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Cool and Easy Techniques to hack your Self-brand by using simple Branding Techniques in life and work

December 08, 2019


Concretising abstract realities


As Humans, we try to understand information or things happening around us by using symbols or models. Primitive man would personify nature and give nature personal qualities. Thunder would be some kind of god and so on. As time passed, we began to mature and started modeling things and ideas. 

Definitions are very basic to understanding a concept. So with Personal branding, I shall attempt to do something similar. I won't be defining it myself, but I shall use the help of professionals.


Why Personality Development is not Personal Branding?


Personal Branding has been the interest of a lot of researchers. This is not confined to only Management or Marketing as one might imagine. It has also been the interest of a lot of academicians and Life Coaches too. 

A common error is confusing it with personality development. A good amount of Self-help books or we may say books related to Life skills can help us in this department. In my mind, the difference lies in the focus one takes. Personality development focuses on developing the man in the mirror or we may say the inner man, on the other hand, Personal Branding is concerned with marketing you. 

It is concerned with bringing out your strong points and USP and marketing it effectively. Studies on celebrities, professionals, and employees, in general, have brought clarity and better understanding in this area.

I would use both Personality development and Personal branding. I believe these are very important life skills for any Professional. So Let us define Personal Branding.


Defining Personal Branding


Personal Branding is applying marketing and branding concepts to an individual.
I believe this simple definition captures the essence of what is Personal Branding. 


Personal Branding...a vital pillar of any professional

One might ask, Why does one need Personal Branding? It is not important, etc. etc. Let me tell you why this concept is important to you, but also your career. 


I think it is important because it brings out the best in you and portrays effectively by setting you apart from the rest.

A Management researcher Mark Morgan calls it a vital pillar of any professional.


Steps to Personal Branding


With the growth of Social media and other avenues of Communication, There are different ways in which the individual communicates about himself and the work that he or she does. So having a tool to help strategize the way we are perceived and related can be really helpful and can be used as powerful leverage for growth personally and professionally.


Important note on Personal Branding


So how does one start, What are the steps to building an Effective Personal brand? Before I enlist these steps. Let me tell you that this field has evolved and shall evolve in the future. So I shall be noting strategies that are broad but can be applied with some wit and thinking effectively to different situations.


7 Steps to Personal Branding

  • Step 1: Understanding yourself

This is the first step towards branding, it is getting a better understanding of oneself. This would mean taking a self-audit and trying to dig deeper within to get a clear understanding of our nature or personality. You could do this, keeping in mind how you view yourself and how others see you. This is the first step towards your goal of Personal Branding.

  • Step 2: Evaluate the brand that you are

Unconsciously we all are creating a reputation or an image of ourselves in the mind of people. So eventually we are branding ourselves. So whether people understand you or misunderstand you. It is important to understand how they perceive you.

A simple step to begin the process would be doing a bit of research. You could start by asking your closing friends about your strengths and weaknesses. You could then evaluate them with your own responses to similar questions. This could be a good beginning to understanding how people perceive you as a brand.

  • Step 3: Develop a Brand mantra

Every successful company or personality has a short phrase or mantra that encapsulates the essence of its brand. 

You could start by trying to understand how you differ from other people in the industry (that you are employed in) or if you are a student, you could compare the points that differentiate you from other students.

You could also look at points of similarity between you and the rest. This will help you build a list of points of differentiation and similarity with others. Now put it all together and build a short phrase or around it. This is your Brand Mantra. Some might even call it the essence of the brand.

  • Step 4: Offline Branding

Now that you have a branding mantra, Let us move to the next step. 

In our daily lives, we interact with a lot of people. We communicate and speak to a lot of topics every day, maybe with words, the things we do, our gestures or maybe just the way we appear. All this builds an image of us in the minds of people. 

So with offline branding, we shall use these same points to our advantage. Keeping in mind our Branding mantra we shall coordinate ourselves accordingly. So this could be the design of our visiting cards, our appearance or even the way we greet people every day. We shall do these activities intentionally and thoughtfully. These will help you build a strong and effective reputation with the people you know and meet every day.

