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5 Powerful Books that can kickstart your next side successful hustle

April 15, 2021

 

Photo by Slidebean on Unsplash

Hey, It's been a fairly long time. Just took refuge in Goa, my ancestral home state. You may be thinking, Chris you are chilling and having a great time. 

Oh yes, but it's more about connecting with my newborn son, Caiden aka the fiery one. Little bustling bundle of joy, it's awesome being Dad. 

This current situation (a lot of us staying at home) has gotten me thinking about side hustles.

I would like to share some of the books to start out as a newly minted side hustler. 

I am not going to recommend super Management and Y-combinator startup stuff, but books that can actually start something you love and everyone can read.

Some reasons why starting a Side Hustle makes sense

So you want to escape the proverbial 9 to 5 or have passive income? This is not the blog to read. 

I believe starting a business part-time requires a ton of passion and effort.

It's about being independent but more importantly, I see it as solving problems that are important to you and others. 

Hustling the Canva way

Imagine Life before Canva or YouTube. Don't remember, Bad designs with illegible texts on graphics. That was life before Canva. Canva solved a major problem with Bad design. The best part it is available for Free. They have a paid version that I think is worth it.

Next is YouTube, When Satellite TV touched our neighbourhood there was such a buzz around it. There were households with Doordarshan and those who had the new Cable TV networks. 

What fascinated me was the logo design and the programming of these TV channels. I just loved the whole idea. But then becoming a content creator is so difficult and requires such a huge budget. 

YouTube just solved that one for you. Completely free to start a channel and reach out to millions of users worldwide. No license fees, no distribution costs. 

You could just design a logo on Canva and even edit your video and upload it on YouTube. It's that simple,

Yes, you can create videos on Canva. They have a powerful and simple video creation tool. For more powerful tools than Canva, we have Adobe Premiere, Davinci Resolve, Shotcut etc. But I love Canva because I can show my 5th Grade Students to make beautiful looking videos on it.

Problem Solving is hustling

Can you see how life-changing Problem Solving can be? 

Your side hustle has the power to actually change things around you. 

There are many more benefits like it provides employment to people, it gives you independence and the supplementary income.

Five Books to get you started on your Next Side Hustle


Unscripted: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship by M.J. DeMarco 

Very refreshing read for New Entrepreneurs

This is a must-read book by MJ De Marco, a self-made millionaire. 

He offers no BS tips but only how to start a business and change your mindset. 

He does not offer any shortcut formulas but common sense ideas and a framework to get started.

This Framework deals with deep-seated myths and false beliefs around work and success.

He also has a forum to discuss ideas to build a successful business. He is a huge proponent of the fast lane, which most of us think is dangerous. Read the book to know more...

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

Learn how to build a side hustle with your Passion

This book actually features people who have made it big with small but powerful ideas. I had the opportunity to meet of one the person mentioned in the book. 

I met this person much before he was mentioned in the book. Though I must say that person (who I won't name) was weird to meet (He would just not speak) with but was very talented and deserves all the respect.

The book offers a workable and practical framework to convert existing talent to help people and make an income. It also shows you practical ideas to scale the business to something big.


The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferris

A classic book on Life Design

This is a powerful book by Tim Ferris, I found the concept behind the book really powerful. Tim offers really practical and quick hacks to starting a business and building a lifestyle that you would envy.

Tim offers a whole range of recommended tools with workable plans that you could use to actually start a side hustle. He takes you through a few ideas and plans that could actually work and be useful to start with.

He shows you how to build a lifestyle around your side hustle. He also enlightens you about the negatives and how to deal with them.

Overall it will provide you with a good idea to get started with your side hustle in a very practical manner.

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not! by Robert T. Kiyosaki

One of the first books I read on Entrepreneurship

This is another power-packed book. I am sure you may have heard a lot of people recommend this book. 

This book will share ideas that will challenge some of your ideas around Employment, Life and business. 

This book is quick to read and some of the ideas are practical and useful.

He shares ideas he learnt from his Rich Dad (His mentor) who taught him well-treasured lessons about the realities of life and work.

He shares some key insights and direction to help you build a successful career and business.


