Posts Tagged ‘Personal Branding’

Are You Talking Stupid?

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

authenticity, nance rosen, Personal Branding, soft skillsTurns out you are what you talk about.

If you fat shame yourself, then your brain lays down a new set of neural pathways to ensure you feel fat – even if you aren’t. Then, as you repeat your so-called problem to your friends or yourself, you develop even greater dissatisfaction with your body. The final gift from your lips? An increased potential for an eating disorder. That’s why you can no longer “feel fat” on Facebook. At least officially. Because it causes you to harm yourself.

So, let’s say your okay with your fat situation. Your body is okay. And you just said,

“Wow, I’m such an idiot in math. I am dumbfounded by Excel. I never really understood it, and the latest update is beyond me. ”

“Geez, I cannot write this report on time. I am awful at reports. I don’t even know where to start on these things.”

“Gosh, I am such a procrastinator. I keep putting things off. Then, I get so nervous I just rush to get them done. It’s never right, but I settle for done.”

“Man, I am always lost. I could have a GPS, a satellite helmet and a self-driving car. I would still get lost.”

“ Argh, I will never date again. I will never find one decent human being on this planet who loves me. I hate this whole relationship-thing.”

Ta da! You have just created your own life. These negative meditations are laying tracks in your brain, and your train of thoughts know exactly where to go: again and again. You trash talk yourself silently. Your trash talk yourself with friends.

In just a sentence or two each day, you trash your possibilities, your confidence and your happiness.

Next time you call yourself stupid? Stop. Then tell yourself why you are not stupid. Give yourself evidence when you have been just fine, maybe brilliant.

Whatever mantra you’ve been using to cause a lifelong problem, be it about fat, math, software, writing, procrastination, navigation, relationships or more? It is literally all in your head, because it’s been on your lips.

Coach yourself to success!

  1. Identify the personal traits you want to keep building into your personal brand and your personal intelligence.
  2. Find an affirming sentence.
  3. Set your brain to work finding the evidence of how great you are.
  4. Then lather, rinse and repeat.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Can You Tell These 10 Stories?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Getting Ahead, interviewing, nance rosen, Personal BrandingOften times in a meeting with a prospective client or employer, you want to tell a success story. You want to speak about something that you have accomplished. You want to have it directly connect to their issues, products, services, or something they can relate to.

What if you don’t have anything?

What if you are talking to someone in an industry where you have no experience?

What if you have never done anything great – or anything at all – that communicates how they could anticipate you would perform for them on their specific issues?

When you freeze up and you’ve “got nothing,” what do you say?

You tell the truth. You tell the truth about who you are and what you have done. No, you don’t say, “I got nothing.” You don’t have “nothing.” You have a lifetime of everything you have done.

When I ask candidates a question about their experience, sometimes I see this wild, fearful look in their eyes. In that moment, I know they have forgotten the most important thing about everyone in the room (or on skype or by phone).

They forget we are all just people. Real people, speaking to real people.

Here’s the ideal thing to say.

“I am concerned that I don’t have a direct example to give you. Would it be all right if I shared an experience that I think is relevant, and would you tell me if I am making a connection that makes sense, given this position (or project)?”

You are going to get encouragement to share your experience. It’s up to you to have stories in mind, prepared in advance, that get to some core issues that are almost unavoidably involved in any type of work. This would be where your personal intelligence and personal brand development work will win the day (or the project or the position).

What could be relevant? Your ability to

  • Identify the root cause of a problem
  • Sift through resources to find relevant data and findings
  • Use information to develop different solutions
  • Model implications or consequences, positive and negative
  • Set up decision-making rules and use them
  • Present choices to decision-makers
  • Cooperate with others to implement a decision
  • Test and measure results
  • Capitalize on positive results and re-purpose successful programs
  • Bounce back from failure and persevere by revisiting your initial work

That’s ten stories you’ve got to have “on trigger,” ready to articulate with details that make your experience come alive, especially when you have no direct connection. Worst case, you might not be the fit they are looking for this time. However, you will have made an indelible impression, and be top of mind when you do fit.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Did You Win a Grammy? Why Not?

Friday, February 13th, 2015

success, career, nance rosenCongratulations to everyone who won. And, congratulations to Kanye West who, persists in believing he is: “The One Who Decides What Is Sufficiently Creative to Win for Album of the Year.”

Per the Huffington Post: “Kanye West nearly interrupted Beck after the rock star won Album of the Year over Beyonce. Many outlets including HuffPost Entertainment, assumed West’s improve was a joking reference to when he cut off Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV VMAs.”

It wasn’t an act of mirth. Kanye ranted on in all seriousness about his decision-making powers being superior to the voters (who are the majority of all the recording artists in the academy). If you didn’t know, “The GRAMMYs are the only peer-presented award to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position,” per the Grammy.org.

