- Who & Why?
All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Oprah’
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.
This week let’s examine the fourth part of our four-part discussion on deliberate brand creation of ourselves. We’re going to wrap up this four-part series with really looking at building a brand that is true to ourselves. I’m continuing to put my own spin on Oprah’s October 2014, “What I Know For Sure” column in her O Magazine. I have a lot of appreciation and respect for Oprah’s presence.
As Oprah said in her column, she would want to come home during a party but would feel compelled to stay at the party because she thought she had to do so.
How often do we all compromise who we really are in order to fit in or fit into a stereotype we are living into? Most often if we stop and really evaluate the situation, we’d find that our assumptions are wrong. Heck, maybe no one wants to stay at a party but everyone feels compelled to do so! What a fun party that is. I don’t know about you, but I’d always rather be at a party of one (me!) than at a party where no one wants to be there.
I remember in high school how awkward I was and never felt I fit into the “scene”. I especially remember when I was invited to parties and felt compelled to show up. I would get there and have an awful time. Mostly I would look around at the other kids and wonder why they were drinking so much. Not that I was a saint, but I never did identify with the drinking. I was always waiting to go home from those parties. I rarely enjoyed myself. I wasn’t being true to myself.
Now, as an adult and business owner, I love getting out there at parties and meeting people. I have no problem walking into a room full of people I don’t know. What’s changed? I try to be true to myself nowadays.
However, after several unhappy social events, I’ve come to discover that I don’t need to be everywhere all the time. I have rules for myself about socializing. Basically, if I don’t feel like I want to be around people, then I don’t go. I make a conscious, self-aware choice to only show up and project a brand presence that works for me and for my audience. I share this information with my clientele, too. I do this to be true to who I am as a person and as a brand.
Not being true to who we are as individuals hurts in so many ways. Staying at that party too long not only wastes our time, but it hurts our brand. Anytime we don’t honor our desires, and ourselves, then we are devaluing our brand in other peoples’ eyes. Others cannot find our brand relevant and worthy of respect if we don’t respect our own brand. There is a certain level of power and ease and grace with being true to who we really are as people.
So ask yourself how often do you stay too long at that “party”? If so, why? How can you find ways to be true to yourself and your brand?
The leaves keep changing in deliberate nature this October. So we, too, continue our Deliberate Brand Creation process this third week of October. As I’ve written in the past two blog posts, I’m continuing to put my own spin on Oprah’s October 2014, “What I Know For Sure” column in her O Magazine. I have a lot of appreciation and respect for Oprah’s presence.
This week, let’s explore how your quirks and oddities are the stuff of your deliberate brand. As Oprah wrote in her column noted above, when she was younger she would go to parties. She would feel compelled to stay at a party even if she had enough of being there and would rather go home. Why? In part, Oprah says it was because she considered herself quirky to want to run home and be alone.
Perhaps the biggest “why” question here is why we can’t “own” our quirks? I think the short answer is partly lack of self-awareness and partly fear.
No one wants to be different and stick out. We all strive to fit in. If I think back to a time when I really tried to fit it, I am taken back to high school. I hated high school. I was always so different and didn’t really fit in. It was hard being me.
I stuck out for so many reasons: I had olive complexion when it seemed everyone else had blonde hair and light eyes; my first and last name was hard to pronounce (it wasn’t like my name rolled off the American tongue like “Jane Smith”); while my parents were very flexible with me and tried to “go with” the culture and mentality of midwestern/Indiana thinking, we still had different customs and rituals; and we lived in the most affluent suburb of Indianapolis, making it harder to be “cool” and fit in. Most importantly, I always felt quirky because I could never ever understand why all those other high school kids rebelled all the time- drinking, smoking, sex, parties. Were they suffocating at home, somehow?
Regardless of what I thought and how hard I tried, I was hiding who I really was. I wasn’t even self-aware enough to know why I was hiding. Looking back at my list above, I’m now really relishing my olive complexion, my first and last name and my background and nationality. I use it as part of my unique selling proposition and story to stand out and be genuine and different. It works!
However why do we, even as adults, try so hard to deny our quirks and eccentricities? What if you decided for just one day to really “own” your quirks, be proud of the eccentricities and not deny any of it? Would the world stop? Who cares if someone doesn’t “like” or “accept” you? Do they matter more in this world than you (and your happiness) do? I doubt it.
I get the fear factor. I lived it and live it every day. However, our personal brand growth is grounded in being self-aware enough to feel the fear and doing “it” anyway- whatever your “it” is.
So just for one day, I ask you to be self-aware, own your quirks and see what happens. If you love to eat licorice, go for it! If you like to decipher license plates, go for it! If you love the Smurfs, go for it! Just remember to tell us all about it so we can be your biggest champ, respect you and get to know your real personal brand.
October kicks off the month of “Deliberate Brand Creation” for us. Fall is in the air- time for change and growth as nature deliberately changes shades and seasons.
Once again, this month’s topic is inspired by Oprah’s October 2014, “What I Know For Sure” column in her O Magazine. As I’ve said in the past, I have a lot of appreciation and respect for Oprah’s presence in this world. So I really loved her topic this month and want to put my spin on it and apply it to personal branding to find that “sparkle of rightness” for all of us.
In her October column, Oprah notes that she likes to spend time alone, being alone with her thoughts. She notes that she craves silence and stillness to offset her crazy schedule, where she can’t always be fully present.
This got me really thinking. How often are we really ever alone (versus “lonely”)?
The word, “lonely” is such a sad word. Let’s face it, no one wants to be “lonely”. I’ve been there and still go there, because I’m human! Being lonely used to feel way more natural for me than being “alone”. I know I’m heading to a dark, ugly place when I feel “lonely”. It gives me the chance to have a pity party for myself and be a victim. Claiming, “I’m lonely” means I “don’t have” lots of things: friends, a supportive spouse and/or family, and happiness! Of course, I do have all those things- if I stopped being a victim long enough to notice.
Even when I don’t feel “lonely”, I often avoid being “alone” by creating t0-do lists for myself. My lists and errands ensure I am always running full steam ahead and can avoid being present. But let’s face it, at the end of the day these lists and errands leave me tired, cranky and wondering where did my day (and peace) go? I must admit, I’ve gotten so much better at being alone over the years. It started with short meditations, but now I find I drive around without the radio on in my car because I enjoy the silence. It allows me to hear my own inner voice and relax.
There’s no power in being lonely. There’s just a lot of scarcity and “don’t have”. It also means we’ve created a very unattractive personal brand when we are “lonely”. No one wants to be around someone who is lonely. We subconsciously assume if you’re lonely, then you are needy, too. Makes sense to me. I know when I’m lonely, I tend to be needy and rather illogical in my actions as a result. Who wants to be around someone whose personal brand is lonely,needy and illogical? Yikes!
On the other hand, as Oprah finds,there is such power in being alone with our thoughts. Choosing to be “alone” is attractive in so many ways as a personal brand. By choosing to be alone as a personal brand, you are saying:
– I am strong and know what I need;
– I don’t have to be around others to feel better and feel loved;
– I want to be (and can handle being) alone with my thoughts;
– I am a creative person who knows how to independently create;
– I am in control of my life and my career because I take time to be fully present and still.
So ask yourself:
– How often do you sit still and be alone with yourself and your thoughts?
– Why or why not? If you don’t do so very often, what about being alone scares you- the loneliness or the fabulous possibilities that may come from sitting still?
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?