A good brand is relevant, distinctive, memorable and flexible. We agree. But a great brand is a different story. A great brand is the story. It speaks for you – and to all your important relationships including your audience. It goes beyond features and benefits and builds business longevity. It offers something in and of itself. Having a great brand becomes a repeatable by-product of living your life with integrity, having the same behavior for all the roles you play in life and of making conscious choices every day that kick misery, worry and guilt to the curb. You create actionable steps to deliver your brand story as well as develop your brand voice with authority and authenticity.
There is an art to building positive and favorable interest in you, your product, or your service. It’s about creating the right kind of “buzz”, an identity, and name recognition in the marketplace. It’s about getting your message across. It’s telling others who you are, what you do, and why it’s important. It’s making a commitment to excellence and starts with a solid strategy, defined goals, and a realistic tactical plan to achieve those goals. You become the spokesperson who is consistent in all you do: performing, auditioning, networking, schmoozing, all mundane and boring parts of doing business, practicing and being with family and friends. You become persistent in allowing your uniqueness, credibility, visibility, and responsibility to flourish and be present in all that you do. You discover how to communicate that focused message consistently across all channels by being more of yourself than you have ever been before.
“Life is Change. Growth is Optional. Choose Wisely.”
– Karen Kaiser Clark
Let me ask you a question? What is the “one thing” you recognize about your behavior that is honest, consistent, authentic and unique, that you can own without getting your negative internal conversation with “the Brat” going? This requires working from the inside out which can be uncomfortable. But know this – it’s only uncomfortable because we rarely take the time to celebrate the “great” parts of ourselves, what we do well, what we love to do, what we are passionate about.
- Do you know what motivates you and keeps you that way?
- What are the things you would like to get better at?
- Do you still just react, or do you slow down, take a step back out of the emotions of the situation and look at just the facts working from that point to take action that moves you to a solution even if you might not like the outcome for the moment?
- Are you demanding of yourself when working on a project?
- Do you constantly challenge and drive yourself to find what works best for you and how to apply it in your discipline of all that you do when living your life?
- Do you remember to remain flexible and curious?
- Have you figured out how to not only face the many challenges that we all face in our lives but how best to learn the lesson that is there and apply it to what happens in the future?
One of our many “sayings” is “Say what you mean and mean what you say”. That’s pretty good, but what gets me going and I think is much more powerful is, “Say what you mean and DO what you say”. It is all about being true to yourself and living up to your word. Aren’t those the people you look up to, respect and admire? It’s not always easy to uphold your values, but it certainly builds character and backbone. And it makes you not only feel good about the true inner self, but it helps that part grow and become stronger. It is what sets a powerful example for your family and friends and shows others in a consistent manner that you are reliable, confident and worthy of their respect and that translates into you having respect for yourself, which then reinforces the behavior of saying what you mean and doing what you say.
“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.” – Mark Twain
This is life-changing stuff. This is the way to build a strong Personal Brand. And it doesn’t happen in one day. Sometimes it is hard to align your actions with your words. It’s a process, like everything else in life. The more you use your backbone, the stronger it becomes. The more you slow down, find the facts and then take action if it is needed, the less time you waste doing the usual mindless, knee-jerk reaction and then spend your precious time and energy trying to make it right or pick up the pieces.
Not doing what you say you will do creates self-doubt, insecurity, inner conflict, anxiety, and fear. Your good intentions are, unfortunately, just that. Without follow-through, you can’t even count on yourself. Remember that on some occasions you have to do it wrong before you get it right. It’s called practicing. Watch little kids! They are determined to get up and walk and they will try for days and weeks to get up on those two feet and walk rather than crawl. And even after they have it pretty much down, they still totter and fall on occasion, but that doesn’t deter them and it didn’t deter you either as a child, so why would you allow that to happen now?
“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.”
– Margaret Mitchell
Know that your word holds such power! Living your word is the ultimate form of being true to yourself and representing your Personal Brand. When you speak, it literally vibrates throughout your whole body, in each and every cell which then fills your personal space that you have invited others into making them feel cared about and listened to because they are. And the more you consciously practice being mindful about what we’ve just talked about here, the better you will get at becoming consistent within all your behaviors in all the many roles you play in life. Your new confidence communicates loud and clear both on and off stage. And remember just because you become more of who you are at your core, doesn’t mean that everyone is going to like you or agree with you. But then, that’s OK too because you know who you are and can allow them to be who they are as well.
Now tell me, what do you think? Carol