Tag: branding


How to Make Career Choices That Won’t Destroy Your Personal Brand

In several blog posts I’ve talked about the importance of personal branding. Your brand is key to success in every area of your life. It requires consistency and self respect.

But sometimes you can put your personal brand at risk without realizing it. Especially during any vulnerable point in your career. This can include a downsize or layoff, a slow start to a new business venture, or any other unanticipated time when there’s financial instability.

There is the temptation to take just any job or client that comes along. During the slow times of the year I personally face the temptation of taking on projects or clients I know are against my better judgment. Luckily with practice I’ve gotten better at resisting such temptation.

Other examples of putting your brand at risk include:  saying “yes” to every opportunity, giving away your skills and talent for “exposure,” and taking jobs you’re overqualified for in the hopes of just getting a foot in the door with a certain company or industry.

However, you must keep in mind your career choices, just like your personal choices, reflect on you as a person. (And your business if you’re a business owner.)

Don’t Give Away Your Name

Well-known personal development and entrepreneurship blogger Tim Denning explains this in his post entitled “Don’t Put Your Name On Anything That Makes You Look Cheap“.

He shares examples of how easy it is to make this mistake, such as accepting a job or project that goes against everything you believe in. He refers to this as “giving your name away”. I’ve seen this happen with people who take a job just for the money or out of fear.

If you do any of the above (i.e. agree to do a project for free or cheap, settle for a less than ideal job, etc.), then people expect you to continue doing so. Therefore, it becomes harder down the road to ask for what you’re really worth. This includes not just money, but also time and respect.

The point Denning drives home is this:

“Stop saying yes to everything!”

This doesn’t mean you say no to everything, but just to the things putting your personal brand at risk.

How to Say “No”

Saying “no” may sound very difficult to do, especially for people-pleasers.

However there is a way to stop saying yes to everything and to learn how and when to say no. It all starts with a mission. Your mission is the foundational piece to your personal brand.

What is your mission you want to accomplish in life and why? It’s necessary to have a deep knowledge of your mission if your goal is to take responsibility for and ownership of your life’s purpose.

A personal mission statement of how you want to use your talents to accomplish your vision and goals serves as a filter in making important decisions. You use it to filter out the opportunities that don’t support your mission statement. As a result, you know which opportunities to say “no” to.

The opportunities that support your mission statement or get you one step closer to your vision are the ones you can say “yes” to.

How to Write Your Own Mission Statement

Since your mission statement helps you better discern opportunities, it’s important to put some thought into it. Writing one is more of a process than just jotting down some pithy statement in two minutes.

You should take into account all your strengths, limitations, unique differentiators, potential audience, and more. Think about the following things:

  • Who are your various audiences? I use the plural form of audience here because you’ll have more than one audience for each endeavor.
  • What is your audiences’ biggest challenge or problem they face?
  • How do your unique strengths and skills solve your audiences’ problem?
  • What are the additional benefits of your skills for your various audiences?

Protect Your Personal Brand

Having a mission statement is just one piece of your personal brand. In order to protect your personal brand from bad choices, you must have a clear understanding of what your brand is.

What do others think of when they think of you and your work ethic? Are those the things you want people to think about you? Or is there another message you want to convey through your goals and mission?

To gain control of your brand and to build one that’s strong and will take you where you want to go, check out my on-demand course on personal branding. It will give you all the tools you need to attract the opportunities you’ll want to say “YES!” to.

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personal brand

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!

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

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