Category Archive for: ‘self-awareness’

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.

 

Branding Basics: When to Bring On Your “WOW”

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.

Why?

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.

Why?

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.

Why?

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.

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?

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.