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Welcome to Act III

12/08/2011

For late bloomers, one of the most dramatic effects of coming out is the of beginning a completely new phase of one’s life. You are still you, yet everything is different. It can be intimidating, amazingly liberating, or both at the same time.

Welcome to Act III.

For most people, irrespective of gender or orientation, the arc of life falls more-or-less neatly into three periods – like acts in a play. Act I is growing up and school. Act II is career and, for many, family.

And Act III? That can be a puzzler. After devoting their adult years to work, and often parenthood, many people have no idea who they are, or what to do with themselves, when they retire.

Men who come out in mid-life come face to face with these same questions even if they are years away from retirement. Regardless of a man’s age, when he comes out, Act II is over. The minute he stands up and declares himself a gay man, the curtain rises on Act III.

So, how does a newly-out, mid-life gay guy develop a happy, successful, worth-all-the-pain-of-coming-out Act III?

An important step is to assess one’s personal brand – and to rebrand as necessary. It’s actually a great opportunity. Transition can lead to transformation.

In the world of marketing, a good brand and savvy marketing strategies are built on a platform that answers three key questions:

  • Who are we?
  • What are we selling?
  • Who are we selling it to?

It’s not all that different with personal brands.

  • Who? Who am I? How did I become the man I am? What are my core values and beliefs?
  • Selling? What do I want people to know about me? How do I want them to see me? What do I present to the world?
  • To whom? Who do I want to tell this to? Everyone will need to learn your new brand, but some people will be more important to your happiness than others. Different people will be interested in different sides of you. Who needs to know what?

When these questions are answered clearly, you’ll have a brand platform to help guide you in your new life as an out gay man, successful – as you define success – and happy – as you define happiness.

You – as you define yourself.

I’ll be posting more on Act III and branding in the coming weeks, here and on a new blog specific to the subject of branding for the gay late bloomer.

Stay tuned.

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