The Domino Effect!

You’ve seen those amazing domino toppling videos? You know the ones where different coloured dominoes are all lined up in intricate layouts and designs, set to wow and mesmerise the viewer as the very first domino is delicately tipped over and a chain reaction is set off!  The click and clack as the dominoes topple onto the next one and then the next one and eventually you stop hearing the individual clicks and it becomes a symphony of clacks until the very final domino falls.

It all begins with that very FIRST domino.

Such a delicate tipping of the first domino leads to this immense kinetic energy of a chain reaction of sounds, movement and power! As I was researching about dominoes for this article, I came across some interesting facts about domino toppling. Apparently, dominoes can topple other dominoes that are 1.5 x larger than their current height.  This is a perfect example of how one single object can command so much respect and hold so much power when they are the first to kick off!

It pays to be the FIRST…

First to make an impression.

First to be considered for an opportunity.

First choice in your industry.

First to innovate.

First to not conform.

First to disrupt the status quo.

First to connect with someone.


You want to be that FIRST domino – to topple over and create the chain reaction.

You want to be compelling as a pioneer for an idea.

You want to be the trailblazer, who becomes known for knowing something.


You want to be ICONIC and set off a ripple effect in your industry!


It got me thinking about the different times in history when something was the FIRST, and the chain reaction of innovation that ensued.

The first ever computer was completed in 1946.  It occupied 1,800 square feet in size! Nowadays we can hold a computer with one hand, and store it in our back pocket.

The first mass-produced handheld mobile phone was in 1973 by Motorola!  I can still remember my first ever ‘brick like’ phone from Nokia. Oh how far we have come to the iPhones and Androids of today, combined with cameras and operating systems.

There have also been many “firsts” over the years with regards to leaders and trailblazers…..who have set the tone for others to follow….

Amelia Mary Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932.

Neil Armstrong was the first man to step onto the moon in 1969.

Oprah Winfrey was the first woman to host and produce her own talk show.

Bella Guerin was the first woman to graduate from a University in Australia in 1883.

Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first persons to climb Mount Everest in 1953.

These are all amazing examples of the FIRST domino and the sheer responsibility and respect that those trailblazers commanded.  They were pioneers. They set the tone.

The question is how can YOU become equally as iconic and step up into this similar energy space like the first domino?  The other way to interpret the domino effect is within your own iconic brand positioning. The first step to becoming noticed and recognised as extraordinary involves the biggest and boldest step forward.  All future marketing and positioning fall into place from that first domino.

It starts with one small idea.  One quirky concept. One experiment.  One choice not to give up.

When you make the deliberate choice to BE the first domino, you set a benchmark that is hugely based on value and distinctiveness.  You end up not having to compete with anyone, as you stand in a league of your own. This isn’t about ego or vanity. You simply know your worth and not focus on IFs, BUTs, and MAYBEs.  BE-ing the first domino means that you can create a chain reaction with your positioning and your marketing, that keeps you at the top of your client’s choices. You are booked for opportunities and jobs without any hard sell because you have taken charge of your perceived brand and the value you provide.  As you step into an ICONIC brand position, you can ask for bigger booking fees and align yourself with similar ICONIC personal brands!

“Be an Innovator, not an Imitator” by Audrey Carballo

When you choose not to be the FIRST domino, and instead hold back and position yourself somewhere in the line up of dominoes following, you blend in and appear unremarkable!  You will always be competing with the crowd of others with equally ‘great’ products/services. It will be a constant struggle to achieve the cut through in your message being heard because you will end up sounding like everyone else.  Remember the click and clack of the dominoes falling against each other and the sound blending in? Hard to be heard when everyone else is saying the same things in the same ways!

So what are the steps that you can take to choose to be the FIRST domino and BE ICONIC in your personal brand?

  1. You must innovate, create the new thought, take a chance.  Steve Jobs said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
  2. Raise your awareness about the bigger picture – widen your focus to a bigger topic that you are obsessed with and communicate 100% about that topic.
  3. Understand who you truly are, bring into the bigger picture all of your background and experience and find ways to leverage your unique approach to your topic.
  4. Identify particular stories and themes that communicate beautifully your approach to your topic, and obsess about the different ways to bring that theme into your brand positioning.
  5. Start…begin…kick off…enter the arena…take the first step…light the way…open up…  However way you have to begin, just begin. Perfection cannot be entertained as the FIRST domino.  The reason you ARE the FIRST domino, is because you were the first to topple. You can only be considered ICONIC if you are seen and known and acknowledged for being iconic!
  6. Get curious.  Don’t stop seeking new ideas and learnings.  Choose not to give up! It’s all in the mindset!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you will choose to BE the first domino in your industry!

Add your comments below!

I DARE you to be ICONIC and be the first!

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About Louise

A Brand Identity Photographer, Confidence + Mindset Coach & Brand Strategist.

Once a Psychologist in a former life, I now empower emerging & established leaders, multi-hypheners, trailblazers, and kick-ass over-achievers to accelerate their personal brand positioning & dial-up their visibility.

I blend photographic storytelling with identity psychology & archetypes.

Headshots | Personal Brand Photography | Coaching | Team Building | Staff Photos | Workshops

Based in Brisbane, servicing Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth & International clients.

Contact Louise

Phone: 0402 283 219