Keep Your Brand On-Point this year NYC

4 Smart Steps to Keep Your Brand On-Point this Year

If you are up to date on the latest trends in growing your reach online, whether it is for yourself, business, or passion then you know cultivating your leadership brand means creating content for the web. Content is valuable, purposeful, creations (whether an article, video, comic, podcast, etc.) that attract a particular audience and ultimately drives them to take action.

Yes, all those infographics, quote pics, even random Twitter rants you post are tied to the web of your brand. In a sense, this becomes the pre-impression before the first impression someone might get from meeting you more personally. In a sense it also forms an idea of who you are and a baseline for the value you bring to the table that people can start to believe. 

self authorship zinga hart - Quote is Our Self Image, strongly held, essentially determines what we become

Can you visualize your self-image clearly?

While your integrity is usually tested in real life, your reputation is partially set on the foundation of what you post online. While you don’t have to be a prolific author to write your story, you do need to respect how critical it is to maintain your authenticity, while growing your personal or business brand. Self-authorship is a theory attributed to Baxter Magolda, and is defined as “the internal capacity to define one’s own beliefs” as she wrote in Three Elements of Self-Authorship. This self-definition is at the foundation of developing your personal brand over the course of your success journey. Owning your beliefs takes time because you need to sort out the wealth of information you have absorbed and learned over a lifetime and distill it into your core sense of being. While, not quick task, with simple steps you can begin to dig in deeper, find your internal sage and use that to project and share your brilliant brand with the world in a way everyone can agree upon.

Here are four simple steps to author your self-definition so you can grow and polish it over time.

  1. Journal on what you think you have to do in order to fulfill your dream life: What are the essential things you need to live. Be specific: “Using the bathroom, eat, sleep” are some basics to include, but keep adding until you’ve exhausted your ideas, “own a business, have a family” could all be a part of this list.
  2. Walk away from the list for a day or so and then return. Look over the list and question how this master to-do list aligns to your values, your mission, and your vision. If it doesn’t click, make a note of how the “have to” came into your life. For instance, if you wrote, “own 20-bedroom mansion like Oprah” but your vision is to travel for the rest of your life, then consider Oprah’s role in influencing your personal beliefs.
  3. This working list is for you to return to and to refine over time. Choose the strongest beliefs of the work you have to do to live a full life. Notice what comes up over and over, notice what you are most proud of as you go about your days. Reduce your have to four or five sentences to keep your essentials close.
  4. Own it. Write it out, make it your screensaver, or create a ringtone. Figure out a way to keep your essential commands to yourself a constant in your life.

There are easy steps on the road to self-authorship Of course, there are many more steps on this journey, from vlogging to therapy, but what matters most is getting started. Thanks for walking with me!

 

For more here’s a Youtube video on the four phases of self-authorship

Want a partner to help you hone in on your self-definition?

Set up a free phone chat with me here!

From Passion to Process: 1st Workshop of the New Year!

I had a ton of fun today at Scribbles in Kent, OH. I hosted a workshop titled from Passion to Process where we reflected on our passions and then set aside time to build a system towards enacting our passions on an annual, monthly, weekly, and daily basis. It was a blast and such a good feeling to hear it was a helpful session.

northeast ohio passion discovery

Bonus: Scribbles is awesome and I thank them for hosting us! Their wall is lined with books and getting to color on the table tops was a creative feature.

passion discovery worksheet

One part I was particularly proud of was transforming my personal at-home command center into a useful printable for everyone that attended. The full version of the 2016 Command Center is attached below. I condensed it to one-page from them to save on printing costs and paper, so I wanted to share the full-version should there be any visual types out there.

Screenshot 2016-01-09 at 10.09.20 PM

 

Grab the free full version printable 2016 Command Center today.

 

Building Your Authentic Self-Definition

Building your self-definition plays a crucial role in how you lead yourself towards success. The challenge arises when you must sift through the input of others and find the wisdom nuggets you identify with, and with which others can mostly tolerate.

