Posts Tagged ‘productivity’

Personal Brands Celebrate 2010 Before It Happens

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

By now you’ve probably amazed yourself with your ability to stick to your resolutions! LOL.

FocusDon’t worry. Now is NOT the right time to assess how 2010 is going – or how you’re doing. The only thing to judge during week two of the year is this:

Do you have a clear, crisp, compelling focus for your personal brand in 2010 – and are you planning to relentlessly pursue your goals?

Have you taken THE PLEDGE?

Before your brain hears the refrain of anyone else’s plans, commands or demands: pledge allegiance to yourself, every morning.

That’s all you need to deserve a celebration, every day.  Celebrate that you have vowed to overcome any obstacle. Take pride and joy, you’ve joined an elite corps of people living on purpose. Everyday, take the pledge to honor yourself, your goals, and your sense of purpose. With this ritual, you earn the badge of personal branding, and the cascade of success and happiness that comes when you decide how to live your life to its peak.

Intention + Affirmation + Determination = Celebration

What’s the point of personal branding? It’s to be widely known, appreciated and paid for the talent, quality, service or accomplishment you decide is authentically who you are and what you want to do.

Before you become famous, you’d better decide who you are. Otherwise, you’re going to be known for what other people think of you – and what they want from you.

There’s an old expression that uses the word “famous” in a way that applies to all of us. The host at a party would use the term, when you were being introduced to a stranger. In hopes of quickly helping the two of you find something to chat about, the host would announce something like, “You’ll be interested to learn that Ellie is famous for her chocolate chip cookies!” Wow. Ellie is writing a novel based on her travels to Sri Lanka and seeking a publisher.  But now – because someone else decided what is interesting about her – she is about to spend a precious half-hour with a new contact, answering questions about semi-sweet versus milk chocolate chips, and how long to cream butter and sugar before sifting in flour.

What worse: because you never get a second chance to make a first impression, she will be known forever as the chocolate chip cookie lady. She could be standing face to face with the executive publisher of Pegasus Media World, and completely miss the biggest opportunity she’d ever have to be a published author. Plus, the publisher misses out on a best-selling author.

What are YOU missing, if you fail to hone and convey a crisp, clear and compelling message of how you would like to be introduced, known and celebrated? You risk being famous for something that OTHER people like about you or want from you. That could be staying in your position as an assistant, when you really are ready to be a director. Being seen as a new college graduate looking for work, rather than a chef deciding on how to best channel your culinary prowess.

What are you famous for now? When others talk about you or think about you, is it for what you want known about you? Have you known some people for quite a while – and they don’t know what you want to do, where you want to go, and what opportunities you are looking for?

That’s where the pledge is your greatest asset in creating the life you want. You train your brain to not let a minute go by without helping you find the right opportunities, and stay on your path – no matter what distractions there are. Without conscious effort, you won’t let anything come between you and what you visualize as the big juicy prize. You see yourself taking the victory lap with a stadium full of screaming fans who can’t believe their good fortune. They’re celebrating your success. They got to pay you to do what you most want to do in the world.

Before you shut your eyes tonight, crisp up an ideal image of what your personal brand is – what you are doing that you want to do more of, or want to do that will actualize the ideal you. Then, wake up in the morning and take the pledge. Put it up on your bulletin board.

Tweet it to people who need to know: this is your year and it can be theirs, too! THE PLEDGE:

This is my year.

I’m fighting for it.

Fighting to keep the big, juicy prize in mind so it lands in my hands by the end of this year.

Fighting to see and stay on the road, high or low.

No stopping for distractions, no matter how attractive.

I have no respect for roadblocks: inadvertently or purposely cast in my path.

I’m fighting to obliterate my own inclination to please, appease or do anything less than seize the day; every day this year.

I’m exploding with energy, but conserving it, too.

I vow to plow through walls that surround me and beat anything that threatens to defeat me.

I own my ideas, my process, my results and my truth.

I own the rights. I own the turf. I own this fight, from round one.

I will make it to the big dance with a performance that’s bigger than a personal best.

I will cross the line in record time, with a valedictory lap on the track, flashing the victory sign.

This is my year.

I’m fighting for it!

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3 Rs of Personal Branding

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Can everyone you meet receive, retain and repeat your personal brand message?

That’s the goal of all your personal branding work: your audience being able to

Receive: Understand who you are and where you add value in their world

Retain: Get your name ingrained in their brains so they can “store” you

Repeat: Be able to recall what you do and refer business to you when an opportunity pops up that you’d be interested in

Your position in the minds of your market is what connects your next highly desirable job, project, partnership, investor – or whatever it is that’s driving you to create and grow your brand image.

