Looking for a big personal brand boost? Join me at UCLAx Personal Branding Boot Camp this weekend! bit.ly/1NFpKHQ
A big “aha!” moment for my campers is seeing how out of control they really are, when it comes to creating their reputations. In fact, many of them spend the majority of each day, in fact their lives, working on other people’s priorities and goals. Hence, they are a reflection of others, and not authentically projecting who they really are.
Perhaps it has occurred to you, that you are not the center of your own work and life.
Unless you stop and reframe the purpose of each action and interaction so it’s in your interest: work defines you – and not the other way around. Instead of working a plan that creates the life you want, you may be relying on your wits and reflexes to manage large and small things, including the people around you.
Surprisingly, the foundation of creating the life you want is simply engaging in a new habit, but one that is very tough to acquire. Nobody around you wants you to do this. Everyone is counting on your being a passive actor, helping them move forward.
So this new habit requires you have both grit and desire. The habit is to be outcome-minded.
Before any action or interaction, get a clear, ideal outcome for yourself. Connect what you are about to do (and how you are going to do it) with what you want for yourself and your relationships in the long term.
For example, for every important person in your life – and those you would like to meet – you need a relationship outcome and a map of your interactions. What is it you want from this person? The next step is to plan what you’ll achieve in each interaction so you reach your ideal outcome. Of course, each stage or interaction will have a specific goal.
Remember your reputation is made via relationships, so make sure your plans are good for your targets as well as yourself.
If you’ve never thought about relationships like this, it might explain why connections or networking fail to deliver what you need.
As an example of a relationship map, below you’ll find the nine stages of a successful new business relationship. Consider what information, examples, questions, activity, or even other people you might bring into each stage, to move the relationship forward toward your ideal outcome. By the way, this mapping works with recruiters and hiring managers, too!
If you want more free content on developing business relationships, email me at Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Relationships.
Stage 1 – Curiosity
Your prospect has a sense of intrigue about you, your company or solution, and entertains the idea that you might benefit him/her. You sense that it’s worth your time to continue interacting.
Stage 2 – Connected
You both sense that the two of you understand each other and have common ground worth exploring further.
Stage 3 – Inspired
It’s obvious that a relationship or collaboration would benefit you both, and the possibilities are energizing.
Stage 4 – Engaged
Your prospect feels safe to acknowledge unmet needs or discuss current or new goals. You confirm that you are talking with the right person (one with purchasing authority and a budget).
Stage 5 – Committed
You strike a clear agreement to move forward with the purpose of fulfilling your prospect’s unmet needs or helping him/her take advantage of opportunities. Your prospect agrees to buy, if your solution would satisfactorily benefit him/her.
Stage 6 – Learning and sharing
You support each other with important information and insights. You share a clear goal for your collaboration or relationship. You agree on the initial steps to move toward your goal.
Stage 7 – Problem-solving and planning
You and your prospect rigorously or systematically identify pain, obstacles, positive and negative forces, and implications of not solving the problem. You each contribute to strategies for overcoming obstacles or reaching goals, and create/act on a tactical plan for purchase and use.
Stage 8 – Buying and selling
Your prospect generates the purchase order or other documentation necessary for you to create an agreement, and arranges the time to review, accept and sign your agreement. You generate the agreement, which the prospect signs. You prepare to deliver, install or integrate your solution. You receive a check and oversee implementation.
Stage 9 – Recommending and referring
You both actively seek to send additional business or contacts to each other. You keep each other informed about opportunities for upgrades and add-ons. You meet to stay up-to-date.
Take 3 interactions/relationships you currently have with suspects, prospects or customers, and associate each one with the stage you are now in, using the 9 stages above. Jot down notes to track what went on at each stage. If you’ve missed some stages, ask yourself: what can I deliver to get on the fast track?
If you want more free content on business relationships, email me at Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Relationships.
Everybody says an MBA is worthless. Everybody says Instagram is the only social media worth being on. Everybody says balance is more important than putting in time at work.
So, why should you be any different?
Neuroscientists have found that certain people naturally have divergent thinking. That’s the ability to weave together connections between things that other people don’t put together, and come up with a novel twist or innovative idea. People like Jon Stewart and Jay Z can do it, often on-the-spot. We used to call these folks “quick witted,” or “good on their feet.”
Not everyone can do it. Certainly, not with humor or with rhyme.
So, if you are not naturally inclined to originality or creativity, should you simply do what most other people are doing?
Should you dumb down your vocabulary?
Should you go where the herd goes for holiday?
Should you eschew a graduate degree or even college?
After all, isn’t communicating with the masses and being like people – so they will like you – the best way to play well with others?
Yes. And no.
It depends on what you want to do in your career or business.
I often forget that some people have a deeply rich personal life, filled with friends, family or hobbies. So much so, that work really isn’t all that central to their satisfaction. If you are deeply devoted to something outside of work, then it does serve you to make as little noise, news or perhaps even effort as possible. Get along. Put in your 7.5 hours and go home. Enjoy!
However, if you suspect that you have greatness coiled within you for business, technology or some other occupation: you must bear the cost of being different. You must dare to fail. You might even scare yourself with your ambition.
And, you must show your employer, prospective employer, clients, prospective clients, investors and so on: exactly what you can do that’s different than the madding crowd.
Increase your inventiveness. Diverge from what everybody is doing.
Here’s a way to begin building your divergent thinking. Take a paper clip, a small spring, an egg shell, a coffee cup or any other object: and make a list of 10 novel uses for it. The first time you do this, you might not have a cascade of innovative ideas. Just think of it as a new skill, that with practice you’ll master.
Make it a daily practice to pick up something small: a stone, a shell, or a K cup (please, they are not recyclable!) and give it 10 novel uses. Do it instead of texting, checking your social media or otherwise doing what everyone else is doing.
There’s a reason not everyone gets ahead at work or starts their own successful business. Give yourself a chance to see if you might be special. And, give us a chance to see if you might be the next big thing.
Thinking about going big with your personal brand? Join me at UCLAx for my Personal Branding Boot Camp, April 25 and 26. As a bonus, you’ll get a free hour of one-on-one coaching with me, a $500 value.
If you are in any type of transition regarding work or life, or you are considering a transition, then you may have thought about getting someone to coach you through the process. For example, you may be seeking a new direction for your future because it’s clear what you’ve been doing isn’t working any longer. Alternatively, you might know exactly what you want to do; but you can’t see how to bridge your past experience with your aspirations for a new career.
These are reasonable times to consider getting yourself some coaching, especially if you have friends or loved ones who are more than willing to give you their opinions of what you should do.
Friends and loved ones are the most dangerous part of making a change.
There’s a bundle of reasons, and here are some. Friends don’t like to see friends change. After all, you are friends because of who you are now, not who you could become. Loved ones have a stake in who you are now, including how you earn a paycheck, the days of the week you have free time to spend with them, and the chores you do to keep a household or relationship humming.
Most of my coaching clients delay their decision to get coached, about 6 to 36 months past when they should have reached out. Why? They rely on friends and loved ones for advice! The very people who have a stake in your remaining in your present form, doing the job you do, the way you do it, and not adding any further burden of either greater status or dependency on them.
Even knowing this, most people “crowdsource” the most important decisions in their lives. Recently, a client came to me because she was standing at a school with other young moms. They weren’t even people she knew well, just other parents who shared carpool, cupcake making and fundraising with each other. Their only connection was their kids attendance at the school, which of course means the birthday parties, T-ball and cascade of events that bring families together under the circumstances.
“The other moms asked me what I do,” Sarah reported to me. “So, I figured I better do something, since everyone was an attorney, business owner, or had some occupation. Turns out I was the only mom who had taken some time off.”
Peer pressure doesn’t stop when you graduate high school. These largely anonymous people had crowdsourced Sarah out of her decision to stay home. She’d made the decision to help her family stabilize while their first child entered school and her husband took a job that required him to travel.
Whether or not Sarah was ready to return to work, is a personal and financial question. Yet, like most people, she was polling strangers – or at least accepting their vote – about her life.
That’s a moment for coaching. Sarah had met me at a 2-day seminar I gave on personal branding, and she reached out to get a one-on-one session. In 90 minutes we solved her problem, got an action plan together, and set her on making decisions that were truly relevant to her situation. She’ll check back with me for a progress report in eight weeks.
So, when is the right time for coaching? Whenever you find yourself polling others about your life choices, whenever you fear the criticism or lack of support from friends or loved ones, and whenever you need clear answers to questions that confound you.
I know. I’ve been coached on every significant life change I’ve ever made. It’s part of my success equation. Should it be part of yours?
Do you have a question you want to ask a coach? Email it to me at Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Question. I will write back to you, with some insight to move you forward.