Trust, there is a lot of input.

We can’t help it, we want to see you take action, and so you are offered information to inspire your next moves. In addition, businesses want to envision you your ideal reality and offer you a solution to buy. While this can be useful when needs arise, it can also fill your mental chatter with clutter that distances you from the voice of your Self. 

self
self/
noun
  1. a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.
    “our alienation from our true selves”

This can make communicating with your authentic self feel like the Tower of Babel when the discord first struck.  Chaos and confusion as you try to build and yet somehow manage to stagnate or destroy simultaneously.

Yet, you need to  envision something and you need feedback to ensure your definition can withstand the test of time.

How can you balance between external inputs and internal controls?

There are many ways, but a reliable method can be borrowed from the business world. Small businesses and enterprises alike benefit from what is called a SWOT analysis. This assessment lists the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that a certain enterprise, team, product, or brand faces. It helps sort a wealth of information so you can turn it into actionable feedback.

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To incorporate this practice into your own success path  take these simple steps.

  1. Choose a personal goal you are pursuing.
  2. On your own, list what you consider to be your personal strengths that might help you achieve this goal and weaknesses that may inhibit you from achieving this goal.
  3. Next, consider any opportunities you could take of advantage of to reach these goals or any competition that might be in the way. Write these down as well.
  4. Then go around and ask people you trust or your closest circle of acquaintances and ask them the give you the observations from points one and two. What do they think your strengths and weaknesses are? What do they think of your goals and what challenges you might find along the way or what gaps they might hope you fill.
  5. Finally align the feedback notes you got for yourself and from your circle and see if where they align and where they don’t. Are your strengths viewed by your circle the same?
  6. Go over the feedback and use it to determine what you want others to know and how you can get there.

The personal SWOT assessment is a decision making tool to help you unlock possibilities for yourself as you develop her brand.

Click to download the Personal Definition SWOT Assessment

Let’s connect!

 

Daydream to Boost Your Most Passionate Career Path

96% of adults daydream. If you are one of those adults, ask yourself: are you using this seemingly random activity to the fullest potential?

Like most successful activities, daydreaming to your favor will take practice, purpose, and persistence and, in this case, we’re going to focus on your career. How can you use daydreams to ensure you are reaching your career path’s most passionate potential? There are simple techniques to do so, but first a short overview of current thoughts around daydreams. 

What are daydreams?

Daydreams were discovered when scientists notice neural network activity while participants were not participating in anything at all. This came to the formation of the phrase “stimulus-independent thought,” which are thoughts created sans interaction or engagement with the environment outside of our minds. In this sense, daydreams may seem as if they are out of your control, and they can easily be, but the truth is our mind is a muscle and we work with it as we would most functioning muscles in our body.

So how can we use daydreams to create our best career path?

We must actively practice day dream by engaging in personal discovery sessions. This type of daydreaming is called positive-constructive daydreaming, which is the active reflection on our feelings, thoughts, imaginations, and other personal facets of our life in an open manner. This activity means letting go of any urge to stop yourself from thinking a thought or dreaming a dream. Studies found  this type of thinking led to an overall sense of well-being and furthermore it opens you up the possibilities of where you can apply your value.[source]

envision your career success

How can you use this on your career path?

 The answer is there are many ways to do it and you mustn’t stop at one! Experiment and continuously reflect on your career path throughout the time that you desire to earn a living for yourself. Two simple ways to incorporate this technique into your life is by:

Take a career quiz

Taking personality quizzes, like this one, or this one, and imagining yourself in the ideal roles that they describe for you. When it comes to career construction, my old mentor, Dr. Mark Savickas, told me they’re only about half right. Yet, this is a safe and simple activity to envision a future you.

Put yourself into the position and research it. Note what excites you and what doesn’t as you explore what the role has to offer.

The closest personality test for your work preference is the Holland Code, a model developed by John Holland and used by the military. My Holland Code was IEAS, most Holland Codes are the first 3 letters, which meant my career preference would be book restorer. NO!!! Don’t let online or even legitimate quizzes decide your career path,  in order to find your authentic value you must dream deeper into who you are.

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Career Path Dream Land

Asking yourself probing questions and then answering them until you reach a point of profound clarity is a thing. This is what is needed to really unearth the answers of who you are and where you are meant to bring value to the world.

A safe way to do this is what I call a mini-self-retreat. Find a way to get time alone and comfortable: send the roommate or partner out, find a baby or pet sitter, or go to a hotel.

Relinquish yourself from responsibility save for your Self.

Then have a nice thoughtful internal discussion about what you want. Stay with the discussion and record your answers for later use, listen to yourself with openness and innocence, as if within you there is a great warm source of your very own personal all-knowing. It can seem different at first, but this is just a surface level way to find your authentic value from within.

Will daydreaming get you a job? No. Constructive daydreaming and self-discovery will set you on a path to a career you are confident carrying as a part of your life’s legacy. If that’s something you think is worth having, let me know!

Comment and we’ll connect 🙂

No affiliate links in this post.

10 Gifts Your #BossBae Will Appreciate

This one is for all the partners of entrepreneurs out there. We love you. Thanks for sticking with us through this roller coaster of a journey towards success. For supporting us through all the achievements and for the meetings that land us nowhere. Our vision is clear, but the path before us is mired with uncertain risks. You, dear partner, are a shining light in our journey. So, here are some top gifts, your entrepreneurial partner would appreciate. If you’re a woman who is entrepreneur help your partner out and comment below! Who knows you might just get what you want.

    1. A bit of inspiration – A custom framed word of that motivates them to continue pursuing their passions will revive them every time the glance at it.

2.  For all the business cards – Entrepreneurs get and give a ton a business cards. Keep them stylish and impressive with a sleek business card carrying case.

3. To balance the hectic schedule and take a much needed break – Being a boss, leader, and/or entrepreneur can be stressful. Help them find time to destress with this awesome adult coloring book.

4. For all the new ideas, leads, and lists – Entrepreneurs think, a lot. Help them capture the next big move with a book they want to show off.

5. For the entrepreneur who is full of dreams, but not quite sure which to make a reality. You know your #bossbae is poised for something special. Help them discover their purpose and passion with this guided journal.

6. For all the meetings they will attend and keep on schedule…Staying on time while staying stylish, will make their leadership look effortless.

7. …and all the presentations they will give. A portable projector for will take the term elevator pitch to another level.

8. To keep them styling while filing. A durable and sturdy case to keep their papers, projects, and other pieces organized.

9. Because knowledge is power. Wonderfully inspiring book on keeping your entrepreneurial edge.

10. Because at the end of the day the people make all of this worth it

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Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase through the links you help support zingahart.com at no extra cost to you and keep the site running freely.

5 Small Steps to Create and Use A Personal Strategic Plan

Anyone who knows me, knows I love planning. While, I do a lot of business and marketing planning for others, my true passion for planning stemmed from personal development planning. It all sparked from a meeting with Sheila Palmer, Assistant to Donna Karen of DKNY, she shared with me a book called the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens after a brief conversation on the beach of Coney Island. When I read that book, the life of discipline, value, and achievement opened up to me for the first time.

From that year (2004) and on, I began a tradition of sitting down every year and creating a personal strategy for the next. This personal strategy helped me get three degrees, start 2 businesses, and accomplish many other complicated goals over my lifetime. Now as I grow into an adult millennial, this tool is helping me manage the many balls in my life with my chill and confident attitude towards getting things done.

First a few notes

  • A personal strategy is your strategy. Only you can define the desires that swell within you.
  • Your strategy will get better with each pass. You have to stick with it.
  • Your strategy can, will, and should change. Although, your values, goals, and beliefs will be closer to a constant, how you reach these ends will need to be adjusted as the year unfolds.
  • Your higher-order mission, vision, and values should remain constant, but be refined over time.

No strategy should be set in stone; it should only serve you for as long as it helps you reach your goals.

So, here are 5 small ways to create and use a personal strategy for 2016 today

  1. Start with your wildest vision for your life then scale it back to achieve for the year. Be a firm believer that whatever goal you set can be accomplished, then do yourself a favor and give yourself a generous timeline to get there. No city is built in a day, but it is built eventually. 2_zkbkpa
  2. Write 3-5 goals to achieve over the year. Try to build off the work you’ve done last year. If you are starting from scratch, make one goal something you can achieve right away to boost your efficacy in achieving annual goals.
  3. Schedule a time to review your goals for at least 5 minutes a day. I know an hour once a week may seem like more, but the odds of missing one week, then the next, then the next, are too high of a risk for your best you in 2016. Instead, find some way to incorporate your visions and goals in a high-frequency place throughout your day. Build it into your passwords, set up a vision board, or make it a part of your alarm clock. There are tons of ways to make your goals presence known.
  4. Pick one goal per day. Yes, you are a leader and have so much more to offer the world, but if you are having trouble genuinely sticking with the goals most important to you then you have to stick with tactics that work. Focusing on one goal per day will not overwhelm your schedule. 5778ca76b341bfa7e1fcaaca85770d4c
  5. Share what you are doing with an accountability partner. Find someone in your life that you admire for achieving their goals. Meet with them and share your goals and work towards meeting with them regularly. Do a SWOT assessment, share tips and tricks, and other successes with them. Sharing your goals makes you more accountable to yourself and others, which will build your persistence.

Simple steps, but a great start to mapping out your best 2016. Let’s get rid of resolutions and map out the business plan for your careers!

What’s wildest dream are you working on? 

Relish Every Achievement. Celebrate Your Success As an Entrepreneur or In Your Career Path To Victory. Be authentic by remembering the small parts.

Relish Every Achievement in 5 Easy Moves

One of my clients is a visionary. Her passion for setting bold goals and creating constant possibilities to current situations is thrilling.When we meet, I find sometimes she feels discouraged by all her organization has not achieved, and quickly overlooking all the small victories she did accomplish. She isn’t the first person I’ve known to do this, and at times, I’ve been guilty of getting discouraged about where I am not instead of remembering and celebrating how far I’ve made it. 

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So for our next move forward, we’re going to take a look back on how far we’ve made it.

Here are five ways you can relish your achievements today.

  1. Think of 3 ways you have grown in the past five years. Remember yourself from five years ago. You probably made mistakes, struggled to achieve something, or achieved something that made you proud. Consider this growth. If five years is not enough then think over the ten past ten years. You graduated, got that job, started a blog or business. Take a historical scan of your past and thank yourself for taking those successful steps.
  2. Check off parts of your vision board that you have lived. I had on my vision board to be bold and hang with the best. This year I’ve met more CEOs, executive directors, and other business leaders than ever. What is on your vision board that you find is a quality you are currently exhibiting? The point of a vision board is to help us define our desired reality. When you begin to live those desires you have acted in successful alignment with your vision, so take the time to celebrate. Don’t have a vision board? Make one.62953990
  3. Go through your social media and celebrate your successes. Visit your Facebook page, LinkedIn account, or other social media channel and look for a time where you posted something you were happy about or found to be a particular achievement. Tell yourself good job again and remember that you have been successful in the past and are on the right track. Can’t find anything? Then think of a moment where you shared good advice that someone liked. There, you made an impact, which is a successful action.
  4. Remember something small you did successfully and do it again. If you are having a hard time remembering an significant successes then think every smaller and consider the daily achievements we make. Did you remember to take the garbage out on time? Or call your mother after you set the goal 3-weeks ago? These little acts are acts of success and worthy content to from when your memory banks feel fuzzy.
  5. Share your goal/purpose/mission. Celebrate. Taking ownership of our success means being able to be held accountable. When you share what you want to do with another you have taken a victorious step towards being more accountable, while improving your path to your long-term achievement. It’s a win-win move that you can use anytime.

Celebrating our successes over time is just as important as learning and growing from our failures. Both success and failure keep us humble and motivated on our personal or entrepreneurial success path.

How do you find time to celebrate your success? Comment below or Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn 

 

 

One More Move - Sounds out the word omm which is a common chant in yoga

5 Free Videos to Ease into Post-Pregnancy Workouts

Being a mom while being a leader is a precious balancing act between energy, sanity, and life in-between. One thing that really helped me manage my multiple roles, after having an emergency c-section and being at the front lines of bringing life into this mortal realm, was exercise. In fact, exercise, and body wellness, is core to success. It contributes to some great aspects of what keeps us motivated, focused, and persistent.

So when I was recovering, I turned to these 5 easy videos to keep me moving slowly. If you’re thinking about starting your routines, talk to your doctor and always read the disclaimers, but otherwise keep moving 🙂

CoreMama Postnatal Exercises For Diastasis Recti All Levels (Full Video)

I don’t think I actually had the ab condition, but these workout exercises are gentle enough to keep you moving without exhausting you. Their entire series is actually quite beneficial.
This one is definitely more of a workout than a movement exercise. Yet, still fairly gentle for those easing into workouts.


Postnatal Workout or Post Abdominal Surgery Workout

20 Minute Post Natal Yoga Class

Sweet yoga. Pop this on if you need to unwind.


Post-Pregnancy Pelvic-Floor Workout
Short but worth it. Your pelvic floor needs a lot of care and attention during this transition phase.

Kundalini Yoga : Kundalini Yoga Breathing Exercises
Momhood means taking a lot of deep breaths. No workout needed to build focus and energy with this video.

What workouts do you use to build and maintain energy?

Dealing with negativity using wellness techniques either personal wellness or wellness in the workplace including mental, physical, and spiritual wellness

Use Wellness to Overcome Negative Ruts

 Facebook is introducing a dislike button.  Although they are not quite ready to roll it out, yet it is imperative that you and your team are able to face negativity in a way that yields positive outcomes.  You are going to have to face negative situations, behaviors, and emotions in your life and your business. When you practice ways to embrace negativity you will strengthen your ability to innovate and improve over time. Managing negativity means making proactive prevention a priority under your leadership. Mental, physical, and spiritual wellness are components necessary for maintaining positivity within your enterprise’s well-being. Here are some ways to consider how you can strengthen your systems and embrace negativity for good.

Mental Wellness

Our thoughts craft our reality and consistent negative thoughts can generate a reality that saps away our motivation, inspiration, and overall energy. Beyond our own input, the brain has a bias towards negative stimuli. We notice when something is wrong more strongly and more often than we notice positive attributes. Think of a silky smooth face, save for a small pimple on the right chin line.Our pimple gets more attention because it deviates from our preferred norm. Since our mind can easily dwell in negativity it is important to strengthen our mental toughness. Having a strong mindset and a belief in your ability to create positive outcomes will form a habit that will propel you beyond negativity and towards success.

Here’s a great YouTube clip where you can feel the integrity of positive thinking:

Physical Wellness

Of course. your mind can only take flight with your body. Physical wellness plays an important role in our ability to function at our prime capacity. It is your source of energy, which is the fuel you use to maintain a positive attitude all day. Consider this, when you are tired, loaded on junk food, and at an inert state due to bare minimum movement, your are bound to be cranky, groggy, and unfocused. Diet, exercise, and rest are key players in your physical wellness, but the main leader is your relationship with your body. Find ways to celebrate and respect your body for all it has produced in your life. A great way to tap into that relationship is through Tai Chi, which forces us to slow down and feel how we move.Then make sure to regularly fit in those superfoods in and to move a bit.

I attend to my fitness. I go to the gym every day and try to maintain my physical fitness; without that, it it tough to take challenges on the chess board.

Spiritual Wellness

Spiritual wellness is a tricky category, but one may call this emotional wellness or even wellness for the soul. Whatever it is; it is the positive emotions we elicit from certain actions we take. From putting on a favorite dance playlist or volunteering for your good cause to even taking some time to garden in the year. We as humans need to fulfill our desires and ignoring or downplaying them will build a subtle, yet powerful force of negative living. For yourself, take some time to ask and question if you are doing the activities that align with your values and vision. For your team, allow for people to spend time talking about their hobbies or create social activities around activities directly tied to the bottom line. This will boost morale and perhaps ignite creativity within your organization.

Here’s a quick exercise to boost wellness at work:

  • Hold a walking meeting on ways to improve wellness around the office
  • Create a “Free Fruit Friday” and bring in healthy fruits for people
  • Place an anonymous suggestion box for employees to freely share their thoughts and opinions
  • Craft out time for office groups to meet on a subject tied to their interests

There is a ton of ways to improve  wellness in your life and ventures. Wellness prevents negativity from paralyzing your flow. Take time today to boost the positives around you, and when Facebook rolls out its dislike button, you will be fully prepared.


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Higher Education Meeting : Higher Education Needs Business Analyst Consultants

Higher Education Needs Business Analyst Consultants on Its Leadership Team

I’m in higher education and I’m a business consultant. From what I’ve observed, higher education, as a whole, has some pretty heavy projects on its plate. With the incoming forces of a new generation of students, technologies, and concerns institutions are being looked towards for the ability to deliver results transparently and delightfully. How do you as a higher education leader envision the future? The plan we hold in mind, sight, and spirit is what truly maintains the legacy of an enterprising community. With the shaping culture of entrepreneurship in the higher ed field it is important to consider if your workforce is comprised of strong, agile teams in place to adapt to our very responsive world.

Higher Education Leadership Meeting

One team member to seek immediately would be the highly valued Business Analyst Consultant (BAC). From a business analyst, you will find a team member that is able to find and communicate the real problems within your operations, plans, and technologies. From there they work on the team to ensure the solution solves the problem, which can be a lot trickier than one might guess. As a consultant you will find they have the ability to develop and maintain relationships with the long-term goal in mind, making the solution-building process a lot less stressful over time. The BAC can be the backbone of a project acting as the communication center so the rest of your community body can act towards the common mission. There are three skills your BAC should bring to the table.

Enterprise analysis

What problems is your organization facing today? Are you aware of all the moving pieces and are they producing as effectively as they can? In this world no leader has time to focus on the ever-changing landscape. A BAC will. A good business analyst consultant review the external and internal factors and analyze how they may converge, so you can make effective decisions to prevent or solve any impending issues.

college seats communicating with new generation of college students

Elicitation

Once you’ve decided on a solution to create, the BAC will go to work to discover the true requirements needed to make your solution work as it should. Who will use the solution? Who needs to authorize? How can build as simple a solution as possible within our budget limits? Answering these questions thoroughly and early on helps straighten out what could spiral in the future.

Documentation and Communication

Once an authentic solution is discovered, the BAC will then get to real work. Designing, documenting, and communicating the solution over and over until it is clearly understood by all parties involved in the style they want to hear it. How does your VP of Finances? Director of Technology? Your students? Your alumni? Who really needs to know about the solutions your planning and how should they be engaged? Ensuring everyone can come on board with the plan ensures the solution grows organically within your organization and it will be adopted by the community.


Higher education is the “village” of modern civilization. As higher educators we have to ensure our practices, processes, and tools contribute to the development of every learner we welcome. We must be more agile than we balance the seemingly infinite capabilities of technology within the limits of human needs. Ensuring every member of your team is contributing to their fullest means leadership that respects and properly places their talent. A BAC will help you keep the problems your mission seeks to solve in mind, while finding its root causes and ensuring the solutions resolves or prevents the cause. Invest well in your consultant as 66% of success may hinge on their talents.