Category Archive for: ‘Greatness’

Entrepreneurial Brands: Honor & Responsibility

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.

Signal Versus Noise, Part II: Top 3 Mistakes To Avoid In Branding Yourself

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1368433_68468380In Part I  of this blog, we discussed the concept of signal versus noise and the questions to think about when you are seeking branding collaborative advice. Today, let’s look at what you can do to use noise to make sure your brand shines.

Growing up, I used to get frustrated when I was trying to communicate, what I felt was, a really important point. Someone would come along and interrupt me and start talking about a useless topic. I felt like I had to defend myself and my topic by getting louder and yelling. I was skinny and small and my front two teeth were missing for a couple of years (felt like an eternity). So who was going to take this little girl seriously? I felt brand-less!

As you probably guessed, my yelling never worked well. The person interrupting me (noise) drowned out my message and specialness (signal). Looking back, what I think I was missing was a way to really distinguish myself from the noise of the situation.

I see many professionals do the same things with their branding. They are trying to compete with the noise. What if instead, you chose to not compete with the noise? What if you instead stuck to your signal and message and really differentiated your brand?

How, you ask? Here’s what to avoid:

1. Talk about what you do for a living– while what you do for a living is important, it is not competitive, necessarily. In other words, everyone can tell us what a fantastic lawyer, dentist, (fill-in-the-blank professional) they are. Who cares? At the end of the day, we know you can get the job done. Don’t bore me with the “hows” until I ask. If you do, you just become part of the noise.
2. Thinking you’re not interesting as a person– most of us assume our boring lives are just that– boring. Why would others care about our stories of childhood, triumphs or failures? Don’t they want to hire us purely for our substantive know-how? I hear so many clients say this. Guess what? They all have personal stories that fascinate me. Let your audience be the judge as to how interesting you are as a person. Don’t fall for the trap. Don’t become part of the noise. Be the signal. Tell me about your personal stories.
3. Let your ego rule– Our ego plays games with us during our highs (“I’m so fantastic and smarter than others, I just beat out 3 other people for a high-paying job”) and our lows (“I am the worst lawyer, dentist, financial adviser, human in the world. I can’t seem to get prospects to become my fans and hire me. I stink”). Anytime you let your ego run away with your thoughts during your highs or your lows, your giving in to the noise and forgetting about your true signal. Your true signal is that you are a unique and fabulous human worthy of the best. You’re a top-notch brand. End of story.

If any part of this worked for you, please share this post with others and be a contribution to them!

First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.