- Who & Why?
All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘memorable image’
Before you think I’m asking you to make a new year’s resolution that you won’t keep, think again and choose to see things differently. Yes, a new year is here. With it can come the drudgery of the past or an opportunity for you to develop a brand for yourself that will leave you happier and more successful. Each of us has a choice.
I personally don’t get the concept of a new year’s resolution. I believe I need to always be resolved to be better and think differently. Otherwise, my brand stagnates and, in a way, so does everything I touch. Besides, resolutions sound kind of scary to me. It feels like there’s no turning back — if I don’t keep my resolution or do it “good enough”, then I fail.
Deliberate brand creation is a marathon, not a new year’s sprint. That’s what I always tell all our clients and also why 99% of our clients are in some sort of maintenance program with me once we have developed their initial brand. The process is never “over”, your brand is never “done”. The good news is your brand just evolves and grows with time as you grow and change. That’s exciting! That takes time, effort, deliberate thought and deliberate action and of course, a plan.
So let’s look at it differently and have you develop your brand from a new perspective. Close your eyes and picture yourself on December 31, 2016. An entire year has come and gone.
How is it that you are remembered by the world on 12/31/16? As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded”. Barbara Stanny said in her fantastic book, Sacred Success, “All that matters is that your legacy reflects your purpose, makes you proud, brings you pleasure, and inspires or improves something or someone else”.
The memories others have of us are our brands. Think in terms of memories. It’s then easier to relate to branding as a concept.
To get started, ask yourself:
- What’s been my contribution in 2016? In answering this look at:
- Did I have a particular cause and/or purpose greater than myself for which I stood?
- How do people remember me emotionally? As Carnegie once said, we are all creatures of emotion, and not logic. Emotions go farther than any of us want to believe. Positive emotions leave us with positive memories.
- Did my contribution leave joy in the hearts of others ? Notice I did not mention leaving joy in the mind’s of others. The emotion of joy is captured in our hearts.
- Did I choose to see people’s differences only, or was I compassionate towards others and towards MYSELF choosing to see our similarities?
- How can my contribution continue to grow (and my brand develop) in the upcoming year?
Here’s to a 2016 filled with all the wonderful memories that leave you as the brand you want to be remembered by.
I was once on the board of Dress for Success. I had the pleasure of having coffee one day in San Diego with Nancy Lublin, the founder of Dress for Success. Nancy has since gone on to bigger and better things (like it was even possible, but yes!). Just the other day on Facebook Nancy posted pictures for us that she was on Necker Island with her idol, Richard Branson. Branson owns and lives on Necker Island with his family. Nancy’s post got me thinking, once again, about “Brand Branson” as I like to call it. How many people besides me and Nancy love Brand Branson?!
I’m a huge fan of Richard Branson. Something about his brand and way of “being” appeals to me. I can’t put my finger on it and we haven’t met…yet. But isn’t that the point? Without knowing Branson personally, I have a positive and memorable response to him and his brand- not necessarily the Virgin brand, but his personal brand.
His brand appears kind, gentle and about others succeeding- it’s inclusive. Take for instance his latest blog about treating people who don’t get jobs as well as those who do. Here Branson notes, “Companies should treat all people well – staff, customers, those applying for jobs, those who have only just heard about the company. You never know when your paths will cross in the future. Plus, if everybody treated everybody else how they would wish to be treated, the world would be a better place.”
And it all centers around happiness. Most of the things out there about Branson show his smiling face and what appears to be, happy nature. His causes include entrepreneurship, sustainability and humor! Who wouldn’t love that brand?!
Yes, I know all the skeptics out there are saying, “who wouldn’t be happy if they had Branson’s money?” However, I don’t buy it. Money can only bring so much happiness as a brand. In my world, what has to come first is your brand as an emotionally attractive (happy) person. The money then follows naturally. It has to- that’s the law of the universe at work.
So what can you learn from Brand Branson? Consider:
– Are you happy? If not, why? If so, how are you showing up as happy everyday?
– What are you doing to strengthen your community in terms of service? Although money always helps, you don’t need Branson’s billions to make a difference AND have a great brand that attracts others to you.
I have the same conversation at least once a week with a client. It goes something like this: they tell me they met a wonderful potential client OR they tell me that they got a great new client. Fantastic, right?!