All Kanye hijinks aside, why didn’t YOU win?

Well, it could be many things.

  1. Maybe you didn’t record anything this year.
  2. Maybe you did, but you didn’t promote it.
  3. Maybe you did, but it was not your best effort.
  4. Maybe you did, but no one else thought it was good.

I’m not talking to just you musicians.

Joan Rivers, God rest her soul, won. She earned her Grammy for “Best Spoken Word Album (includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling.)”

So why didn’t you win? Undoubtedly you did some speaking this year. You told some stories. Maybe you wrote a line or two of prose. Technology couldn’t make it any easier to record and upload to everywhere music or any other sound is heard.

So you didn’t win because you didn’t do the work, and you didn’t enter.

What is a Grammy anyway?

It’s just recognition. So, I’m talking to you about a Grammy as a metaphor for what you should be going for, at this point in your career or business. Recognition for you might be a promotion, a salary increase, an investment in your venture, or a new position at a new company. It might be a comment on your blog or post. It might be more followers, friends or fans.

However you measure your “Grammy,” you’ve got to be in it, to win it.

You probably don’t have an official awards night or two or ten each year, in your company, industry, sport, family or any other sector of your life.

But, you’re missing out if you don’t have an awards ceremony every day, for you, by you and with you. Every day, you’ve got to set aside some time, when you are the focus of your consciousness and congratulation. Put a time on your daily calendar, when you review your accomplishments, your progress, your earnest hard work, or stretch toward a goal.

So get yourself a little Kanye going, and be “The One Who Decides You Are The Best Decision-Maker of What is Great. Do it everyday. And let winning becoming a habit.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

You, Steve Carell, Will Ferrell, and Seth Rogen?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

 

interviewing, nance rosen, Personal Branding“We made up all our lines,” Seth Rogen remembered of Apatow’s 2005 flick, “The 40-Year-Old-Virgin.” A lot of the stuff was just us talking to each other and trying to make each other laugh, knowing that we had the freedom to say whatever we wanted. It looks very natural, because we honestly didn’t know what we were saying until we were saying it,” per MTV.com.

I particularly admire Drew Carey for getting just the right mix of players together for his Improvaganza shows, because it’s not just professional comedians provoking each other.

The kind of improv I really like – in part because it’s so scary – is when the audience is asked to shout out topics and without any script or rehearsal, the players begin to act out the scene. You hear people yell out: “Men in top hats and tutus choosing apples in the grocery produce section.” “Family under attack by giant cans of Diet Coke while they eat Thanksgiving dinner.”

Of course, improvisation is more than just getting laughs or evoking strong feelings in an audience. You need to generate a coherent, compelling story line.

You’d think only really experienced actors or those naturally gifted to think on their feet, believe they possess the magical talent called for in improv. But, well, no. You probably attempt it much more frequently than the best improvisational actors do.

Really, I bet you Steve Carrell, Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen and of course, the late and great Robin Williams have a lot in common. You all do improv. You just do it much more often than the pros.

You do improv when there’s nothing funny on the line. You do improv when it concerns your career or business.

Did you know that’s what you do? Have you considered there’s one commonality among nearly every question you get asked in a job interview, in the workplace, at a networking event, by coworkers in so-called casual conversation, or by potential referral sources and investors?

Questions in a job interview or in business transactions, negotiations and conversation are all predictable.

The really interesting questions, that the biggest and most important bosses ask, are published each week in the New York Times. Just read its “Corner Office” column. There’s a treasure trove on nytimes.com. But really, the questions you can expect to get on the average day or the average interview? You just haven’t yet considered them to be the worthwhile opportunities they really are.

How are you? What did you do this weekend? Why did you choose this career? What would you consider to be the perfect job opportunity? How did you decide to leave your current job or occupation, and take a risk in a new industry? What are you looking for exactly?

All these predictable questions have crisp, clear, compelling and memorable answers. Those answers all transmit your personal brand. They say everything about your values, your traits, your qualities, your aspirations, your interests, and your level of preparation for the life you want.

Yes, even really simple answers to questions like, “How are you?” present an opportunity for you to communicate who you are, often to the most important people. Those are the real opportunities for elevator pitches you get – when you meet eyes with a stranger or your CEO, and get some air-time.

Here’s what shocks me. Until I meet and coach or teach them,  95% of my career coaching clients and 98% of the students I teach: do not have answers for even the most basic questions. There are one hundred once-in-a-lifetime encounters you have in any given time period – a massive association meeting, a month of job-seeking, a year of meeting people in the city you’ve just moved to, or a couple of years at work. And, you very likely have no really good answers – no clear, crisp, compelling and memorable answers to these potentially life-changing questions.

