In recent years every career coach, guru and expert has been shouting through the roof about the importance of building a personal brand? Related: 5 Ways To Create A Consistent Brand This buzzword has been discussed so often that it’s lost its value, and many people believe that personal branding is all a bunch of hype. The answer to the question this article positions is a resounding yes. A personal brand really is important and it’s not just hype. I can say this from personal experience. Prior to building my personal brand, I was just like everybody else. I had a great career, but nothing about me stood out much more than anybody else. I wasn’t the first person to succeed in their career and I certainly won’t be the last. Being ‘just like everybody else’ is the problem, and once I realized that, that’s when I decided to build a personal brand. So many people go through their careers wondering why they’re not receiving promotions, better job offers or access to lucrative business opportunities, the reason is because they lack a personal brand. A personal brand is important because it separates you from the rest of the pack. In a day and age in which competition for jobs and opportunity is at an all-time high, it is absolutely critical to develop a personal brand because it positions you above the competition. Exactly 11 months ago, I decided that I wanted to change careers. I didn’t really have a concrete idea in mind. I just knew that I wasn’t happy doing what I had been doing for the seven years prior. I was burnt out. I took a long hard look inside myself and asked myself what value there was that I could provide to others. What I ultimately realized is that I had tremendous expertise in career management. I was earning more than twice the amount of my peers within my age group, and I was 10 years ahead of my peers in terms of position and rank. Once I honed in on a value proposition I could offer to others, I decided to publish a self-help book, What Next? The Millennial’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the Real World. When I went into this process, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. What I cared about most was sharing my expertise with others, and if something financially rewarding came of it, then that would be a bonus. It turns out that my expertise and words of wisdom were very well received. My book was endorsed by top business leaders including Barbara Corcoran of ABC’s Emmy award winning TV show Shark Tank. After publishing my book, I continued to build my brand, which eventually led to a contributorship on sites such as The Huffington Post and media mentions in top publications such as Forbes, Fox Business, and Life Hack. The last 11 months have been an incredible journey. As a result of developing my personal branding, I’ve been given opportunities that I never would have imagined. I’ve had people and businesses reach out to me with opportunities that I never would have received prior. That’s perhaps one of the biggest benefits of building a personal brand. Instead of looking for opportunity, opportunity finds you. In society, we’re trained to be average. We’re made to believe that being normal is OK, and should be embraced. Normal is nothing more than just a nice way of saying mediocre, and do you really want to be mediocre? Do you really want to continue going through life lacking the power to control your destiny? If not, then you need to build a personal brand. A well-constructed personal brand will ensure that you become indispensable, so that no matter what happens in the world, whether there’s a recession, company-downsizing or a number of other external factors, you will never be without opportunity.
We get it. Looking for work can be scary, especially if you’ve been at it for a long time and haven’t gotten any results.
Understanding which fears are getting in the way and how to overcome them will make all the difference. Sometimes you might not be aware of which obstacle is getting in the way of your goals. If you want to overcome these fears once and for all, we invite you to join us!
In this training, you’ll learn how to:
- Utilize strategies for coping with your job search fears
- Be confident in your job search—from writing your resume to networking
- Face your fears and move forward
Join our CEO, J.T. O'Donnell, and Director of Training Development & Coaching, Christina Burgio, for this live event on Wednesday, October 5th at 12 pm ET.
CAN'T ATTEND LIVE? That's okay. You'll have access to the recording and the workbook after the session!
Yesterday, I had a “bad day.” Poor sleep, work was a challenge, family issues, and feeling worn down. I was not in a good mood by any stretch of the imagination.
I went home to my lovely wife who made a nice dinner. She asked if I was OK, and I said no. She left me alone for a while, and I opened up. We talked. Still, I was having a bad day.
This morning, I woke up and had my daily meditation. I listened to expert-led meditation on resetting my day. The teacher pointed out you cannot retake yesterday’s breaths; you can only breathe the breath of the current moment.
Think about this for a moment (while taking a breath). Can you retake your last breath? Can you retake the breath from two weeks ago, two years ago, or two decades ago? Can you take a breath two years from now? The answer is no—you can only breathe in the present moment.
Profound, thought-provoking, and so simple.
Letting Go Of The Past
I am Jim, and I have a problem. I cannot let go of my past. I dwell on mistakes. I rethink and rethink my actions repeatedly. I go over in my mind what I did wrong and what I would do differently given the chance.
Those breaths are gone, and I cannot get them back. No matter what I do.
I have been doing a lot of reflection in the past several years. I have found a new philosophy for life that I am actively exploring. Mindfulness and being present are at the forefront of this study. Breathing my current breath.
Worry About The Future
I am Jim, and I have a second problem. I overthink my future. Similar to my past, I replay what I want to do repeatedly in my mind. I work through scenarios (many worst cases) to plot how I want things to go. I even stress over those things I cannot control—like someone’s response.
