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Personal branding is not just for people who are in the public eye. Personal branding is for everyone and it is essential that you understand how important it is for you and for your business. That is especially true nowadays, with the popularity of the Internet and with the explosive amount of interactions on the various social media channels.
The need for your personal brand
There are many important reasons why your personal brand is critical to your business’s success. First of all, you need a personal brand because people are going to do searches and they are going to find you and your business (if you are lucky). You absolutely want that to happen. In fact, if it doesn’t happen in exactly that way, you will have no hope of building a relationship with them and eventually getting them to want to buy what you are selling (it is irrelevant whether it is a product, a service, or both).
The truth is that your online connections will be looking for the best in that particular category and when they come upon your information, it may take a little while and a lot of evaluation before they decide to actually contact you. That is exactly why you need to make sure that your personal brand is in tip-top shape.
The personal brand of the past
In the past, the way that you would have gone about creating a personal brand, developing that personal brand, and perfecting that personal brand was very different from it is today. In the past, you could make it a reality by simply declaring it to be the case. At the time, your target audience probably didn’t expect a great deal from you and your business so it was easy to establish your personal brand and to get other people to buy into it. You never really had to “put your money where your mouth was.” In other words, you never actually had to prove that whatever you were saying was actually true.
It is a really good idea to take a good, hard look at your personal brand and to determine if it is what it needs to be at this point. If you come to the conclusion that it is lacking (by today’s standards), you need to fix it as quickly as possible.
It is extremely important that you remember that your brand must be consistent across all of your communications (in every form). If your message is strong and consistent, other people will not have the power to say or do anything that is contrary to that. In this day and age of technology, it is normal to expect that everyone who is considering connecting with you on a professional level will check you out before you ever actually speak with each other.
You need to be sure about what a search will uncover about you and your business
Leave nothing to chance, ever. It is critical that you know exactly what the searcher will find when that person searches for you. If you aren’t sure what the person will find and you are not exactly sure about what to do to ensure that the person finds exactly what you want that person to find, you can take the simple approach.
Make sure that all of your social media profiles are as complete as possible: You probably have profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the other popular social media channels on which other people are also interacting. That is great. However, it is very important that your profiles on all of those social media channels are complete. How else do you expect other people to get to know you online. After all, that is why you have social media profiles. Your profiles are not for you. They are for other people.
Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete: LinkedIn is the most effective social media channel for professionals. If you aren’t taking advantage of all that LinkedIn has to offer, it is definitely time to start doing so. If a person searches for you on LinkedIn (and, trust me, they will), you want to be able to give them helpful, valuable information about you and your business.
Use graphics effectively: There are many people who are visual and your content will make a much more positive impact if you balance the words on the paper with a graphic element as well. The bottom line is that you want your content to be noticed so that the people online start to interact with you and to build a relationship with you. Graphics will make your content pop and it will get noticed really well.
Celebrate the recommendations on LinkedIn: Your online connections will generally be more than happy to give you recommendations. Basically, all they have to do is to push a button. It is easy and it looks really good for you. There may be a debate as to whether recommendations actually have any effect either way but it can’t hurt to have them.
Highlight your testimonials on your website: This is something that other people will definitely be looking for when they search for you online. It is important to remember that you are the only person in the universe who can’t express how amazing you and your business are. The only people who have the credibility to do that are other people. Think about those testimonials as jewels. If you own beautiful jewels, it is unfair to keep them locked in a safe somewhere. You should share them with the world.
Your personal brand is your calling card in so many ways. It is a representation of who you are and of what you can do for other people. Just like the other important elements of your business, it is important to visit your brand often and to make adjustments whenever you feel they are necessary. Also, bear in mind that your personal brand will make a lasting impression on other people. So, make sure that it is everything that you want and need it to be. So, be creative, be inventive, be sensitive, and be compelling. It will work very well for you and your business.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.
His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
While seeming paradoxical, this question contains extreme life-enhancing potential.
Put another way: through what level of dominant consciousness is our life presently functioning – authentic soul consciousness or fake persona?
