- Who & Why?
All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Genuine community service’
Today we come to the final blog in a four- part series in which we look at the different ways we all stagnate; in business, in friendship, in family and in our spirituality.
As I said in all three of the other blog posts, Oprah has talked about this topic of Stagnation in her “What I know for sure” column of her September 2014 O Magazine, “The Two Questions You Should Ask Yourself Each Day”. Oprah, whether she knows it or not, is my mentor because I have incredible respect and appreciation for her presence in this world.
So I took her topic post and went deeper, looking at it from one of my viewpoints. This method is how I decide what is the next best area that ‘sparkles with rightness’.
So what the heck do I mean when I say, “stagnation in your spiritual life”? Most of us avoid the topic of spirituality for similar reasons. We don’t want to be seen as tree huggers, fluffy, not taken seriously or perceived as not credible.
The list goes on and on. But if we are not even addressing our spiritual life, then how could it stagnate and impact our brand value poorly!?
I’ve found the main reason we don’t venture into our spiritual life is because of fear. This fear triggers all the reasons/excuses I listed above.
I know I personally was afraid for a long time. At first, I was afraid of looking at the concept of spirituality in my life. The definition of spirituality is different for everyone, as it should be.
I got over that fear as I evolved and changed careers from law to brand management. In fact, my spirituality and growth as a human was what helped me transition careers and be stable.
But my fear did not end there. Now that I was finding my spirituality, I found that I feared sharing what I learned and knew with my clients. In other words, I was afraid my business audience and clientele would not take me seriously if I wasn’t just talking to them about using their brand to get business and sell themselves well. I was afraid of not being taken seriously and seen as fluffy and nutty, I dare say.
Then one day not too long ago, I just got tired of flying under the radar and bringing ‘stealth spirituality’ to my work and clients. I got that I was stagnating in my message and purpose as a personal branding expert. I was only sharing and giving up half of what I knew. It wasn’t fair to me – I wasn’t self-expressed. It certainly wasn’t fair to my audience.
Since my “awakening”, I have started sharing my personal branding expertise and know-how completely differently with my audience. I share from the heart and share from my own experiences and issues. I’ve found they are applicable to everyone somehow, so everyone can relate and learn and grow and also teach me something new!
What does this mean for you? Stop and think:
- What areas of your life are you afraid to look at? Why?
- Where are you stagnating as a result of this fear?
- How can you take one small step today to be dynamic in your entire life and personal brand? What would be possible as a result of that one small change?
Nothing is more important than feeling like we’ve actually made a difference in someone’s life- someone who may not have all the “things” and blessings we have. From a personal branding perspective, helping others makes us feel good, which generates the “joy” component of the personal brand. This “joy” is what attracts others to you- and your business.
In all our corporate work with clientele, we develop community service platforms for the business brands. This involves actually working with each assigned employee to discover their community service niche and how that fits in with the company brand and goals. As each employee goes out there and does community service, the morale within the office improves, as does sales and the overall brand quality of the business.
Sadly, we often only stop and think about community service and giving back during the holidays. I guess the holidays seem like the appropriate time to help others. However, it is always the appropriate time to help others and strengthen your personal and business brands.
So stop and think for yourself:
- Are you doing community service now? If not, why not?
- Where could you give of your time?
- Does this particular community service highlight your business brand at the same time?
- Can you include your family?
- How much time can you spare? (Notice, I said time and not money!)
A few weeks ago I was watching a biography on the founders of the successful ice cream brand, Ben & Jerry. I think I’ve seen the show three times now. The reason is because Ben and Jerry’s story fascinates me AND serves as a perfect picture of what a quality personal brand can do for the owners of a business and for society as a whole. Now I know you may be thinking this is just ice cream, but let me explain.
In a nutshell, Ben and Jerry began the company in 1978 with $14,000 in Vermont. They grew the business tremendously and no longer own it. However the in-between actions is what is text book personal branding, in my opinion.
As you watch the interview, you will see that what differentiated Ben and Jerry is that they truly seem to understand who they were as people BEFORE they launched their business. This was key in establishing their personal brand and blending it in well with the business brand they built for Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. They even mentioned in their interview that they wanted to be “genuine and real” always. Look at all the names of their ice cream flavors- they represent Ben and Jerry’s personality and personal brands. Genuine and real is all we should ever strive to be. This attitude and behavior is what people gravitate towards.
Here at Puris, we stress community service and we build community service platforms for companies. Throughout their ownership of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Ben and Jerry seemed committed to supporting the local community and people of Vermont. In fact, they even said that this was a huge part of their image within the company. Thus, they used Vermont milk. To help the local Vermont sewage system, they supplied ice cream waste to a local pig farm. There are many other examples of their community service.
In fact, their three part mission statement says it all- it includes a product mission, social mission and economic mission. All of it centers around the environment and community. You can find their mission statement on their website.
So what’s in this for you as a business owner? Remember, that your business is there to serve a purpose and to contribute a product or service to society. So often we forget we are here to serve others as business owners. This is the very reason the business fails- the personal brand is never developed: the owners never understand their reason for owning the business and contributing to society and never infuse their personality into the business. To make matters worse, the business then sets out to “market” and develops into a poor business brand without any real values or community platform.
Instead, I encourage you to look at yourself as the owner. Do you understand how you fit into the big picture of your business? Do you understand your personal brand? Then use your business to help your local community in real and tangible ways- regularly! Your community will thank you and become huge supporters of your business because you care about them. Pretty simple model- missed by most small businesses.
For the full story on Ben & Jerry, check out their website.
A large part of my work with corporations involves developing community service platforms. These plans come about after I have studied my corporate client and tailored the community service to suit the corporate image and personality.
By why does it really matter? Can’t we just slap our corporate logo on a fundraiser race t-shirt and be done with community service?
Well, I suppose a corporation could do just that- and plenty have in the past and continue to do so. However, the question becomes what is optimal and genuine community service all about?
The answer in my opinion is helping others without the expectation of anything back but a good feeling is the hallmark of why we should all do community service. I know you may think it cheesy, but feeling good is the best reason to help others.
How does this work with generating quality business and growing our companies? Well, your community service items should be absolutely a reflection of your staff and their personalities, likes and dis-likes. This is what makes the networking and relationship-building by-product of doing the community service so effective.
We all put our hearts genuinely into activities about which we feel a desire and enjoyment. For example, if your employees enjoy hiking, find a community service activity with the state forest service.
Thus, doing the community service is that much more effective (and fun!). This means our relationships with other volunteers and other potential business partners is that much stronger and more effective, too.
What will be the inevitable result is that people will begin associating your company (and the fabulous employees who genuinely give their time and effort to a good cause) with that of a corporation who does GENUINE charitable work to help others. Potential customers will be drawn to your company.
The key of course, as I always say with any image tip, is that you have to be genuine and mean it.
Try it on for size and let me know if you have any questions.
Wishing you a fabulous image,