zinga hart one more move prepare your 2017 plan brand planning

Prepare Your 2017 Plan

 

It’s that time of year. The seasons dipping into colder weather, the final days of 2016 quickly rolling in and holiday plans are brewing.

Many of us could look back at 2016 and find genuine moments of disappointments, successes, and plain ‘ol despair. Yet, even with the waves of life, we, success seekers, remain positive that our destiny for personal greatness is still unfolding before us. So, we prepare, and the New Year is a great time for reflecting and revising our plan of action.

Here are some simple ways to prepare your plan for 2017.

  1. Build off of 2016 (or the past in general).

    If you have ever had a flurry of New Year Inspiration, surely you have set aside plans and goals to achieve. Go back to these, see what worked, look at what didn’t and revise as needed for 2017. Add on to the work you’ve done before, instead of starting from scratch.

But what if I must start from scratch? Check out my earlier post on developing a personal strategic plan.

2. Have a long conversation…with yourself.

 I’ve always regretted how discussions with your Self have gotten a completely negative reputation. The conversations we have with our inner voice, help guide us as we grow through life. Not comfortable with your inner voice? Debbie Lyn Toomey, writes to start the relationship with your inner voice you must trust,train, and love. Trust that your inner voice exists, train yourself to engage in discussion with your inner voice, and when you speak look for the words of love and kindness.

trusttrainlove-zinga-hart

3. Strive for More.

Daydream with someone you trust and allow yourself to build outside of your current situation and then build towards that vision within your current capacity. Stretch and grow within reason by planning big, and acting accordingly.

4. Hone in on your purpose. 

Steps 1-3 were about building and collecting feedback. Now after you’ve have done a thorough amount of research is it time to narrow down what you are doing into a clear and complete thought. Share your synopsis with someone so that it is clear to them as well. Clarity is key.

5. Set a few goals and follow up with actions to take. Now that you have your clear view of forward in 2017, shift to thinking about how you will move  towards this vision. Add those steps. Be intentional about making your shifts bite-sized, so you can easily adjust as life pivots before you next year.

Let’s make 2017 your next best year! If you’re a woman open to planning online, join us.

Remember these Three Positive Maxims to Keep You Moving Forward

I’ve always liked maxims.

max·im
ˈmaksəm/
noun
plural noun: maxims
1. a short, pithy statement expressing a general truth or rule of conduct. (Google Search)
When you find yourself having to make sound decisions followed by quick action, you notice you start to build a mental shorthand that helps turn the bets in your favor.
What are some maxims you like?
1. Just do it.  – Attributed to Nike.
My number one. Like seriously, ask my sister and my tattoo artist.
Such a simple reminder. If you find yourself wanting to do something, something important, and something that fits into your final vision, then do it. You can plan, think, talk, dream, and research all your life OR you can take those efforts and put it into getting the work done. Both paths take your energy, but only one truly fulfills you. You gain your substance when your energy expended, so put in that work.
2. Begin with the end in mind. – Steven Covey
You might be thinking, “Zinga…you just said NOT to plan…”  and I’d say…whoa there. Planning is critical to your success. How do end anywhere you want to go? The first step is knowing where you want to go.
So when you find yourself facing a decision that might stop you from moving forward, take a moment and reflect on the greater vision you are working towards.  For instance, as the president of Limitless Ambition, I actively think about our vision of building a positive network of women. When I find myself faced with a difficult decision I have to make on behalf of the organization, I consider, “Will this contribute to building a positive network of women?”
Consider what’s hindering your next success step forward, what’s your solution for overcoming the obstacle? Does the solution align with your final success vision?
3. Every drop fills the bucket
 This is a good thought for when you’re feeling overwhelmed with the gravity of the project. Sometimes, when you are ready to contribute to your promised time to move forward on your goal, you might need to break down your tasks into even simpler steps.
zinga hart a quote the river swells from the little streams

Another way to say it.

It’s okay. As long as you do it (see #1) you are gaining ground. Figure out ways to break your goal down into the simplest steps as possible for the day ahead of you. Celebrate when you accomplish it because you are coloring in your vision of success.
What’s a saying you keep close?

How Writing an Ebook Automatically Boosts Your Microbusiness Success

We are doing an exciting new challenge for our meetup group this month! Many of us are small business owners or nonprofit leaders and writing for planning, marketing, or sales is something that we will always do.  So inspired by NaNoWriMo we are spending time writing an ebook, which roughly half the word count of a nonfiction novel.

Some of us are still participating in the novel challenge as well because honestly, we are a really flexible group! Write what you want as long as you write is what I say!

Why? Well, there is something very powerful about writing AND even a  good rough draft it helps improve your business.

Here are some good reasons to write:

Long-term marketing tool:

Where do your customers get to delve deep into your business or organization? If you are a micro-business, like I am right now, a lot of the delving deep comes from one-on-one meetings. Imagine giving your community a review of what you do by giving them a book that explains their problem and/or how to solve it. Having a place to point clients, customers and investors so they get to know your brand better and saves hour long meetings for priority initiatives.

Long-term strategy tool: 

When you write, as a focus on your purpose, you have to think it through. The act of writing allows you to actively reflect on the deeper connections that you know exist in your business. Writing allows you to realize your subconscious guide in a safe way. Have a mapped out philosophy behind the product or service you offer is a safe step towards playing out your business before taking a bigger risk.

Teach others 

Sometimes people are not fully prepared to use your product or services. By organizing an ebook you give yourself and your community a logical path to the solution you provide. Use your ebook to educate others so they are prepared to work with or buy from you.

Save Time

Break down the ebook (25000 words) into 25 (1000 word articles) An article for every week for over 6 months or an article a month for two years!! While fresh content is useful, having a backup reservoir of posts in the form of a past ebook can save you a lot of content production time.

There are four good reasons, although I am sure there is plenty more! If you’ve written an ebook for your business before drop a link to it in the comment section and share how writing it has benefitted you. 

Self Transformation Takes Time

We grew up watching Extreme Makeover and other 1-hour shows that would have us believing that life turns around in a few scenes and a couple of commercial breaks.

Yet for those of us on the authentic success journey know that living our purpose is  hard work.

dancing woman self transformation with zinga hart small business coaching and web design

Designed by Freepik.com

We embrace that hard work and all the feelings it brings with it: the discomfort, the anxiety, the sense of not knowing, and the knowing of our finite time left. The hard work is as much a part of the success as the spoils.

Every day we take another step towards the vision we set in front of us, until one day, we are there. We arrive at where we set out to be, and suddenly  we realize the transformation that was always taking place. We look back and see the strength we gained, the friends we earned or lost, and the experience we earned all along the way.

So if you feel like your transformation is not taking place, step back and reflect.

Go back ten years, what did you want to do then? How are you living it now? What have you fulfilled and what are you working on lately?

Find where you have transformed and appreciate all the changes you will continue to go through on your journey. That’s just one more move for you to take.

Want a reflection buddy?

Post is a part of the Daily Prompt Challenge Transformation

Strategies for Saving Time and Staying Social Online

Confession, I am not an early adopter to new social media platforms. It took me a year to install SnapChat, and even it took longer before I started using Facebook actively. I much preferred to read blogs, forums, and random websites on StumbleUpon. I found the depths of the internet far more important than the early Facebook feed of lunches and cats.

Now, the advancements of social media has truly created a thriving system of communicating with other human beings across the globe. Facebook has become more than the clunky content of the early days, we share news, safety check in, voting reminders, and even our cat and food pics come with an air of providing value to others. Just like letters and telephones, Facebook has provided another sophisticated lane for human connection.

This is why Facebook or other types of social media are adopted by businesses, both small and large,  and leaders hoping to extend their presence. Connecting with people through this tool gives us a great space to listen to what  is happening, share something important, and help others from anywhere there is an internet connection.

Yet, social media is a tool that could easily spin out of control into a level of deterring you from living, laughing, and loving to your fullest. According to this recent  New York Times article, users spent roughly 50 mins per day on social media, which shadows the one-minute spent on Twitter or 2-minutes on LinkedIn. We can easily slip into the endless scroll of latest news, family developments, and friend achievements.

So how do we balance building our authentic brand while staying active on social media?

Here are a few strategies that have helped me tremendously so far.

Have a Plan

If you are using social media for a purpose, keep track of the purpose and goals you have in mind when it comes to engaging on social media. Whether it’s sharing success tools or tips on baking the trendiest cookies, have a core reason for doing what you do.

Schedule Ahead of Time

Once you have a plan, figure out what you want to post and use a scheduling tool. Spend 1-2 hours per month scheduling some consistent pieces of content that you are sure you want to share regularly. I personally use Hootsuite, which offers a great free option and an even more useful paid option.

Have a Minimum and Maximum Use Time Budget

A lot a set amount of time per day to use social media, then at +/- 10 minutes to give your self space to engage more or less. Giving yourself a range allows for the flexibility of life and provides a safe space of time for you to work with

Try this Tool 

Once you’ve decided on your minimum and maximum time, choose a tool that blocks social media sites so you can’t access them for certain times of the day. StayFocusd is a simple app that allows you to block sites after a certain amount of time, on certain days and times, and even requires a challenge to turn the feature back on if you want.Set it for the maximum time budget you set in the strategy above.

