Tag: personal branding


How to Make Your Big Decisions More Simple

Excerpt From Lori’s Latest Personal Branding Book

Here’s an edited excerpt from my newest personal branding book. I’m excited to share in my third book how to make better life and career decisions. Enjoy!

Are you facing a big decision, unsure which direction to take or which option to choose?

It could be career-related, such as the choice between two job offers.

Or it could be more personal, like the choice between staying in a relationship or ending it.

If only there was a simple way to make these difficult decisions! Well, maybe there is.

Notice I said “simple,” not “easy.”


I’ve personally found a simple way to make some of my hardest decisions.

But, it requires deep reflection and discipline to utilize it.

I’ve used this same method in working with my clients to help them better face their own difficult decisions.

Here’s how it’s worked for me, and how it can work for you.


Reflection

First, I had to come up with my own personal mission statement.

I’d done a professional mission statement for my business, so why not a personal one just for me?

I had to spend time reflecting on my core values, philosophy, and goals.

Then I had to reflect on how I wanted to carry out those hopes and beliefs.

This took some time and required me to be completely honest with myself and with God.

My personal mission statement:

“To boldly pursue my passions and purpose, and to teach, encourage, and inspire others to do the same, resulting in lives overflowing with joy, peace, and fulfillment.”


Discipline

Second, I had to remember to use my mission statement as a filter for all my choices.

If the choice didn’t support my mission statement, it had to go.

I had to be disciplined enough to make the decision my mission statement revealed to be the right one.

No matter how difficult it would be.


For example, at the time I wrote my mission statement in late 2015, my friendship with my guy-friend was turning romantic.

The relationship was great at first, but after nine months of dating, I noticed a pattern that had been developing for some time.

This pattern wouldn’t make such a relationship sustainable if certain variables remained the same, which they did.

I wasn’t sure if I should end the relationship or give it another chance.

After much prayer, I was reminded of my mission statement and why I’d written it.

So, I pulled it out and started reading it. I immediately realized that the relationship didn’t support the life goals in my mission statement.


What I had to do.

Though I didn’t want to end the relationship, I had to in order to stay true and authentic to my God-given hopes.

It wasn’t an easy thing to do because my heart didn’t feel like ending it.

But my soul knew what was best for me in the long run. (This is why it’s dangerous to subscribe to the “just-follow-your-heart” advice of today’s culture.)

I had to be disciplined enough to push through my fickle emotions which were temporary, and focus on the decision that would make me happier and healthier down the road.

Once I ended it, I received confirmation in so many forms (including red flags that weren’t previously present) and realized I had indeed made the right decision.

Anytime I considered turning back, those red flags served as reminders as to why I had to stick to my decision.


What do you have to do?

Do you have a big decision in your life you soon have to make?

Maybe it involves a move to a new state or a new country.

Maybe it involves going back to school or ending a long-time friendship.

Whatever decision you face, I encourage you to follow a similar process to see if it helps make things a little simpler.

Not easier, just simpler.

It may even make you stronger.

Get the Personal Branding Book!

To learn how to write your own mission statement along with discovering what makes you unique and how to articulate your uniqueness, check out my latest book:

Personal Branding: Why You Need to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic

Copies of my personal branding book are available in paperback for $12.99 or for free with purchase of my on-demand program. To receive more info, click below:

personal branding book

paNASH Partners With HPMG to Reach and Empower More People

Press Release: paNASH and HPMG partnership

Hill Productions & Media Group, Inc. (HPMG), a Business Consulting & Integrated Marketing firm headquartered in Bloomfield, Iowa, is proud to announce a new partnership with paNASH Coaching, a Career Coaching and Personal Branding company headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. The partnership will increase HPMG’s capacity to service clients throughout the lower Midwest as well as Tennessee and Kentucky. It will also allow for expansion of several service areas including career coaching, company culture consulting, and personal branding.

Lori Bumgarner, paNASH with Justin Hill, Hill Productions & Media Group, Inc.

(Pictured: Lori Bumgarner, paNASH with Justin Hill, Hill Productions & Media Group, Inc.)

paNASH was founded in 2007 by Lori Bumgarner, a certified transformational coach. Bumgarner was ranked in the Top Ten Best Coaches in Nashville for the last three years in a row. With nearly 20 years of experience in career coaching, Lori has authored three books, including the Amazon #1 bestseller, Advance Your Image. She has also been published in The Huffington Post, The Daily Positive, Thrive Global, and INC., and she’s been featured in The Wall Street Journal’s blog. With clients in Nashville and across the United States, paNASH continues to help people pursue their passions and find the work they love. Lori’s third book, Personal Branding, will be available in May 2019.

“Lori and I have worked together on several projects over the last eight years, so it only seemed natural that now is the time – when we (HPMG) are seeking to expand our service offerings and do some truly unique things – that we should solidify a more permanent relationship between our companies. It’s not often you find someone who shares your passion to such an extreme. In this case, a passion for encouraging and empowering people. Lori and her company is the real deal, and we are excited to move forward,” commented Justin Hill, HPMG CEO & Co-Founder.