So I always ask them what they did to get that client, i.e., how did the referral come to them? Why do I ask them this basic question? I often find that folks don’t stop and really think and assess how they retained business. All they care about is that they got new business or met a “hot lead”. While it may seem to make sense to focus on the final outcome and move on with business, it’s really not ok.
Why? Because you need to figure out how the client came to be. You shouldn’t be hoping and praying each time you meet someone who can possibly be a client. You must have a plan and thus, be in control of the outcome – and your brand. There is absolutely no sense in recreating the wheel each and every time a new lead or referral pops up in front of you. When I say ‘have a plan’, I mean a branding plan where you know who you are, what you do and how you can tell them all this about you in a compelling way.
In my world, knowing who you are is key because if you don’t know yourself and your brand well enough, then how can you tie it well into what you do? If you can’t get that far, there’s no way you can tell a referral or lead all this about yourself and “how” you can be of service to them- at least not in any compelling way for them to remember you and want to get to know you better and then hire you.
So next time you get a client or connect with a great referral, stop and think what about:
- Who you are is clear and concise?
- What you do is tied into who you are in a compelling, rational manner?
- What about your overall brand is communicated well and with emotion to move me to get to know you and hire you?
I am very blessed to live in San Diego because of the all the really cool activities we have got going on. (Yes, I am ignoring the wild fires and the high taxes!). Just this past weekend, San Diego was home to The Weekend Of Grace whereby the Oneness Meditation community brought meditation to the masses/public in San Diego. There was a group meditation in Balboa Park plus other group meditations throughout the city. I was fortunate enough to attend.
I observed the crowds. The regular meditators were very different than the rest of us. In what way, you may ask? While there will always be exceptions, for the most part it was very clear to me that the folks who meditate regularly had all the ingredients we always speak of for a great personal brand. They were much more calm, happy and balanced. They had focus, clarity and could hold a conversation without the need to check their phones constantly or be looking around all the time. In short, they had an effective personal brand.
I am always encouraging (well, requiring it for my clients) you to make meditation a part of your daily life. At least just sit in silence and try to think of nothing. In that space of stillness and silence great things happen. You become focused, clear, self-confident, well-put together and super powerful. You can then go into a meeting composed and effective.
If you doubt it, just try it to prove me wrong. Shut your door, find a comfortable place to sit, remove all distractions and for at least 10 minutes sit in silence and try to be still. See if you can gradually graduate up to 25 minutes a day.
Here’s to your fantastic personal brand!
As the years go by in my personal branding work with people and organizations, I see some very common mistakes people make. Below are the top three mistakes I see very regularly. These mistakes are a sure way to have an ineffective personal brand and thus, lead to an ineffective business brand. Both lead to you having less recall value for others, a less robust client and prospect pool and– less happiness.
“People come to me because of my expertise”- All too often (just yesterday), I hear my brilliant clients argue with me that their personal brand is just fine because people come to them based on their expertise. This happens less when I am working with musicians and artists because they have a better tendency to appreciate the “entire package” philosophy.
We are all conditioned to believe that our education and our substantive work are superior to anything else in life. I’m a big believer in education and providing quality substantive work. However, don’t believe for a minute that your education and your substantive know-how is what your personal brand is all about. People first notice you and your uniqueness, not your expertise and substance. Your emotional value for people has nothing to do with expertise, necessarily.
“I’m too busy” – Time becomes more and more precious in our society, it seems. We are all running around juggling work, family, parents, etc. Time is also a very good excuse for us to avoid focusing on our personal brands- figuring out our uniqueness, passion and contribution to society as a person. It’s much easier to focus on our substantive work (see #1 above) because it is safer and within our comfort zone. We have less chance for failure and less opportunity to find out about ourselves and fix things that don’t serve us well. Find time or else pay the price later.
Ignore the ‘signs’ and feedback– It is so difficult for us to accept criticism or be willing to look at ourselves and see what we are doing not so well. It takes serious guts and a desire to succeed to be willing to explore yourself and your personal brand. I have deep respect for every client of mine for this reason. I often get comments stating that personal branding is “fluff” and irrelevant. These comments often come from those who are afraid to be better- better people, better leaders, better employees and better service providers. To have an effective personal brand, you’ve got to be willing to stop and assess what the world has to say about you and your brand,- the good, the bad and the ugly. How else will you improve, excel and be happier in life?