MegaphoneSo, once you have framed your personal brand (no small feat), your next step is to relentlessly deliver a clear, consistent and compelling message. Every communication tells people what you do – and describes how you benefit the people who know you and work with you.

You must relentlessly get out the word – in every form of social media, with cold calls, your website, networking at events – and yes, even wearing a T-shirt with your name or company name on it when you go out for a run.

What are you doing so your audience can learn the 3 Rs of your personal brand?

Receive: Frame an image of what you do

Retain: Keep that image alive in their minds

Repeat: Have you top of mind when anything related to your brand pops up

Before you start your day, everyday – here’s 3 questions to ask yourself:

  • Who’s going to receive a personal brand message from me today?
  • Who should I touch back with today, so they retain my brand image?
  • What can I say, that my audience will want to repeat or retweet?

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Ten Commandments of Personal Branding – #8: Don’t Fear Being Hated

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

ApocalypseDon’t fear the wrath of anyone. If you are a big enough personal brand to attract a substantial number of friends and followers, someone will hate you. Welcome animosity as a badge of recognition. If no one hates you, you really haven’t accomplished anything.

The more important the hater is, the more important you are. The larger the group of haters, the more fiercely your tribe will advocate for you. The whole hubbub will be good for your personal reputation.

Remember, indifference is the opposite of love.

Why would anyone mock, revile, or talk about you behind your back? Because you are a competitor! Maybe you represent a new wave of thought in your industry. Perhaps you’re so inventive that your thinking could put someone else out of business. Could be: you are a larger presence, a bigger force or person of greater wisdom, courage, charisma, resources or resiliency. Rising stars make cash cows mad.

If IBM had been limber enough to do what Apple did, it would have. So instead, PC people hated MAC people. It’s a good kind of hate. It was the mother of invention, and eventually some collaboration.

There’s not a single woman who won Miss Congeniality in the Miss America pageant, who later became CEO of a Global 2000 company.

FotYThe truth behind most “Father of the Year” awards is that they are banquet fundraisers for do-good organizations that need money for good works. So, the board picks a really high profile guy who’s beaten his way to the top of the heap and along the way had a few kids.

He invites all his friends, intimidates them into buying tables at the event for $10,000 a piece, and gets his face plastered on the cover of his city’s business journal.

When Coke introduced New Coke, people HATED New Coke. Which proved how much they loved Coke. If the blue company that competes against Coke weren’t around, Coke would have to invent them.

No one hates you yet? Be bigger, bolder and more brilliant. Your time will come.

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The Best Way to Procrastinate: Productively

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

There’s this adage: “if you have something that must get done, give it to a busy person.” I hate that adage, because I am a busy person. The adage makes me feel like the butt of some psychic joke. I often wonder why I’m good about being busy, why it is so fulfilling to do a lot. Tonight, as I am implementing David Allen’s GTD system (as I have been for 6 months), which manifests my cult-like love for personal productivity, I keep interrupting my own work with other work (that is also mine by varying degrees of “mine-ness”). Library of SuccessI have levels of relationships to my work like Dante has circles of hell.  At the center, there’s my never-stop-burning urge to transfer everything I know to anyone who could use it. If you read my first book, Speak Up & Succeed: you know that 1.5 pounds was just breaking a sweat on the deep dive into business communication that I want to you to take with me. So deep, that just to keep my lungs from bursting, Pegasus Media World just released my ebook: Library of Success, which is a wiki of every possible piece of content you can bring into a meeting. I owe big thanks to Molly Jo Rosen for her contribution to that, and a note to my book design team to give her credit. That is the great thing about eBooks: you can make a much-needed correction without burning 25,000 books.

But, I digress. I wanted to tell you that the secret to my success is: I have so much to do that procrastination looks like productivity. When I want to drag my heels on prepping for a media interview, I can mind-map a client’s product portfolio. When I want to delay producing my newsletter, I can answer a reporter’s request for an expert on producing small company events cheaply in Texas. Yes, I get very detailed requests because part of my job is to know the world’s most important people. If I’m home so my staff can get work done in the morning, I can clip Mo’s dog’s nails instead of completing an RFP. When I’m procrastinating, a lot gets done. Sunday night, our house became gluten-free, ahead of my sorting through the weekend’s email.

So I think the key to productivity is procrastination. If you always have a lot to do, there’s always something you can stick ahead of what you simply don’t want to do. Except when the fire feels really hot – because you’re hurtling into the brick wall of a hard and fast deadline, can’t you hear the angels sing? On a wing and a prayer.

What are you waiting on?

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