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All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘self-confidence’
In Part III of my four-part series on Brand Stagnation, let’s chat about stagnation of our personal brands within our friendships. As a recap of “why” this series, I’ve been thinking a lot about brand stagnation lately. It just so happened that so has Oprah!
Oprah has talked about this topic of Stagnation in her “What I know for sure” column of her September 2014 O Magazine, “The Two Questions You Should Ask Yourself Each Day”. Oprah, whether she knows it or not, is my mentor because I have incredible respect and appreciation for her presence in this world. For four weeks, I am taking her topic post and going deeper and looking at it from one of my viewpoints. This method is how I decide what is the next best area that ‘sparkles with rightness’ in the branding world.
So what is Stagnation of your brand within the context of your friendships? Well, these days the word, “friendship” has an entirely different meaning to us all. We have so many “friends” virtually that we seem to have lost the concept of real, dynamic, non-stagnate friendships.
I have lots of Facebook friends and many more people who want to be my Facebook friend whom I have not “accepted” as friends because I don’t know them- at all. While I appreciate that these unknown wanna-be-friends are out there, I’d rather have a cup of coffee with each of them and then “accept” them as friends- on Facebook or in person.
I used to get all out of sorts over my Facebook friends. I would think to myself that I should “accept” all these friends or the world would think I am not loved and don’t have enough friends. Perhaps this would be a sign that I’m not running a good enough/successful enough business if I don’t have enough friends and “likes” on Facebook? I would start to hyperventilate (sort of) and couldn’t focus on my work. How dumb of me! At some point, I stepped back and decided I had gotten sucked into the virtual friendship hole of mis-perceptions that feeds our low self-confidence levels. I couldn’t let Facebook drive my confidence down!!
I think of it as this- I don’t need so many friends all over the place, just friends to whom I provide the same level of connection that I would want back for myself from a friend. This means quality, not quantity for me. And if someone chooses not to do business with me because of the number of my “likes”, “Facebook friends” or LinkedIn Connections, then so be it! I can’t afford to be a half-way friend and risk my brand connection- more does not equal dynamic brand quality. The more virtual friends, the more I found that my brand connection to them stagnated.
So how dynamic are you as a Facebook or real friend? How far would you go to be a “good” friend (whatever you define as “good”)? Does your personal brand shine as a friend or is it dull and stagnate?
A good test of this concept is the following: next time your friend makes a request of you, stop and think to yourself “how would I want my friend to respond if I was the one making such a request?” If you wouldn’t want it done to you, then think twice- your brand is not coming through and your friendship may have stagnated.
Another good test is to consider your friends circle- did you really “pick” them as friends or not? Same test could apply to your friends who are family- would you be friends with your siblings if they weren’t your siblings? Why or why not? Be honest…that’s how you get to a dynamic brand with your friends.
A common conversation I have with attorneys revolves around the almighty billable hour. Depending on how long they have been in practice and where they are in their career, they are either wondering how to monitor the hours (i.e., hire/fire others who don’t meet them) or trying to figure out how to meet their own hours.
One thing applies to all of them across the board when it comes to billable hours- they are all stressed out. Many are to the point of obsession about their billable requirements. This obsession leads to all sorts of nasty things- like paralysis, I dare say. According to my research, there is a direct inverse correlation between your self confidence and stress. The higher your stress, the lower your self-confidence and thus, the poorer your personal brand for others.
So what, you say? What does this have to do with my billable requirement?
Well, I believe that the pressure to bill X number of hours leads to higher stress and less productivity. In other words, lawyers produce worse and less. The other detriment of this is of course that lawyers are angry, anxious and perhaps at the point of desperation where they’ll compromise their integrity to bill enough….all leading to a bad public brand perception of our industry.
What if there was a peaceful, productive atmosphere and less angst around the almighty billable? I’m not disillusioned when I suggest this- I’ve been there, done that. It didn’t work then, it hasn’t worked for others since. And it is only getting worse.
If you are “in charge” and reading this consider creating a work atmosphere that is less tense and focused on the billable hour. Try something new and be daring. It can’t fail.
If you are reading this and you are identifying with my message because you “must bill”, then what about trying something new. What if you work it the other way: set your PERSONAL weekly billable goal lower and exceed it. Watch the stress go down and your productivity and happiness go up. Also, consider what’s the worst that can happen if you don’t bill “enough”? If the answer isn’t “death” then I think you know what to do.
Ever stop to think about how much your thoughts shape your world? Most of us tend to never even stop and think about our thoughts. We are too busy doing our “thing” in life.
Consider the fact that on the Internet I read we have anywhere from 50,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day. How in control of your thoughts are you? Do you think it matters to the overall scheme of your life- to make money, get rich, retire wealthy and then finally “be happy”?
