Friday, March 21, 2014

Life Is Too Short To Wait

Don't wait. The time will never be just right” Napoleon Hill

We have a waiting problem

Many of us have a waiting problem.  Our waiting is subtle but it holds us back from being the successful individuals we were born to be.  For most, waiting is the biggest obstacle to fulfilling their dreams of success.  We wait for things to get better; we wait until the time is just right; we wait for the economy to get better; we wait for things to settle down; we wait until we have enough money; we wait for a better day; we wait for more information and details; we wait for that perfect job; we wait for perfect timing; we wait for the perfect person; we wait for the big promotion; we wait for the right opportunity; we wait to try something new; we wait for the sake of waiting; we wait, we wait and we wait.  Nike commercials encourage us to “Just Do It!”, but most of us don’t.  We all wait occasionally before taking action, but for many the problem is never ending resulting in wasted time, lost opportunities, disappointing work performance and feeling bad about ourselves.  Yes, many procrastinate when challenged with tasks that are perceived as too difficult, painful, boring or overwhelming but have no problem finding time for the things they like and want to do.

Why we wait

Waiting until a later time to take care of responsibilities will eclipse your desire to succeed.  Once you get into the habit of waiting until later, it becomes the norm and very difficult to overcome.  Procrastinating can result in certain death when trying to reach desired goals.  There are many reasons people put off doing things. 

Fear of failing will stop people in their tracks.  By only speaking about hopes and dreams but taking no action to achieve them will result in never failing but also never realizing your dreams.  Many fear that taking action but failing will be viewed by others as being a failure resulting in no action being taken.  They fail to see the act of trying is reward in itself.  Many very successful people have tried but failed far more times than they have realized success.  It takes a brave person to put it all on the line knowing their effort could result in failure.  Falling into the trap of fear allowing yourself to avoid taking the first step will only result in failing to achieve your dreams.

Feeling overwhelmed by a goal that appears to need so much to be done in order to be accomplished can paralyze your efforts preventing you from taking the first step.  If the big picture stops you in your tracks look for the tiny steps along the way.  Take each step one by one not worrying about the next one.  Remove everything that is not truly important.  Before you know it you will have realized success.

As emotional creatures we tend to avoid hardship and pain and favor what gives us pleasure.  Many will procrastinate to avoid unappealing or difficult tasks.  The only way to overcome unappealing or difficult tasks is to approach them with a can-do attitude committing to complete the most difficult first.  The sooner you begin the harder you work which means the sooner it will be completed.  When tackling the most difficult tasks first instead avoiding and putting them off until later, paves the way for success and less heartache down the road.

Perspective plays a big role in why many wait to start.  When you perceive a task to be too difficult then that is exactly what it will be.  Most times to change a perspective all that is needed is a change of mindset.  Instead of viewing a task as a possibility for failure, as being too overwhelming or as being a task filled with hardship and pain look at the task as an opportunity to succeed.  If you are tasked to conduct market research, view it as a chance to gain knowledge and expand your potential rather than something boring you were tasked to do.  When taking on a task with enthusiasm rather than procrastination you can turn the task into an opportunity that enables you to gain success.

Don’t be trapped

There are many more reasons why people choose to procrastinate; regardless of the reason procrastination is destructive and will keep you from achieving your dreams.  Many complain about never having enough time yet spend so much time dreading and avoiding the tasks that await them.  Getting started on tasks would likely free up more time in a day for what we like to do most. Procrastination is a trap that will you keep you from achieving your dreams.  If you are having difficulty realizing your dreams, take a look at what got you there – have you fallen into the trap of waiting for the right time to get started? 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

4 Essentials of the Game

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
 Maya Angelou

Your Personal Brand

We are all guilty of wearing this or that brand of running shoes, wearing this or that brand of clothing, carrying that special brand of pocketbook or driving this or that make of vehicle.  We are branded in some way by the products we choose.  What about your personal brand?  What does it tell others about you?  Regardless of your status, your age, gender, ethnicity, race, or position we all have a personal brand that identifies who we are.  Whether you are an employee or business owner your most important job is to be head marketer in charge of your personal brand. 

In today’s world of global corporations and workplaces personal branding has become a hot topic, but most do not understand what it really means.  Nor, do most understand how to leverage their personal brand to achieve the career they most desire.  How you are perceived by management, peers, colleagues, potential clients or possible employers has a direct impact on potential promotions, better clients, being hired or a successful career.  If you desire greater control over your career then you must define and understand your personal brand – yes you must be willing to actually market yourself.  Many of us market or brag about others or we fight the good fight for a special cause.  However, many are consumed by concerns of sounding fake and are stopped in their tracks when it comes to promoting themselves.  Having a personal brand without marketing it is like Ford having a great new Mustang, but no one knows about it.  Just as important as product brands, personal brands create value when marketed well.

The following are four areas that can help you increase your personal brand.


Let people know the value you bring by communicating the skills, experience and intrinsic value you provide to your employer, potential employer or clients.  The value you bring to the table is a unique blend of strengths, experiences, professional accomplishments and personal traits.  The values combined identify the “You” which is unique from your colleagues, peers or other job applicants.


Having a concise and compelling message helps others to identify what you stand for.  Just going through the motions without a message makes it next to impossible to have a positive personal brand.  Everything you do whether in the office, shopping, at a friend’s birthday party or your child’s soccer game your actions send a message as to who you are.  The perception others have of you, “Your Message”, is shaped through your words, actions, presentations, reports, deliverables, accomplishments and much more.  What does your message say about you?  Does your message say that you are smart, strategic, on time, dependable, an expert, a leader, a good person or to stay clear?  Whatever you are striving to achieve, your message should be loud and clear.


There are many ways to promote “You” and your personal brand; however, I believe it’s time for a change in mindset.  Many believe that marketing a personal brand has everything to do with self-promotion.  Consider this – if I say “You should hire me because I am the best blog writer you will find.”  I am certain you will have thoughts about that statement and my credibility.  I am not even comfortable making that claim but say it with the belief that I must self promote.  It will not work even if I say it with great passion.  However, if I say “I am passionate about writing articles that explore the human experiences that help us all become better individuals” my statement is no longer self promoting.  The first statement was about me and only me.  The second statement demonstrates how I serve others.  When promoting yourself it is important to share yourself and to believe in your message, it makes you credible to your audience.

Your Circle

No one knows you better than your family and friends.  Keep them informed about “You” and “Your Message”.  The old saying goes “out of sight out of mind”.  If you are looking for employment why not enlist people who can best help you find what you are looking for.  “Your Circle” is your support system and the career influencers who can make a difference.  Focus your energy on those who can hire you, promote you, inspire you, teach you or open the doors to new opportunities.  If you want the big promotions, the best clients, or a successful career “Your Circle” should include people who value and appreciate your personal brand.  Most importantly, nurture and value relationships with these people especially the ones who are willing to market your personal brand – the ones who can provide you a blueprint, the guidance or inspiration to advance in a successful career.

You are a brand.  You own and are in charge of your personal brand.  It’s up to you how you want your personal brand to be recognized.  There is no right or wrong “You” brand rather just the “You” brand others perceive.