Emily Aborn Content Copywriting and Consulting Services

How Do I Build Character?

What IS Character Anyway? 

And does it require “hard work” to build it? 

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In this episode of Content with Character, we get into what CHARACTER means.

Why is it the name of this show? What is it even? And do you just naturally have it or do you have to build it? Does it really take “hard work” to get?

How do you infuse YOUR content with YOUR character!?

This is episode 1 of 2 where I take a look at the role character plays in your business, content, and otherwise. Next week, we’re diving into making your client or customer the main character, and this week is all about YOU.

Listen to find out: 

  • What is character? What does it mean? 
  • Is hard work the only way to build it? 
  • What are the different “character types” and which one are YOU showing up as in your life and business? 
  • How do you discover more about your personality and character? 
  • And more! 
Extended Show Notes: 

What is Character? Definitions: 

  1. Character is a person’s truth, their essence, the thing underneath it all. Their personality, the way they think, what drives them to behave in certain ways, and then how they actually act.
  2. Character is also that distinctness – the thing that makes you different from everyone else. That uniqueness we all have that sets us apart from the 8 billion other people on the planet. Character is the energy YOU bring into a room!
What Type of Character ARE YOU in your life and business? Common character types in film, books, plays, etc.: 
  1. Supporting Characters: They aren’t the main focus, but they play a significant role in advancing the main plot. Living their own arc and path, they present themselves in the story as the sidekicks, mentors, friends, family members, and allies of the main character. If you’re a service provider, you’re probably this to your clients! In groups and collaborations, you may play this role. And with other friendships and relationships in your life, you probably play this role as well.
  2. Antagonists: Opposition to the main character. They’re the obstacle creators, troublemakers, and opponents of the main character. We all know these clients, don’t we? Maybe we’re this though for some people too! Ask yourself: are you adding unnecessary tension or conflict somewhere for someone else and if so, why? Is someone else doing this in your life? Perhaps it’s time to let go of them or the situation. 
  3. Dynamic characters: These are characters who go through a major change or development throughout the story. They start one way and end up somewhere else entirely different. (Think like the Cowardly Lion or Tinman in the Wizard of Oz). Hopefully you’ll always be changing, evolving, starting somewhere, and ending up someplace else! Reading listening to podcasts, being open-minded, having conversations are all great starting points to being more dynamic! And reminder: it’s OK to let your dynamic-ness show in your business too!! It’s ok to change your mind, evolve, shift, try something new.
  4. Round vs. Flat Character: This has to do with depth and complexity. And here’s where that “hard work” come in as we see many round characters shaped through obstacles and challenges. Flat characters are like these one-dimensional, very simple characters. They sort of have one job in the story, and one job only. Then we have round characters which get a little more backstory, personality, and motivation. When it comes to you and your business, let’s strive to not be flat, shall we? And if we are feeling flat, let’s look at this more closely… are you not being lit up by what you do? Are you not adding personality and character into your business and content? We’re 3D! Let’s show up as the 3D beings we are!
  5. Stock characters /stereotypical/archetypes: These are characters that can be found across various stories and genres. Examples: The wise sage, the hero, the evil villain, the damsel in distress, etc. If you’re one who doesn’t like fitting into molds and being put into boxes, I invite you to explore getting out of sterotypes that have been applied to you and that you may slap onto others. You don’t need to be anyone other than YOU. 

And lastly, but not at all leastly, we have THE Main Character. In stories, this is the protagonist – the one we’re rooting for. In life, this is YOU. You get to have Main Character energy! Your personality is welcome here! Main characters often exude confidence, a belief that they can overcome, they’re self-assured, charismatic, and they take into account their needs and feelings, as well as supporting others. When you’re running your own business, YOU are the one I’m rooting for! Are YOU the one YOU’RE rooting for? 

Two Journaling Prompts + an Activity to help you answer what kind of character you’re building: 
  • Sit down and write down ALL your professional experience. Yes, I mean ALL of it, starting with your first job to now! Take a look at significant experiences in each of your past jobs and how it’s helped build your character. What skills and parts of your personality have you built along the way?
  •  Journaling on your personal experiences: Sit down and reflect on your life in increments – Ages 0-5, 6-10, 11-15, etc. etc. What past experiences have shaped who you are today? 
  • Ask your friends/family how THEY see you! What characteristics do they see and love in what makes you YOU? 
Resources, Quotes, and Other Mentionables:

Stat on podcasting:  90% of podcasters don’t make it past 3 episodes, and only 90% of those remaining make it past 20 episodes. 

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” – John Wooden 

“Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.” – Heraclitus

“Our ability to handle life’s challenges is a measure of our strength of character.” – Les Brown

“You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans.” – Ronald Reagan (“or Oreos” -me)

“Character building isn’t something you can do alone. Morality is a social practice.” – David Brooks 

Alesia Galati’s Podcasts: Listeners to Leads and Successful Podcasting Unlocked
Lisa Zawrotny’s Podcast: Positively Living 

👉🏻 EMILY’s BRAND MESSAGING GUIDES

About Me:

I’m Emily Aborn, Content Copywriter, Speaker, and Podcast Host of Content with Character and She Built This. Since 2014, I’ve had experience running brick-and-mortar as well as online businesses. I’ve worked with 100+ industries as a copywriter, and help my clients write original copy and content they can feel confident in. For fun, I love nerdy word games, reading, listening to podcasts, and hiking in the woods with my husband, Jason, and our dog, Clyde.

Email: emily@emilyaborn.com
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