  • Step 5: Branding yourself online

Even if we do not realize it, our activities online and our digital life can play an important role in the process of personal branding. These could be the messages we forward on Social media or the comments we pass online. It all matters in the process of Personal Branding.

Our Digital Lives Play an important role 


So a Social media audit can be done online of all the social media platforms we use. After evaluating your interactions online, you could create a concrete strategy to help yourself in the process of brand building. Your image online and offline should synergize for it to be effective.

  • Step 6: Communicate the message of your brand

Now after you have created an online and offline branding strategy you need to implement it. I am not saying your execution will be perfect, but if you don't start it there will be no benefit. Another important thing is that Personal Branding is not about faking an image that is not you. The easiest and smartest way is to be yourself.

  • Step 7: Recieve Feedback

I believe feedback is highly essential to improve and perform better. So try getting regular feedback from people. This could be done by evaluating how things have improved for you after personal branding or even by asking people who are close to you. This feedback can then be used by you to improve your offline and online branding strategies.


Putting it all together

Branding has been used successfully by Celebrities, Politicians and influencers alike to build a brand out of themselves. Time for you to leverage your best and build a personal brand. 

This, of course, takes some effort but it is worth it and it has a lot of benefits. People begin to have a better impression of you, they could begin to trust you more or even perceive you thorough as a professional. 

Personal Branding is all about enhancing your strengths and communicating them effectively. It is not about creating a fake image or reputation of yourself.


Kind words on Personal Branding

Gary Vaynerchuck has some important ideas for helping you create a personal brand. He stresses the important understanding that whether one is a small or big brand, it is a brand. Another important aspect is to understand that a lot of times besides looking at your brochure or reading your resume, People just check you out online.

 Lastly, I think Gary stresses the difference between understanding the concept and applying it.


Check out the video below:



Some important Ideas by Gary Vaynerchuck

  • People read Google before reading your Resume.
  • Hello! Everybody is selling
  • It's the only thing you have
  • Even a small brand is important
  • It's okay to be yourself
  • Don't be stupid about the whole process
  • Application of the concept has its nuances

Summary

So here it is some ideas and techniques to actually use to create a Personal Brand. One might ask, Why do I want to create one. There are many reasons. Please share your reason in the comments section. We shall look into the benefits of Personal Branding in some other article in much more detail.

Ciao! Take care...

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One Major Reason why you don't like your job: How enjoying your work can increase your Brand value?

November 03, 2019
Photo by Rebrand Cities from Pexels




My love for Theater and Drama

Theater and drama have always been my passion. Years back when Orkut was a thing I joined a Theatre group. I met this guy online and he was very passionate about drama and cinema. So I got in touch with him. He informed me, he was starting a drama club. I met this group of theater enthusiasts. 

We all shared the same passion and more importantly we all valued cinema and drama. We would read scripts together and also do drama. We did a couple of plays at various corporate events and also organized our own Theater play. It was simply amazing. 

So Why am I tell you all this? Its to share an important decision I had to make. The decision of leaving this wonderful drama club. They were going to be different by taking a new route and at that juncture in my journey towards learning more about drama, I felt that I wanted something different for myself. 

So I left and informed that the reason why I could not continue and be a part of their group. My values and vision had changed.

Keeping the important things important

So I joined another theater group, I would practice and watch plays every weekend. The fun continued. What I realized from the entire experience is the importance of aligning work and values. I valued learning and did not want to compromise it.

 My values were like pillars supporting my ultimate goal. I wanted to be a better communicator and educator. It really helped me develop myself and my skillset. A lot of times we don't enjoy our work and this could be for various reasons. I believe one strong reason could be a lack of alignment between goals, values and the work you are doing.

 So aligning them can bring a lot of changes and it can also help you leave a mark not only on your work but also on others.

Enthusiasm and Being an awesome Influencer

During my stint as an Executive with various companies, I loved the experience of working in teams. I shared the same joy in Academics. 

It was amazing to see students succeed in their events, project and other endeavors. I believe it was that shared enthusiasm and values that helped them succeed. Some of the students would become really popular without even trying. 

They were able to lead and influence a lot of team members and colleagues. The way they worked and presented themselves as one of the reasons they had a successful image. 