Persona – meaning mask – fearing hurt through verbal or emotional attack, is constantly in defence mode. Engulfed with feelings of superiority and self-importance, it is quick to anger and retaliate when challenged. Whereas, compassion, born of soul consciousness, is quite the opposite; instantaneous by nature, it is free-flowing and non judgemental in all situations. Thus, our motto should be: when there is nothing to be hurt, there is no hurting, or, eliminate that which is prone to hurt.
Personality essentially is an energy dynamic through which the soul evolves in order to know itself consciously. Generally, when referring to our-self, we refer through the personality, through an emotionally comparing capacity. But, these energy dynamics are not the real you, rather, what the soul uses to know itself divinely. They are but temporary scaffolding to facilitate Spirit emergence, for, at some stage on our spiritual journey to soul, these fictitious templates become integrated, re-nuanced as triggers for compassion expression.
While each person has a soul, which is immortal, eternal, the lower personality is mortal or finite: it is not the eternal You. The purpose of personality is to make coming upon our true divine nature, a conscious reality. Personality dynamic is the vehicle soul engages to reflect its joy and happiness, the medium through which soul finds its way Home. We’re each encoded with this home-coming ability thus, intuitively, we’re each driven to finding inner peace. In this context, to the degree that soul is non spiritually awakened, is the degree of residual unhappiness and stress. To the degree that we accept the artificial personality as real, as king and ruler of our life, is the distance we are from our Self, Soul, Love or, Home.
Deep within we sense this calling to higher soul nature expression. But, coming upon this noble consciousness first requires acknowledgement, or understanding, that Home already exists within. If presently not experiencing this dimension, then, we have either lost our way by over adherence to artificiality, thereby, forgotten, or not recognizing, the entry point into soul. In this context, something unnatural is causing blockage, thereby impeding our perceiving spiritually. Should this predicament be our status, the obvious question arises: what is causing blockage of direct soul connection, how can we re-align and get back on track, thereby come upon authentic love?
The cause of the blockage is mental chaos, the life-sapping debris of a dominant, splintered personality. Thus, it is the chaotic mode or dynamic which we are endeavouring to re-align with soul.
To this end, we look to the physical universe. The first law of the physical universe, is order, nothing concerning the outer physical universe, or, inner life, is by chance happening — every action has a cause, or, reaction of a previous action. Without order, chaos ensues automatically, when everything appears random. In other words, as the universe functions under perfect cosmic law, if this same perfect cosmic law is not operating in our daily lives – in our mind — then chaos is the functioning dynamic. Thus, we can immediately see the potential attaching to mental chaos, to an out-of-order personality. It’s this out-of-order personality which is responsible for individual and global suffering, just to scale.
Personal mastery is the result of setting goals and achieving success and is rooted in continuous self-improvement, especially towards gaining a competency in skill or knowledge. Some people have large lofty goals like surpassing Bill Gates’ net worth of $79.2 billion or creating an Oprah-sized media empire. Others may have specific target goals like losing five pounds, getting into shape or having a peaceful home life.
Regardless of one’s goal, an important fundamental task for achieving personal mastery is purposeful living. Or establishing clarity around what you are doing, why you are doing it, and understanding the greater benefit of what you are doing. The best way to get that type of clarity is through a personal vision.
Creating A Personal Vision
A personal vision is basically big picture thinking. It’s the concept behind your goal setting because it shows you where you are headed and can provide all of the possibilities of many directions that you can travel. If you don’t already have a vision for your life, the best way to identify one is connect with yourself, your inner being, and began to picture an image of the future that you would like to have.
Here’s a very quick mindfulness exercise to try: Try closing your eyes and actually seeing yourself as the person you want to be. What are you doing? What can you see? How do you feel? Are you alone or with others? How are people relating to you? Embrace this image and when you are ready, open your eyes. Now back in the present moment is where the real work begins. This is often the hardest thing for many people to do, but write down what you saw. Doesn’t have to be fancy words, just describe it in your own words, and this is the beginning of crafting a vision for your life.
If you ask anyone you admire how they accomplished their level of success, and they will emphatically tell you they set a goal for themselves, created a plan, and worked hard at mastering specific tasks. At the core of their goal was a personal vision with an anticipated outcome. Yes, there may have been some life detours, but the vision remained constant, and this is a person who is living on purpose.
