Personal Branding or Selling Yourself

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about the term “brand”? Let me guess, a company, a label, a corporation, something along those lines, correct? 

Rarely do we associate ourselves with the term “brand”. Most of us are not self-employed, no public figures and don’t have a Social Media following of several thousand. 

So why am I speaking about a personal brand and why is it so important?

In the age of the internet, you can find information about pretty much anyone on this planet in a matter of seconds (at least where the Internet is available). Do a quick Google search or look for someone on Facebook and you will find what that person likes, where she/he lives, what kind of food they eat and much more. Today, it is more difficult to stay hidden and almost frowned upon. “You’re not on Facebook, you got something to hide???” 

Therefore, whether you want it or not YOU ALREADY HAVE A PERSONAL BRAND!

You may not call it a “brand” but people naturally give labels to anyone and everything. Are you known to be trustworthy and honest or are you a notorious liar? Your actions will speak for themselves and the sooner you realize this, the faster you will build your personal success. If your brand is in high demand, guess what? People will naturally seek you with more opportunities because the chances of success are much higher. That does not have to mean monetary success. Even if someone wants to go out and have a great night that can be seen as a success. But if your personal brand says you are a boring and complaining fart, the chances of having a great time are much smaller. You get what I’m saying, right? Your brand and your economic value exist only in the minds of other people - how you view yourself is very important but does little if other people don’t perceive you in the same manner.

 Looks trustworthy, doesn't he?

Looks trustworthy, doesn't he?

As usual, I love passing on some of the things that I have done to increase my personal brands along with lessons I have learned from people that are much smarter than me.

Learn how to communicate

Just like many of the most successful companies are the ones that know how to market themselves effectively, communication is one of the most important tools to improve your personal brand. I have been a member at a public speaking club called Toastmasters since 2014 and I cannot emphasize enough how much this one skill has affected my life. When you learn how to effectively communicate, you also learn how to be yourself. Fear of public speaking? All it takes is good practice and you no longer have to hide the beautiful soul of yours. Think about it, we communicate all day long. Even when we are not speaking, we communicate with our bodies or by our silence. Being able to take control what you say, significantly improves your personal brand. 

Be authentic

We live in a highly competitive world and most of us are just trying to fit in. We put on filters and pretend to be someone we are not. Funnily enough, we worship the people that are most authentic even if in the beginning they may seem “weird”. When you stay true to yourself and continue to do so in face of adversity, you will ultimately make peace with who you are. People are most interested in knowing who you truly are. Honestly sharing the ups and the downs creates authenticity. You do not need to apologize for who you are - to no one! Embrace your “weirdness”, learn to love yourself for who you are and what you have. No star can shine brighter than the light you have inside. 

Tell your story

Understanding where you came from and where you are going is worth every ounce of gold on the planet. We are natural born storytellers and once you learn how to share the lessons you have learned, your brand value will go up. Take some time and write down your life’s story. “But I haven’t done much”. So what? Talk about your childhood, how you were raised and what you have experienced. Focus on the lessons you learned when times were difficult. What is the message you can bring across and who could find value in it? Remember, every emotion serves a purpose and even the negative ones carry a valuable message with them. I absolutely urge you not to make up s**t because it will one day backfire and that might kill your brand.

Associate with other people

Find people that do something you are already doing or would like to do. Research them on the internet, go to their events or just call them. Remember the words of Les Brown: “Birds of a feather stick together. If you hang around with losers, you will end up a loser.” So, surround yourself with people that can pull you forward and then share it with the world (Social Media!). When other people see you spend time with more successful people, they will start asking “who’s that dude, better check him out to see if he’s got something good to say”. Just showing up is already half the work and many people underestimate the power of association. Great sources to get started are Meetup or Facebook groups.

Focus on value

Be very mindful of your presence on Social Media. Posting 200 selfies a day while eating hamburgers and gossiping about celebrities does not increase your personal brand. In fact, it makes you look like a fool and clearly, there are deeper issues to be resolved. Just ask yourself “what information can I provide that would truly help someone else”. If your brand uplifts just one person, you’re a winner - congrats! Think about your interests or hobbies. Maybe you are passionate about a certain sport and you could share your training practice with people that would like to get started. You do not need to reinvent the wheel, all you need to do is provide real value. 