The Startup Owner's Manual Strategy Guide by Steve Blank

Business Model Canvas beautiful technique to design your next business

This is a killer book. You could read this book and use the ideas to understand your current business or work. 

It focuses on Entrepreneurship and practical ways to become a successful Entrepreneur. 

You could start by Taking a Free course before actually Reading the book. Check it here.

Well, This is my shortlist. Of course, there are many I left out. I will mention them at some point.

The key thing about these five books is that they present side hustling as a practical way to explore your talent and more importantly a realistic and personal take on life.


In Conclusion

I believe it's when we seek to make a difference and not just an extra buck that we succeed. It can be difficult without the right knowledge and support.

These 5 books can be a starting point to plan well and begin with the right tools and mindset. Please share your favourite books on Entrepreneurship.

If you have read these books, Share what you think about them in the comments section. 

Note: Some of the links used in this article are Affiliate Links

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7 Powerful Elements to add Authenticity to your Personal Brand, A Short Guide

March 24, 2021

Authenticity and your Personal Brand


Do you remember the time when you read about your favourite celebrity in Magazine? Or that Page 3 article covering the latest gossip about them. 

Nowadays, Social media platforms have changed the way we communicate. 

It has helped us relate more to people we idolise. It has helped us connect with people we met and would like to know.

This has put an important need for understanding people. The need to see who they are. The need for authenticity has become highly essential.

Social media platforms have transformed the people who influence others into brands. Authenticity has a huge role in building powerful Personal Brands.

You could check some of my Blogs on Personal Branding,


Comment and Share your opinions on Personal Branding. 

What is a Personal Brand?




We all know and relate to different brands every day. We buy and patronise various goods and services. They add value to our lives. These brands come with a unique identity and promises.

We grow to love and hate these brands. Personal brands are influencers, people we know and associate with something unique. 

This could be a service they offer. Some Entertainment value they bring or plain admiration that we have for them.

Personal Branding is the process of creating personal brands. Authenticity is one such element in Personal Brands. 

There are other elements like Vision, Personality, Differentiation etc.


Authenticity as a Part of Branding

Faking it may be useful but when done badly it can backfire

I am sure some of us have been to an Education Fair. We go to hear some of our favourite speakers. 

We walk through aisles of many universities lined up into stalls. They promote the latest courses on offer. It's an experience that makes you think about possibilities.

Similarly, when we meet people for business or play we try to create the best impression of ourselves. 

We try to market ourselves and that's awesome. When we are online whether on Facebook or Linkedin we are doing the same thing. We are creating an impression. Most of us understand that.

Faking it may be useful but when done badly it can backfire. We can be perceived to be inauthentic. 

Authenticity can be a force that shows the person behind the brand. It peels away the veneer of the image to bring a bit of 'You' to your brand.

There are benefits to doing this, People learn to trust you and over a period of time even perceive you as a leader. 

So if you are churning out great content on Makeup or Sport or anything else. People learn from you and this adds value to your brand.

I would like to share some elements that build authenticity.

7 Powerful elements of Building Authenticity:

Any Questions regarding Personal Branding?

Please share any queries or questions you have on Personal branding.

You can also comment on what you think about this blog.

Honesty:

Honesty works



This is an obvious one. We know the importance of honesty. 

But some may wonder how sensible it is, to be honest. Honesty is an important part of Authenticity. People are relating to you and not just the idea of you.

Clarity of our values and what we are offering is important.

We need to be clear about our brand values to build authenticity.
 

Understanding People:

Understand others by understanding yourself



Who are we communicating to? Communication is not unidirectional. 

We need to understand others. What they think, what they feel? 

These questions are important. This will help us communicate effectively with them. 

If you have certain principles and values that define you, so do people. Understanding people can help you serve them better, this, in turn, builds authenticity.

Communication:

Marketing can be as simple as speaking to someone



Communication is essential and it is not only about creating viral content. 

It can also be engaging with people. Understanding their problems and needs. 

We must try to see how can we add value. Bombarding people with messages is pushy and not needed. 

Listening is also an important part of communication. We can get great ideas and useful feedback while we listen and engage with our audience.

Clarity:

Check this article, Click here


What are you doing? What are you about? You need to be clear about how are you relevant to the people you are serving. This requires clarity. 

Let me explain it with an example If you are a working professional. People who need your product/service would want to know how it serves them. 

If you can guide and help them with understanding to meet these needs. You become relevant. 

Relevance adds to the building of authenticity, but it all starts with Clarity. Being clear about what you do and who it benefits.

Personality:

We can listen and learn

You are a person. Show the human side of you. You don't need to be plastic, you can be yourself whilst understanding others. It's okay to be you.

Be clear about how relevant you are to serving people you relate with. We all have shortcomings and so do you. But we can listen and learn, it's okay to show that side of you.

The benefits are tremendous, you don't need to fake it. You listen and get feedback that helps you learn. You understand how to serve people better by being yourself.

Uniqueness:

You are Unique and believing that is a Choice



So you offer a service or you entertain people. Too bad other people do the same. But is that something to worry about? 

Of course not, You can bring something unique to your audience.

This does not need to be strikingly different. It needs to be something that does not recreate the wheel but adds something different that helps people.

Consistency:

Things can be Difficult, Don't give up



All major brands and influencers have not become brands overnight. 

They all share consistency as a unique trait. 

Be consistent, keep engaging and sharing ideas with people.


In Conclusion


Social Media has democratised influence and helped us network better. But Authenticity and being real is something we all value.

I have shared 7 elements that I feel would really add value to you and your audience by building authenticity to your Personal Brand.

"Case Study on Building an Authentic Brand", Coming Soon.

Check my Instagram page, @officialchriseducator, Let's connect!


References:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2019/11/22/15-critical-elements-of-authentic-brand-communication/?sh=2b4c292328b8

https://digitalwellbeing.org/new-brand-authenticity-scale-released-how-authentic-are-you/

https://www.chiefmarketer.com/the-art-of-authenticity-in-branding/

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/263442915_Brand_Authenticity_Towards_a_Deeper_Understanding_of_Its_Conceptualization_and_Measurement


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3 Things to Remember when the unplanned becomes your plan

December 21, 2020

 

Life Happens, but we can have plans


As an Educator, especially a Management educator I always heard students whine about the fact that they had to learn theory. 

It was like isn't practicality the only thing necessary in a business. It was an obvious thing to them. But the way I saw it was quite different. 

In business and in life every challenge thrown at us seem fresh and each problem may not even be similar to the previous one. How does one deal with that? 

In some cases even what we have learnt and experienced may fall short. Is there some kind of formula or method to get these kind of issues dealt with. I would there could be ways to approach unplanned 'plans'. 

We all know that things change, so we prepare for dynamic situations. As an Educator, I believe this is exactly where theoretical knowledge can be relevant. 

Check this post I wrote on dealing with uncertainty.

It helps us stay abreast with we know, and new issues or situations don't need to be tragic(I don't intend to diminish anyone's experience). It could be learning experiences where have tools to approach new problems.

They could be situations where we learn about new approaches or create our own approach. Let us relate it with a situation. Let's say your are new to Digital Marketing, and you found out it was a powerful tool to help you build your business.

You could hire someone or may be learn it yourself. Now just because you did a course in Digital Marketing would it mean that you would be taught about every situation or case that you would face, Not at all. 

You would expect the course to have sufficient information of the body of knowledge in the field. This would give you the required tools and information to learn and build up good experience in the field.

Interesting ideas to motivate yourself

So the first point I would like to put forth is the idea that you are equipped with resources to help you understand the problem. 

These resources could be in the form of information, people and even groups of people. We don't need to approach situations like we are unequipped and we are helpless. It would wrong thinking, because we already have what we need to deal with the situation.

It is not a requirement that we should be able to solve every problem or matter in our lives or business without help. As obvious as this may seem, we don't remind ourselves about it.

'You are equipped with resources to deal with your problems."

The other day I had forwarded this particular post from Justin Bieber's FB page. I found it really interesting.

The post was that we are more than our professions or actions. This what I understood from it. A friend of mine was really confused. He couldn't wrapping his head around the fact that we don't need to identify ourselves with our professions.

I think sometimes we can narrow our identities or stories we tell ourselves about 'Who we are' to a limited set of propositions.