Founded in 2006, Hill Productions & Media Group, Inc. focuses on Business Consulting, Integrated Marketing, and Creative Services. It is headquartered in Bloomfield, Iowa with a satellite office in Nashville, Tennessee. HPMG has garnered numerous awards and achievements, including being listed amongst the top Digital Agencies, Web Development, Branding, and Business Consulting Firms in the Iowa and Nashville, Tennessee markets, respectively. HPMG co-founder, Justin Hill, is also a noted speaker and author on the topics of personal empowerment and business leadership.

Media Inquiries Contact:

For media inquiries, contact Diana Upton-Hill, VP/Senior Project Manager, Hill Productions & Media Group, Inc. 641-664-1216 or info@hillproductionsinc.com

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How to Know When It’s NOT the Right Time for Career Assessments

Let me preface this post with the fact that I believe career and personality assessments can be very useful tools when used properly and at the appropriate time.

I felt the need to state this upfront after I recently commented on a popular comedian’s spoof of the Enneagram. I thought his spoof was hilarious because I constantly hear people saying, “Oh I’m this way because I’m a 5,” (or whatever number they are on the spectrum). As if everyone knows what every # represents!

Because I’m a career coach, I received a little criticism for my support of the comedian’s post.

This criticism gave me the green light to write this blog post. It’s one I’ve been wanting to write for some time. I guess now is the right time thanks to Christian comedian John Crist.

In the same week of coming across the Enneagram spoof, I met with a potential client who’s deciding which career coach to hire. She mentioned to me how one of the other career coaches she talked with wanted to start her off with several batteries of assessments.

I explained to her how my approach is different. When I told her why I don’t use a lot of career assessments, I could see the relief in her face. Her response was, “Thank goodness!”

My personal philosophy on career assessments

My services are geared toward those who are mid-career and are looking to make a career change. They’re tired of being treated like a number in their current job or company.

The last thing I want to do is make them feel even more like a number. (Or some kind of code they can’t remember.)

Instead, I want them to feel heard.

And what many of them are saying is,

“I’ve done assessments in the past and didn’t find them helpful at all.”

Also, I’ve noticed two major issues with doing career assessments when working with my target market.

Issue #1

First, when clients who’ve been in one job or industry for a while (like most of my clients have been) and are wanting to make a career change, they’re mindset is so accustomed to and entrenched in their current role.

When this is the case, their assessment results become skewed.

They’re responding to questions based only on what they’ve been used to for several years. Therefore, their results often point toward a suggestion to pursue the same kind of work they’re trying to leave.

This can be very disappointing and frustrating for these clients. They feel like the assessments are telling them they’re limited in their value and abilities and have very few options.

This makes them feel even more stuck in their careers when their goal is to get unstuck!

Issue #2

Second, the assessments designed to suggest possible career options don’t include all the newly-created jobs available in today’s job market.

Because job creation is happening so quickly due to rapid advances in this age, these assessments can’t keep up in order to provide a full picture of one’s potential.

And they don’t include quickly growing alternatives such as gig economy roles, side hustles, “solopreneur” opportunities, and more.

Because of this, many career assessments can be very limiting.

By the time my clients come to me, they’ve felt the negative effects of the limiting beliefs they’ve already imposed upon themselves. They don’t need anything else to limit them right now.

career assessments

Nobody wants to be treated like a number

My focus is helping people pursue their passions.

Instead of bombarding my clients with a battery of assessments in the beginning, I prefer to make the client feel like a person instead of a number.

I do this by getting to know them and listening to their concerns.

Then I help them discover their personal brand and develop a mission statement that’s authentic to who they are. (I provide this process in my latest book.)

Together we brainstorm the ideas they’ve pushed deep down because society told them their dreams were impractical.

I help my clients explore how they can incorporate their passions in their lives.

Are their limiting beliefs real or perceived? If it’s not realistic to pursue their passions as a career, can they find an outlet for them in other areas of their lives?

The point is to first let them dream big without restricting them. Then we sift through their ideas for the ones that are viable career options.

Then, and only then, will I recommend certain career assessments if necessary.

It’s about being intentional without adding another layer of limits for the client.

Things to remember

This approach isn’t for everyone. There are some people who do want or need to take a lot of assessments. I’ve just not found this to be true with the majority of my niche market.

To you who choose to start with a lot of career assessments or are working with a coach who requires them, I recommend always taking your results with a grain of salt. Remember these three things:

  • Understand your mood and stress level at the time of taking the assessment can affect your results.
  • Never allow the results to label you or limit you in any way.
  • Resist the urge to use your results as an excuse for your behavior (i.e. “Oh, I’m this way because I’m a ‘6’ and that’s just who I am.”)

Use of career assessments in the interview process

You need to also know companies shouldn’t make hiring decisions based solely on your results of any assessment.

I had a client who interviewed for a job she was highly qualified for. The company had her jump through a lot of hoops in the interview process. She excelled in each challenge.

They told her she pretty much had the job, but still needed to take a personality assessment to round out her interview process.

When they saw her results they were no longer interested in her and she didn’t get the job offer.