The more aware you become about your personal brand, the faster you will realize that it only exists in the minds of other people. Focusing on helping, uplifting and sharing your authentic self, will create a very powerful brand. You have so much more Power in You than you may currently think you have. Let your actions speak for themselves and be sure to keep your commitments. Honoring your word is key to a brand that says you are serious about life. 

If you are interested in learning more about this topic, send me an email to info@powerin.me and I will get back to you within 24 hours. 

 

Much love,

Mario 

Leadership vs. Management

A desperate woman once came to Gandhi with her young child and asked for his guidance. Her son developed a bad habit for overeating sugary foods and the mother was very concerned. "I have traveled 2 days because my son just won't stop eating sugar. Please help and tell him how bad sugar is for his health."Gandhi thought for a while and then said: "Come back in 2 weeks and I will help you". The women did as Gandhi said and returned 2 weeks later. This time Gandhi looked at the little boy and said: "little man, you need to stop eating sugar, it's very bad for your health". The young boy was impressed by this great leader and immediately agreed. "Why didn't you tell him this 2 weeks ago?" the mother asked..."first, I had to stop eating sugar" Gandhi replied.

What is the difference between a leader and a manager?

 Speaks for itself...

Speaks for itself...

One of the most vital differences is the way leaders embody their words. A real leader does not command but actually, lives what he or she preaches. This is called leading by example. If you expect others to complete a task or behave a certain way, make sure you do the same. Being on time, keeping your word and doing the right things even when it hurts, are only a few of those vital elements. 

Too often I see managers, owners or CEO’s command their employees around. 

It seems like the words "thank you" and "please" have gone out of fashion

Rather than telling someone what to do, rephrase it as a question:

Go to this address and pick up the package and be back here by 3 pm.

vs.

Can you please go to this address and pick up the package? Please be sure to return no later than 3 pm. Thank you.

Notice the difference? How does the first example versus the second make you feel?

The first one leaves no room for empowerment since it’s a command. The second example is much more empowering because it gives the employee a feeling of choice. Even if the employee has to do the task because it is part of the job, it makes a big difference. This is the fundament of a relationship based on respect and appreciation. Any person treated this way is much more likely to perform better! By the way, I highly recommend using the same principle in your personal relationships! Words of appreciation are honey to the soul.

Another great attitude leaders bring forward is acknowledgment. How often do you praise your employees, colleagues, friends, family members or partners? Think about it. Most of the time we take each other for granted and I sometimes still find myself doing this. Honest appreciation can make a tremendous difference. We all have this little voice in our head that keeps bugging us with thoughts like "I should be better" or "that wasn't good enough". A few words of appreciation on a regular basis can change that. Give it a try and write down 3 things you appreciate about a person in your life. Pick someone who could really use it and watch what happens. I did this with my family and suddenly tapped into a completely new way of being. My relationships literally transformed! 

Remember, you never know how big your impact can be in that moment…sometimes you might even save a life!

Last but not least, leaders understand how to challenge their people. When I say challenge, I don’t mean this in a dreadful army-style way like “get on the floor and gimme a 100 you little s**t”. A leader knows the current limitations and sets the challenges in a fun and entertaining way that makes you want to expand yourself. Growth is a crucial part in business and it goes hand in hand with personal development. If you as a leader and/or your employees expand, your business is very likely to follow. Why? Because businesses are driven by people and their capabilities to reach new levels

One of the best ways of doing this is to appeal to the motive. The WHY is always stronger than the HOW. When tough times come (trust me they will) your WHY determines how much further you are willing to go. Understanding a person’s WHY allows you to motivate him/her at a much deeper level. 

John C. Maxwell said it best:

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.

Try it yourself, embody what you preach and you will see the world around you can quickly change for the better.