These breaths have not even occurred, and I cannot predict when and where they will fall. No matter what I do.
Preparation and being mindful of the future are OK. Worry and obsessive planning can be stressful. Regardless of how hard we try, we cannot control every aspect of the future, nor can we predict those breaths.
Breathing Right Now… And Enjoying It.
I am not an expert, and I am only several steps along my life path. I can tell you, I have struggled with being mindful and present. Whether I am replaying my day past or I am predicting my indeterminate future, I am adding undo stress to myself. I am creating chaos. Until this morning, I did not (and may still not) fully appreciate the words "you cannot breathe yesterday’s breath." Your breathing is the one thing you can follow to remain present and in the moment. It only occurs once, and it cannot be recreated. No two breaths will ever be alike. No breaths can ever be repeated.
The only breath that matters is the one you are taking right now. You can learn from the previous breaths, and you can prepare for the future takes. However, the only one truly in your control is the one taken right now. All the others are meaningless.
Take your breath, and know it is the best breath you can take in this very moment. Enjoy it.
I spoke to a senior business leader who talked about how the thoughts of navigating the risks associated with some of the business processes he currently manages keep him awake. He leads the segment of his company that coordinates customers' activities, mobile transactions, and e-commerce payments. Some of the reasons why he was worried were:
- Possibility of a hacker compromising customer data for spam or identity theft
- The fear that a customer data breach will result in a reputational damage
- Concern that someone might use a stolen card to make an online purchase
- Thoughts of an employee mistakenly sending confidential data to a wrong email
Addressing all these concerns requires a risk management strategy. An effective risk management strategy is extremely important to mitigate potential risks that might prevent the achievement of business objectives. A survey from EY showed that 84% of board members do not believe their organizations have a highly effective risk management strategy. Risk management strategy is a vital part of the risk management process, which involves the following steps:
Asset Identification & Prioritization
The first step of the risk management process is to identify the organization's assets, including physical assets, employees, information, and intellectual property. After identification, the assets are prioritized based on criticality. Assets could be classified as high, low, or medium based on their criticality to business operations.
This helps to identify, prioritize, and determine how risk is treated. It involves three (3) steps:
- Risk Identification - This involves identifying threats and vulnerabilities that place business assets at risk that might impact the achievement of business objectives. Example: What are the threats to data in the data warehouse? What harmful event may cause damage to physical assets? What are the harmful events that could cause danger to company employees at work? What could cause damage to business assets? Is our software susceptible to a malicious cyberattack?
- Risk Analysis - Based on information obtained from the risk identification process, the risks are analyzed and prioritized based on the likelihood of a threat's occurrence and impact.
- Risk Evaluation - This examination of the risk analysis results and comparison with established risk evaluation criteria to determine whether the risk is acceptable or additional controls are required to manage or mitigate risk.
Risk Management Strategy
This is the third phase of the risk management strategy. It is also known as risk treatment. It is the approach adopted by an organization to address risk. It leverages the information and results from the risk assessment process which includes identification threat, determining their probability of occurring an impact. It varies based on the company's risk appetite.
- Risk Transfer - This strategy transfers risk to an external party. It is often adopted when a company cannot mitigate the risk associated with a business activity due to a lack of expertise or other complexities. Risk transfer doesn't discard the risk but transfers the responsibility of risk treatment to another party. An example is hedging an exchange rate risk through a derivative control or outsourcing a software development project to an IT company.
- Risk Acceptance - This is also known as risk retention. It applies when an organization is aware that risk related to a business activity is known and accepted because it is unlikely to occur or is within the company's risk appetite. An example is when a company decides to limit resources allocated to perform review checks for transactions below a set threshold because the probability of fraud occurrence is low.
- Risk Reduction - This is also known as risk mitigation. The strategy attempts to prevent a risk occurrence by implementing a control to mitigate the risk. An example is a company implementing a customer feedback mechanism to address customer concerns and avoid customer attrition. Also, human resources can implement an exit interview process to reduce employee turnover.
- Risk Avoidance - This strategy eliminates risk from occurring due to costly consequences. It applies where an organization does not engage in a business activity because its associated risk exceeds its risk appetite. An example is when the company considers an opportunity to expand its product line but decides not to continue after analyzing the business plan and discovering that it's too risky and will significantly impact the organization.
The risk management process is an ongoing exercise. After the risk has been identified and analyzed and an appropriate risk treatment strategy has been determined, there is a need to continuously monitor risk by tracking changes in the environment, its impacts on business objectives, and existing risk management strategies. This process will help adjust strategies as required to ensure they are still relevant and effective.
There is no business without risk. Developing and implementing a risk management strategy that allows business executives to identify, address, and monitor risks is crucial to risk management success. Effective risk management creates a healthy environment to achieve business objectives and helps business leaders identify opportunities and actions they need to take.
If you're interested in learning more about how risk management can help achieve your business goals or have any questions, please feel free to follow/connect with me on LinkedIn.