Of course she couldn’t prove their decision was based only on her results of the personality assessment. But it appeared to be true.

Regardless, she felt discriminated against because of a little code from one simple test.

Since it was a small start-up without a fully-developed HR department, the people conducting the interview probably had no clue it’s not kosher to make hiring decisions based solely on personality assessment results.

If you’re ever in a similar situation, ask if their HR manager has approved the use of the assessment in the interview process and ask how the results will be used in making hiring decisions. Ask these questions prior to taking the assessment.

Do you want to be treated like a person instead of a number?

Remember the potential client trying to decide which career coach to hire? She just signed a contract with me because she said my approach gives her hope since it’s not as “cookie-cutter” as the others.

Do you want to be treated like a person instead of a number? Are you more interested in real results instead of just assessment results? If you answered yes, take a moment and complete the paNASH intake form. You’ll soon be on your way to a career coaching experience that’s truly unique.

Subscribe to the paNASH newsletter to receive updates on the release of my next book, Personal Branding: Why You Need to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic.

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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 latest book, Personal Branding: Why You Need to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic. It will give you all the tools you need to attract the opportunities you’ll want to say “YES!” to.

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How to Know If You’re In the Wrong Job

“How long does it take to realize you’re in the wrong job?” 

This is a question I recently came across on Quora. I’ll share my response with you. But first, I want to ask you:

Are you also wondering the same thing?

Or is it already clear you’re in the wrong job? 

Could it be time for a new career for you? 

It’s a new year, so why not a new career?

Especially if you already realize you’re in the wrong job.

The question posed isn’t, “How do you know you’re in the wrong job?” 

Instead it’s, “How long does it take to realize it?”

My response on Quora actually answers both of these questions.

The Quick Way to Know if You’re in the Wrong Job

It doesn’t take long to know if you’re in the wrong job when you spend a few minutes taking some personal (and honest) inventory. 

Here’s an exercise that’s much more effective than a traditional pros and cons list:

First…

Take a sheet of paper and divide it into three columns. 

The first column should include the things you must have in a job (i.e. your “dealbreakers”). 

The second column should be the things you’re willing to compromise on. 

The third column should be the “icing on the cake” things. (I.e. things you would LOVE to have in a job, but don’t necessarily need to be content.)

Next…

Compare your three lists to your current job. 

Does your current job have at least 60% of the things listed on your sheet of paper? 

Or at least 60% of the things from the “must have” column?

Then…

If not, it’s time to start looking for the right job that matches the majority of those things on your 3-column list.

Need help looking for the right job? Complete the paNASH intake form to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.

The 60% Rule

I always tell my clients,

“You should love at least 60% of your job.”

Why?

Because nobody loves 100% of their job 100% of the time, but if it’s less than 60%, you’re in the wrong job or career. 

I once had a client who, when he first came to me, was so miserable in his job that there were some evenings he said he would find himself in the fetal position on his couch near tears at the thought having to go back to work the next day.

After reviewing the results of some inventories he’d done with a previous career coach, I said, 

“Do you realize you only enjoy less than 20% of your current job? No wonder you’re so miserable!” 

Another surprising thing I discovered from the results of his inventory was he has a very entrepreneurial spirit. 

This all came as a shock to him because the results had not previously been interpreted to him in such a way.

Revealing these insights to him with a new lens of “passion” instead of just “job” or “career” opened up a whole new outlook for him.

He’s now been able to make extra money on the side doing the art work he’s passionate about and very talented at, which could possibly lead to his own full-time business as an illustrator and cartoonist, or provide him the financial means to leave his current job in search of something more fitting with his foreign language skills. (The guy speaks 3 languages, including Japanese!)

https://www.instagram.com/artbyrobert/

 

Where a pros and cons list would’ve been more limiting, my client is instead more diligent in not compromising on his “must haves” and more open to opportunities that meets at least 60% of the criteria from his 3-pronged list.

I’ve personally found the 3-column list exercise to be more helpful than a pros and cons list when it comes to my own big life decisions. 

The benefits are that it helps with analysis paralysis and keeps you from overthinking or second-guessing your decisions.

It also helps you stay realistic when considering different opportunities.

The More In Depth Approach

Another thing that’s helped me personally and also helps my clients is to spend some time coming up with your own personal mission statement

This may take a little time to nail down, but it’s well worth it. 

Why? 

Because you can use it as a filter for your decisions.

For instance, my personal mission statement is: 

“To boldly pursue my passions and purpose, and to teach, encourage, and inspire others to do the same, resulting in lives overflowing with joy, peace, and fulfillment.”

When I’m faced with a difficult decision, I look to see if the choice in front of me supports my mission statement or not. 

If it doesn’t, I don’t select that choice. 

This helps me to live authentically and be true to my purpose.

To learn how to write your own personal mission statement, check my latest book.

So where are YOU in this all-important decision?

If you know it’s time for a new career, a career coach can help you figure out your options and how to make the transition. 

Don’t wait until the end of the year where you’ll find yourself in the same situation. 

Subscribe to my newsletter and receive tips to help you get unstuck and start moving into the right career!

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