In today’s intoxication with celebrities and the latest person grasping for her or his fifteen minutes of fame, how do you penetrate the noise and get a hearing? McDonald’s has the golden arches. President Obama has the bully pulpit. Sarah Palin has the Tea Party? What do you have or what can you develop or create?

Who are you? Why would I want to know you? What do you have that I need or what can you do that will help me accomplish my goals? Spend some time with yourself and answer these questions. What skills do you have that are important to others? Make a list, but be honest. Are there any of those that you do better than most of the people that you know? Do you have any area of special knowledge? Are you an expert in any area or would you like to become one? Do you have a passion for any particular area? Life without passion is hardly life at all.

How do you want to spend your life? That sounds like a big complicated question, but it really is not. Write a mission statement for your life. This can take some time, but don’t worry. You can revise it from time to time. What part of this do you already have? What kinds of endeavors require your kinds of skills? Which areas interest you? Now, go into your mental closet. What would the person that you have described be like?

How would she or he dress? How would he or she sound? Would he or she write articles or books? Would he or she make speeches or appear on television? Would he or she be a computer geek, an evangelist or a marketing guru?

No matter which area you choose, make yourself an authority on the subject. Read! Read! Read and then read some more.  Make a list of those who are authorities on the subject and question them. You can do this in person or by E-mail, telephone or snail mail. Develop a small group of trusted advisers that you meet with on a routine basis and ask for guidance and help. Listen to what they say. Contribute articles to trade publications. Start a blog and post to it several times each week. Seize every opportunity offered to make speeches. Keep them current and keep them centered on your area of expertise.  Be helpful in every way you can to others. Attend workshops or conferences for those in your field and network like crazy. Research the people you want to meet at these affairs so that you will have something to talk about with him or her. In other words start being the person you want to be.  There is no better time. None of this means that you have to give up your present job unless it is totally incompatible with what your goals. This is why spending some time getting to know yourself is so important.

At the end of each day ask yourself this question and answer it honestly. What have I done today that moves me toward my goal?

Make certain that you present a congruent image. Your materials should accurately represent you. Your correspondence should reflect your image. Be especially careful that you put nothing on Facebook or Twitter that would call your image into question.

The most important step is to start. Stop waiting for the ideal time or until things get better. Stop talking about what you are planning to do and do it.