I’m a Brand, You’re a Brand

Business 3The talented comedian, actor, writer, producer and singer Steve Martin once said, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

This theory expands much further than the entertainment industry. Rather, it is an excellent goal for any individual who wants to grow their professional life and build a successful career.

You may think branding and marketing are for the public relations and communication departments; however, you will never be considered for a job opening or special project lead if no one knows your name. If people remember you, what they know about you and how they talk about you is all part of your personal brand.

Certainly having a resume and an accomplished work history is important, but your personal brand – how people identify you – is the selling point in your career success.

Personal brand expert Dan Schwabel gives one of my favorite definitions: “Personal branding is all about discovering what makes you special, and then communicating it to the right people, through the right channels.”

Building an effective brand, sharing your brand, and then continually strengthening and protecting your brand are the three steps to lead you on the path toward increased salary and personal job satisfaction.

1. Build Your Brand

Before you can build your personal brand, you must know what your existing brand is. You may ask yourself, “How can I know what it is if I have not built it yet?” While you may not know what it is, others have already been creating it for you. How you act, present yourself and treat others and how hard you work all reflect people’s opinions of you, which is in fact your brand. Ask a trusted superviser, mentor or colleague to describe how others perceive you.

Leverage this information and the following checklist to start planning how you will refine your brand.

• Define your professional goals and how you will accomplish them.

• Use this career map to identify the key elements of your personal brand.

• Create a brand statement that details how you want to be known and what you want to be known for.

2. Communicate Your Brand

Although you might have built a great personal brand, it is only useful if you are able to effectively communicate it to the professional world. To communicate your brand, you need to:

• Ensure that your supervisor, boss and other executives in the company are aware of your unique talents as well as the value you add to the corporation. Do this by maintaining regular communication on your progress on projects and the results that you deliver.

• Start paying attention to your daily interactions with those around you, including colleagues, clients, and even friends and family, consciously aligning these interactions with your personal brand goals.

• Remember the timeless saying that your actions speak louder than words. At work, volunteer for extra projects and take on new responsibilities that are in line with the talents and traits you want to showcase.

• Social media has enhanced the way companies market their brands and connect with their customers. You can implement this same technique to network and market yourself to employers. The key to creating a strong brand image through social media is consistency. Use the same name, picture and personal tagline when registering for different sites to assure people recognize your profile. About.me is an excellent way to link your different profiles, blogs and websites. You can personalize this page to reflect your brand image as well as track activity.

• Consider starting a blog or creating a personal website to showcase your work. This allows you to build your reputation as a subject-matter expert, which is important to maintain after you have landed your dream job. Link your social media profiles with automatic cross posts to make this easier. In addition, reaching out through blogs and other communication outlets opens the door to grow your professional network with other bloggers.

• Update these other communication tools to help you highlight the brand you want to communicate: business cards, résumé and cover letter, work portfolio, and wardrobe.

3. Strengthen and Protect Your Brand

To climb the corporate ladder you need to market yourself and your brand image. This includes maintaining a professional appearance and behavior at all times. As a result of increased technology, especially social media outlets, the lines between your personal and professional life often blend together. “There is no professional or personal anymore,” says successful entrepreneur and businessman Peter Shankman. “There’s simply your brand, and it’s up to you to determine whether your brand is affected positively or negatively.”

The following steps will help you strengthen and protect your personal brand:

• Continually update your brand, and your professional achievements will grow. Maintain records of projects you have worked on, as well as the quantifiable results of these projects. This proof is what you will need to present when you are ready to ask for a promotion or raise.

• Protect your reputation by regularly monitoring your social media accounts, website, blog posts and other communication outlets. Review pictures, comments and posts to assure they are appropriate and professional. Your brand should be a positive reflection of you.

Building, improving and maintaining your personal brand takes a great deal of work. Managing your brand is a continuous process. It is not easy, however; taking the time to align your career goals and how you want others to perceive you is a proven way to help you confidently ask for a raise or bravely go outside your comfort zone to pursue a new opportunity. Ultimately, your personal brand will help you achieve your career dreams.

You’re Not A Workaholic If You Genuinely Love Your Job

business dealYou’ve heard the Confucius quote, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” But what if you have yet to figure out what it is that makes you want to jump out of bed each morning? Sure, you might think your job is fine. But between the never-ending (pointless) meetings on your calendar and your mile-long-to-do-list, would you really say you love it?

