Branding is strategic.
Managing Your Time
Value is where you place it
So many times I have kicked myself because I simply forgot to do something that was critically important. I know, your're thinking, how do you forget something CRITICALLY important? Well, simply by being in a state called overwhelm. The word overwhelmed can easily be associated with the word "victim". When you find yourself so busy that your brain is frazzled and you are messing up big projects or important situations, it's because you aren't respecting your time!
As a single parent, I have to manage a full-time job, my own business AND raising two very active teenage girls. Trust me, if I don't plan my time and get it down to a science, I will let little things steal my time and before I know it. I am pulling another all-nighter. So, I have found for me, it is best if I plan my activities and calender them with respective alarms to alert me at least a day in advance.
Organizing your time is critical and effects your brand in ways you may not be aware of. Here are some ways that mis-managing your time can greatly affect your brand.
1. Bad in, Bad out
If you aren't well rested you will begin to do sloppy work. Bad word of mouth spreads much faster than good word of mouth and is the best anti-advertisement out there.
2. Poor Organization
If you don't plan for your week, you will plan around projects. By planning around projects you end up wasting others time. This often occurs when you find yourself notifying people at the last minute what their responsibilities are. People often begin to avoid you like the plague, and while they may be kind enough not to spread the word, they slowly begin to distance themselves from any project you are working on.
3. Disgruntled/Frazzled Appearance and Communications
When you feel overwhelmed, everyone knows it. They can tell by the frantic look in your eye, your depressed state, your unmotivated slump or even your slurred or extremely fast speech. (Everyone handles stress differently, the only universal trait is the fact that everyone's demeanor changes.)
Ways to overcome poor-time management include:
During an important project:
1. Plan to take breaks that allow you to regain perspective
2. Don't procrastinate or put off tomorrow what can be done today
3. Have snacks available and at arms reach, keep plenty of water nearby
4. Make a list of what is needed in priority
To manage your workload, family and bills:
1. Schedule all of your tasks for the week and month, the more detail the better! If you are a person with big ideas plan them out over the year. This makes them easier to actually accomplish!
2. Make changes to your schedule as necessary, but make sure you have your calendar updated to reflect them.
3. Find a great way to save your calendar. Google calendar is really great because it links with your iphone, outlook and Google Chrome browser. I love making one universal change and it is updated everywhere I go!
4. Creating alerts for specific tasks helps tremendously. I create tasks for simple things like cooking dinner and exercising. If I don't plan for what is important, it will get away from me and I will be disappointed later when I wonder what happened.
5. Lastly, make time for you! Scheduling time for fun things like going to the movies or going swimming are important to your mental state and well being. No more frazzle-dazzle overwhelm.
Stephanie D. Moore
Mud Ducks are Prettier than you...
I created this blog in response to a post I saw on facebook. A guy tried to blast some woman (I honestly think me :)) about filtered instagram pics. He dared her to create a video and said, "She is probably a mud duck."
Well, I am never one to back down from a challenge, hence, my lovely video blog.
The truth of the matter is - if you don't love you, no one else will.
Learn to love everything about you. Whether you have dark skin, a thick waist line, crooked teeth or amazingly beautiful eyes, bronze skin and a svelte coke bottle shape.
Branding is strategic. Love your brand and others will also!
Happy Independence Day!!!
The Power of Your Words
We are listening...
Your word is bond. The art of communication is absorbed best in face-to-face conversations that utilize words each person can relate to. Your communication style is so intertwined with your personal brand that it even supersedes your marketing, your gifting or abilities and your powerful networking skills. Who you know cannot help you when you let small idiosyncrasies of bad character fall from your lips. It is directly linked to who you are.
Have you ever had a friend that just lied all the time? I mean, they lied so much that they would try to convince you that they knew Jay-Z and that he and Beyonce were going to name their next child Green Envy? Yes, those kind of lies. More than likely, you hate conversing with this person because nothing they say has any value to you.
Words are powerful containers and they echo into time. One person's wisdom will be shared from generation to generation, and another person's ignorance can powerfully destroy. Think about amazing quotes we've all heard for years.
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”― Mae West
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." —Gandhi
“I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.” ― Marilyn Monroe
"Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated." —Martin Luther King, Jr.