Committing to Self-Discipline
Another key element of personal mastery is self-discipline. Just like a runner preparing for a marathon, one must be disciplined enough to follow an exercise and running regimen to ensure their body is trained and prepared to endure the rigors of the race. That’s the same type of motivation required for mastering personal success.
I recall sharing my vision of running as an example of goal setting in a study skills class of high school students. I told them that in my mind I see myself running, but I never take action. I have the vision and can see me running but I lack the self-discipline to commit to running. I explained that self-discipline is holding yourself accountable to do what is right to meet your goals and objectives in life. It motivates the action that is necessary to fulfill your personal vision and stay the course.
On a personal note, I still hold steadfast to the vision of running, and have begun small steps to motivate myself towards that end. Your approach towards achieving self-discipline may be to just jump in and just do it, as the Nike slogan suggests. But always do what works best for you. No one else is the best indicator of your heart’s desire, capabilities or personal circumstances. It’s better to feel good about your vision, goals and progress than set up false expectations and later abandon the vision forever. When you stay the course, no matter how long it takes, that’s personal mastery. And in time, you will also have a great story to share about overcoming obstacles to achieve personal mastery that will be a motivator for someone else. That’s real purposeful living when your experiences positively impact change in someone else.
Did you ever wonder why you found chemistry with some people while leaving others behind? Visible traits are easy to identify by visual means. You process visually the stimuli that draws pleasure and attracts or you repel the stimuli and reject. Personality is harder to see and define. My feeling as professional Matchmaker is that unless you are willing to invest time in being with someone you likely will never get an accurate measure of them in terms of their real personality.
It requires great judgment to discern what personality traits a potential match has. I often have seen compatible singles reject one another because they never got to the level of deeper inquisition of one another. It takes time and in this we must have it now microwave society, over time less judgment is used. Many singles often opt for superficial stereotypical thinking to make rash decisions on who to see again. Valid observation skills are not easy to learn. I suggest many singles decide to learn how to be effective in observation.
I believe the process of closer acquaintance requires greater serious commitment. If you are a cavalier player in dating then only superficial aspects matter to you. On the other hand you seek the vast rewards of a close relationship with such special advantages then you will be better at predicting closeness by investing longer periods of time in getting to know someone. There is more value in ten dates with one person than ten dates with ten different people, what I call one and done drive by dates. You would think people were driving through the fast food drive through. Dating is not shopping it is a complicated process and the personality connections will determine the possibilities for long lasting connections.
Personality relevance will account for wide array’s of human behavior. Making personality judgments occur best in a relaxed setting where small talk with meaningful relevance takes place. The more you see someone, the more you learn about their personality. If you date in different settings your more likely to get a well rounded view of the person you are on these dates with. I suggest you look for the following in discovery phases of dating. Vocabulary that shows intellect that matches your intellect. Responses in conversation that reflect what makes you feel closer to the person you are with. Make mental notes over a period of dates that detect who you are dealing with in terms of values and how these values reflect the personality. I further suggest those that have a great charm or charisma that is genuine will draw you closer, measure these traits for sincerity.
It can be very difficult to be accurate when judging personality. I suggest you do it over a great period of time in numerous settings on numerous dates with the same person. People send various cues. If you want someone to know the real you, do not be self conscious about your personal interactions. You can be who you are, not fake. Allow the free flow of personal interaction with all the cues, flirtation and projection of free flowing personality.
The ideas that come from perceptions are either real or false. Too many times a great compatible single person was rejected by poor judgment due to perception gone awry. Many social psychologists have studied perception and it’s relevance to logical decision making.
Never underestimate the power of personality. As professional Matchmaker with twenty three years of experience I will tell you that matches became dates which then became relationships based on connection in personality.
It is not uncommon, for the terms, personal development and growth, to be met with a certain amount of sighing and an expression of ‘been there done that’! We’ve been learning about the idea since we were in school and we’ve been working on it since forever. So, what is going to be different about this one?