In this post, I ask you to consider that your thoughts impact your everyday behavior and interactions with others. As such, your thoughts impact your personal brand tremendously.
For instance, if you are running around like crazy because you have so much on your “to-do” list, the odds are you have random (and maybe not so random) thoughts flying through your head. If you never stop to assess the situation here’s what we likely see- a frantic, out of control, less-than credible person running around trying to get their life in control. On top of it all, odds are you are likely cranky or unhappy- with friends, family, colleagues, with yourself and with the world.
So try this challenge on for size: For an entire day try to be as aware as you can of every thought you have. Then quickly assess: if you met someone who didn’t know you, would they want to get to know you and then hire you based on your thoughts? Put yourself in our shoes and try to imagine what we all see when you are “thinking” and running around. Is it a personal brand you want to own?
For more on this topic, stay tuned for my interview with Byron Katie on June 19, 2014.
I am very blessed to live in San Diego because of the all the really cool activities we have got going on. (Yes, I am ignoring the wild fires and the high taxes!). Just this past weekend, San Diego was home to The Weekend Of Grace whereby the Oneness Meditation community brought meditation to the masses/public in San Diego. There was a group meditation in Balboa Park plus other group meditations throughout the city. I was fortunate enough to attend.
I observed the crowds. The regular meditators were very different than the rest of us. In what way, you may ask? While there will always be exceptions, for the most part it was very clear to me that the folks who meditate regularly had all the ingredients we always speak of for a great personal brand. They were much more calm, happy and balanced. They had focus, clarity and could hold a conversation without the need to check their phones constantly or be looking around all the time. In short, they had an effective personal brand.
I am always encouraging (well, requiring it for my clients) you to make meditation a part of your daily life. At least just sit in silence and try to think of nothing. In that space of stillness and silence great things happen. You become focused, clear, self-confident, well-put together and super powerful. You can then go into a meeting composed and effective.
If you doubt it, just try it to prove me wrong. Shut your door, find a comfortable place to sit, remove all distractions and for at least 10 minutes sit in silence and try to be still. See if you can gradually graduate up to 25 minutes a day.
Here’s to your fantastic personal brand!
Since my post last week was about the top three ways to kill your brand, I thought this week we’d tackle how to maximize and optimize your personal brand. The biggest issue I find with all my clients is that everyone is out of wack. You know, we can’t seem to find balance in anything in our lives it seems. Between work, family, parents and a social life, where can we draw a healthy line and thus, have a healthy personal brand?
My documented research has shown a direct, inverse correlation between stress and your personal brand. The higher your stress, the lower your self-confidence and thus, the less effective your personal brand value. No one wants to be around someone who is stressed, much less hire them and pay them good money!
These days it seems everything stresses us out. I just heard of a study that found that an astounding number of cell phone users (don’t quote me, but something like 92%) stress out when their phone battery is low (i.e., hits the “red” bars). Part of this is generational. As a soon to be 42 year old, I kind of like the prospect of checking out and being unreachable via my phone. I’m just saying….. But I’m sure the 20 year olds don’t feel the same way and I get that.
So how do you reduce your stress and increase your personal brand effectiveness? Here are five obvious, but harder to practice concepts that are a MUST for everyone, including all my clients:
1. Meditate or sit still- the more you do, the more crazy and nutty you tend to become. We all notice the craziness and no one likes it. Unfortunately, we are not used to sitting still anymore. Find 10 minutes (at least) each day to sit in silence and do NOTHING.
2. Keep a gratitude list/journal- the more grateful you are about the everyday things in life, the better your life. I point this out because of my goal in creating HAPPY personal brands for all my clients (yes, lawyers, financial advisers and even rock stars). Projecting a happy personal brand that others want to follow requires you to “be” happy. End of story.
3. Take Inventory- sit down once a quarter and review your calendar. Do you really need to be doing all the activities on your calendar? Does each activity optimize your life? Does the activity make your soul sing? Do you get business as a result? Does your personal brand shine with the activity? Be honest. No one is grading you but you.
4. Paint It RED- at least once a week I am telling a client to paint it red. At least 3 times a week, I am painting it red. In cases where you are not sure what to say or how to interact with people- be HONEST and sincere and tell them the exact truth or reasoning behind your mindset and/or activity. Watch the weight be lifted off your shoulders and your stress come down. They will love you, and your personal brand, for it.
5. Be Kind- Being kind boosts our self-confidence because we have done something nice for another and feel good about ourselves. Being kind attracts kindness. Being kind boosts your personal brand and relieves your stress. I promise. This is easier said than done. Just being aware of when you are kind and when you are not is a great start. Don’t forget to be kind to yourself.
Email me and tell me what stresses you out the most and your coping mechanism.