What does your day-to-day life say about your personal brand? Whether you are an entrepreneur or a star employee, what you represent is your brand. What people remember most about you stands out, and those things become selling points or red flags for you. The cliché, “Actions speak louder than words,” is exactly right when living your brand. You are the first (and perhaps the only) spokesperson for what you want people to think of you, buy from you, or believe about you. As cliché as it may be, you do only get one chance to make a first impression. Everything else becomes an attempt to recover from a mistake. Starting off on the right path is key to personifying your personal brand. What people think is important. Sticks and stone will break your bones, but words, rumors, and misconceptions can hurt you. If you have established a solid reputation, a misstep won’t be the end of your journey. However, if you start wrong, it is a long road to recovery. In the world of business, perception is reality. As you operate, keep these basic thoughts in mind to leave a positive impression of who you are and what you do. Here are four tips for living your brand:
In today’s world of social media, personal branding, personal marketing and finding your niche, major companies have given us a method to create a way to be remembered. A catchy, thought provoking slogan! RELATED: 3 Examples Of Great Personal Branding As slogans go, they need to say something profound, they need to be easy to remember, and they need to place your brand in the market to produce. Some catchy slogans I remember come from all kinds of companies - some competitors in the same industry and some are unique small businesses. For example, Home Depot's slogan is, “Let’s build something together," and Lowes' is, “Never stop improving." When I speak to young students and young professionals, we talk about building a network of people to help continue growth. No one is going to be successful alone, so these two slogans help me leave an idea behind when my time in front of the group is over. Not only do I use commercial slogans, I use quotes and unique phrases to help me remember, deliver, or act on a task that will help make a difference in my life and the lives of my audience. One of my favorite authors, speakers and teacher, John C. Maxwell, taught me that no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Colin L Powell, former Mr. Everything: Army four star General, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State, has a list of rules that includes always be kind and get mad then get over it. The late great speaker Zig Ziglar gave outstanding advice, saying I can have everything I want as long as I help others get what they want. This is why I share my time and knowledge. I also rely a great deal on biblical scripture to help me move forward and continue growth. I share verses like: faith without works is dead, faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen, and as iron sharpens iron a person sharpens the character of a friend. The words and phrases you use on a regular can define you. They can become what you are remembered by. Actions do speak louder than words, but do your words and actions match? Your slogan should tell people who you are, and your actions should prove it. In some cases, people will know your slogan simply by watching your actions. What’s being said about you? This post was originally published at an earlier date.
If this question is asked on any Internet search engine, the answer will most likely be “it is always too early to quit!” Related: Too Legit To Quit: 9 Reasons To Stay At Your Job The ability to push through all of the challenges that stand between you and achieving your goals is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful. Challenges come and they come to make you stronger. Meet the challenge and you gain a new skill, a new level of confidence, or a new lesson to share with the people that are depending on you and rooting for your success. Winston Churchill has a famous quote, “If you’re going through hell, keep going!” What that means to me is, if I stop, I never get to see what’s on the other side! Good, bad, or indifferent, I never learn what I could have done. All too often, we quit right before our break through happens. We sit and watch our friends, classmates, and colleagues reap the benefits of pushing through the challenges. We are often left questioning ourselves feeling worse than we felt when we made the decision to give up. Legendary speaker Les Brown writes in his book, “It’s not over until you win!” That hunger must drive you past your naysayers, challenges, and negative thoughts. He says in his speeches, “…some people are negative, they say no seven times before they get to yes…” I have an aunt that instilled in me the Vince Lombardi quote, “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary." Another thing that separates successful and unsuccessful people is the wiliness to work. Hungry people starve because they don’t do the work to get their food. Quitting is the exact opposite of Manifest One Empowerment Group’s five River Rocks: Faith, Family, Focus, Fidelity, and Fortitude. Fortitude especially to us means: having the STRENGTH and COURAGE to persevere through adversity; GUMPTION, no guts no glory! Never be afraid of challenges, they come to make you stronger. It is always too early to quit! This post was originally published on an earlier date.
