Category: Personal Branding


The 12 Days of Purpose

Can you believe Christmas is only 12 days away? The holidays can keep you busy with gift buying, decorating, baking, and traveling (whew, I’m tired already!). They can also be a good time to discover what your purpose is in this current season of your life. Especially if you are contemplating a big change for 2017, including a job or career change or promotion, a start-up business, a retirement, etc. If so, here are some things you can do over the next several days (or any time of the year) to help you clarify, articulate, and present your purpose.

Clarify Your Purpose

Day 1:  Spend some time reflecting on what kind of person you want to be and to be known for (think in terms of traits instead of accomplishments). What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? And most importantly, why do you do the things you do? (Recommended reading: Start With Why by Simon Sinek.)

Day 2:  Take an inventory of your strengths, limitations, accomplishments, and how your skills benefit others. List the things you’re good at, the things you’re not good at, your biggest failures and the lessons you learned from them, and your reasons for why you like to do the things you do best.

Day 3:  Be open to constructive criticism. Ask your friends, family, co-workers, clients, etc. what they perceive to be your strengths and weaknesses. Note the things that show up as patterns and the things that surprise you.

Day 4:  Based on your own personal inventory and the feedback from friends, write down what you think makes you unique from other people who do what you do. See if you can think of additional things that make you unique.

Day 5:  Determine what makes your audience unique. Who are they (recruiters, potential clients, fans)? What do they care about? What’s their biggest challenge or need? How do your skills meet their need? How can you serve them with your abilities?

Articulate Your Purpose

Day 6:  Once you’ve determined why you do what you do (Day 1), write out your “WHY” in the form of a vision statement. A vision statement is your goal of what you want to accomplish with your skills and abilities. For example, the paNASH vision statement is, “I believe everyone should find the courage to discover and pursue their passions despite the obstacles they may face. I want to see people actively pursue their passions with flair (‘paNASH’) and confidence, along with responsibility to their purpose in life.”

Day 7:  Write your mission statement. Your mission statement is HOW you plan to carry out your vision/your WHY. For instance, the paNASH mission statement is:  “To serve, educate, and encourage others by assisting them with the discovery and pursuit of their passions in a way that honors their purpose and their own vision for success, while amplifying who they are personally and advancing them professionally.”

Day 8:  Craft your Unique Selling Point (USP). In 140 characters or less, create a statement that summarizes the unique impact you have on your audience. The paNASH USP is: “Putting your passion into action!”

Package & Present Your Purpose

Day 9:  Make sure you’re able to back up your message with a summary of your credentials and accomplishments. This can be in the form of a resume, a LinkedIn profile, client testimonials, reviews, letters of recommendation, etc.

Day 10:  Post your message on your social media platforms, your web site, your business card, and other professional collateral.

Day 11:  Foster and maintain relationships with strategic partners and your audience. Share your purpose and expertise in a variety of outlets, including blogs (your own and others’ where you can guest blog), article posts on LinkedIn and Medium, media interviews (print, online, radio, and TV), comments on others’ posts, etc.

Day 12:  Most of all, learn how to present your message and purpose with confidence and professionalism.

Do you need help with any of these steps? paNASH can help you clarify, articulate, and present your purpose and personal brand with professional etiquette and confidence. Click here for my latest book on personal branding.

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What Transparency Looks Like

For you who are familiar with Creative Mornings, this month’s theme is “Transparency.” The word “transparency” brings to my mind synonyms like “clarity,” “vulnerability,” and “authenticity.” These words have really been on my radar the pasts few weeks.

Transparency = Vulnerability + Authenticity

 

transparency

Last week, I was giving my presentation entitled AWEthentic Branding to a group of artists at the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville. The group included artists of varying mediums, from graffiti artists to jewelry makers to singer-songwriters, and everything in between. I was discussing the importance of understanding and embracing your uniqueness as an artist so you can become comfortable articulating it to your own unique market.

At the end of the session, one of the youngest participants spoke up and shared how much the principles she had just learned gave her some relief from all the fear she’s been experiencing. She began crying as she talked about what it does to her self-esteem when she starts to compare herself to her competition and how she now sees she doesn’t have to compare herself when she can pinpoint what makes her unique. She then began apologizing for crying and said she was embarrassed for doing so.