Importance of Personal Branding to your job

In the day and age of Social Network, Personal image can play a vital role. Presentation of self and our opinions do matter. To think that it doesn't, wouldn't be wise. So I believe it all starts with ourselves. The way we present ourselves depends a lot on our values and how passionate we are about the things that we work and live for.

If we do not enjoy our work, it shows. You may be paid the same, but you could be affecting other things like Personal Brand value. Two questions come to mind when we hear about Personal Branding. 

What is it?
Is it important?

Personal Branding is the practice of using branding and marketing for a person and not for a product or service or business. So let me first explain branding and how it is different from marketing before getting into using it for a person or self. 

Brand refers to the symbol, name, term or design that identifies one product from all other products. So Branding would be the process of creating a brand. 

On the other hand, Marketing involves satisfying customers' wants profitably. So these techniques when applied to ourselves properly can help us grow in our careers. It can help us explore ourselves effectively.

How big Brands influence and how to model them?

One important thing about brands is that they promise something and they deliver them quickly and effectively. They do so through careful planning and execution. So the question is how can we do the same? How can we brand ourselves? 

As employees, we make promises at our workplace. It is important to keep those promises. This can be the first step. We must stand for something, some we must deliver on words quickly. This should not only reflect in our words, but also in our work.

Big brands take measured steps and tie metrics to judge their effectiveness. We should set standards for ourselves as professionals. 

There is a whole lot of steps involved but what guides and keeps the flame of passion for good work going. It is our values and yes, our vision. Focus cannot come without a goal or a vision. One cannot achieve their vision or goals without having the values and passion to carry one through the tough times and difficult situations.

One simple mantra for enjoying your work and leaving a mark is to stick to your values and deliver on your words. Let values build and help to burn the flames of passionate work. Leave a mark by keeping your promises.

Falling for anything

This reminds of a cliche that goes like this, "If You Don’t Stand for Something, You’ll Fall for Anything." When you stand for anything you won't be easily remembered. 

Most of the icons we look up to, may it be technology, religion, politics or culture, they all stood for something. They lived their message and mostly delivered them. Its time to do the same and standout.

Some simple ways to Building a Personal Brand at your workplace

  • Promise and deliver
  • Plan and measure the execution of your plan
  • Let your goals and visions drive your promises
  • Use your values effectively
I hope this article got you thinking, does help you and get you thinking. Do leave a comment and share this article.

Further Reading

Personal Branding Tips
Personal branding in the workplace
Wiki on Personal Branding

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Sharpening the axe...The benefit of taking short breaks and how it helped blog better

October 23, 2019

Even taking small breaks can be a small step towards your goals


It's been little above a year for this blog. I would like to thank you for your constant support. I started this blog to explore my blogging side. It seems to be growing and I have been appreciating the joy of writing and more importantly expressing ideas freely. I have got a good amount of feedback and I try to constantly learn and improve my posts.


Read about my previous post, the cost of being too nice


So What have I been up to?


I blog only when I have something I think it's important to share. I know it may not be the best or the most lucrative strategy for a successful blog. But I choose to share ideas and information to help people. Topics related to Life skills and management have really fascinated me. The people who know me personally know that I share a huge passion for theology, comparative religions and debunking conspiracy theories ( Though sometimes I slip into believing some of them...Lol). But I want to keep that for another website and another series of blog posts.


In the background, when there are no articles I read about different topics and I also try to learn a few things about other blogging platforms. There is a lot to learn and its fun. I would encourage you to start a blog of your own. You could even share a guest article on this blog. Of course, I would review it before posting it. 


Taking a break

I have been using these past two months to narrow the focus on the topics I have been sharing and would love to share in the future. As an Educator and Soft Skills Trainer, I naturally would love to share topics that I am training or researching on. After much pondering, I realized that it made more sense to write about these topics and share some personal opinions and reflections. So I would be constantly exploring strategies related to life, marketing and adding value to the marketplace aka Entrepreneurship. I will be writing some posts or even creating useful content on the same.


Check this article on How to motivate people with good presentations?