That’s why I train my personal branders on trigger talk. Have all your answers prepared and memorized, so they come out like you really are the brilliant, hard-working, inventive, attractive, interesting person you are. Not like you’ve been caught streaking across campus when the police show up. That’s typically the look in your eyes, when we ask you these questions.

Do this: Make a stack of frequently asked questions of you. You could make the list by writing down every question you get over a month – or you can just reflect on conversations you have. Then, get down your answers on paper. Yes, use a pen and paper – so you inscribe the right refrains in your brain. Handwriting or printing works much better to rewire your brain, than typing or thumbing on a device.

If you do way more improv than you think you should or your career is evidence that you are: send me an email. In just a few weeks: I will send you my new ebook on how to avoid improv and the nine other career killing mistakes you are making. Email: [email protected]. Subject line: Killer ebook.

 

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Surprise! 90,000 Gifts for You!

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

109742942Why would anyone want 90,000 gifts for Christmas or whatever your seasonal holiday is? Not even the greediest person would want 90,000 gifts, right? Not even the #1 person on Santa’s list, the nicest person who deserves the best of the season’s bounty wants 90,000 gifts. So where on earth is someone getting 90,000 gifts?

You are. It’s the gift you give yourself every single day.

You think just about 90,000 thoughts on your average day.

That means you have 90,000 times every 24 hours, when you have the opportunity to congratulate yourself, give yourself a pep-talk, and share encouraging words in the inner sanctum of your own mind.

You know the terrible truth?

You hardly ever use those 90,000 opportunities to say such nice things to yourself, about yourself or anyone else.

Most people use their 90,000 chances to speak badly to themselves.

In fact, many experts believe you haven’t had 90,000 positive thoughts in the last decade or more. That’s why you’ve been told to write up a gratitude journal. Take 20 minutes a day to meditate on compassion. Do a little yoga. Get more sleep.

We keep reminding you that negativity is the source of much of your physical and emotional complaints. It’s happening more than you think. It’s happening during most of the 90,000 times you muster up a thought.

That’s 90,000 times to feel stress, worry, self-doubt, anxiety, fear, anger, frustration, irritation, discontent and downright rage. That’s what is filling up most of the space in the grey, wrinkled mass between your ears. And, if negativity is anything like interest in a bank, these tiny increments are compounding exponentially.

Your mind is the single most important place on the planet, but you probably haven’t done much to save it. Your probably treat it much more like a recycling plant than a power plant.

Your mind could be the place of self-love, creativity, generosity, invention, wisdom, optimism, and resilience. It could be generating joy, mastery, success and abundance. It could be filled with directing actions toward highly desirable goals.

So give yourself the gift of good thoughts. Make your season bright.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Take the 2-Minute Express to Heaven or Hell

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Tyga-Heaven-Or-HellInside of two minutes, you can provoke mindfulness, a meditative state, or anxiety. You do it simply focusing your thoughts. Most of us do anxiety, rage, irritation, frustration, disappointment, and fear pretty reliably. Maybe you have the land speed record on those.

The terrible truth is, what you believe is “natural,” is not. How you respond to situations or life itself is simply a manifestation of personal choices. The scientific evidence is pretty overwhelming on this now. How you feel is a choice – your choice.

How big of an “aha!” moment is that for you? When I learned this, I thought: “Wow. How I feel is a choice? How I ignite my neurochemistry in response to my thoughts or a situation is a choice? I’m feeling a little Spock-like right now.”

When I got over the sci-fi shiver of it, my next “aha!” was: what power! If I chose my feelings – even rehearse them much less spend time cleaning out my internal environment, it’s easy to control my behavior. And, my behavior forms other people’s opinions of me and how I am doing. That is the essence of the power of personal branding.

We each control our own reality, or at least our impression of reality. It’s as if you have a virtual reality helmet on all day and the controllers are well, under your control. You select what you see. And, you select how you feel about it. That is, if you make such choices consciously.

Given that individual or collective perception is largely what we call reality, this choice means you are inventing or at least collaborating with the environment all day long. And, that collaboration results in at least one of two thoughts and a whole set of feelings:

  1. Wow! It’s a great day to be me. Feeling happy and relaxed.
  2. Gee. What a terrible day to be me. Feeling angry and anxious.

It’s a bit of shock and maybe even a little embarrassing to consider the implications of the two-minute transformation.

You suffer or you are serene. Your choice.

It’s kind of like being offered coffee or tea. Your choice.

Of course, given the spectrum of human emotions and a lifetime of practicing the neurological pathways that lead to misery or mindfulness (among a host of other states you might regularly be in): this finding might cause you to doubt yourself.

Who would choose to be anxious? Angry? Irritated?

Who would choose to be serene? Laid back? So “om” that the covers are too heavy to lift and hence I can’t get myself out of bed and to work?