While personalizing your strategy depends on you, these are steps easy enough to incorporate and use right away. How do you use social media, while still investing your time in your important priorities.

quote created by zinga hart success quotes the can be no peace without understanding

 

What are some of your time saving strategies? I’d love to know! 

Free Higher Ed Approved Tools for Your Authentic Success

If you’ve ever connected with me on LinkedIn, you know I am a proud higher education professional. I honestly believe improving the higher education industry will help unlock the purposeful potential of our nations. So far, it’s been a long journey of leadership, suppression, growth, challenge, contradictions and support. It is an industry that frustrates and excites my energies to no end, and I will not stop until I figure out how to tie higher education to the trillion-dollar ROI it can naturally and organically produce?

Wondering what is a higher educational professional? 

Essentially, we staff colleges and universities in the various roles and positions needed for the organization to effectively and efficiently run. We are the admissions counselors who talked you through the ins-and-outs of campus living or the advisor who helped you consider majors. Our role also extends to presidents, government consultants,  faculty, and residence services. A higher education professional is many-faced, multifaceted, and mold-as-you go role that truly attracts those who are flexible, service-oriented, and enjoy problem-solving as a whole.

zinga hart higher education winter is coming joke

Credit: WinterisComing.Com

For me, it is a career interwoven with my destiny.

What have I learned so far?

Ever since 2013, when I made it my personal mission to show the world the value of education,  I studied and obtained my M.Ed. in Higher Education, with a focus on adult development and success. From my journey, I have learned many things, but the first thing I would tackle in my mission is sharing the tools we use to help develop others. It amazed me, how Meyers-Briggs was only taught for the first time in college and Holland was discussed only in a career-development course in graduate school. These are tools that could be freely accessed by anyone, but only randomly encountered on a syllabus for some students to see.

Well, today, I see and share, so that you can take one more move towards building your authentic legacy of success. Check out three of my favorite tools to use that will help you unearth your inner brand and tap into your personalized success strategy.

Your Learning Style

There are certain ways that people process and use new information. If you want to make any form of learning easier on yourself, discover your learning style and implement any useful techniques immediately. The VARK test was first shared with me by my biology professor, who I later discovered would teach me a lot about learning. VARK stands for Visual, Auditory, Read-Write, and Kinesthetic. These are four basic domains or learning and familiarizing yourself with your special way will cut down on a lot of the time it takes to build new skills, like skills you will need to achieve your final vision of success.

Try the VARK Quiz

Your Work Preference 

The Holland Code was named after John Holland, a person who used military job duty classification to devise a test for work preferences and how they affect success in certain roles. From this research, he came up with six main types of preferences: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Conventional, and Enterprising.  These six preferences will help you narrow down and understand why you prefer to crunch numbers over writing songs, or why helping people motivates you every day.

Discover your work preference with O*Net.

Your Personality

Myers-Briggs is more popular, but it is still not as widely-used as I’d prefer. This inventory is longer but allows you to understand and describe some of your personality traits and how they interact with others. One, great version of this test is through 16-personalities. What’s your type?

All three of the options are useful tools for discovering and articulating your uniqueness. Of course, everyone is a bit of everything so nothing will be a 100% accurate to you, but it gives you a great headstart.

 

 

20 Quotes to Manifest Your Authentic Brand

What you think is what you become. If you are interested in finding and becoming their your best success, it’s important to repeat to yourself positive mottos, affirmation, prayers, and mantras that bring out the best within you. Here are 21 quotes meant to bring out your authentic brand.

On Your Values

Your values are your brand’s center of gravity. Everything you do, believe, and attract in your life rely on the values you hold dearly. Examine your values closely and share them within everything you do.

Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.

– Ayn Rand

We have many ways of pursuing happiness. While some lead to outcomes that extend our lives, true joy, others can lead us on paths of personal destruction and desolation. How you translate and express your values is the measure of a successful pursuit.

People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

– Simon Sinek

Your motivations the by-products of your values. If you value family you are motivated to tend to family duties. If you value fun you are motivated to have it. The why you do it results in the actions that people can see.

 When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier. Roy E. Disney

A wonderful benefit of discovering your core values is that you give yourself a framework for making decisions. If the decision benefits your value you can be confident in taking it. Define your values early on and often during your success journey to ensure you adjust to the weight of the decisions you will take.

The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values.

– William S. Burroughs

success quotes burroughs zinga hart

We discussed this at our Purposely Chosen Women workshop! Anyone who has read this blog, knows, education is not just stuffing people with fact and theories, it is the drawing out of one’s inner success. [Hence my motto: Draw out your success!] Education is the fuel of entrepreneurship and the foundation of your major is to discover your values, the values of others, and how to align the two in a prosperous way.