I stopped her and said, “It’s this kind of transparency and vulnerability that helps everyone else here know they are not alone in those same feelings.” By being transparent, she gave others a sense of relief. By being the one brave enough to express what no one else had the courage to share, she set an example. Her example illustrates it’s not only okay to be transparent, but that type of authenticity also impacts others in ways none of us could imagine. I could immediately sense the impact on the rest of the group when she shared this. It would have been such a shame (and a less meaningful program) if she had never spoken up.

Transparency = Clarity + Clearness

 

transparency

Recently, I had my 90-day follow up session with a favorite client of mine. One of the many reasons why she is a favorite client is because she is so creative in using metaphors and analogies to make ordinary concepts come to life.

When I asked her what our previous coaching sessions have done for her, she said, “Going through our coaching sessions is like taking my car through the car wash. The car wash gets all the dirt off the car and windshield, making it so much clearer to see. I’m the one who still has to drive the car, but at least now I can see where I’m going and feel refreshed. I have so much more clarity about my career path and my path in life.”

It’s this kind of clear perspective and clarity that comes from the process of being honest and transparent with yourself. Sometimes though, it’s not always apparent to everyone how to do that. The coaching and advising methods I provide my clients shows them how, leading them to an understanding of their own uniqueness and how to be transparent about their uniqueness.

Learn What Makes You Unique

 

You too can learn this in my next AWEthentic Branding program that will be hosted Oct. 12th by the Virtual Collective’s “You Gotta Eat” speaker series. It is a lunch+learn format, and lunch is included in the registration fee. Click here for more details. I look forward to seeing you there!

Stay connected on this and other events by subscribing to the paNASH newsletter. You’ll receive a complimentary Goal-Achievement Plan along with useful tips, articles, and other resources!

What words come to your mind when you think of the word “transparency”? (Share in the comment box below.)

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4 Ways To Understand Your Uniqueness

A few weeks ago I gave a presentation to over 125 people on how to articulate their uniqueness through personal and professional branding. After all, everyone will always have to answer the question, “What makes you unique?” Sometimes the wording of that question will vary depending on the situation.

Lori Bumgarner, passion and career specialist

For instance, in a job interview it might be asked, “Why should we hire you?” For my former clients who were recording artists trying to secure a label deal, the label heads ask, “Why should we sign you?” For a budding entrepreneur, investors might ask, “Why should we invest in you?” In each case, what is really being asked is, “What makes you unique?” In other words, what is your personal brand?

Understanding Your Uniqueness

I work a lot with my clients on helping them determine the answer to that question (because they often find it’s not an easy one to answer), and then how to appropriately articulate it. While I have my own effective method of doing this, this morning I read a devotional entitled “Understand Your Child’s Uniqueness.” The ways it suggests to discern your children’s uniqueness are also ways we can use to understand our own uniqueness:

  1. What are your interests? Do you like numbers, colors, activities, etc.?
  2. What are your relationships like? Are you a leader, a follower, a team player, an independent spirit?
  3. What kind of environment do you thrive in? Do you prefer to stand out in a crowd or to blend in with a crowd? Do you do better at learning a subject as opposed to being tested on that subject?
  4. What are your strengths? (This is something I spend a lot of time on in helping my clients define and articulate their personal brand.)

A Good Example

This morning’s devotional stated, “Childhood tendencies often forecast adult abilities.” This is no big revelation. It makes perfect sense, and most of us already know this.

But I loved the example the writer of the devotional used to illustrate this point. As a boy, King David displayed two strengths:  fighting (against Goliath) and music. As a result, David grew up to be a victorious warrior in numerous battles against the enemy, and became a talented harpist and gifted songwriter, writing many of the Psalms. The example of David is a perfect one to show you don’t have to be and do just one thing.

I have a lot of clients who have spent years working in one area of their strengths or interests, but are ready to explore their other interests and develop new skills. They need help figuring out how to make this transition. This includes helping them articulate what makes them unique from others who are doing the same thing with the same abilities.

What Makes You Unique?

Do you know what sets you apart from others with similar interests and skills? If not, I’ll soon be sharing both in person and online my personal branding method designed to help you determine your uniqueness and how to articulate it.

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In-person workshops will be held through Nashville Community Education on Tuesday, May 31st at 7:00-8:00 pm and Tuesday, June 7th at 7:00-8:00 pm. Cost is $45 (price includes both class dates). Registration is required at http://bit.ly/communityedclass.

To ensure you receive updates on both the in-person and online workshops, subscribe to the paNASH newsletter. If you prefer one-on-one assistance in this area, take a moment to complete the paNASH intake form and schedule an appointment for an initial consultation. I’d love to hear from you!

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