I believe we are created unique and special with a God given purpose. Before giving others the right to recognize our contributions to making the world a better place, we reflect and appreciate the good in ourselves.

I think this is where journaling or self reflection can be really valuable. Appreciating yourself can be useful. 

I think this can be a really powerful concept, one in which we don't what we do for the love of it and with the best we can.

"You are more than your profession, appreciate yourself."


This is the last and obvious point, But I need to reiterate it. We hear it over and over again.
But it is something people misjudge and don't expect. They say they do (and they are ready for it great). 

I am talking about 'Failure'. How does one define it? Does your definition change with your feelings and emotions. 

Does it really give a moment to learn and opportunity to try something new? Or is it a line we tell ourselves?

Quitting is not easy, But may be we need to understand our so called failures and learn. Maybe they could help us understand certain aspects of reality that may be we are missing.

"We need to take time to understand the moments we fail at something."


Plans are as important as the goals we make. Expecting things to go wrong should also be a part of our plans.

Adding a certain level of flexibility may be required to deal with new situations or new information.

This should not be discouraging. It can also be a moment where we learn something new. 

This can be a learning experience for yourself and others.

I hope this Blog finds you in the best of health. Wish you Happy Holidays ! 

May the new year bring us all a lot of love and good health.

Further Reading:

Blogging Sites that inspire me

Chris Educator's Guide to Awareness

Journaling beats Stress

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5 Powerful Tricks for Personal Branding right now

October 12, 2020

 

Personal Branding can be easy

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Personal Branding more than a Buzz word

Do you remember your First Job interview? Remember your first Resume. How did it feel writing it? What did you put in your First Resume? It must have been quite a moment to scratch your head.  For some of us, it must have been quite easy.

When I look back I see it was the presence of soft and hard testimonials to show for. These testimonials in the form of Co-curricular and extracurricular achievements made its way into the Resume. It made some standout from the rest.

The question is what is Personal Branding and how is it relevant to us. Most of us may be experienced professionals with a good amount of work or expertise to show for. Why do we need to brand ourselves?

So let us delve into the Primary question, so let us try to understand Personal Branding. I would simply say Personal Branding is applying Branding concepts to oneself. But let us look at a more comprehensive explanation.

           According to Personalbrand.com, Personal Branding can be said to be "Personal branding is the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact.".

So Personal Branding can be said to portray an authentic image of your personality, strengths and competencies in a way that shows how you are better than the competition.

Impact on Work and Life

So the next question is do we all want to brand ourselves, of course, it depends on the goals you are seeking. At the least one would want to be recognized for the good work and be rewarded for the good performance.

If we misunderstand Branding to be an activity of Chest thumping we get branding wrong. We can be positioning ourselves as Personal brands for various reasons, but we must not reduce it to only what our perceptions say it is. 

It would be like thinking Sales is about Hoodwinking people...That would be outright blasphemous. So with Personal Branding, we must not think of it as portraying a false persona.

It is not, though it can be twisted to be such. 

3C Model Of Personal Branding by David Hagenbuch

To quickly start Branding yourself, I shall use the 3C Model of Personal Branding by David Hagenbuch.

The Primary 'C' is Communication. The other two C's include Competency and Character. Competency refers to how you perform at work. 

It would be pointless just promoting yourself all over if you lack this and next is Character. Character, in essence, deals with your values and qualities as an Individual. Competency and Character are complemented with Communication. 

Simple Strategies to Get Started Quickly

1. Start Blogging

Blogging can be confused with article writing. We may think 'oh goodness, what a dim suggestion', But hear me out.

Think of it like writing an Online Diary with details every one can read. A medium of self-expression, A safe space to discuss and share information.

Yes, you could invite some Trolls. But the Pros outweigh the benefits. You could use FB comments for the comment section. I have been using it. It is really 👌.

2. Start a YouTube Channel

YouTube channel is another great medium for sharing ideas. You just need a camera and good lighting. Throw in a good microphone with less noise around where you are recording, it would be a great start.

The Best part of Vlogging is the benefit of repurposing content. The other benefit is that a good amount of people use YouTube as a source for Good information. To be entertained and learn something at the same time.