"We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." —Aristotle
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”― Friedrich Nietzsche
Our words shape our future. They will determine if we are considered for that new position that has become available or if you will be considered more than an associate. Great conversation with clients can lead you into a successful business relationship that will endure for life. Your relationship will follow you from position to position and from city to city. It will transcend time and circumstance and live in what I call "Personal Space".
"Personal Space" is that area within a relationship where two people can meet and relate on a personal level that causes eternal respect. Only detrimental mistakes like muttered faux pas in the heat of the moment or rumors you contribute to can destroy this well created "personal space". Treasure and protect it with all of your might.
it is the same when you make promises you know in your heart you can't keep. Your clients, your business partners and your investors all need you to be upfront and truthful when dealing with them. Not only should you be telling the truth, but you should also be careful not to offend others.
Manage your words & retain your character and integrity!
1. Consider your audience
Understand the culture of your audience. For example (and I just saw a very similar situation on a reality realty show -- it almost made me throw up), if your client is Jamaican, don't walk in with a multi-colored hat on and change your voice to mimic your made up "Jamaican" accent. You will not only insult the client, but you will embarrass yourself. Be you, they will love you just as you are!
2. Never talk about your clients to other clients in negative ways
Bad mouthing anyone, former employers, clients, friends or other is just bad karma. You are asking for it to come back to you, and it will with the force of a fast heavy boomerang! You know you would absolutely hate for your client to bad mouth you to their friends/associates! So, even if you heard they were talking about you, be the bigger person and keep it quiet.
3. Promises are hard to keep, make sure you deliver before you make the promise!
Promises mean alot to the person you make them to. If you say you have a 7-day turnaround time, do all that you can to keep that promise! It is better to say you aren't sure than walk around with a false bravado pretending you can deliver. Just be honest!
4. When in doubt, don't say anything.
If you aren't sure what you have to say is positive, don't say anything at all. If you are uncomfortable, resolve and choose to be ok being uncomfortable. It is way better than telling a lie and disappointing your client and yourself.
Personal Branding 101
What do YOU see?
Perspective plays a big role in ultimate success.
What do you see when everything around you says your efforts are futile? That you are a failure?
You have to go inside of you and recognize the true you in the midst of all storms. You have to go deep! You have to go into the belly because if you don't those scary emotions that are telling you lies will start to flow from your lips... That is when you give your bad thoughts life. Lessen and quiet those emotions and start tapping into your truth.
The truth is, you have faced a lot of disappointments in the past and survived, no - you even thrived with a strength that people looking in could only admire.
The truth is, you have more of you to give and the world is THIRSTY for it.
The truth is, you are more than what people, or even you see today, you are the vehicle for many others to travel into their tomorrows.
Your personal brand is a reflection of the message you send. Your actions and words will naturally align themselves with your emotions unless you take deliberate steps to prevent it. Make sure you quiet those voices in you that say you are anything but awesome. It's ok to admit your flaws but don't wallow in them and certainly, don't give them life!
Applaud your success, acknowledge your mistakes, but keep it moving - forward. Don't give up!
So, here on some tips on keeping the 'right view'
1. Write down every hard success you have achieved
If that is sending yourself to college by working two jobs and studying at the local Wendy's because they had free Wi-fi (my story) then so be it.
2. Keep a book of "Hallejuah" moments
Keep pictures, movie tickets, certificates, or other keepsakes in a photo album that easily accessible regardless of where you are.
3. Pat yourself on the back.
Let's face it, even within some of our biggest failures, there is usually at least one reason to be proud. For instance, if you landed a great client, but failed to follow their explicit directions and failed in one way or another... acknowledge the fact that you were in the right place at the right time to land the client! There is success in failure. If you refuse to acknowledge the successful areas, you will wallow in the negative aspects. Take the good, drop the bad and keep it moving!
4. Make a Vision Board.
Take the time to create a wall, board or other that encourages you to keep going. This wall can have motivational quotes, pics of people or objects (like that new Lexus you will be driving one day) role models, successful events you hope to create or other.
5. Find a role model - distant or close.
Study what they did to become successful and find ways to customize what they did to fit your need or goals.
What you didn't say...
