The advice I would give to a young person starting their career, is to be ‘about something.’ Learn what makes you come alive and do that. Find a way to make an impact about everything you are doing and take the work that you are doing and do the things that you do best with it.

It’s important in the world today, especially with digitalization and workplaces that are increasingly global, and broad, and dispersed, to have a brand. Build a brand that is something you are known for, and something you are identified with … and really cultivate that brand.

In the workplace today, many of our leaders never really see us doing the work that we do. So, how do you build a culture across your organization about what you stand for and your interactions with people really define your successes in the modern workplace.

Anthony Salcito – Microsoft Education

Who are you?  No really … if you were to sit down for an interview today … right now in fact … would you be able to answer that question?  Let’s look at it from another point of view.  If you were to meet someone … right here, right now, would they know who you are?

What are you doing today, that will have your audience know everything about you before you actually meet them?  How do you put yourself in the position to have your reputation speak for you?

Today, I bring a ton of questions to the table.  Questions that are important to not only think about in context of your own life and career, but questions that we should be discussing when it comes to our students.

For myself, I have always been about having some type of identity.  At 15, my father and I created Bradbury Web Design which when I entered college as a Music Ed major morphed into BradburyMusic.com.  When my conducting career was coming to an end I created TeacherCast.  These weren’t meant to be “brands” or personas. They were simply catchy website domains that were used in my little business adventures.

Somewhere over the last few years, I began to notice that the website, “TeacherCast,” was being put on top of the words “Jeff Bradbury” as if they were the same thing.  As I have written in past blog posts and spoken about several times on various podcast interviews, I never set out to create a brand that would be the one thing the world knew me for.  It just happened. It was something that I have had to embrace.

I recently came across a video featuring Microsoft Vice President of Worldwide Education, Anthony Salcito. In this short interview segment he speaks of the importance of finding your brand and “cultivating it.”  These are very powerful words and probably the best advice we can give to our students.

In a world of ever changing demands both physical and digital, we should be encouraging our students to find their passions and do everything in our powers as both educators, and mentors to help them cultivate their own brands and identities.  Too often, I see students that have a passion for the arts put down their brushes and instruments for their calculus books.  Too often, we see our youth shooting for a dream that gets squashed at the door because a parent doesn’t have the ability to see that things like obsessive video game playing might just lead that kids to be the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

What is my advice to passionate people?

If you have a dream and a passion … go for it.  Don’t let anything stop you.  Right now, you are reading the blog of a boy from New Jersey who just happens to love helping people. One day he decided to pick up a baton and make people smile through music. He then picked up a microphone and decided to change the world through educational podcasting. With a big smile, he is reminded every day that anything is possible when you put your mind to it.

“If you think you can or can’t … your probably right.” Henry Ford

Look, we all know that life happens and we eventually have bills to pay, but that doesn’t mean that our goals and passions should be stuck 6 feet under where nobody can see them.  If you have a vision … cultivate it.

What is my advice for parents of motivated children?

Right now, I am the proud father of almost 3 year old triplets.  My oldest boy Robert has a passion for cooking.  He is often found in the play room messing with his plastic food and when he’s not doing that, he is in the real kitchen helping mommy and daddy put away the groceries.  Who knows … he might be the next Top Chef.  It is our responsibility as parents to help our youth move towards their goals. Just think about all of those parents who sacrificed so their children could take swimming and gymnastic lessons.  Those are the 4-6 year olds who just won more than 200 Olympic medals in Rio this summer.

How can we support our highly motivated students? Click To Tweet

What is my advice for educators of motivated students?

As educators, we are blessed with having dozens if not hundreds of bright, energetic , and passionate souls each and every day in our classrooms.  Some of them are wide awake every day fidgeting in classrooms dreaming up their next big adventure.  Other students may come to school each day with their head down not knowing their their future lies.  As a K-12 Instructional Coach, I have the privilege of working with students of all grade levels. I love walking into classrooms and lunch rooms and asking students what they love.  I see their eyes light up and we often get into conversations that are probably the most meaningful ones they have all day.  I encourage every educator to stop for a moment each day and find one or two students.  Really ask them what they are passionate about.  They just might tell you.

What are their passions?  What is their brand?  Only then can you help them find their path and really create lifelong meaningful bonds. Help them cultivate their passions. They will appreciate it more than you will ever know.

How are YOU cultivating YOUR brand?

As a valued reader of this blog and hopefully a supporter of TeacherCast, I would love to know your thoughts an opinions on this topic.  Please take a moment and leave a comment below, or perhaps share a story about your own interactions with students you may have mentored.  I would love to hear from you. Thanks for reading this post today. – Jeff

For more information, please visit my new website: JeffreyBradbury.com.  I would love to work with you.


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