It does not need to be an elaborate video. The idea is to share a small part of you...in terms of your reactions, your struggles, ideas, views etc. You could start by having a small script and just recording what you have to say with good lights and. a sound good microphone.

3. Read a book or pick up a New Skill

Another part of Personal Branding as we have seen is Competency. I am sure a lot of us however professional we may be and well versed in our professions have something to learn.

It's a simple suggestion Read. It could be a book, an article or a white paper. Learn something that adds to your competency.

4. Create unique Content for Social Media

Creating content does not need to be only blogs or videos. One could start by engaging people with simple short posts on Facebook or Twitter.

Just forwarding content with little reactions or comments, it could also be a short and sweet way to start out.

5. Network with Like-minded People

This is another benefit to the Internet and it can really help you build a Personal Brand. Building an Audience and getting to know people.

This is where online groups and communities can be really powerful. Join a community online and engage with the content or activities in the group. Abide by the rules each community has. Try building genuine contacts.

Promote yourself appropriately as long as it is not against Community rules. Facebook and Linkedin have interesting groups to join.

Conclusion

Personal Brand is something that highlights the uniqueness in each one of us. 

As humans we have a lot of traits in common, to share a few, emotions like joy, struggles and talents. 

But in a competitive environment, we need to highlight the best we have.

I would like to thank you for sharing your time. Do join the discussion on our FB Page.

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Startup Mindset is important to be Successful, 5 interesting points from an Educator

March 08, 2020

Startup Mindset is important to be Successful, 5 interesting points from an Educator


Is Startup just a Buzz word?

A Startup's mindset is not always about the profit motive


Entreprendre is the root word for Entrepreneurship. It is a French word that means to undertake. 'Startup' is more than a buzz word. It is something that is more than just doing business, it is creating solutions and enhancing our daily lives.

A Startup's mindset may not always have a profit motive driving it, but could be more than that. I have seen it as a way of creating something a great value. Value to customers and the market.

I don't think it is a millennial fad. It is actually applying what they have understood about their field and using business to enhance the effectiveness of their venture.

So today, Let's look at five interesting points that I believe are important to a Successful Entrepreneur.


1. Being Action-oriented

Massive Action



This is one interesting aspect of a Successful Entrepreneur. The ability to move beyond the ideating phase to actual execution.

A lot of times it is the overthinking that kills the project.

Moving to action is what is needed. I remember seeing one of my ideas years later becoming an actual product. (I had thought up something similar...Won't tell you what! :))

It made me interested in Entrepreneurship even more. Sometimes we need simple ideas to begin our journey as an Entrepreneur, not a complete roadmap.


2. Moving away from Perfectionism


Perfection can seem like a very noble task as a person. But sometimes it stifles any action.

Rather than getting stuck in Perfectionism, we can move away from it to something more achievable, namely Excellence. 

Now it is more about a journey and not a destination. 

We are now focused on the daily activities and processes that enhance or kill our dreams rather than an illusory event.

3. Always being ready


One thing in life that is constant is change ( I thought Buddha said it...maybe he did). I think it is true and like death all of us experience it.

So how do we prepare for it? We can build a process or a plan for change. A successful Entrepreneur builds processes and systems to deal with change.


4. The Compounding Effect

I found this idea on many books but in this podcast 'The Mindset Mentor'. It got me thinking about it again, but more in the context of Entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship is also about a compounding effect of various tasks and responsibilities carried out daily.

Small Steps that we take daily has the potential to add to our success or failure. It is something that we determine.

5. Uncovering the Reasons

Having a Strong Foundation


The reasons behind our actions or even the dream projects we undertake are important.

It should be something as firm as a rock. 

A Successful Entrepreneur understands the benefits he is proving stakeholders and himself by the projects he undertakes.




Conclusion

Entrepreneurs create value and opportunities for a lot of people including themselves. They bring about positive change (most of the time). But it is some important points that I just covered that make them more effective. 

There will surely be some points you find interesting in Successful Entrepreneurs that you see, please share them in the comments section.

If you have come this far, please consider subscribing to our Facebook Page. We share more ideas and content there, Click Here.

Further Reading



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Gary Vaynerchuk's 5 Powerful Hacks to Starting out as an Entrepreneur

February 06, 2020
"Ideas are shit, Execution is the Game" - Gary Vee


Gary Vaynerchuk is one of my favorite internet marketers. Why Do I Like Him? I kind of resonate with a lot that he speaks about life and especially marketing.

Besides being a successful internet personality Gary Vee is also a successful businessman. He is the founder of many businesses and successful startups.

Today I shall try looking at some of his quotes and try sharing some of the insights we can derive from them.

As an Entrepreneur, we face a lot of ups and downs, moments of ecstasy and moments of discouragement. It is great to hear from people who share some of their experiences that helped them succeed, along the path we are treading.


Entrepreneurship more than a buzz word

As an Educator, it is not uncommon for me to hear and also meet students who have a deep interest in Entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship is something that is encouraged and thought of as a great way to develop societies and communities at large.

So whether it is Social or Profit oriented ventures, I am sure Gary has some insights that could help you.


Entrepreneurship and Life

'Work and Play' has become 'Work that is play', people want work that is more than just a routine. Some of us would like to monetize our hobbies or at least make our work a hobby.

We spend so much time honing a skill or mastering a job. Besides this, it eats into a lot of our time.

So Entrepreneurship or start-up culture can be a good route to achieving that ideal work, that incorporates work, business, and self-development. 

But there is no quick formula or path to achieve it ( At least that's what I am aware of )


Powerful Hack #1 Skills are cheap. Passion is Priceless

Of course, the point is not that skills are not important. But to think it is a substitute for being passionate about what you do is a wrong idea. Passion and relevance to people can be monetarily beneficial.

So a successful Entrepreneur tries to combine his passion with what the market wants.

Just being passionate will not make you a successful entrepreneur, if what you are not creating products and services that are relevant to people.


Powerful Hack #2 Hoping + Dreaming will result in nothing. Executing against your skills is the road to success.


Courtesy: Pexels


So As an Entrepreneur, Action is very important, without it we must forget about succeeding or failing. Since to fail you need to first act.

So like our New Year's resolution, we must set a goal and work towards it every day. So if shaping up is your goal, joining a gym or dieting can be the first step. Not doing these activities properly is a different issue. Execution is always key. Similarly in Entrepreneurship, setting proper and well-defined goals is key.


To be honest, a lot of us can be guilty of this ( Lack of Execution). Hoping & dreaming things and having great ideas is something quite common. But if we do not pursue our Goals, it won't be a reality.

It is important to couple our Goals with Execution, it is quite essential for an Entrepreneur to do this to succeed. Execution coupled with constant constructive feedback can have a transforming impact. We must also see that our Goals aligned with our Company's Vision.


Powerful Hack #3 Fear kills Growth

Courtesy: Image by John Hain from Pixabay


You must have heard the acrostic F.E.A.R, False expectations appearing real or this one False expectation about risks? When it comes to entrepreneurship I believe both hold true.

Do, Entrepreneurs not get scared? I think it's far from that. It is important to move beyond  FEAR and allow it to push us towards action rather than stifling us.


Powerful Hack #4 The Best Marketing Strategy ever: Care.


 Finding your niche or developing your product begins by understanding your customer's needs


It can be quite a head spinner to think of what to produce or what business to get into. Finding that perfect niche can be difficult. I think the word 'CARE' ( As Gary suggests) can really help with that one too.

Whether it is finding your niche or developing your product, understanding your customer's needs can take you a long way towards making your product a success. A good marketing strategy will reflect exactly how your offering satisfies your customer's needs and also showing that you care can create quite an impact.


Powerful Hack #5 "Winning" is not defined by me or your parents or even the market...It's defined by you.

Allowing others to define what success means or looks like, is not so motivating. You define what success means to you nobody is there to stop you. 

Define your success and achieve it...Hear it from Gary Vee


What defines success for you? Courtesy: Gary Vee

In Conclusion

There are many quotes, videos, and Content by Gary Vee. It has helped understand people and customers better. I think most of us want to balance our work and personal lives, Some of these ideas are simple and impactful.

Do use them, Let me know in the comments section how they have impacted you.

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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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