Every step that you take in front of your potential client is important.
So many times I have experienced defeat with a new client due to poor non-verbal messages I didn't even realize I was sending. Sooooo painful. It always happened before I was able to win them over with my smooth conversation and beautiful smile. Why? Lack of confidence, improper dress, improper behavior or wrong attitude killed the rabbit before I even pulled it out of the hat.
Here are a couple of tips you can implement to help make a great impression!
Eye contact, hand movements, posture, how you stand, the way you walk and smile are clear indications of what is going on inside. People have "fake detectors", most often, they pick up immediately if you are being fake or pretending to feign interest.
You want to be sure that when you walk in the door to your client, that you are perfectly comfortable with the material you will be covering. When you are comfortable with your material, you can handle almost any unexpected situation (like a dirty office, weird guests, etc.) with grace and sincerity. Clients love to see your true character. So, if you see something that makes you laugh (for a good reason) - laugh! It's ok.
Happy People Relate to New Clients
You want to be sure that as you interact with your clients and others in the office that you do so with confidence and a great smile. Reflect that you are happy to be where you have CHOSEN to be. Even if it is not your choice to be there, reflect an attitude of contentment that this is a responsibility that you have and you are happy to perform.
If you are uncomfortable with what you are wearing, change. If you don't have time to change your clothes, find a way to make what you are wearing work for you before you walk in. Be comfortable. Clients can tell when you aren't comfortable. Once you have done everything you can do, don't be apologetic or shy, just project confidence - knowing you have done all you can do to be presentable, comfortable and present. Focus on the job at hand with a mindset that you were chosen to do this because you can.
Parking Lot Lizards
That would be you, especially if you aren't treating people with respect as you walk in. Don't let your client see you treating their employees, friends or relatives with poor attitude because they parked in the spot you wanted or aren't dressed to your standard. Treat others as you would have them treat your mom!
Non-verbal communications are forever linked to your personal brand. I truly hate that some of my earliest prospects may still remember the worst about me and still have it tied to my brand! If you don't harness your brand, others will create it for you by telling the world what they know. Harness it by keeping what you didn't say to pleasantries.
Your Brand Environment...
Designing your culture
People flock to something they can relate to.
When you are designing your personal brand, consider your friends and family. What do they love most about you? Are you funny? Are you resourceful? Are you a snazzy dresser? Can you find the best deals? Are you intelligent, well - of course you are intelligent, but what do you specialize in? What are the perks of being in your presence? Those are the elements that you want to add to your culture.
For example, if you are a great dancer, do you pick the best clubs? Do you pick the best music? Do you know the best people to dance with? Can you tell by looking at a pair of dancers if they will have the best synergy or chemistry? Define your culture. Let people know who you are and invite them in by creating elements around you that sing to that culture.
Here are a couple of cool ways you can brand your culture!
1. Let your audience know that you have an interest in a specific topic. Talk about what you love and why. People will resonate with your emotional post because they identify.
2. Post links to like-minded individuals Facebook pages, Pinterest posts, LinkedIn comments or Twitter lists. What you find resourceful, others will also.
3. Share interesting stories that you find on the topic, add your opinion and ask for other's opinions. People love to interact especially on sticky (relational) topic specific posts.
4. Tips and tricks. Man, if you can give them a corner of insight on a specific topic, they will love you for life!
Start spending time with specific groups or individuals that enjoy your style. For instance, if you are a savvy shopper and coupon fanatic, join the local coupon club. Find out how the group works, watch and take note of what people respond to. Spend time talking to other members to see what aspects engage them. Find a creative way to provide the same environment in an inventive way.
Ok, this may sound corny, but truly embody the language your audience speaks. You don't have to completely adopt it, but speak in a way they relate to, otherwise they won't trust you and you will lose character points. Furthermore, by speaking in the right language, they will simply want to be around you because you are a lot "like" them. Relational. ***Disclaimer: This is in no way telling you not to be original. Originality goes an extremely long way, but KNOW the language of your audience so that you aren't alienated!"
There are so many creative ways you can create the "culture" that strengthens your brand. Enjoy who you are. Share that cool person with the world. Share your knowledge and your tribe will flock to you. Now that's totally juicy.