Personal Branding with a Punch and Some Cookies

Typically, it’s not the best, but the one who can take the stress that makes it to the top of any company, industry or career path. It’s the person who can take a punch, get past the burn, and play injured that makes it to number one.

It’s the person who cleans and dresses their own wounds – and knows how to unwind rather than blow up – that other people trust and admire.

Soothing self-talk is way under recognized as a career and reputation management tool.cookie

While our personal brands must be distinct from the masses around us, those of us who succeed have one thing in common: we are low maintenance on other people. We appear to be self-cleaning ovens, effortlessly churning out fresh, hot and delicious chocolate chip cookies without leaving a mess. Even when we don’t have the perfect temperature, ingredients and other conditions that we wish made our missions easier – we perform reliably.

If you embrace the facts: business is not nice, people don’t play fair and cheaters often prosper, and you’re okay with that – you can save your energy for the real fight.  Guess who is your opponent?

The real fight is always with yourself, not with your circumstances or other people. The fight is to maintain your calm, measure your words and keep things in perspective.

My business partner says the toughest part of deal-making is: “getting over yourself.” Getting over the loss of “must-haves,” that turn out to be “not right now haves.” Getting over what feels like career ending injuries – like getting fired or being passed over for the ideal job. Getting over the client who breaches a contract, the boss who goes back on his word, and getting on with the real job you wind up with – which rarely looks like the job description you signed on for.

Dream big but don’t torment yourself. Goals are meant to stretch you, but not so far as to break you. We all have an internal thermostat regulating our sense of well-being, with a surprisingly small range for novelty and change in any one space of time. So, do yourself a favor, and set the next upward threshold at 2 degrees not 20 degrees higher as you make the climb in your mind, which is where success starts.

As you rise in reality, acclimate to the stress, the perqs, the people, and the altitude. The air gets thinner and it can be really hard to take that centering, cleansing breath – as you go higher and higher in your business or career. Like any great ascent, you have to see it and take it, in stages. People who manage their careers, reputations and the growth of their brands are not just self-confident.They have soothing self-talk. Most of the time, we’re thinking about the next step, not the entire mind-boggling journey.

If you are pushed or pulled over your limit, even by your own imagination, you may creatively find ways to self-sabotage.

As soon as you’ve laid down the great get, such as: “I will be the leading social media strategist or blogger or pundit or accountant or tech genius in my field,” drop in mini-goals.  You eat an elephant and an apple the same way, one bite at a time.

So survey the buffets that are spread out this season, and resolve to enjoy just enough holiday punch and cookies to satisfy you in one sitting. Your eyes may not be the best judge of what your stomach can hold down.

What other reasonable resolutions are you going to make at this time of year?

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One Response to “Personal Branding with a Punch and Some Cookies”

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