- Faith; belief in myself and my belief system
- Family; my support system, those who believe in me
- Focus; keeping my goals clear
- Fidelity; my accountability to my family and the successful process
- Fortitude; my ability to push past adversity
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All too often, I go through cycles of what I call the 'blah,' a funk, a rut or simply a time where things just don’t go right - or go at all. During these times, I have to fight off depression, complacency, laziness, and the desire to stop working towards my goals. But the optimist in me tells me that I am going through this because I am about to have a life-changing breakthrough, as long as I keep pushing! Related: Career Failure: Take The Hit And Keep Playing I am a fan of Sir Winston Churchill’s leadership and tenacity. One of his famous quotes is “When you are going through hell, keep going." I use that quote a lot because it is true. The difference between a success and a failure is the ability to push back against adversity. Adversity comes for all of us, no exception. No matter where you begin, your journey with adversity is coming. Even Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Carlos Slim deal with adversity. Granted, their adversity is rarely, if ever financial, but they do face challenges. But back to you and I. These ruts come to teach us something; they help prove our inner (and sometimes outer) critic wrong. The 'blahs' help force you out of your comfort zone; they help you realize that you have to make a change somewhere in order to change your circumstances. The 'blahs' are the basis of the breakthrough. Anyone can create in the perfect space when everything is right, and resources are in place and support is high. However, it takes a special person to create, build, design, or implement when you have to search for funding, ideas, or partners. The 'blahs' pull your passion and purpose out of you. When we are flying high, it's easy to do everything we talk about, but in those quiet moments of doubt, your passion and purpose come to remind you of why you set out to achieve this particular goal. Renewed vigor is born in the 'blahs,' that spark of innovation comes in the 'blahs'. As bad as the 'blahs' can be, they come to an end with small inspirations - a simple random idea that just clicks. The 'blahs' are where Oprah Winfrey “ah ha!” moments happen. My most recent 'blah' became a breakthrough when a reader reached out through social media to ask me a question. All of the frustration, writer’s block, and unanswered requests were now worth the struggle because my 'blah' was this reader’s answer. I just went through what the question was about! Had I not gone through my rut, I may have had a totally different answer. The conversation we had has given me renewed energy and focus on my mentoring and coaching that will definitely affect my speaking. My 'blah' was where my breakthrough found me. It is a necessary part of the cycle; we will have to slow down, we will have to make adjustments and we have to start each new idea at the beginning. We won’t be successful if we start working solutions from the middle; the beginning is where the 'blah' ends and the breakthrough starts.
Success is something we all want. We all have ideas on how to achieve, but we all have different ways to go about it. Success is not a solo achievement; we have to build relationships to help us complete our goals. Through these relationships, we acquire the skills to be successful over and over again. Related: 4 C’s To Career Success These relationships give us access to the way other people solve similar problems, reach similar goals, and move from one task to the next without missing a beat. Once you have chosen your goal and created your plan, you have to work to achieve it. The work can be easier with the "Beg, Borrow and Steal" method to success. The "Beg, Borrow, and Steal" method is about being in relationships that allow you to ask questions, share ideas, or just take proven methods that work for yourself.
I recently had the opportunity to be a guest on CAREEREALISM TV to share ways to nail your next job interview. Below is a list of some of the points that were discussed. Related: Interview Cheat Sheet: 8 Tips For A Flawless Interview This is not an all-inclusive, 100% foolproof plan, but it is a plan; and if you at least follow step one, you are on your way to your second interview - and a possible job offer. Best of luck to you. 1. Plan for the Interview: If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! 2. Be Confident:You are that good! The company saw something in you to bring you in for the interview. Show confidence and competence. 3. Research the Company: Learn about the company. Study their website, financial reports and or recent news articles. 4. Practice for the Interview: Have someone ask you the type of questions you will be asked during your interview. 5. Prepare Questions for the Interview: You can prepare questions based off of your research of the company. You can also find list of questions on here. 6. Know your resume: Even if you wrote your resume, review what’s on it so you aren’t surprised by any interview questions about your work history. 7. Panel/Group Interview Tips: Eye contact, remember names, include all panel members, research other members if possible, be inclusive 8. Sell yourself (You are your Brand!): An outstanding CEO once told me that you are hire based on your personality aptitude and experience. Be prepared to talk about it. 9. Salary negotiation is Secondary: Get the job offer first! 10. Older (often Overqualified) workers starting at a new company: Highlight your skills and sell them as an investment for the future. If the need arises, you have the skills needed to help the company immediately without an extensive time consuming search. 11. Thank you notes are important for post interview communication: You may not get this job but with a timely thank you note you position yourself to be remembered for a future opportunity. A “no” simply mean not now. It does not mean not ever. 12. The Bottom Line: Be Confident; Be Prepared; Be Open; Be Honest; Be Collaborative; Be a Problem Solver; Look for and highlight opportunities to help that company move forward!
Happy New Year! It’s a few days into the New Year and your resolutions are already starting to become a burden. Don’t beat yourself up. Most likely, your resolution was an emotional decision not based on fact. New Year’s resolutions are goals that don’t usually pass the test of time. But why? Goals need to be realistic, attainable, and measureable. Realistic goals are attainable to you within a set amount of time. An example of a good goal could be earning a Bachelor’s degree in three years. A stressful goal would be earning that same degree in two years. It isn’t impossible, but it is beyond extraordinary and everything must go exactly as planned. One misstep and your strict timetable is off track. Another example of a good goal is the ever famous lose XX* pounds (*insert your personal number here). All too often, we want the weight to disappear and we commit ourselves to a goal of 10 pounds a week. When we only lose three, we are stressed to the point of gaining an additional seven. Lofty goals aren’t a bad thing, but it is important to be realistic in how and what we have to do to be successful. Success requires clear thought, decisive action, and deliberate reflection. As you begin your journey towards successfully achieving your goals (or resolutions), keep these tips for goal setting in mind: