- Testimonials/Case Studies
Yes, here I am yet again writing about the only emotion that matters if you are developing and/or polishing your personal brand- happiness or joy! No event or person displayed that better than Pharrell Williams’ with his song, “Happy”. It is Pharrell’s first new release after eight years, from his new album “Girl” that just hit shelves this week- and boy does he make up for lost time.
Pharrell performed his hit song at the Oscars last night. You could just feel the audience come alive. After all, everyone was decked out in their finest (and stuffiest?) formal frocks and were acting like they had to hold their chin up the entire time and squint. Then he hit the stage and people became “happy”.
As I always say, if you are not a happy service-provider then why would I want to hire you? If you think the answer is because you are smart, then think again. With life being so complicated these days, we only want to hire someone who makes us happy or joyful. If I’m spending money on you, then you better make me happy because I assume you can get the substantive job done- like many other professionals out there trying to get me to hire them, too.
As for artists, I always recommend expressing themselves through music that reflects their joy and happiness. I guarantee them that their music will sell. Pharrell displays that very well, given “Happy” is climbing the charts fast. Same concept applies to actors- if they only knew how unhappy they often come across to their fan base….and if we only gave an Oscar for happiest actor….
So stop and ask yourself: Am I happy? Do I come across as a personal brand that can make my clients and prospects happy? If not, what are you going to do about it?
Just read some of the lyrics for yourself and see if your mood gets elevated and you become well, happier!
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do
Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
No offense to you, don’t waste your time
By now we have all heard and/or seen the interview NBC’s Christine Cooper conducted with skier Bode Miller after his Super G Olympic win last Sunday. I got to watch the interview live on Sunday. Here’s how I saw it go down: Miller wins another medal as a truly decorated athlete. Cooper interviews him immediately. She asked about his win and then swiftly moved on to ask about the recent (and raw) passing of Miller’s brother.
But she didn’t just ask once- Cooper just kept asking the same question over and over again in what amounted to me to be one of the most disgusting displays of the media sensationalizing and abusing people. I mean here is a great athlete who has accomplished a great thing. And Cooper wants to spend two-thirds of the interview trying to bring Miller to tears, which she did. I get how these things work. Her producer was plugged into her earpiece. Likely the producer was encouraging Cooper to persist to see how far they could push Miller.
But forget about the media- they don’t need any more attention in my book for the embarrassing behavior they call journalism. I was amazed by Miller. He kept his composure as much as he could. Even after the fact, he has been quoted as saying Cooper was just doing her job. Talk about a personal brand of a champion.
We can all learn from Olympians and particularly, Bode Miller. A personal brand that takes the high road with grace and dignity and forgiveness is a winning personal brand always. Now if only the media could take a page from Miller’s book and learn something from their pathetic behavior.
I’m always explaining to audiences and clients the need for them to have a creative outlet in order to develop and resonate an effective personal brand. If I had to pick one area where my clients struggle the most, it would be with their creative expression.
I often hear from clients that they are “not creative” or that they “don’t have time for creativity”. Hearing these types of response is not shocking anymore. Hearing these types of responses used to make me sad. Now it frankly just motivates me more in my work and life purpose.
Nearly all my audiences and clients have a similar goal in wanting a personal brand that will help them stand out, be memorable and have high recall value. In short, the goal is to be remembered and let’s face it -loved. What this goal always comes down to is whether you are, and resonate to me that you are, a thought-leader in your particular industry and expertise.
The only characteristic that makes you a thought-leader (and what I remember) is whether or not you are, and seem, creative to me. Think about it- why would I hire you (or pay attention to you) if you don’t seem creative enough to make a real difference in my world?
Yet most people falsely believe that I would want to hire you more if you are like others in your profession/career. Thus, they spend most of their energy and time trying to blend in, conform and compete.
As Brene’ Brown says in her book, “The Gifts of Imperfection”, it is easy to see how we don’t make time for creativity when we are so busy conforming and competing. Brown goes on to very eloquently state, “[c]reativity, which is the expression of our originality, helps us to stay mindful that what we bring to the world is completely original and cannot be compared.”
So stop and think:
- Do you mistakenly believe that you are not creative or that your creativity doesn’t matter?
- If not, what are your creative outlets?
I was working with a client who was fed up. He was so frustrated with why his brand was not consistent. Well, rather he was upset with why his personal brand was not consistently generating more business for him. When I asked him what he wanted his personal brand to “say” about him, he went off on a tangent that ultimately led to his confession. He wanted MORE RESPECT from others. Very honest of him, and interesting.
Well, who the heck wouldn’t want to be respected? What respect signals is that we all want to ultimately be wanted and loved by others. That’s fair and a good goal. However, we can’t force people to respect us and thus, love us. It just doesn’t work that way. It took my client a long time to “get” this notion. I mean, we all “get” it, but to really “own” the concept is another thing.
As Lynne Twist says in one of my all-time favorite books, “The Soul of Money”, the concept of sufficiency means that we believe that there is enough for everyone to have “some” and that no one has to go without. There is plenty of abundance available for us all. We just need to focus on what we have instead of what we don’t have. In this way, what we have (and thus want more of) grows.
So what does this have to do with you getting more respect? Well, you can’t force others to respect you. You can’t force them to love you. You can’t get respect by feeling inadequate and entitled to it. That’s a nasty personal brand. It doesn’t work in business or in personal lives.
The only way to get respect is to first GIVE and expect nothing back in return. I know that notion may be cliche’ sadly. However, it is the only way your personal brand (and business/career) thrives.
So stop and think about the last time you did something for someone just because it was the kind thing to do. Where you expected absolutely nothing in return, but got a ton back in return. The positive stuff you get back (business, clients, referrals, money, love) doesn’t even have to show up from the original recipient of your good deeds. It just shows up because you had a strong personal brand and you gave. You just have to accept it and be grateful.
Now go out there and generate a fantastic personal brand by just giving.
So my husband and I LOVE Chipotle. I mean really love it. We are not burrito people, but we love their burrito bowls. We find it healthy and fast and I actually find the brand very fun and on point. I was very sad when they partnered with McDonald’s for a short bit. Then they came back to their senses.
Here’s my issue: every time I go to Chipotle, it is like pulling teeth to get the folks behind the counter to give me more than 4 shreds of lettuce in my burrito bowl. It is so bad that last time I was in there I literally put my hands to my head and said to them, “Oh my goodness. What am I mis-communicating here to you?” It was meant to be a sad “throw my hands up in the air” question. Funny thing was, they just stared at me with this look like, “we’ve been taught to conserve how much we put into your burrito bowl”.
Now I run a business. So I really get precious resources and inventory. Chipotle can’t be scooping out all the meat, toppings and lettuce that people want. If they did, they would be out of business and we’d all be extra fat and stuffed.
However, as much as I love Chipotle I find myself dreading going up to the counter and begging for a few more shreds of lettuce. I mean it is lettuce and it is not an overly expensive topping- especially in California where produce is cheap.
So if I love Chipotle this much and I dread going, what does this say for someone who goes in for the first time and runs into my issue in any way, shape or form? To me it says that the Chipotle brand is suffering. All it takes is training your staff better on the execution fine points of servicing customers: give them enough to keep them happy and our personal and business brand healthy, but don’t give them so much that you break the bank and get fired.
What does this mean for you? Next time you are providing any type of customer or client service stop and think:
- Am I skimping on the lettuce and leaving the client/customer frustrated, with a poor personal brand perception of me and my business
-Am I giving with the mentality of abundance and wanting to be ‘of service’ balanced with the need to run an effective and efficient business, thus a powerful and balanced personal and business brand?