When we talk about personal brand, we talk about how people see put identity. It is about what they see us as, and things associated with us. A personal brand is different from a business brand. I may be running a parking management business, and the business has its own brand, which is very different from my personal brand. A personal brand reveals who a person is, what he offers, and what he values. If you are working in a company, your colleagues create a perception of you based on how you present yourself to them. It can be either good or bad, depending on the image you present yourself.
Breaking down a personal brand
A personal brand can be broken down into three distinct parts – that is personality, skills, and values. These three aspects often get expressed when we share out thoughts and opinions during a conversation. When you work with your colleagues on a day to day basis, you allow them to learn about you. In your interactions, it is important to understand the value of creating a positive personal brand that others can admire and respect.
Have a positive attitude
In your line of work, you need to maintain a positive attitude. It is this form of attitude that will lead to success and happiness in your career and life. Keep yourself well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities that lie ahead of you. You will position yourself in a better chance to attract the right people to work alongside you and learn from them. A positive attitude will help you get things to get done quickly. Make it easy for people to like you and express an attitude that people admire. When faced with challenging tasks, aspire to do your level best to deliver results to your abilities and establish a brand that portrays yourself as a problem solver.
Watch your actions
They say actions speak louder than words and in branding, that is very true. If you work in an organization, be a person of your words. Establish consistency in anything you do. Be on time to your place of work and show commitment to get things done. For tasks on your desk, ensure you communicate efficiently and leave no doubts in your message. For what you promise to do, follow through to have it done. Ensure you operate with the highest levels of integrity and be a person others admire and wish to become. Let your actions and character inspire others to get the best out of themselves.
People appreciate others more when they feel valued equally. People will want to be associated with you if you are dignified and respect others. Have a reputation for making other people feel important and learn to accommodate people despite their weaknesses. Any dramas and bad experiences you create with others go down to defining your legacy and brand. Follow through on anything you promise to ensure it happens according to the plan. When communicating with others, give people undivided attention. Follow through the conversation actively and show empathy.
Toxic people can be very dangerous. They can cause you extreme stress, alt your progress, and can take a massive drain on your time, resources, and happiness. I have experienced toxic people in my life and I had to distance myself away from most of them to concentrate on contracting to my towing service clients. In business and your line of work, you may encounter toxic people as well. You may find yourself dealing with a manipulative boss, a backbiting friend among others.
If you put a lot of focus on these people, they can cause damage to your positive thinking, alter your progress, and make you live a miserable life. It is important to cut toxic people out of your life, and here is how to go about it.
Keep them at a distance
First, consider distancing yourself from them as compared to complete removal. Consider your relationship with them and estimate their toxicity levels. Some toxic friends and colleagues can be improved simply by creating space between you and them. See and talk to them less and be less available in places where they are found. If it is a family member, it is important to understand that you don’t owe anything to your family members simply because you are related by blood.
Accept it may take time
If a toxic person has a tendency of disrespecting your principles and boundaries, they will likely not accept your current boundaries. You need to be firm, principled, and consistent in telling them to stay away. Cutting ties from them can be a process, and it will start by creating a distance between you and them.
Avoid making unnecessary explanations
You owe no one apology and when you cut toxic people from them, you have no need to give them any huge explanation. It is okay to tell them how you feel but you don’t need to give them any explanation whatsoever. Always try to keep things simple if you have to disclose any details to them. You can look into their lives and tell them calmly you don’t want to be part of their life anymore. Avoid getting caught up in unnecessary debates.
There comes a time to communicate to them your state of mind. First, choose your method of communication. You can meet them in a public place if you have to. If they try to argue or cause a scene, firmly stand by your boundaries and swiftly end the interaction. Avoid getting into their trap to negotiate and request them to leave you alone. Have a steady-state of made up mind and express yourself firmly.
Block your interactions
Getting rid of toxic relationships requires preventing all forms of contact. One of the leading places toxic people hide to stalk you is on social media. Block all their interactions with you on social media and don’t give them an opportunity to remain in your life. Stick firmly to your boundaries and block all lines of communication.
If you want to be filled with happiness and inner peace, it is important to learn how to find your purpose and passion in life. For me, I’m so passionate about many things – Technology, gaming, cars, towing trucks, space technologies, just to name a few. But there is a difference between passion and purpose, as we are going to see in this short guide. Each of us is born with a unique life purpose. To identify, acknowledge, and honor this purpose is the most important action you can take today. You must take time to identify your purpose and then pursue it with passion and enthusiasm.
Here are simple ways and steps you can use to find your purpose today.
Explore the things you love.
We are all born with deep and meaningful purposes in life that we must all discover. Your purpose is not something you can make it up. It is already there and it’s your responsibility to uncover it. You can start to discover your purpose in life by looking at what you love to do and what comes easily to you. Even the most gifted artists take time to discover and enhance their talents, and you are no different. However, your true passion should feel natural. You may love to write, love to coach, love to teach, among others.
Focus on your qualities
The next step is to evaluate the qualities you enjoy expressing the most in the world. Look at the ways you enjoy expressing your qualities. It can be through inspiring and empowering people. You may find yourself inspiring people through moving stories in seminars. You may find yourself inspiring them through your books, or empowering them by teaching them on success and other factors in life.
Create your life purpose statement
On the third step, take a few moments and write a description of what the world would be, were it operating perfectly according to you. You may be wishing everyone in the world to live in harmony by living their highest vision and having everything they want. Combine all these aspects and form a single statement.
Follow your heart
Listen to what your heart is telling you and follow it. Your heart is your inner guidance. For your heart to help you, you need to feed your brain with your beginning and destination. When you have a clear purpose of what you want to achieve and put every resource and effort towards achieving it, the world works wonders in ensuring your ambitions come your way.
Once you are very clear about what you want and you keep your mind focused on it, everything becomes amazing. Your heart acts as a guide to remind you all the time what you are getting off your lane. You will face a lot of distractions along the way, but never let your resolve be shaken. Hold firm to your purpose despite any setbacks that may come your way. Be true to yourself and develop high levels of resilience and self-discipline.
As a business, you need to maintain your position in the market and stay ahead of the competition. I have hacked the art of winning customers from the ever-competitive carpet cleaning niche, and it feels so good to satisfy customer needs and have a loyal customer base. One of the most lucrative ways your business can benefit from is to attract your competitor’s customers and win them to your business. Customers are willing to switch brands and businesses once they see real value in business over the other. There is a need to give consumers every reason to choose your business over your competitors.
Competition exists in every market, so here are simple but yet very powerful ways to beat your competitors in business.
Identify and solve their pain points
The first step to winning customers is identifying and solving the pain points of your customers. The key here is to specifically provide solutions to your prospects to the problems they are facing, as opposed to just wanting to sell to them. Aim first at fulfilling their needs and your product or service will auto automatically start to sell the moment you fill the void that your competitors are not filling.
Build your niche
One of the best things you can do to have more room for your business is to build your niche. A very crowded market has a small space for expansion. It is important to offer something unique for your customers to build your niche and minimize competition. You can create your niche through storytelling around your products. Embrace the use of captivating photography as well. Specialize in one thing and build scalability around it.
Get pricing correct
The best way to create a perfect pricing strategy is working through marketing psychology. Before you can set the price for your products or services, it is important to understand what your competitors are charging. You need to identify who is offering the best value for money. Ensure you set a standard price that offers the best value for money. The pricing you set should be determined by your market – as you may decide to sell to low class, middle class, or high-end clients. In addition to offering competitive pricing, ensure you incorporate innovation and technology to develop an edge over your competitors.
Provide excellent customer service
The key to winning customers and creating a loyal customer following is through exceeding customer expectations with the provision of exceptional customer service. People love businesses that listen to them and offer exceptional customer service. If you can delight your customers with great service, you will turn them into loyal customers who are willing to spend every time you offer them your products and services. Ensure you train your members of staff to have a good understanding of your products. They should treat customers with a big smile and offer gratitude. Your call center desk should show empathy on calls and be polite all the time.
One of the most controversial human perceptions about achieving anything in life is to think big and want to go big. We waste a lot of time trying to figure out how and when to start on a project. Sometimes, we end up planning too much and waiting to avail all resources, and this may make us get overwhelmed. It is easier to procrastinate when we fell too overwhelmed and that is not a good way of making progress. I remember very well when starting a power washing in Fredericksburg business, I got a little bit overwhelmed planning every detail. But the solution to getting it done in anything, whether big or small, that you want to do, is simply starting small.
If you want to build a habit of becoming a doer, you need to accept and opt for the approach of starting small. Here is why starting small is very powerful.
Starting small requires less time and energy
It is easier to take a small stride than making huge leaps. Let’s take an example; If you want to lose weight, do you start by hitting the gym 3 hours, 7 days a week, or do you start an hour a day for just 3 days. The first option sounds more powerful, but it is not very realistic and sustainable. The second option is more encouraging and motivating and can easily be achieved. If you want to make your habit stick and become sustainable, ensure you start small.
Starting small prevents you from getting overwhelmed
When resistance is small, it is easy to carry out tasks. Small resistance prevents you from feeling overwhelmed. Take an example you have to write 300 pages for a book and you decide to write the book in a week’s time. You may get overwhelmed and may quit in the process. Instead, you can decide to be writing 5 pages per day or something like that. That way, you will find you have effortlessly completed writing the book. Most people tend to overestimate what they can do in one year, and overly underestimate what they can do in ten years.
Starting small grows your confidence
Starting small will build your confidence and build your momentum. It will unclog your brain to overcome paralysis. People who succeed in life have a lot of momentum. The more they succeed in life, the more they want to succeed. When you create small victories, you feel good about it and you want to take more action to achieve even bigger victories. Success is a cycle that is well realized by starting small.
Starting small lowers stakes of failure
Starting small will lower your stakes of failure and will give you immediate feedback. Look at how technology companies come up with a new product to the market. They focus on Minimum Viable Product which has just enough features to satisfy early customers and help get feedback. They then use this feedback to gauge the acceptability of their product to the market and enhance the product for future developments. When starting a business or project, you are not very sure if the business or project will succeed. The best way to go about it is to start small and measure how the market reacts to your offering. You then use the feedback to make bod moves.
As a leader, one of arguably the most important and powerful things you can do in your career and life is to leave a great legacy upon exiting the scene. Even when you are out of the picture, people will tag you and want to be associated with everything you did. In business, building a legacy can take the form of working hard to ensure the long-term viability of an organization. It entails leaving an organization stronger, more productive, profitable and valuable than it was when you started steering it
In everything you do, there are a couple of ways to ensure you leave an impression and a lasting legacy that can inspire future generations. Here is how to go about it.
Define your legacy
To build anything, you must know the end goal. What does it mean to you to create a legacy? What would you want people to remember you for? What contribution do you want to make to the world? You may have a goal of impacting a huge population by creating social change and social movement. If you do everything in your capacity to have your goal happen, that becomes your legacy. Many people have created their legacy by turning once poorly performing institutions to profitability. Others have created a legacy through charitable giving. Whatever the legacy you want to create, start by defining it first.
No matter what you desire your legacy to be, start taking action today. No matter how small or bay steps may be, take action. Any step you take serves your legacy and means you have already started living it. We are not guaranteed any specific time on earth, so start taking action now. The longer you can live, the greater you can impact many lives. To create a maximum impact, live your legacy every day of your life. In success, resilience and consistency are major factors, and so it is in creating a lasting legacy.
All great endeavors and success stories have been met with a lot of obstacles and resistance. You may experience resistance from all quarters, including those close to you. Generally, people don’t want to do anything that gets them out of their comfort zones. For anything you do, the moment you start to experience resistance, just know you are doing things right. Living your legacy will be a long road that will be met with vengeance, resistance, and distractions. The only way no navigate your path is sticking to your purpose and eliminating all distractors.
Share your legacy
While not everyone is built with a desire to be in the spotlight, one of the best ways to share your legacy is to get out there and ensure everyone recognized the impact you are creating to the world. Start with the people close to you, your friends, and family members and declare your legacy to the world. Ensure you surround yourself with people who will support you in creating your legacy. They will stand with you and encourage you even when you are facing a storm.
There are very many important qualities that can contribute to one’s achievements and happiness – and one of these qualities is self-discipline. I doubt if I would be very wrong to say that when it comes to self-discipline, to many people, it is a work in progress. One of the greatest contributors to long term success be it in life, fitness, work ethic, relationships among others, is self-discipline. But just like anything else, self-discipline comes from practice. Not every day will be perfect, but with some failures and small wins, you can make very vital progress.
People who have high self-control are happier as compared to those who don’t have. Due to their discipline, they are capable of dealing with many things including conflict and managing themselves. If you are looking forward to some sure ways to build self-discipline, here is how to go about it.
Self-control is easy when you decide to abide by the adage- out of sight, out of mind. The first and most crucial step towards working on your self-discipline is removing all forms of temptations and distractions from your sight. If you want to eat clean, get the junk off your kitchen. If you want to be more focused and productive in your workplace, get rid of clutter, get your phone away, and desist social media.
Eat clean and exercise
Studies have shown when you have very low blood sugar, your resolve is weakened. When you are very hungry, you will suffer trying to concentrate as your brain will not be functioning to its highest potential. At the same time, when you eat too much, you might develop discomfort during the digestion process. Ensure you take small healthy meals that will give you optimum performance. Avoid sugar and foods high on carbs and salt. Avoid processed foods as well since they tend to clutter your brain and slow it down.
Take small steps
One of the most important steps you can take to create a habit and improve on your self-discipline is to take small steps. For whatever you plan to do, the key to getting it done is through taking action. You may have all the best plans and goals in the world, but they won’t come into results unless you take action. Do not wait until you have amassed all the resources required to start. Just get started with the little you have, and work yourself up.
Have a schedule
Do you know the most successful people in the world have a strict routine they follow religiously? They plan their next day before going to bed and have a very organized schedule of tasks before them. Doing so promotes their productivity, saves time, and discards distractions. For any task, you want to achieve, put it done on paper, plan for it, schedule breaks, and work towards having it completed. For all small wins, you make, treat, and reward yourself. Develop new habits that will help you reach your purpose easily. Be principled and stick to what works for you.
From psychology, we get to learn a lot about the mind and mental strength. Mental strength is the ability to regulate your emotions and control your thoughts and behave positively regardless of the circumstances facing you. To develop mental strength, you need to find the courage to live according to your values. You need to be bold enough to create your definition of life and success. Mental strength demands more than just will power. It requires you to work hard and be fully committed. You will need to establish healthy habits and devote your time and energy towards self-improvement.
Although you may feel mentally strong in most times, true mental strength is displayed in times of adversity and tragedy. If you are looking forward to work on your mental strength, here is how to go about it.
Evaluate your core beliefs
As humans, we all have our core beliefs. These beliefs develop over time and are normally based on our past experiences. They influence your behavior, your thoughts, and emotions. Many times, our core beliefs are inaccurate and unproductive. You may develop some negative thoughts out of the bad experience you encountered before. You may believe you will never succeed in life, or you will never get a job out of endless interviews you missed. You need to identify and evaluate your core beliefs and work towards eliminating all negativism.
Expend your mental energy
You should avoid wasting your brain power ruminating about things that otherwise you don’t have control of. The more you keep thinking about the negative problems that you can’t solve, the less energy you will have on your brain to be creative and productive. What is the need for you to sit there and start worrying about the weather? You need to stop worrying and start living. Focus on what important and what you can control. Save your mental energy to focus on productive tasks that can solve your problems.
Replace all your negative thoughts
You need to replace all your negative thoughts with positive thinking. Increasing your thinking on positive things builds new habits and works on your resilience. Avoid negative talk and eliminate self-doubt from your mind. Replace negative thinking with productive thoughts. Productive thoughts don’t necessarily have to be positive thoughts – they only need to be realistic thoughts. Changing your thoughts will require time and monitoring, but with determination, you can do it.
Being mentally strong doesn’t mean you will not experience setbacks, adversities, and discomfort. Mental strength requires you to be aware of emotions and react equally to circumstances as they come your way. A strong mind is one that can accept feelings without being controlled by them. With a strong mind, you will understand when it makes sense to behave contrary to your emotions.
For any step you take towards developing your mental strength, sit down at the end of the day, and reflect on your daily progress. Developing a strong mind is a work in progress and at times, you will find it difficult to reflect. However, success lies at the end of difficulties.
Having high and effective listening skills is key to good communication and understanding of different topics in life. In today’s world, the ability to communicate efficiently and effectively is becoming a very vital skill. The ability to speak effectively is already a high paid skill and one that is among the most sought after. However, effective listening is also attracting the same regard. Listening is as important as speaking. Good listeners help solve many problems, improve relationships, and resolve conflicts.
In workplaces, effective listening leads to fewer errors, improved accuracy, and less wasted time. If you are looking forward to improving your listening skills, here are sure ways to go about it.
The first step to effective listening is facing the speaker and giving them your attention. It can be difficult to make effective communication with someone when you are constantly looking around. Ensure you face the speaker and maintain eye contact to give them your undivided attention. Try your best to ensure the speaker knows you are giving them full attention.
Keep an open mind
Never attempt to judge or criticize what the speaker is telling you. Doing so will utterly compromise your ability to take keenly what they are telling you. Exhibiting any form of judgmental behavior will compromise your effectiveness as a noble listener. However, evaluate what the speaker said after the end of their talking. Avoid any forms of interruption as you will make the speaker miss some vital points they may have intended to speak to you.
By listening actively, you will be showing the speaker you are interested in what they are telling you and you are taking the interaction positively. Active listening skills also show you correctly understand what they are saying. Paraphrase back to the speaker what they said as a way of showing your understanding. Make use of non-verbal cues of communication such as nodding, making eye contact, among others. You can also use verbal affirmations such as ‘I understand’, ‘I know, among others.
Just listen by creating a mental description of model of the information being put across, be it in the form of pictures or images. Listen to the tone of the speaker, their keywords and phrases, and avoid rehearsing what they say. Remember the 90 percent of communication happens through nonverbal form, so be sure to observe their body language. Focus on what the other person is saying rather than what you will be responding back. Be attentive and show relaxation and don’t get distracted by your own feelings and thoughts.
Effective listening is a skill that doesn’t get as much accolade as it needs to get in our society. Good communication happens as a result of both effective listening and speaking. To enhance your effectiveness in communication, always maintain eye contact by facing the speaker to give them your attention. While listening, avoid being judgmental. Additionally, avoid interrupting the speaker and employ active listening techniques. Be genuine to initiate conversations that you would be willing to be part of.
Leadership is a process that entails an individual influencing the behavior and attitudes of other people. When we say leading by example, we mean inspiring, motivating, and showing people how to do their best and achieve their best. If a group is led by someone who has poor leadership skills, it will have frequent disagreements and conflicts against each other as everyone will want to do things their way.
One of the greatest responsibilities of a leader is to inspire people to get the best from any situation. The sure way to go about it is through the leader getting involved in the process and leading by example. Here are sure ways to lead by example.
Listen to your team
Sometimes, a leader may get carried away giving directions and managing teams to a point they forget to listen to the voices of their team members. A good leader should understand that they don’t know everything and should be willing to learn from their juniors. Organizations hire based on expertise and most junior members are very technical and experts. Leaders must devise a culture of willingness to listen to their teams.
Respect the chain of command
Organizations come with a chain of command so that everyone in the organization knows who to report to when challenges come along the way. If a leader deliberately fails to follow a chain of command, there will be a lot of confusion in the organization and employees will get demoralized. At the same time, employees will also find it difficult to follow laid protocol, since their leaders don’t follow them as well.
Get your hands dirty
Although leaders are mostly meant to give directions, they must be willing to walk the talk. They should be ready to get involved in real work. A leader can lead by example by accompanying teams to the field and getting involved in different tasks. When it comes to sales and marketing, leaders should be involved in pitching to clients on products and services under sale. Getting involved in physical work gives teams a lot of morale and also makes the leader understand the challenges that teams face on the ground.
Good leaders must roll their sleeves to deliver actual results instead of making promises all the time. They must pull all available results towards getting tangible results and put less focus on their past achievements. Leaders can get good results through learning the art of delegation. They should be able to break down a huge chunk of tasks into small actionable tasks and assign the most competent persons, support them, and trust them to deliver results.
In any organization that is diverse, chances of conflicts cropping up are almost inevitable. How quickly and amicably conflicts are resolved determines how competent leaders solving such conflicts are. Any good leader should create a decent arbitration to prevent disagreements and have projects moving along. When teams perform well, the leader should appreciate and recognize their hard work, and reward results as well.