen in my life. And knowing my coauthor, Ryan Foland, I’m sure he felt the same way.

We’ve both had such tumultuous journeys that led us to where we are today. I was stuck in a cycle struggling from one failed startup to another, and another… and you get the picture. It led me down a path where I lost everything, almost committed suicide and ended my life. Ryan, on the other hand, chased after the glamorous life. I mean sure, he had a few nice cars and a home to call his own, but all of that was taken from him when he was hit hard by the FTC in an investigation. 

You’d think a suicidal loser who couldn’t earn more than $35,000 a year would never have a shot at making it. And someone who was investigated by the FTC? There is no way in the world that anyone would take that person as credible ever again, or would they?

But here we are. We made it through somehow, and we wrote a book called Ditch the Act: Reveal the Surprising Power of the Real You For Greater Success, with one of the top five book publishers in the entire world. 

How in the world does that happen?

That’s the perfect question to ask and Ryan and I sometimes still ask ourselves that question to this day. But hey, we have an answer for you.

No, it’s not what you think. You don’t have to go out there and brag about all your accomplishments. If you’ve tried that, you’ve probably just felt as worn out as Ryan and myself were when we tried to do the same thing. Everyone’s doing it. Every single person you can think of. So if everyone does it, then how can anyone get ahead?

What you need to do is take the board you put your life and career on and flip it completely upside down. Stop playing the highlight reel. Instead, take it from a completely different angle. Reveal your whole self to others. And yes, that doesn’t just include the good and the bad, but most importantly, it has you sharing your version of ugly. In other words, you need to share your scariest moments with others. 

That is the secret to massive success. Both Ryan and I can attest for it, as we’ve paved our ways through the roads of hell to get to where we are. And in the process of finding financial stability, we found so much more than we ever thought we could. We found love, we found amazing success in teaching others about personal branding and making a longstanding impact with their lives and most importantly, we found the ability to connect with the world at a deeper level. But we didn’t do that by telling everyone about how we were mentioned in Forbes or that we were on TV, or because we had over 300 media features or because we said we were the very best at what we do. 

Touting our very best moments. That didn’t work when either of us tried to get ahead. We tried each and every single thing we possibly could to get ahead and time after time, nothing worked, except this one thing. We stopped wearing the masks that society handed to us, flipped them off our heads and began to ditch the act and share what was really going on instead. 

I opened up about my failed relationships and startup ventures — and my bouts with suicide. Ryan opened about how he was short a few cents from filing bankruptcy and his incident with the FTC. We put our deepest, darkest secrets at the forefront of who we are. And in doing so, we created an instantaneous connection with people all across the world. Why? Because they saw themselves in our stories and instead of mocking or ridiculing us, they thought we were inspirational because we had struggled just like they had, but at a much more climatic level. 

Ryan thought he was going to be fired from his job at the University of California, Irvine. I thought I was going to be sleeping on a sofa for the rest of my life, earning only $16.24 an hour. There was no way out. And every single person who we told what we were doing (ditching the act and sharing our scariest moments) told us not to do it, but we did. And the results? Well, let’s just say… They’ve changed both of our lives. 

We’ve all been conditioned to share our highlight reels. The very best moments of our lives. Society told us to do it. My parents were told to keep up with the Jones’ and now we’re trying to one up each other with who is living the most glamorous life. But none of that works. And I firmly believe trying to be what we’re not and one upping each other is what has caused our society to enter into this new era of anxiety and depression. But to break free from it all and fast track your career, you need to take out your resume and flip it around. Instead of playing your highlight reel, share your most vulnerable moments.

How does this work? In our book, Ditch The Act, we have a proprietary Exposure Resume that shows you exactly how to do it. You can download it here for free: 

When you use the Exposure Resume as your guide for our eight-step Expose Yourself Process, you will see a huge shift in your career potential, whether you’re a manager, executive or entry level employee, entrepreneur, speaker or someone who is just looking for a way out of a rut. Plus we don’t expect you to just take our word for it. Ditching the act and revealing your whole self has worked for all the people in the book, from Angie Park, Michael D. Simmons, Winnie Sun, Pansy Lee, Aaron Orendorff, Ashley Wysong, Megan Martinez, Hai Truong, Cheryl Snapp Conner, Iman Oubou, Mark Metry, Dana Shalit, Sol Orwell, Sara Bliss, Rahfeal Gordon and Michael Dennin. Plus the real world examples and research referenced in the book from Brene Brown, Mel Schwartz, Brynne C. DiMenichi, Karolina M. Lempert, Christina Bejjani, Elizabeth Tricomi, Rhett Power, William C. Bradford and the MSL Group backs it as well. But the Exposure Résumé is just the start of the eight-step Expose Yourself Process. You can get the entire process to build your personal brand and take charge of your career by grabbing a copy of Ditch The Act at your local book retailer.

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This Unique and Controversial Approach Will Propel You Much Further in Your Career

Leonard Kim is a marketer who wins a lot of awards despite being a self-described expert at failing. But failing can't be the only thing he is good at since Fortune 500 companies, NYT bestselling authors and venture capitalists, book publishers like McGraw-Hill Business, large media publications like Forbes, CMO, Fast Company, Fortune, Adweek, Entrepreneur, and hundreds of others, and more than 500,000 followers think otherwise.

Ryan Foland is a 'craftsman of communication' who coaches leaders worldwide on the art of simplifying spoken messaging and be more human. His 3-1-3® Method is a process whereby core messaging begins as three sentences, condenses into one sentence and then boils down to three words. Ryan is a four-time TEDx speaker and is recognized by Inc. Magazine and Brand24 as a Top Marketer, and was named by Entrepreneur Magazine as a Top Personal Branding Expert. Ryan is the Managing Partner of InfluenceTree, a branding accelerator.