Sharpening the axe and learning more

Been learning a lot about the mistakes I make on this blog. Articles from Neil Patel and Shoutmeloud by Harsh Agrawal have really helped me. These websites are a great resource for any new blogger. Recently a friend had asked me about me my blog and how to begin one of his own. I would say, there a lot of great blogging platforms online. Blogging platforms like Medium and Blogger are also great and pretty simple to start. Please do comment and share your feedback, It will really help me grow and blog better.


Some benefits of taking breaks

Taking this mini-vacation from blogging has helped me realize the importance of a whole range of things. I would like to share one related to blogging, I realized that focus is very important not just as a strategy but also help make things more structured and easy. So when blogging, It would be important to soul search a bit and understand the 'Why' behind the decision to blog or to start any project.


The other thing I realized is that it is important to not focus on the wrong things. Sometimes it is easy to confuse goals with outcomes. For example, Writing a great series of blog posts on Life skills can be a goal. But thinking that I will make $ X from it is an outcome and not a goal. Now making this outcome the sole focus is wrong and poor judgement. May be people may disagree with me. But I am okay with that. I think its more important to focus on goals and have a good metric to evaluate its success. Outcomes are important, but they are not the primary focus.


So Wrapping it all up

Take your well-deserved break. Focus on the goal of your choice and don't confuse outcomes with the goals you set. Achieving your goals needs strategy and structure too. I wish you a Happy Learning Day!

Further Reading

The importance of Taking Daily Steps towards your goals

Some beautiful and inspirational quotes on Gratitude

Short Reflection on Preparedness and how it brings closer to success

Do Comment, Share & Like this Post!




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Ponder Point - The Cost of Being too Nice

September 26, 2019
The Cost of Being too Nice




Difficulties of Being Too Nice

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

I was just speaking to a Customer Service Executive the other day, the person was hardly audible.

I assume he was just shy or maybe not trying to shout on the microphone. But I wasn't able to hear him, He wasn't audible. I didn't want to shout him down and kill his confidence.

 I pursued the conversation. I was terminating their service and they wanted references. Now imagine, doing a referral call and not firmly asking the customer for referrals. It's a pretty awkward situation, I was able to empathize with him.

 A lot of time it is wrong ideas and our perception that hold us back from self-actualization.

So I decided to help him out. I got my headset plugged it into my mobile phone and spoke to him.

I encouraged him to get close to the microphone on his headset and request clearly. I didn't end up giving him referrals, but I helped him speak clearly. I spared myself the guilt of not helping a learner.

The 24/7 Educator

Teaching, Mentoring & Building People


As an Educator, We have to push ourselves to go beyond being nice and try exploring avenues to guide people. For me, everybody is in sales, and philosophy and in business. 

Not being nice, doesn't mean being ruthless. So when you philosophise it's okay to not be nice and share the truth of your message. But being ruthless is not the other option. 

We can learn to use our words and gestures carefully, we can choose to build people.

It's a different matter if you find people unworthy and ungrateful. 

Practice Gratefulness whenever necessary and without expectations.

In Short, Be Nice.

So let us look at some of the Negatives of being too Nice 

Check out this article on

How to write a Gratitude Journal?


Negatives of being too Nice 

Negatives of Being Too Nice: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

1. Less Valued:

It's right to be Nice and a lot of us have been brought up to be kind and thoughtful of others. But we have also been taught to speak our minds and stand for what is right. 

Conveniently ignoring the latter and only pursuing the former selectively is hypocritical. 

That's a problem, In the pursuit of Pleasing others we forget some of our values. 

Quite interesting, How we can be selective in being nice. We mostly overlook this aspect.

2. People won't be there for you:

Situational Outcast

Expecting everyone to be like you and share the same values is perceiving the world incorrectly. 

Of course, As humans, we do share a lot in common.

People have different values, worldviews, and ethical systems. Just being agreeable and too nice is overlooking a lot. It's okay to disagree and if people don't share your values, it's fine. 

Some people may not reciprocate the same goodness and this is where being very nice gets you into a lot of trouble. 

We start expecting others to be the same, and they may not think it important to help you (when you need them). 

So it is important to have relationships but they should be ones where we allow mutual benefit and self-growth to thrive. 

We should avoid toxic relationships, where we are just sponged on and taken advantage of.

3. Impossibility of pleasing everybody

Let's imagine the idea of pleasing everybody, It's so daunting. 

My Goodness think about it, you have to please everybody you know and imagine what a waste of time. (You would be surprised, just how many take you for granted or don't even acknowledge the goodness)

An additional negative aspect of this is that we don't leave open the opportunity for people to move ahead. 

It obligates them (Some may perceive) because we have more chips of goodness over them.

4. Lack of Assertiveness & its ill effects

A very important thing to realize is that maybe we are not that assertive. 

So it can be a great opportunity to realize that and practice assertiveness. We can also start building healthy friendships.

5. Wrong Perception of the World

Lastly, I believe it stems from a wrong perception of things especially the world around us. 

As we have seen, earlier people have different values and agenda, being nice to everybody may not be the best strategy. So we need something better and healthier. 

So the next question that comes to our minds is 'What to do next?'

But before we go ahead on being Truly nice. Let us consider some disadvantages, quickly.

Some Disadvantages of Being Too Nice

Disadvantages of Being Nice: Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay

1. Losing Social Capital

It's less beneficial as the individual does not take healthy advantage of his / her efforts of caring for others. Thus reducing his social capital.

2. Losing the Benefits of Being Assertive

Being Assertive has its benefits, For example, We have the benefit of refusing choices that we don't want to pursue. This helps in increasing our confidence and also indirectly building our public image.

3. Lowering your Personal Brand Value

People tend to perceive us badly, Personal Branding like branding is all about perception. Being overly Nice rather than genuine and assertive can hamper one's reputation and thus lower one's Brand Value.

4. Lacking the ability to provide genuine help

Lastly, It prevents healthy and genuine help. Thus making helping others only becomes a matter of gaining brownie points.

Let's See how to stop being Nice and Be Genuine

Being Genuine: Image by Caique Silva Fotografo from Pixabay 

Understanding your identity

Identity plays a key role in how we view ourselves and understand others. We need to look at ourselves and understand that the external me is not the person inside. 

We need to see and understand who we are and what we are doing. We need to understand our values and know ourselves better. 

This will give us a better ground to build self-confidence and take steps boldly, Confident in ourselves and our values.

Building your EQ

It is a very good thing that modern education in schools makes an effort to build a person's emotional life. 

We must not fool ourselves into thinking that it is only our knowledge or expertise that makes us who we are. I believe it is much more than that. 

We are much more than who we think we are. Our emotions and emotional life matter, so do that of the people around us.

But just pandering to people and trying to please everybody is tragic, strategically and personally. It completely lacks wisdom.

Cultivating Healthy Friendships

Healthy & Positive Friendships

In this day of Social Media, we think a longer friend list matters. I must tell it is far from being true. I am not saying don't connect with old acquaintances and good old friends.

 But I think it is wise to invest in a healthy support system of a limited number of friends and extended family members.

I believe rather than pleasing everybody, It is okay to piss some people off.

Joy of Assertiveness

I came across this idea of being assertive during my Graduate day. A friend of mine had shared with me a book on Assertiveness. Ever since then, I have been practicing it. It is very magical. 

As an Educator, It would be rather difficult to please than everybody (all the time). Imagine the joy of setting rules that can create a learning environment and a rapt audience in your classroom ( It's simply priceless). 

As an Educator, it is essential to set certain rules or a framework for discipline. Assertiveness helps in building a culture of learning in the classroom. It is also very effective in personal life too. 

Does it irritate some people,? You bet it does. But as I said it earlier, it joyfully fine. :)

Purpose of True Niceness

The purpose of being Truly Nice is to be genuine and build yourself while helping others. This I think is the basic purpose of being Genuinely nice.

Concluding Thoughts

As an Educator and a student of Self Growth, I believe it is wise to be genuine and assertive. It pays to invest in friends and family that understand and value you. Seeking popularity to replace genuine relationships can often be an empty pursuit.

Wish you Happy Learning and meet you in the next Blog Post. Ciao!

Further Reading

Personal Identity: A Quiz with an informative article on Personal Identity

Importance of Daily Efforts: A Quote on the importance of Daily Steps

What is Emotional Intelligence?



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