 Define what your brand stands for, its core values and tone of voice, and then communicate consistently in those terms.

-Simon Mainwaring

On Your Style

Your brand style is everything you do. While it does include dress, it is also your attitude, how you treat others and what you will not put on the negotiation table.

All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership. — John Kenneth Galbraith

There are many people in leadership roles and then there are great leaders, what distinguishes them, thus forming their own style, is the ability to go against the grain because your values will not allow you to act otherwise. This is precisely why your ties to your values are so important as they tie back to your actions, which, when expressed, are the basis of your style.

“Taste and style is beyond clothes. It’s in food; it’s in quality. Working out, healthy bodies, organic food—they’re all part of the same thing.”
-Ralph Loren

Your style is a way of living, so it truly permeates in all the choices we make. Whether it is company goals or personal goals, they will blossom from your sense of values and how well you apply them to all aspects of your life. Strive to see how your values express themselves in all the domains of your life and if you must find ways to innovate.

Your true power is not in your difference but in your consistency of being different. The world will always adjust to consistency, yet struggle with change.”
― Shannon L. Alder

Staying consistent plays a huge role in how you stand out over your success journey. Yet, staying consistent does not mean staying the same, it means staying true to your purpose and values by adjusting when necessary.

Create your own visual style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.
-Orson Welles

 

Setting a pre-defined look and feel that encapsulates your brand is a helpful way to be memorable to others. Start a Pinterest board or clothing capsule to simplify your brand and then grow your style from there.

success quotes zinga

Style is joyful if you allow yourself to have joy.
-Stacy London

Have fun with your style. If you have your values in place, you will be able to experiment and stretch the limits of your actions and decisions. If you are thinking tightly controlled, then your style and demeanor will come across that way. Have fun and find happiness and have a style that attracts that.

On What Others Think

Speak to your audience in their language about what’s in their heart.
– Jonathan Lister

We can not control what others think, but we can do our best to communicate with them. This comes from speaking directly to them and to what their values are and what they care about.

If you get bored with social media, it’s because you are trying to get more value than you create.
– Fast Company

Social media is a key tool towards communicating your brand with others. Yet, in my line of work, I stumble across many small business owners wary of using social media or adamantly against it or just plain uninterested. A big shift for them is when I align the value they bring to others in real life to the brand they want to build on social media. Social media is an extension of you and the value you bring, making it much more than just an online billboard. Find creative ways to express your value and then translate that to your social media channels.

A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is — it is what consumers tell each other it is.
– Scott Cook.

Building off the billboard analogy above, your brand is never completely yours or completely under your control. Know what others think of your brand and be grateful to those who give you honest and constructive feedback.

Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.
– Seth Godin

This goes back to being consistency. This is the simplest way to build consistency with others.

Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
– Margaret Mead

Eventually, you may need a team to grow your success. Ensure the people who join your team is committed to your values, and stand firm on their own values. A team of people building a brand could be world-changing.

success quotes mead zinga hart

On Staying Authentic

May your  success journey be long and adventurous. People will connect with you and may even contribute ton your personal growth and change, but staying true to you comes down to you. As you grow to your fabulous success ask yourself: is this true to me?  Your values will make your decision quick and how you express it will develop the style that others talk about.

Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender, it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.
– Stephen Covey

Patience is a virtue, and a virtue is a value that most people agree upon. Choose patience during your journey because there will be errors and mistakes, but there is no need for self-inflicted harm or aggravation. You are putting thought into who you are and that effort alone is an act of success.

Truth is a point of view, but authenticity can’t be faked.
– Peter Gruber

Sometimes your brand will be skewed by what others say of you, but what will be indisputable is how you act. Stay consistent with who you are and the truth will reveal itself.

success quotes gruber zinga hart

Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit.
– Conrad Hilton

Once you’ve decided to pursue your purpose, don’t quit! Pivot, pause, or pass, but don’t stop the pursuit. You need to maintain your momentum.

Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealised, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character, and no public trust.
– Richard Branson

Choosing a style for your brand and living your brand are two separate acts. While it is useful to have a vision of what you want sticking to only presenting the vision, will rob you and your community of your true value. Focus on bringing your value to others and use your vision to enhance what you do, this is where you build your personal depth.

 Everyone who achieves success in a great venture solved each problem as they came to it. They helped themselves and they were helped through powers known and unknown to them at the time they set out on their voyage. They kept going regardless of the obstacles they met.
– W. Clement Stone

Your journey will unfold before you no matter what. From those who never make a move to those who make all the moves, you will be faced with decisions to make about who you are, what you prefer, and how you will act. Branding is a simplified way of giving you and others a tangible understanding of who you set out to be while living on this earth. When you find your purpose and set your values, the obstacles will be worthwhile.