Well, for starters I am not going to be talking about the conventional idea. Secondly, I am a believer of skill development. If it isn’t taking you ahead, it doesn’t matter. Whatever the subject, it needs to add value. Otherwise, it belongs in the bin. So let’s familiarise ourselves with what actually goes into the whole process of personal development and growth.
Understanding Personal Development and Growth
1. It refers to the accumulation of life skills that help a person to live a productive and satisfying life.
2. PERSONAL Development and PERSONALITY Development are two very different things!
3. When we talk about personal development, we are essentially talking about achieving success. It could be professional or personal.
4. It involves setting attainable goals and using problem solving strategies that will help you attain growth.
A very crucial point is, Personal development, unlike personality development, cannot be inculcated. It cannot be given to you in a beautifully wrapped gift basket or as a 4 week program! You are your only hope as far as personal development is concerned.
This is because it is a lifelong process. With every new hurdle, you will pick up a new skill and that skill will lead to more growth and development. Although there is no set path on how to achieve personal development (since it is subjective), I will point out the activities that it entails.
Markers for Personal Development & Growth
1. Improved self-awareness
You gain a better understanding of yourself. Your strength, weakness, abilities and also what is beyond your capabilities.
2. Greater self-knowledge
It is one thing to be aware and a totally different thing to know. When we undertake personal development, we have the opportunity to get to know ourselves better. Because the truth is, we know practically nothing about ourselves. Others know more than we do! So it is important that we find out more about ourselves.
3. Learning new skills
You will pick up new skills, related to your work or even to your personal life. There is an enhancement of our skill set and we become proficient in more ways.
4. Improving existing skills
It is not always about learning new things. Every now and then, the armour which is already in the arsenal needs to be sharpened. You already learnt so much over the years. Now, get on to making them better.
5. Setting better targets
99% of the times, we fail to achieve our targets because we set unrealistic ones. There is no shame in failing, but it is stupid to set a bar that is beyond one’s imagination to reach. So in order to develop, we must make it a habit to set short term, achievable goals.
6. Identifying potential
I am talking about those hidden talents. Maybe even suppressed talents. All of us have a truckload of those. It is essential to bring them out of the closet.
Remember, we can never be the best version of ourselves, until and unless we are doing what we love to do. You may also have some skills that you didn’t know about! We”ll be even better! Time to bring those to the forefront.
7. Improving Social Skills
This is not only for the socially awkward. If you are someone who gets uncomfortable in social situations, then no doubt, personal development will help you to become more open and comfortable.
But also people who are absolutely comfortable in social situations, the question is, “Are you interesting enough to spend time with?” Find out. Get to know everything about the person you are and compare it with the person you think you are. The results may just astound you!
8. Personal Autonomy
In simple words, making a decision and executing it, without outside influence. You are the captain of your ship and nobody knows how to sail it better than you. There is a sense of independence that comes from personal development. The rule is simple. Eye on the prize.
Personal development and growth are not something you can measure in quantifiable units always. But the measurement in my view is simple.
Ask yourself, “Am I better than I was yesterday? Or am I still the same old?” The answer will determine the outcome of your decisions. So keep that on. Don’t always consider success as the only marker. Success is a great marker, but definitely not the only one. You are much more than your last success and your next failure.
In spite of everything the personality of a person is dynamic in nature. Implying that the personality can always develop and evolve. The consequence of this understanding is that you can still change your personality today. And, this is exactly where a personality development course comes into play. A personality development course will help you change and improve yourself.
It will allow you to build stronger relationships
A personality development course will allow you to build stronger and healthier relationship. How? Well, it will allow you to have a more likeable personality. Having an intimidating personality will lead to other people avoiding you. In any social occasion, people who are always smiling and greeting others with warm courtesy are the life of the party. A personality development course will help you shed your old shy and introverted self-image and will allow you to have the confident and attractive personality that you always wanted.
Personality dictates success
It is not uncommon to experience difficulties in the workplace. For some people, it can be very difficult to maintain good relationships with their bosses and colleagues. In order to tread smoothly in such an environment, one has to have a high level of emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence and personality go hand in hand. This is the prime reason as to why personality development plays a key role in a person’s capability to succeed. A personality development course will provide you with the capability to handle the stress that is brought by a professional environment. It will strengthen your will so that you don’t give up during difficult times.
A good personality makes you better at everything
Irrespective of how ordinary you think your personality is, you can always make it better. You can turn your personality into something that you always envisioned, and become the person that you always wanted to be. The good news being, with a personality development course this becomes an achievable target. With the help you this course you can transform your personality into something that will help you succeed in every aspect of your life.
Counseling a Person with Control Issues Part Two
Another characteristic of the person with deeply rooted control issues is boasting. This person will constantly boast about how much they did, how much they are going to do, and no matter what somebody else did, they did it better. They will top dog whatever, whenever, and however. In the counseling profession this person is referred to as the “The Top Dogger”. Counselors will often say, “He’s a top dogging it, she’s a top dogging it”. Boasting so many things they are going to do and have done is a way for this person to convince themselves that they are in control. Remember that one of the “control issues” person’s distorted cognitive beliefs is that as long as they remain superior to another person they have control over them. Their boasting is like a fierce wind that drives others away. Although their tongue is a small part of their body it can boast many great things.
To help a person who has a problem with boasting, it is important to understand that they have convinced themselves that everything and anything they have in this world is a result of their own toil, skill, and endeavor. The person may have made a very painful and faithful effort to obtain what is good and believes they deserve to boast. As a result they are very proud and arrogant. The counselor will want to make sure that the person understands that doing away with the boasting is not designed to discourage them from exertion and doing good. Boasting in arrogance and vain glory is unhealthy. The primary goal is to motivate this person to change their attitude of vain glory and boasting to a disposition of gratefulness. The goal is not to repress a person from giving their best effort to do good but to encourage them to be grateful when they are able to do good. It is not good to boast about oneself and it does not give a person anymore control over others than others allow.
The counselor must understand what motivates a person to boast and brag about themselves. The deep rooted problem is low self-worth and a lack of self-confidence. Individuals who really got it going on do not have to boast. Deep down the person with deeply rooted control issues may believe they don’t belong anywhere and they are not good at anything. They then brag and boast about their achievements because they think it will cause people to like them and it gives them a false sense of being in control. In reality bragging and boasting about oneself usually pushes people away rather than getting them to like you. Let’s take a deeper look at the root of the problem for the person who camouflages themselves with boasting and bragging. Boasting about oneself is certainly a behavior that indicates that somebody feels insecure.
Other signs that indicate a person feels insecure include: being a know it all, being quiet and withdrawn, being controlling and domineering, wearing a lot of makeup and jewelry, not being faithful to one’s mate, being a racist, extravagance, alcoholism/drug addiction, and jealousy.
The counselor can suggest that this person practice giving compliments to others. Ask them if they like listening to someone boast? When counseling this person the counselor will keep in mind that the distorted deeply ingrained thinking pattern is not going to change easily. This person’s defensive thoughts may include telling themselves, “You’re great, how dare this counselor insinuate that boasting about how great you are indicates you are insecure.” No matter how defensive the boasting person becomes the counselor must keep in mind that the more defensive the boasting person becomes about their right to boast the more insecure the person. Boasting is the camouflage that is used to hide a person who feels extremely insecure and lacks self-confidence. The insecurity and lack of self-confidence may be rooted in a history of growing up in an environment that lacked love and stunted the normal emotional growth and development as life intended. Boasting or bragging is a defense mechanism that the person may have been practicing for several years in order to handle their insecurity and dire need to feel like they are in control. If and when the person begins bragging or boasting during the counseling session the counselor may say something such as, “Tell me where it hurts? or “What are you feeling insecure about? The counselor wants to assure the person that it is safe to feel their inner pain. Tell the person that it is up to them to make the first move, it is up to them to bring their insecurities to the surface, no matter how far back it goes.
Some of the things the counselor can do to help the person stop boasting is to encourage them to stop comparing themselves to other people, encourage them that it’s okay to be different, that they don’t have to please and impress other people, don’t let criticism bother you so much, don’t let other people determine your self-worth, and focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses. A person who boasts a lot doesn’t really believe others accept them as they are. They are convinced they don’t measure up. The person is measuring themselves by comparing themselves to others and to the world’s standards.
