- Who & Why?
Category Archive for: ‘Being Memorable’
I mentor a young woman who is getting her undergraduate degree. She recently interviewed me for her entrepreneur class. One of the questions she asked moved me very much.
Her question was, “What does it mean to you to think about yourself as an entrepreneur?” I haven’t sat down and thought about this question in a very long time. I sat back to reflect in order to give her an honest and sincere answer. Instead what I discovered is that I became quiet emotional at the privilege I had to be an entrepreneur.
As I reflected on the last ten years of my life in running this company, two things stood out as themes to my answer: honor and responsibility.
To be an entrepreneur for me means to be a pioneer and a trend-setter while helping people and organizations choose to see things differently and excel. It is an honor and a privilege to be an entrepreneur and it is clearly NOT for everyone. Everyday is exciting and fun. Others may see risk and instability, I see a promise to be better and impact the world in a positive way. I see it as my responsibility and an honor.
Every day it is my privilege to be allowed into our clients’ lives and hearts and minds. Rarely is there a day when a client doesn’t drop their guard and become vulnerable with me in an effort to be better and do better. What an honor and a privilege it is to be me and to have clients trust me in this way.
What does this mean for you?
Even if you are not entrepreneur, this line of thinking will serve you well in your work and career and personal life, too. Stop and consider:
- What is an activity in your life that is exciting and fun for you?
- Can you take your current career and/or job and choose to see it from the vantage point of an entrepreneur- as fun, exciting and a true contribution to others?
- If you answered “no” to the question above, can you take just ONE aspect of your current career and/or job and choose to see it that way?
- In your life and career, have you stopped to listen to feedback from others regarding what you do that can be seen as: a) a privilege and b) a way to be of service to others?
I hope you found this material helpful. If so, please SHARE it with others. I’m always striving to provide you with content that is helpful to you and your brand and life. Please email me with your feedback and questions: katy (at) purispersonalbranding.com.
It’s always scary to stand out and shine. No doubt about it. I’m always working on ways that I can live what I teach, ie, shine and “wow” folks with my sincere and genuine brand. Most days it is easier for me. Some days it is a challenge.
Because I don’t want to seem overbearing and scare folks- or worse yet, be seen as the “weird” (and wild?) one that always has to do things differently. I can’t say anyone has ever really given me the impression that this is their impression, perception or thoughts about me. Yet, it still shows up every once in a while for me.
Because I’m human and as humans, we all have illogical fears that our ego uses to mess with us- ego keeps us from seeing our own greatness.
Here’s an example.
One of my clients went on a pitch with 3 other colleagues. Let’s call her Jane. Two of her colleagues pitching with her were partners (service partners). One was another senior employee, much like Jane. Jane was involved in the pitch initially because she knows how to shine and “wow” prospective clients. The two service partners- not so much.
Here’s the deal- when it came time for Jane to step up and shine and wow during the pitch- what do you think she did? You know the answer because we all do it at some point or another.
Jane (who was sequenced to speak third after the two service partners) backed off her pitch and did not “wow” or shine.
She didn’t feel right outshining and out”wowing” her fellow senior colleagues. She didn’t want them to look bad and be better and maybe overbearing. Makes sense, right? So instead Jane backed off and delivered a rather uneventful pitch when her turn came around.
The company didn’t win the pitch. On top of that, on the debrief the two service partners told Jane all the things she could have done better during the pitch. Never once did they look at their own lack of “wow” or take ownership for themselves. That’s pretty common, though, right?
The beauty of all this: Jane had enough self-awareness to know exactly what she didn’t do AND to know what she would differently next time! That’s the key: to stop and look at your actions and brand and ponder, “why”? I guarantee you next time she won’t make the same decision to lay low and not shine.
Here’s the deal: when you allow rank, seniority, family order to take the front seat, you lose your personal power to shine and sell your brand well with integrity. Your voice is not being heard and your brand is not resonating. You are stifling yourself. You are not helping the company any, either. We must respect rank and order- so don’t go rogue.
However, just because someone is your senior, does not mean you can’t mentor them and act in a way where they can learn from and follow you. Leaders are everywhere and all ages. You just have to be brave enough and step up.
What does this mean for you? Step back and consider:
- where are you playing it safe and coming from fear in your career and life?
- where is your brand not shining because you don’t want to “show off” and shine?
- where is your brand not shining because you don’t want to offend your senior colleagues, boss or hurt your family members?
Remember, in the end your actions likely will have the opposite impact than you want: contributing to lost pitches, babying family members who could learn from you and not leading/guiding your colleagues to their own success and that of the company/business.
Hard to do? Of course. Branding is simple, yet not easy. However, I’m your biggest cheerleader. You got this. Call or email for support. I’m always here.
Just the other day I was forcing an issue with my husband. We were at a restaurant ordering lunch. Being a typical woman, I wanted him to “share” a burger and a salad with me instead of us both ordering a burger. It’s my attempt to be healthier and still eat what I love (a burger!). I kept suggesting it to my husband…. Over and over again. I wanted him to do what I wanted him to do. Free will was lost. So, he pushed back and we both got burgers.
Sound familiar? It should. Stuff like this happens so often.
What if I had just stopped and chosen to see the situation differently? Instead of “suggesting/forcing” my views on my husband, what if I had “allowed” the situation to be and allowed whatever was going to happen, to happen?
I guarantee you the end result would have been different.
Maybe we still would have ended up ordering burgers, but I wouldn’t have let myself down and expended so much negative energy pushing and shoving my will on my husband. I could have been happier in that moment.
Successful brands don’t force anything – on themselves or on others.
Anytime we force anything, we have active resistance around anything in our lives,. Then there is tension. Tension even shows up when we are “achieving” or “earning”.
