Category Archive for: ‘Behavior’

Are You Making Progress? How To Know.

I’m not sure what is harder; working towards my goals or trusting that I’m making good progress to that goal.  I mean, how much effort should I be putting in? Am I on even on the right track?

Take my efforts toward health and fitness.  Around this time of year, everyone is into more health and fitness. For me, it is a life-long journey.  But how am I supposed to know if I’m doing “enough”? Is it a weight loss goal? Is it inches lost or muscle mass gained? Or maybe both?

It can be maddening.  Or does it have to be that way?

Judging our progress on business development and self-growth can be challenging.   Self-doubt is a nasty habit that keeps us in self-sabotage mode.

I have plenty of clients wonder if they are making progress along our journey together.  Sometimes our branding work is so seamless and painless, that clients wrongly attribute their growth and progress to something outside of our branding work together.

So how can we know if we are growing and if our brand is shifting and growing?

Simple.  It’s all about self-awareness.  Do you have some degree of inner peace that you didn’t have before? In other words, do you feel you are being more transparent and authentic in your business and career? Do you have less fear- fear of success, fear of failure, fear of not doing the “right” thing? Does whatever you are doing feel “right” deep down in your gut?

Try it on and let me know.  This is all a process.  Just stay self-aware and you can’t go wrong.

 

Setting Our Own Brand Value and Self Worth

Just the other day I was on an airplane again. I fly all the time. On every flight I find myself caring too much about what the other passengers think of me. How do I do it? Well, it shows up in every aspect of my “being”- from what I eat and drink on the flight to what I read or write on the plane.

It’s just crazy, right? And don’t judge me- you know you do it, too. You just don’t want to admit it because you don’t want us to value you less.

Some times I think I spend more time thinking about this stuff than about myself and how I feel when I’m on the plane. And this is from someone who develops other peoples’ brands for a living. I’m fully self-aware and know the impact of us not setting our own self-worth and value.

Do you ever wonder why we all care so much about what others think about us?

It can’t be self-preservation. Frankly, all the energy I expend on making sure I look “good” to others on the plane is just exhausting. It does nothing to make me feel better to try so hard. If anything, it is “anti” self-preservation.

It also can’t be because I really care about what others think of me. I’m likely never going to see any of those people again once I step off the plane.

Yet, I fall for ego’s trick, too—even on airplanes with people I have never met and will never meet again.

So the real inquiry is why do we allow others to set our value for us? Why is it that we can’t have a high enough self-worth that it doesn’t really matter what others think of us?

Why do we allow others to set our self-worth and set our value?

The real reason is that we are so afraid to look deep inside because we may discover that we are loveable and great. If we look inside, we may find ourselves worthy of love- our own love and that of others. If we did, then what anyone else thinks of us would not matter- we would get to set our own value and worth.  That’s very liberating, not to mention not so exhausting. That’s also an attractive brand.

What does this mean for you? Stop and consider:

  • How often do you allow what others think of you to matter more than what you want to think of yourself? Be honest with yourself.
  • Why do you do it?
  • Where is one place in your life experience and activities that you could allow yourself to be “free” and set your own value/worth and brand?
  • What if you just didn’t care what others thought of you- that includes your friends, family, colleagues and strangers? I guarantee you that you would be happier AND more productive. You would have a stronger sense of self, making you more attractive to others.

Was this helpful? If so, please share the blog and help others, too.  

Got questions? Feel free to email me directly: katy (at) purispersonalbranding.com

Stop Throwing Money At “It”!

money-picI have a person very close to me who likes to throw money at situations and people.  Let’s name them “Pat”.  Over time I’ve noticed money gets thrown around when Pat  is trying to: 1) avoid a negative/painful situation (“I’ll buy the birthday gift, you go hang out with the birthday gal because I don’t want to see her”) or 2) be more loved (“I’ll buy lunch to apologize for making you come meet me where I want to each lunch”).

So in the famous words of the Beatles, if love is all we need and if money is the root of all evil, then what gives with Pat?

While we all tend to stretch for relief and love in our lives by “solving” things with money, what does it really do to your brand?

First, you must have self-awareness to look at the situation in the first place. If you can’t step back and observe yourself throwing money at others, then you can’t start to see anything differently. 

Throwing money at people and situations in order to get yourself in a better position and your brand better loved does NOT work.  Why?

Even if people end up taking your money, we can all sense your desperation in doing so.  It devalues your brand instead. No one wants to support, much less be around, desperate people.  Think about it: when was the last time you bought any product because you pitied the company? Never, I suspect.

Need more examples? Look at Uber.  Uber and Lyft spent over $8 million in a very few short months in Austin.  They were trying to get voters to shoot down Austin’s proposed fingerprinting rules for drivers.  Uber bombarded voters with phone, text, emails and calls.  Some voters were truly scared and creeped out by the level of intrusion.

In the end, Uber and Lyft lost the fight.  And they lost $8 million.  That’s what happens when you throw money at it. No one was more sad over this result than me.  I used to Uber/Lyft all around Austin on my monthly trips.  Now I’m stuck with yucky cabs or the kindness of colleagues and friends.