Another characteristic of the person with deeply engraved control issues is they are always in everyone else’s business. They are busy bodies or meddlers. This individual will wander from person to person and house to house gathering up as much dirt as they can get on anybody. Prying and prying they will not leave until they get some dirt on someone. This pattern of behavior becomes very self destructive. Add the busy body characteristic to the backbiting and you have a person who has become so extremely sick with control issues that are propelled by a deep sense of low self worth.
The counselor helps the person who is a busybody by getting them to understand that being a busybody and meddling in other people’s business is not honorable and is very unhealthy and self destructive. A busybody or talebearer goes from house to house picking up tales at one place and carrying them to another. They take the secrets that are entrusted with them and reveal them to others. The goal of counseling is to get the person to change from a busybody, meddler, talebearer, to one who has a
faithful trustworthy respectful disposition.
The counselor helps this person understand that being faithful to a friend who trusts with their secrets that are spoken in privacy and in strict friendship is important. Knowing everyone’s business does not give them anymore power over others. By whispering into the ears of others things that are prejudicial to the character of others separates one friend from another. This type of conduct can separate even the closest and most intimate friendships. The friend’s minds are alienated so that they will not come near one another or speak to each other as before. When busybody talebearer is found out it separates his best friends from himself as well as from one another. Friends see a worthless person who is dangerous to converse with. The busybody or meddler sticks their nose in everybody’s business and thinks they need to know everything going on around them including everyone else business. This person usually has a lot of idle time and because they were bored they attempt to fill that time by prying into the lives of everybody around them. They like to gossip and are looking for goodies to share with others.
Convinced that the more trash they know about others the more power and control they have. A busybody believes whoever has the most trash concerning others has the most power. They are more than ready to get up in somebody’s business and then go tattletale. They make really good investigative reporters. Often times the information that they are spreading to others is incomplete information that they have accumulated by being nosy. Often times the busybody didn’t see the entire situation or hear the entire conversation that they were sticking their nose in. However; they are convinced in their distorted thinking pattern to spread the trash so they can maintain control. The busybody is kind of like a peeping tom who likes to sneak around and poke their nose in people’s windows.
The counselor helps the person realize that what they are doing is not only very unhealthy but it can put them in danger of being physically assaulted. A counselor may try to help the person find something productive to occupy their time. If the person is busy they will have less time to meddle in other people’s business. A good indication that a person is a busybody is that they have a lot of idle time but they are not a good house-keeper or a good cook. Also this person will have a lot of phone contacts and will spend excessive time on the telephone. Their telephone net work provides them with additional opportunity to gather the latest trash concerning other people’s matters. The older a person gets the more likely they become a busybody since their children are no longer at the home and they are not attending to the needs of a growing family. This person is fooled by that this gives them power and control when in reality it brings them suffering. They will eventually lose the respect of their friends and will experience the bitterness of loneliness because their friends have left them out. The counselor helps them see that they brought this on themselves and encourages them to make a personal self-examination and to eliminate this unhealthy behavior from their life.
A person who has deep rooted control issues is usually a very hateful person. The goal of counseling is to help the person change from being a hateful person to being a loving person. This is most difficult and it seems that it would be easier to turn a pig into a goat than it would be to turn a hateful person into a loving person. Change takes a long time. The counselor urges the person to practice being kind to others, being gentle, courteous, and polite. When other people are happy the controlling person becomes very envious. Not loving others and being hateful towards others is propelled by self hate. When other people’s happiness is increased by their endowments, their rank, their reputation, their wealth, their health, their domestic comforts, their learning etc., those who are influenced by love “rejoice”! The controlling person who lacks charity is full of envy and often will attempt to embarrass them. Another word for Charity is love and of course the opposite of love is hate. So let’s take a closer look at these two characteristics. Not having charity is not having love. A person that doesn’t have love is not necessarily a person who has hate, however; the opposite of charity or love is hate. A person who is full of hate is hateful. They may believe that by being hateful they are getting control. This person goes around being mean to others and insulting others.