Of course, you are probably not the Dalai Lama or another master of spiritual practice. Events occur that “naturally” ignite a raft of negative feeling states included the dreadful anxiety most of us have from time to time.

It’s the meditation and mindfulness exercise that we have to do with intention. The question is will you make the choice? Will you take two minutes at various points in your day – or at any point in your day – to change your reality?

Are you willing to be in control of how you feel, and how you act? The best personal brands do.

As a side note: I wonder if they have Starbucks Italian Roast in Keurig cups in heaven? Maybe that is heaven, because I just bought the machine and had a hellish time trying to find that roast. Oops! Time to focus on my breathing.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Have You Graduated…From Childhood?

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

group-of-business-people-laughingIf there were one question I wish I could ask prospective employees, it would be: Have you graduated from childhood yet? Then, I would hire the people who said yes and could prove they graduated from childhood.

It’s not that I don’t love children. I have one and love her more than life itself.

It’s just that the demands of my workplace involve employees using the kind of grown up thinking and behaviors that only childhood graduates can muster.

By graduating, I mean you have resolved the big issues of the surreal experience that was your childhood. Everyone’s childhood is surreal. Think about it. During the first several years of your life, giants surrounded you while talking in indistinguishable sounds.

Without notice, people picked you up off your back or feet. For no apparent reason, they smiled at you. Or smacked you. All decisions were made for you. You were constantly being coddled, trained, regarded, disciplined or painfully ignored.

Put in a couple of years like that or 18 of them, and you have a lot to get over.

And yet, the workplace that you enter after those years – or the stay of execution that is college and graduate school – only rewards people who have the skills of an adult.

Work demands you make decisions about your loss of freedom. It’s almost always a trade-off between doing exactly what you’d like to do versus doing what needs to be done. Rarely do those things match up perfectly. Adults have to see potential choices, use self-determination, make commitments, manage anger or disappointment, and exhibit a surfeit of self-control.

When you feel lost, under-utilized, left out, over-burdened, angry or clueless about what your boss or colleagues are doing – and what you should be doing given their actions, it’s simply a sign that you haven’t yet graduated from childhood.

Most employers are looking for grown-ups. And most employees haven’t had the guidance to truly graduate from their childhood.

This graduation isn’t the walk across a stage or a piece of paper with fancy writing. You probably have a good bit of reading and writing to do, to sort out who you are and what your purpose is. You probably need to ask and answer some big questions to get you started on self-determination, self-reliance and resilience.

Let me know if you’d like a list to get you started. Email [email protected], subject line: Graduate.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Caution: Giving Thanks Can Be Self-Defeating

Friday, November 28th, 2014

111122124201-thanksgiving-dinner-horizontal-gallery

In the US, the upcoming national holiday is called Thanksgiving, which infers you should be thanking someone for something you valued. Thanks for what?

None of us are the original Pilgrims and very few of us are having dinner with Native Americans, who deserve a whole lot more than thanks. You may be sitting down to eat with your family and close friends or perhaps you are doing a pot luck with acquaintances or even having an HGTV marathon alone. I’m not sure it matters, except to say that I hope you’re doing what you want to do and eating what you want to eat.

In effect, most of us have morphed this holiday into a day off from work and discounted shopping.

I say this with some regret, because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love to cook the meal, decorate the house, and generally treat family and friends (and a few strays who have no where to go) to a festive day.  I have a ritual where I clean for a week, get the house organized and buy a few new things to spruce up the place.

In other words, Thanksgiving is a luxury for me. I focus intensely on something other than work and school.

So however it is you take this day, I hope it’s the same kind of joyful destination for you. In other words:

Let Thanksgiving be whatever YOU want it to mean.

I think a fixed day and time for gratitude may be dangerous. Similar to a day of religious confession, atonement or writing in your gratitude journal every morning: a forced ritual of emotional work can suck the meaning out of your life.

The scientific literature now shows that being grateful lowers your blood pressure and is a good stress reliever. So, certainly I don’t recommend against feeling grateful. Gratitude is a great way to reframe negative experiences. It’s a way of getting over trauma. Gratitude gives you a way to acknowledge and leverage what happened in a positive way, since you learned a lot from a bad experience. But you don’t want to try to feel grateful before you have digested what happened and expressed how you felt about it.

Do be careful about manufacturing gratitude in the face of bad circumstances or to people who aren’t really rooting for you. Be sensitive to your true feelings and express them. Then, you may genuinely feel like you have want to express gratitude for the learning or growth you have experienced, and the people who really helped you.

And, when you are ready to be grateful and give thanks: make sure to include yourself at the very top of the list. You have been there for you all along.

Have a great day doing what you want to do: eat, sleep, binge watch or indulge in a favorite book or hobby. I’ll be doing the day my way, and thanking the people who help clean up!

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter