Breathe as deeply as possible.
In deep and out fully.
If you can’t reach your deepest point right away, stop at where you can reach and push to breathe a little bit deeper on the next breath.
Breathe as deeply as possible.
In deep and out fully.
If you can’t reach your deepest point right away, stop at where you can reach and push to breathe a little bit deeper on the next breath.
I’ve always liked maxims.
max·imˈmaksəm/nounplural noun: maxims1. a short, pithy statement expressing a general truth or rule of conduct. (Google Search)
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
What are some of your time saving strategies? I’d love to know!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Style is joyful if you allow yourself to have joy.
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.
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.
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.
You got the juice. You know it.
I know it.
Your purpose, the one that’s scratching at your spirit, is always ready to be at play. You just need to find ways to let it out and to let it be creative. Lucky for you, if you attach your purpose to goals you can even find ways to make personal achievement within the milestones in your life.
Yet, milestones take movement, and the greater the milestone, the greater the persistent movement and energy you will need to meet it.
Simple enough, but we know that life has a way of throwing other “stones” in our way. They are the obstacles.
The missed connections, broken laptop, endless interruptions, and other technical or non-technical difficulties that delay us momentarily.
Or they could be the big ones, suffering from a loss, a major financial setback, or some other life event that causes you strife.
You want to pursue passions in your life but within the time and energy that you already have. How do you keep a steady momentum to help you achieve anything you set your mind to? How do you get past the bouts of energy followed by low-productivity and distraction?
First, you need to find what’s stopping you from building momentum.
There could be several reasons:
You need to know why you want to achieve your goal. You need to have a reason greater than any excuse. Then you need to set a purpose for every move you make towards your goal. Constantly reflect on the why behind what you do while fulfilling your goal’s needs.
When you know what the goal is that you want to achieve, the next step is figuring out exactly when, where, and how you will fit the work into your schedule. Attach your work to life triggers like “I’ll review my strategy after morning coffee or I’ll reach out to new contacts every Friday”. How you shape your schedule will depend on your style.
Given the greatness of the goal, you will eventually need others to gain further momentum. Resources, in the form or people or organizations, will help you form new connections and open new pathways towards your final vision. You need to think of how you work connects to the larger framework and then find the people who could be key to meet.
There are plenty of great groups online or in person that can be there to support you.
Building momentum takes time. You can do it, and given your effort and ingenuity you will build speed. If you need to press pause on what you’re doing and set aside time to just strategize. The peace will be key to helping you sort yourself and gain clarity.
So what’s stopping you? Comment below or send a private message.
Whether it’s your own, the teams, or even all the organisms within the earth’s ecosystem: our work is our energy and the labor of or efforts contributes to our greatness. Take time to be grateful for any and all work you put in towards building your success.