Much love AND appreciation,

Mario 

Goal Setting

Imagine yourself as a ship sailing the open ocean. Let’s call that ocean the ocean of opportunity. You set out with your ship, motivated, sails into the wind and off you go….wooooshhh.

The first week is going great, the water is smooth and the wind just perfect. Where will the wind take you? Not important because you are free

Two weeks later things start to change and you suddenly find yourself struggling. The wind is picking up and bigger waves are smashing into your ship. Three weeks later and you are about to drown, completely lost sight of direction and throwing up so much, food from last years Xmas is making an early comeback. 

In case I lost you at “ocean of opportunity”, I’m creating a metaphor for setting goals. Having goals can literally become the difference between success & failure.  

But, wait! Why should you have goals in the first place? Why not just live life spontaneously and go with the floooow? 

Think of the ship that set out without a specific course. Life may go well if things are “normal” but when the weather starts changing, the economy goes downhill or your boss snorts away the company's profits, you’ll end up on some deserted island and get eaten by evil monkeys. 

Goals give you direction, they make it easier to plan and to review if the things you did actually work. Without goals, you are just reacting to your circumstances rather than being proactive.

Here are my 5 most important ingredients when it comes to goals!

Raise your standards

Mr. Clement Stone said “Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star”. Set a goal that scares you, challenges your comfort zone and upgrade your standard. Why? Because a bigger goal will motivate you to find answers that you do not know yet. If your goal is bigger than what you currently know, you are forced to develop yourself and GROW. Any business that doesn’t grow will eventually die. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a student or an employee, you need to challenge yourself and grow with the task. Growth and progress fuel your creativity and ultimately lead to happiness. 

Be specific

Whenever you set a goal, be as specific as you possibly can. Don’t just say “I wanna earn more money”. Fine, here is a dollar, done! Instead, write down “I want to earn $5000 more within the next 2 months” or “I want to double my income until August 31st”. This will ensure you have a measurable goal that you can monitor and adjust in the future. 

Accountability 

We all do it. We lie to ourselves and don’t stay true to our word. You have done it and I have (many times). The best way to stay on track with your goals is to get an accountability partner. A friend, a coach, your cat (don’t take your cat, your cat doesn’t care)…anyone who is willing to check in on you and your goals regularly. I recommend doing this twice a week. The most successful people on this planet have a coach - even coaches have a coach. So why shouldn’t you?

Don’t be too hard on yourself

You keep trying and it still doesn’t work. Don’t beat yourself up! Take a moment and analyze. Do I really want to achieve this goal or am I just writing it down because other people think it’s cool? Am I trying to climb Mt. Everest on day 1? If you fail at achieving your goals, over and over again, make sure you understand there is nothing wrong with you. You are perfectly imperfect and after all, a human being. I fail at achieving my goals all the time, so what!? I try again and adjust my goals if necessary. 

Celebrate

This is the hardest part for many over-achievers. I find it very difficult to actually reflect and celebrate. Many times I convince myself that I should be doing more instead of celebrating. Very wrong! Lately, I have been giving myself more time to celebrate the hard work and long hours. A trip to Florida with my lady over the weekend and meditation retreat with silence/prayer. Life is not all about work and hustle. Recharging the batteries and allowing the mind to rest in silence is crucial for a well-balanced life. After these small breaks, I feel much more centered, focused and creative. The way to the top is long and hard, give yourself a well-deserved break!

So, there you have it.  Take a moment and really think about the things you want to achieve in life. Write them down, divide them into baby steps and then…TAKE ACTION! Do it now and stop wasting your beautiful life because you deserve the very best. It doesn’t require a rocket scientist to write them down and take small action steps towards achieving them. With all my heart, I believe in you and your fullest potential!

What’s your strategy for achieving goals? Do you have any tips, tricks, god-mode cheat codes? 

Let me know in the comments and as always, I highly appreciate your feedback and will respond within 24 hours. 

Much love,

Mario

BONUS: Research has shown that just setting a goal and trying to achieve it will make you happier…even if you don’t achieve it. So, set goals today and be happy :-)