Think about a time you fell in love or the first time you held your newborn baby. The world seemed different – it felt like your heart was going to burst with love and happiness. It is possible to bring that kind of joy and energy into your work too. When we have passion in whatever we do it’s not a job but more of a calling. A job is often synonymous with chore, a drag; something you have–not want–to do, and it drains your energy. Having a passion for your work is energizing, something you look forward to, that you cannot wait to dive into to, and it makes you genuinely happy.

Here’s a quick question. What did you want to be when you grew up? A doctor? A firefighter? An actress? As kids, we allowed our passions to decide what we wanted to be. We imagined ourselves doing what we loved. So, what happened along the way? As with most of us, our present-day situations are the result of no vision, self-doubt, lack of focus, and limited resources (a.k.a money). But it’s never too late to make a change, a turn in the course of your professional career. All it takes is a little trust, motivation to take some risks, and a clear set of goals.

Most of the time when people choose their careers, they choose to follow the paper trail instead of what they genuinely want to do every day. They are blinded by money. Although money is great and can buy us all of the things that we want, this will only make us temporarily happy. You only have one life; so don’t waste it working somewhere you hate just because you might bring home a hefty paycheck.

The first thing you need to do is identify your strengths. What is it your good at? What do you love to do? When you have identified your talents and interests, trust those feelings. Many entrepreneurs have credited their professional success to a personal, internal desire to do more with their abilities.

As many entrepreneurs will confirm, success, a career change – even wealth, doesn’t come without risks. In order to do great things, you have to be willing to take some risks. That means risk becomes a large part of realizing your goals. Make it a standard practice to visualize your long-term goals. Knowing where you intend to be five years from now affects the decisions you make today.

If you are ready to explore other options, contact us and our Life Coaches will help you to discover your dreams and goals. When you genuinely love what you do, it won’t feel like the dreaded 9 to 5, it will no longer feel like a job.

Six Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Stop Job Searching During the Holidays

During the holiday season, it can be tough for job seekers to resist the temptation to take a break. The job search is quite tiring in nature, so friends and family often advise that a break is best. While they mean well, there are a variety of reasons why this advice is faulty. The following is a closer investigation.

1. Year End Surpluses

A company may not have planned on making any hires, until they run their numbers and realize that they have more resources available to them than originally thought. When a company discovers money that they didn’t know about, this leads to additional hires. It’s important that you remain available, so that these opportunities do not have a chance to elude you.

2. Others May Be Taking a Break

Chances are good that you are not the only one who has given consideration to taking a break during the holidays. Popular opinion dictates that November and December are the worst possible times to be searching for a new job. By continuing your job search during the holidays, job seekers give themselves a leg up on their competition that chose to take a break.

3. Preparation for January

Rather than sitting out of the job search during the holidays, job seekers should remain vigilant, so that they are prepared for the inevitable hiring rush than January brings. Waiting puts you in the same pool as all of the other candidates who decided that they would ramp up their job search on New Year’s. Job searching during the holidays sets you apart from the crowd.

4. Vacations Are Taken During the Holidays

At many companies and businesses, the holidays are when the majority of their current staff decide to take much deserved vacations. However, work never takes a day off and big projects tend to pop up during the months of November and December. Employers need help to complete these projects, which provides a valuable audition opportunity for job seekers. Impress the bosses during a limited run and you may end up being hired full time.

5. Networking Opportunities

Don’t stay cooped up in the house, take advantage of every possible networking opportunity that presents itself. Go to all of those holiday parties. You never know when opportunity will knock, so it’s best to be sitting close to the door at all times.

6. Response Time Is Key

If you get lackadaisical about responding to e-mails and phone calls, then you could potentially miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime. When an employer takes the time to reach out, they appreciate a rapid response. Making them wait could be the death blow to your hopes of getting a job with their company.

See when you begin your career search, we start with the “big box” sites. Monster and Craigslist. The challenge? Like you employers are searching for the best way to get their bang for the buck, so they are not going where the masses are going daily! In fact, most Fortune 500 companies and beyond are using niche sites for their hires. So why compete amongst the 10’s and 10’s of thousands for limited jobs? You shouldn’t.

