- Who & Why?
All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘authentic’
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.
In 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!
Some things in life are challenging. Other things are just darn hard no matter how simple it may seem from the outside. In my life, I’ve found that being self-confident is one of those darn hard things.
As an immigrant growing up in Indiana in the early 80s, I looked different than everyone else. Not only that, my family had a different culture than everyone else. It was hard to feel comfortable in my own skin, let alone be self-confident to others! So I get it.
I’ve found the biggest obstacle to our self-confidence is simply…… us. We get in our own way all the time. We show up not feeling the love for ourselves. Then we dump our angst onto others; making our lack of self- confidence their problem.
What if we decided we could do anything and be anything? What if we decided to show up being and acting with that belief? Would the world end? Would everyone find out we are a fraud? Just the opposite, I think.
I think this way of being and acting is the only way to find and “own” our self-confidence. Simple, but not necessarily easy, as Werner Erhard likes to say. The only person holding us back is us. Why is it that we simply can’t believe we are, and can be, our best motivator and champion? Who ever told us we couldn’t?
Strong brands own their self-confidence with ease and grace. They exude it with happiness and an eagerness to share it via what they do for a living. Self-confidence is infectious.
So what does this mean for you? Stop and consider:
– where in your life are you not feeling self-confident? Is it more often than you wish? A good way to know is based on how stressed you are at any given time.
– now that you are self-aware of your drop in self-confidence, how can you catch yourself and “pretend” to be self-confident with authenticity, integrity and ease?
Remember, simple but not easy. You’re up for the challenge. I know it!
No one says personal brand development is a walk in the park. After all, we have to stretch ourselves, choose to see those ways of being that aren’t working out and then develop new ways to make them work- for ourselves and our clients and businesses.
On the other hand, personal brand development doesn’t have to be difficult or painful either. It all depends on how we choose to view it all.
Take me, for example. If you think I have it all figured out, boy are you wrong. I’m learning as I go, just like you. The difference is that I have a deep faith that I’ll find my way through my brand and business. I also have strong self-awareness around what’s not working and what changes I need to make to BE and BE SEEN as a strong and effective personal brand.
There are plenty of days and minutes and hours where I decide to be angry at myself for not doing better when I know better. For instance, I have come to learn that the one true thing that matters most in personal brand development is feeling good about myself- regardless of what is going on around me. So my circumstances don’t dictate how I should feel. In this way, I’m not being reactive, but in charge of my life and brand perception.
That’s all well and great. You have no idea how often I lose sight of this reality and find myself in a less-than good feeling state. Then I decide to be angry at myself and condemn my mentality. Of course, this never helps, right?
So what I’ve learned in those moments are ways to pick myself up and dust myself off:
– I work hard to stay self-aware and conscious of the nasty thoughts that I don’t like. You know the ones that ego thinks for us to keep us feeling down;
– I then take several deep deep deep breathes to clear my head and body. I instantly feel better with the increase flow of oxygen. Maybe I yawn a few times, too, to increase oxygen;
– Lastly, I think of one thing I’ve done in the past day or so that was really fun and/or exciting for me. This doesn’t have to be a big activity, but something small that made me happy. So for instance, I had a fun time sitting and watching the Oscars last night.
Take these steps to pick yourself up and dust off your brand.
While getting business and making a sale is great, I find that most of us miss the fundamental reason WHY we get business and make a sale. In my world, your brand is about all the actions and perceptions you create BEFORE you get to the sale.
I remember as a lawyer in my previous career, it was very easy to fall off the mark and forget about the human interactions behind business. I would get so involved in the substantive work I was doing as a lawyer, that there would be no time for the human element. It was almost as if there were no people operating behind the business.
As Dale Carnegie said it best, “When dealing with people, remember we are all creatures of emotion and not creatures of logic”. If you keep this quote in mind, your personal branding development will come with more ease and be more effective.
It all boils down to a much more fundamental concept when we stop to look at business and sales from an emotional level and not logical level. I liked the way Oprah Winfrey put it when she was being interviewed by Barbara Walters. Oprah, in addressing why she used being on television as a means of being of service, said, “when you see what you offer the world, your world shifts”.
So what does this mean for you? Well, stop and think:
– What do you really offer the world with your work?
– What fundamental human need do you serve?
– Do you get the reality of those you serve?
– Do you emotionally resonate your brand with your audience? You’ll know you do so when you see sales go up, business increase and you do it all with ease and have fun, too.
If you are unsure, email us and we can talk about your strategy.