Tension amps up our stress. Our stress amps up other peoples’ stress. Then people don’t want to be around us anymore, much less hire us, buy from us, promote us, date us. You name it. The game is over.
Instead, successful brands recognize that allowing life to happen sets everyone up for more success. Allowing life to happen, allows us to “be” with ease and grace. Ease and grace is the only way to let your brand shine and get us to stop, notice you and gravitate naturally to you.
What does this mean for you? Stop and consider:
- How often do you force your way and will in life? Next time, stop and have self-awareness: is it really working for you? Be honest with yourself.
- What if you stopped trying to “achieve” or “earn” and just “allowed”, instead?
- What would your life be like if you just “allowed” yourself and others to be? Where can you make subtle adjustments to allow more and force less?
Call or email me to discuss this strategy in your brand and life.
Before you think I’m asking you to make a new year’s resolution that you won’t keep, think again and choose to see things differently. Yes, a new year is here. With it can come the drudgery of the past or an opportunity for you to develop a brand for yourself that will leave you happier and more successful. Each of us has a choice.
I personally don’t get the concept of a new year’s resolution. I believe I need to always be resolved to be better and think differently. Otherwise, my brand stagnates and, in a way, so does everything I touch. Besides, resolutions sound kind of scary to me. It feels like there’s no turning back — if I don’t keep my resolution or do it “good enough”, then I fail.
Deliberate brand creation is a marathon, not a new year’s sprint. That’s what I always tell all our clients and also why 99% of our clients are in some sort of maintenance program with me once we have developed their initial brand. The process is never “over”, your brand is never “done”. The good news is your brand just evolves and grows with time as you grow and change. That’s exciting! That takes time, effort, deliberate thought and deliberate action and of course, a plan.
So let’s look at it differently and have you develop your brand from a new perspective. Close your eyes and picture yourself on December 31, 2016. An entire year has come and gone.
How is it that you are remembered by the world on 12/31/16? As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded”. Barbara Stanny said in her fantastic book, Sacred Success, “All that matters is that your legacy reflects your purpose, makes you proud, brings you pleasure, and inspires or improves something or someone else”.
The memories others have of us are our brands. Think in terms of memories. It’s then easier to relate to branding as a concept.
To get started, ask yourself:
- What’s been my contribution in 2016? In answering this look at:
- Did I have a particular cause and/or purpose greater than myself for which I stood?
- How do people remember me emotionally? As Carnegie once said, we are all creatures of emotion, and not logic. Emotions go farther than any of us want to believe. Positive emotions leave us with positive memories.
- Did my contribution leave joy in the hearts of others ? Notice I did not mention leaving joy in the mind’s of others. The emotion of joy is captured in our hearts.
- Did I choose to see people’s differences only, or was I compassionate towards others and towards MYSELF choosing to see our similarities?
- How can my contribution continue to grow (and my brand develop) in the upcoming year?
Here’s to a 2016 filled with all the wonderful memories that leave you as the brand you want to be remembered by.
Have you ever had those days when you felt less-than attractive? You know what I’m talking about. I’ve had many of those days. It’s not just about bad hair, but bad everything. Or is it?
In developing your brand, we always look at the notion of attraction. Attractive people have attractive brands. And I’m not talking about looking like a super-model. What exactly do I mean by “attraction”?
Here’s how Merriam-Webster defines, “attraction” in part:
- personal charm:
- the action or power of drawing forth a response :
- a force acting mutually between particles of matter, tending to draw them together, and resisting their separation:
Personal charm may sound fluffy and crazy, but not really. I’m not asking you to go to charm school. Think of all the people you like, and have, as your colleagues. How many of them would you say you found “charming” and drew you to them?
The definition even includes a scientific component involving particles and matter. Why? Because there is true science to the law of having a brand that attracts. When your brand has attraction, it’s as if there is a certain undeniable “force” pulling others to you and keeping them mesmerized by you. And I’m talking about in the business setting.
I remember when I went from being a lawyer to running a personal branding company. That was over eight years ago. I was in utter shock at how people would flock to listen to what I had to say. ME! The same person who as a lawyer drew nowhere near that many followers and fans. Over time, I learned it really was this “force” that made my brand work.
The last part of the definition is about appealing to peoples’ desires and tastes. If this wasn’t true, the products industry, including Coke, Starbucks and Zappos, would be bankrupt. Effective personal brands understand that we are emotional beings and operate by being emotionally drawn to other people and their brands. This attraction happens by knowing what I like (my tastes) and what I want (my desires).
I remember my days of practicing law. I never ever consciously focused on anything other than being a good securities lawyer. If you would have told me to work on my brand, focus on emotions and being more emotionally attractive, I would have thought you were crazy. Back then, there was no focus on these concepts, sadly.
What was true, though, was that I naturally operated this way. I liked my clients and colleagues and enjoyed interacting outside of the substantive work. Operating this way as a lawyer got me seen, heard and promoted regularly.
I realize the hard part here- as professionals, we do our substantive work and believe that is all that it takes to be seen and heard as a great brand. After all, we’re professionals with thriving careers. We are not experts on how to win over others with our charm.
Nothing is further from the truth. I think in order to gauge our attractiveness as a brand, we need to take the entire definition above into account.
Stop and think for yourself- how could your brand have more attraction power:
- How “charming” are you? Where can you do better? If you have no idea, be self-aware of how your brand goes over.
- Does your brand have power to elicit a positive response from others? How can you be better? Consider each and every meeting a practice ground.
- Are you irresistible and draw people in? What’s one thing you can do to be different in this regard? Remember, slow and steady wins the game.
- Are you aware of others desires and tastes? Do you take others into account at work? If not, how can you be better?