Asset Management: The Differences Between Corporate and Personal Oversight

You think that managing your financials is as easy as logging onto your institution’s banking website and viewing what you have available. While this may work for your day-to-day checking and savings, it is not nearly enough to take care of other assets you may have. There are different levels of asset management. To ensure you are getting adequate coverage from your finance firm, you should know the differences.

Managing an Infrastructure

For those who own and operate large companies, an infrastructure finance manager is what you need. This specialized account management firm handles not just the financial and economic side of things, but also engineering and practices that apply to the physical assets of the company. It is their job to be objective and provide a level of service that is cost-effective and operates within a given budget constraint.

A good example of infrastructure asset management is the managing of solar power systems. This renewable energy resource has given rise to solar parks, windmills, and is even employed by green companies as a way to offset the use of non-renewable energy sources. In order to manage all of these components, their financial costs and savings, and offer turnkey solutions to investors, there has to be a team working to make it happen.

Enterprise Asset Management

Infrastructure can be considered part of the enterprise. However, it is not the only aspect. When it comes to enterprise oversight, your team is looking at the fixed equity in addition to any digital and information technology inventory the company may have. There are also tangible properties such as the structure and any items within owned by the enterprise that should be taken into account. These items, while they may not be generating funds now, could be sold off in the future to shore up any financial difficulties.

Personal Oversight

While asset management is a common term among businesses and corporations, individuals use the term as well. For personal use, this term describes the supervision of retirement funds and other investments. An individual broker or company handles the account and monitors how well it is doing under current stock conditions.

The idea is that the supervisor uses the money within the fund to make it grow. By using sophisticated software and knowledge of the market, the right investment broker will be able to predict the best times to buy and sell stocks. He or she relays the information back to the account owner for permission to make the purchases or sales. By doing this at the right time, the investments grow.

An experienced financial manager will not just invest the money into stocks, but will diversify the account into savings, bonds, and high yield CODs. This way, if the stock market didn’t behave as predicted, some of the money is safe for the future.

Personal asset management teams work closely with their clients to help them use the funds to plan for their retirement.

What Business Should You Put Up?

Business 2What steps should you take when deciding on your business venture? If you have the financial means and does not are what happens to your money, you can do a trial and error. If the business did not work, you close it and open another one until you hit your goldmine. But this is not reality. How many of us were born with the silver spoon in our mouth? For the very good 99 percent of the population, we have limited financial resources. If you are in the 1 percent of the population, chances are you will be working in your family’s business either by choice or by force. Likewise, in any business venture, time is of the essence. Time is one of the most important resources of a business. A great business idea must be done immediately; otherwise, someone else might do it and you lose the chances of earning huge amount of money from the idea. Besides, our world is changing very fast. A great idea today may easily be overshadowed by an innovation. Thus, while the idea is needed by customers at this very moment, you must jump in and do it.

Choose the product or service that you are very much interested in.

Choosing what business to put up is just like choosing what job to apply to or deciding on your career. You always must look for a business or job that you have a great interest in or are very passionate about. This way, you do your business or work on your job like it is not your job or business but something that you can’t avoid doing. Your love for what you do makes you feel that you are not working at all. Being passionate on what you are doing will make you push and do your best amidst any issues that may come your way.

Choose to do a business that you have the skills for.

Of course, you can choose to hire people but if you are starting a business for the first time it will be best if you know at least something about the product or service that you want to market. A friend of mine put up a beauty parlor. She does not know anything about hair styling, make-up or nail care. But just because she thought that she can easily find people capable of doing this, she put up her beauty parlor business.

Unfortunately, despite her consistent dedication and hard work her business folded up. The hair cutters and stylists she employed would take leaves and never return. Even the loyal customers that she was able to develop stopped coming to her parlor because she couldn’t provide the services they need. If she knows how to do the services she offers or at least learned to do them instead of completely relying on her employees, she could have provided assistance when her hair cutters go on leave for prolonged periods of time. Knowing how to do the job will also allow you to select the best applicant to employ. Of course there are various reasons why a business will fold up but if you have knowledge of your product or service you will have better chances of making your business a success.

These are just two steps but are the most important things to consider when choosing what kind of business you should set up.