What about Uber and Lyft’s brand?

Some would say the companies are so big, it really doesn’t impact their brands.  Ok, so maybe there’s no fiscal impact. However, in the court of public opinion it’s different.  In the informal interviews I’ve done with locals in Austin, there’s very little love for Uber or Lyft.  When you mention either brand name, most people I’ve talked to shrug, squint and reply rather nonchalantly.  That’s what you get when you have enough money to throw at people in order to get your way.

So let’s summarize what we learned in first grade: Money does not get you your way. If you do get your way, you have no respect with it.  Your brand stinks.

What does this mean for you? Stop and consider:

  • When have you strong-armed others with money to get your way?
  • Did it work? Why did you really throw money at it?
  • How can you stop and have self-awareness of when you are throwing money at something?

The Cost To Your Brand: Customer Acquisition and Customer Support

1358856_10905934The longer I live, the more I think about what it really means to support others and be of service to them. Where along the way do we lose that magic touch of support and service to others?

I think about this topic more lately because of the larger number of service providers we hire at work. It seems like we pay so many companies monthly for something. The latest hire really made me laugh.

This company gave a 14-day free trial offer so I could test out their software. I found myself scrambling like a maniac to really use and implement their software and test it fast. Why?

My past experiences with similar vendors have conditioned me to believe that companies will give me good service as long as I’m not a client yet. In other words, while they are wooing me in the “dating” phase, they’ll give good support and answer my questions. Once I pay up, they stick me in line with all the other customers who need support and then I won’t be able to get help with their product anymore. Even if me and my company have paid a premium to use their service.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a real life example we’ve actually tested out.

We evaluated Demand Force, a company we have used. Here are the results:

It took Demand Force ten seconds to answer sales calls- when they thought we were prospective clients wanting to buy their service. In contrast…

We were on hold 29 minutes when we became a client and had a question regarding their service and product.

Do you see a problem? I do. Does it now make sense why I was scrambling to see if I really liked my potential new vendor while they were wooing us? Sadly, yes.

What does this mean for you? Stop and think for yourself:

If you are in the role of working for one of these types of organizations:

  1. what kind of pre and post acquisition support do you offer clients? If it differs, by how much and why?
  2. What does the difference in treatment do for your overall corporate/business brand? Does your target audience get a clear and consistent brand message? Do they really get to know your company values this way?

If you are an individual working on your own brand:

  1. what kind of support do you offer others?
  2. Do you offer consistent support to those you serve?
  3. Or does your level of support vary? If so, how and why? 

Top 3 Values of Effective Brands

When I was in private practice, I never paid much attention to values. I had no time. I do remember we used to talk about our mission and vision for the law firm. We even had a mission statement. After that, nothing really happened. It was a hollow experience.

What does branding have to do with values? Brand development is all about the people. We work with individuals by looking on the inside first. Looking inward is all about discovering individual values. Once you are clear about who you are, why would I hire you and where you fit into the business brand/corporation/firm, then we can take your brand and market it to your target audience.

Businessdictionary.com defines “values” in part as “[i]mportant and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable. Values have major influence on a person’s behavior and attitude and serve as broad guidelines in all situations.”

Leadership

When used as a development tool or an intervention for change and innovation, leadership is the grandfather of all values. Leadership is the most important value to cultivate in your organization. Once leadership is truly mastered within an organization, it will lead to other values. All such values can then drive profitability.

No matter what else they do or what else is printed on their business cards, senior leaders in the most successful socially-responsible or values-driven companies see themselves as “Chief Culture Officers.” These people take time to cultivate leadership in others and make sure they lead as an example, always.

 

Responsibility

The notion of responsibility goes hand in hand with integrity and creating an even playing field. The definition of responsibility includes the word, “control”. If I have to be responsible for you, then I must control you. If that doesn’t sit well with you, then perhaps choose to see your level of responsibility in your organization and career differently. Even if you are not a formal “leader” in your practice, where can you take more responsibility for the overall business success? If no one takes responsibility, assuming others will do so because they are officially named firm leaders, then the values system breaks down and profitability takes a hit for certain.

Personal Growth

Part of responsibility is stepping back to see where you can grow personally. Some of the most amazing masters I know acknowledge they are not perfect. They turn to coaches and others for support to make them even better. Where are you not taking your personal growth seriously? Why not? I acknowledge it is very scary to admit to ourselves -and then to others- that we could stand to be better, however there is great strength that comes from doing so. Not only do others respect you for your honesty, and your firm values are more effective because you are working on improving yourself.

Forgiveness

As humans we are so very hard on ourselves. As professionals, we are even more hard on ourselves because we are seen as counselors and advisors to so many. Consider forgiveness as a very important value for yourself. Learning to forgive ourselves allows us to choose to see others differently. This value then allows us to be kinder on others in our firm, which drives morale. Prospective clients are attracted to the energy around a firm where people get along.

So stop and ask yourself:

  • Do you really live your business values, as a person? If not, how can you do better?
  • Do you live leadership as a value, whether you formally lead others or not?
  • Do you take responsibility for your life and career?
  • Do you practice forgiveness- of yourself and others?
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First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.