A man ran into a friend on the street one day and asked his friend if he was still in the junk business. His friend smiled and said, “No, I’m an antique dealer.” His friend asked, “How did you get into that line of work?” “Oh, it was easy. I just changed the sign on my store from junk to antiques.”

Take a look at today’s job market and you’ll see that how you are perceived has a lot to do with your marketability and perceived value. Packaging is important! Go to a grocery store and notice that most people will not buy a can of corn that is dented even though the contents are fine. Perception is reality.

Consider this true story: A violin player played in a Washington, DC metro station for 45 minutes. During that time, 2000 people walked through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule. Four minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw the money in his tip hat and continued to walk.  Within 10 minutes, a 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother encouraged him to keep walking. The child stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head toward the performer. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk by.  The man collected $32. After he finished playing, no one applauded. No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, a world famous musician. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

To become remarkable AND marketable, you need to portray yourself on-line and off-line as exceptional among your professional peers. Your LinkedIn profile, your resume, the books you read, your Twitter contacts, events you attend, where you market your talent and your social network are all clues to others about who you are and either identify you as ordinary or EXTRAORDINARY.

Today, more than ever, you need to curate a digital and in-person persona that radiates your talent and identifies you as a valuable resource within your area of expertise.

Take a moment and look in the mirror. What do you see? Adlerian psychology reminds us that all behavior is purposeful. What you invest your time and effort in will ultimately determine your career success and define who you are to others.

You will become the person you think you are. How you perceive yourself and how others perceive you are the secret ingredients to becoming REMARKABLE.

Perhaps having a clear picture of what you want to be is the secret to becoming what you were meant to be.