Category Archive for: ‘intentional brand’

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.

WHY SO SERIOUS?

Back in the days when I was a practicing lawyer in Washington DC, I used to straighten my very curly hair. Every day. I used to get up early, forsake sleep or a work-out, and stand there and sweat it out. Pulling. Tugging my hair. Struggling. Resisting my natural curls.

Why?

I thought that in order to be seen as a competent lawyer, I had to be serious. I assumed curly hair meant I wasn’t serious. Straight hair equaled serious and competent.

One day I woke up and changed careers. What followed was a return to my natural curls. No more waking up early to straighten the curls. My morning options opened up: I could sleep, meditate longer, work out more often.

Does that mean I am not as competent or serious anymore? Not necessarily. I’m definitely competent and you better believe I’m serious about my work as a brand strategist.

I just stopped taking myself so seriously and decided to lighten up. That meant accepting who I was naturally- curly hair and all.   I stopped resisting my natural tendencies and started to “own” them.

You know what happened next? My curly hair became a part of my brand. Used wisely, I was able to balance curls as a complement to my branding strengths and talents. That meant in part that if my hair is curly, I made sure I offset the fun and free nature of the curls with a more smart visual brand (ie, no low cut tops, etc).

My curly hair is now part of my values and signals my creative and fun nature and expertise. No more resistance.

Yet, I regularly hear from so many of my clients that they want to seen as competent so they are working on being more “serious”. What does serious have to do with competence?

Being serious does not sell your brand.

Emotional resonance in brand development is what sells your brand. Emotional resonance is crucial. The only emotion that sells is happiness. So if you are telling me that your serious brand signals happiness somehow, then go for it.

Unfortunately, none of us really intend for our serious brand to be giving off a vibe of happiness. So our brand fails AND you are unhappy and confused, too.

Consider that our need for others to see us as competent is really our desire to be respected by others. It has nothing to do with being serious. Gaining others’ respect means we respect ourselves first. But do we respect ourselves enough first and foremost to own our own strengths (and curly hair)? No one can respect us otherwise- whether we are serious or not.

So what does this mean for you and your business, career, and your business brand, too? Stop and ask yourself:

  • Where in your life and career do you think you need to be more competent? Why?
  • Do you respect yourself to consider yourself competent?
  • How are you trying to achieve this competence by being more serious?
  • Where in your life and career could you show up more happy and sell more happy?
  • What would your own brand and your business/career brand look like if you were more happy and less serious?

Brand Booster: “Allow” Instead of “Force”, “Achieve” or “Earn”

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.

 

Societal Brand Booster: The Impact of the Olympics

olympics2016I love the Olympics. Summer, Winter, all of it. It doesn’t matter to me the sport or the level of competition. Thinking back, I’ve always loved the Olympics. Not only was it inspirational to me as a little girl to see the athletes, it was fun to get into the spirit of the celebration of working on a dream and setting out to achieve it.

Nowadays in my family, we still get excited to watch the Olympics. And there’s more of a reason to love the games.

My husband and I have both developed a theory around the Olympics: The Olympics are good for our individual brands AND for business brands. How? Why?

Consider that 78% of everything you and I buy is NOT based on the content, but on how the service provider or product makes us feel. The only emotion that matters, sells, influences, attracts and engages is happiness.

The Olympics are high-toned and happy. For the two weeks or so that the Olympics are on, the world is a happier place. As a result, people are more motivated- motivated to help one another, to cheer one another on, to take care of themselves and be happier.

As a dentist, each Olympic season my husband notes a noticeable difference in his patients’ tone and willingness to take care of their teeth and oral health.

People are better brands. They (consciously or subconsciously) want to be better and be a part of something greater than just themselves. The Olympics fosters teamwork and support, which then leads to better business brands.

How could you not watch the athletes, hear the stories of the years of sacrifice and training they have made and not want more for yourself, your family, your business and your colleagues/career?

Contrast this with politics and the 2016 Vote. Blech…

The Olympics have been such a nice respite from the mud-slinging, fake-ness and low-toned campaigns we have to endure. That’s all we hear about. As a former lobbyist in Washington DC, I didn’t like it then. As a branding expert, I really don’t like it now. Nothing about politics is high-toned, including the candidates’ brands.

What does this mean for you?

• If you have a business/are an entrepreneur, take notice of how your business does during the Olympics. You should show a sign of increasing profits and sales. This would be the optimal time to take the momentum generated by the Olympics and boost your employees’ morale and drive – this will impact retention and production.

• If you work for an organization, notice how the staff and your colleagues are performing. This would be the optimal time to take the momentum generated by the Olympics and create a brand culture based on values and what drives your team as people.

• Stop and notice your own brand. Do you and your brand sell happiness at some level by showing up as happy? You should be happier and more motivated to allow success in your life. Take this extra brand boost and run with it for these two weeks. Hopefully, it will become a habit for you beyond the Olympics.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Call or email me to discuss how to harness your own brand and that of your teams’ brand to be optimal and happier and succeed more.

How To Work Your Brand Backwards

I used to identify myself with my job and career as a lawyer.  Whenever anyone asked me, “who are you?” my response would start with “I’m a lawyer”.  It was really unhealthy.  Worse was that I had no self-awareness of what I was doing to my self-confidence, not to mention my brand. That was so long ago.

Fast forward 15 years and an entirely new career.  I LOVE and absolutely have deep passion for what I do for a living. I know it is a natural expression of my talents and of who I am.  The expert branding advice I give comes with ease and grace.

Ironically, today I don’t define myself as my career and job.  I had to work my brand backwards to get here.

How?

Once I retired from the practice of securities law, I literally spent two years figuring out just who I was and what I was naturally good doing for myself and for others.  It was a true (and often painful) exploration of the best of “ME” with no “back” button.  It was so worth it to find my brand and my self-confidence.

Once I unearthed my brand, I then worked backwards to find out what would be a good work environment and a good fit for my natural talents and abilities.

It was so much easier to do this than what I find most of us try to do instead. Here’s what I hear all the time:

“If I just find a great new career and/or job, then I’ll be happy and can work on my own brand”.

IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY.  EVER.  WHY? BECAUSE THAT’S NOT NATURAL.

You first have to figure out who you are and what you can naturally tap into as your ability and skill set and zest for life in helping others. From there, and only there, can you then move on to create a career or job or business that reflects your natural abilities and love for doing so for others.  That is your brand.

What does this mean for you?  Stop and consider:

  • What is that one thing you do every day that comes so very naturally to you?
  • What do others compliment you most on?
  • What is “it” that you are curious about in this world?
  • What activity makes you the happiest?
  • Now, how can you take these answers and channel them into a purpose and action that comes with ease, grace and benefits others?
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First, Know Yourself So You Know What To Market.