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Category: Personal Branding

Who Are You?

Who Are You?

Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic stated “Nobody can teach me who I am. You can describe parts of me, but who I am – and what I need – is something I have to find out myself.”

There seems to be a slew of professional, career and life coaches out there more than willing to “help” you find your passion, define your goals and create a career that you love. Coaches are great but if you don’t know who you are for yourself, you are wasting everyone’s time and specifically your money. Think of it this way, professional basketball players don’t need their coach to teach them how to play. The coaches are there to help them be better versions of yourself.

In my early twenties, I started my journey of personal development and began taking self-assessment and personality tests. Myers-Briggs and DiSC are my favorites and truly speak to who I am:

Myer Briggs profile: ENFJ [Extraverted (E), Intuitive (N), Feeling (F), Judging (J)] – Sincerely interested in other people and try to do their best to help them (Hello! Work Your Package), tend to have extraordinary social and networking skills, are usually quite sensitive and even somewhat idealistic, the same sensitivity draws them towards careers that reward high emotional intelligence; on the other hand, they are very vulnerable to criticism and should stay away from stressful careers (The reason why I’m no longer in social work).  Also really creative, organized and honest – this makes them excellent psychologists, event coordinators or politicians.  (I share this with President Barack Obama, President Abraham Lincoln, Oprah Winfrey and Ben Affleck)

DiSC profile: Influence (I) with equal Dominance (D) and Conscientiousness (C)  – Focused on shaping their environment by influencing or persuading others. Influence others through talking and activity and tend to be emotional, convincing, magnetic, political, enthusiastic, persuasive, warm, demonstrative, trusting, and optimistic. The dominance dimension includes being inquisitive, self-assured, calculated risk-taker and being self-critical. The conscientious dimension includes being analytical, sensitive, “own person” and mature.

Because I took these tests very early on in my adulthood, I had a better understanding of what I would and would not tolerate, deal with or allow in my personal or professional life. I’ve taken both assessments fairly recently and not much as changed. Either you love me because I’m always pushing you to be better or you hate me because I’m eternally optimistic that things will be better. Either way, the person you meet on a Sunday in August is the same person who will give you a hug on a Thursday in October. I’m consistent because I know who I am. I know my weaknesses. I know my strengths. No professional, career or life coach can teach me how to be me. What I want to know is how I can be an even better representation of myself as I Work My Package

Do you know who you are and why you tick the way you do? Click here to take a modified version of the Myers Briggs. Click here for DiSC.

With love,

 

 

 

 

P.S. Registration is open for the 4th annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference! Register today at www.wyp2017.eventbrite.com.

 

 

Coach, Mentor or Sponsor? You Need All Three

Coach, Mentor or Sponsor? You Need All Three

I truly believe that I’m where I am today because of a combination of good genes, a stellar board of directors and having personal and professional coaches, mentors and sponsors. To date, only one of my mentoring relationships was/is formal. My coaches, mentors and sponsors have been seasoned co-workers, supervisors who embraced that I’m a sponge and love to learn and executives with the power to put me in rooms that I otherwise would not have entered. It is a combination of those relationships that cultivated my ability to communicate and connect with just about anyone and take criticism constructively, no matter how it’s delivered. While there might be some similarities, the roles of a coach, mentor and sponsor are quite different.

Coach: 

Newsweek reported that a life coach is part consultant, part motivational speaker, part therapist and part rent-a-friend, coaches work with managers, entrepreneurs, and just plain folks, helping them define and achieve their goals — career, personal, or most often, both.  According to CFO Magazine, coaches have the ability to view things from afar — in what some call ‘helicopter vision’ — and to shed new light on difficult situations. Often they can act as a sounding board through tough decisions, help sharpen skills, and motivate.

Mentor:

Mentoring is a long term relationship where the focus is on supporting the growth and development of the mentee. The mentor is a source of wisdom, teaching and support, but not someone who observes and advises on specific actions or behavioral changes in daily work. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide.” Others expand on that definition by suggesting that a mentor is “someone who is helping you with your career, specific work projects or general life advice out of the goodness of his or her heart. (www.thebalance.com)

Sponsor:

A sponsor is someone in a position of power who uses his or her influence to advocate on your be half. A sponsor could be your boss, your boss’s boss or anyone who’s in a position to influence others and who knows you well enough to put his or her reputation on the line for you. That’s in contrast to a mentor, who is typically someone who provides advice and helps you develop skills. Mentors help individuals get better, while sponsors help individuals get ahead.

According to Joann M. Eisenhart, senior vice president, Human Resources, Facilities and Philanthropy at Northwestern Mutual, there are three facts about sponsorship:

  • Sponsorship is earned. Only when a person knows your work, trusts you and can attest to your character will he or she likely be an advocate for you. Most won’t risk their own reputation on anything less.
  • Sponsorship doesn’t have to be formal. Because sponsorships are based on professional relationships that are cultivated over time, they often develop informally. Years ago, I was offered a position at a new company because a former colleague suggested the hiring manager get to know me. This colleague and I never said, “Let’s be sponsors for each other.”  Instead, the recommendation came as a natural extension of our strong professional relationship.
  • Sponsorships are two-way streets. If you’re fortunate enough to have a professional sponsor stick his or her neck out for you, don’t disappoint. In return for their advocacy, they’ll expect you to live up to your potential. And they may ask you to work on aspects of your career development before they’re willing to go to bat for you. After all, their credibility is riding on your success.

So do you have a coach, a mentor and a sponsor? If not, think about the people around who can step into those roles. Who do you go to for advice? Who to do go when you need clarity on how to get a task or a project done? Who do you know who is where you want to be and has the gravitas to introduce you to the right people?  Take the time to talk to them, find out if you have similarities and are compatible. Find out how you can assist them before asking them to help you. Be congruent in your words and actions.

If you have a coach, mentor and sponsor, share in the comments below how they have helped you along your journey.

With love,

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They Are Watching You

They Are Watching You

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The importance of personal branding has been quietly building and folks are starting to embrace that they are indeed CEO, COO, CFO and CIO of Me, Inc. The problem with personal branding is that it comes with a misconceived notion that you must also be perfect. Pause right there. Perfectionism is a myth. Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination. Perfectionism will keep you from taking a chance on an idea because you are afraid of making a mistake. Some of the best lessons are learned from failure and imperfection. Brand new ways of doing things are often discovered by messing up in epic proportions. Instead of trying to keep the facade of perfection buffed, shined and polished, allow others to see you imperfections. The fallacy of perfection doesn’t inspire people. It’s the authentic journey of learning from mistakes.

5 Things That Need to Stop at Work…Right Now

5 Things That Need to Stop at Work…Right Now

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I’ve worked in various industries for some great companies. While their mission statements and strategic goals might have been different, they have have one thing in common…employees that display horrible work behavior. Here’s the top 5 behaviors that really just need to stop. Not now, but right now.

1. Unproductive Gossiping – Yes, there’s such a thing as productive gossip. Talking about a new project or initiative and how it will improve workflow process or boost employee morale is productive gossip. Gossiping about the latest office romance? Unproductive, unnecessary and makes you look bitter. Also, making stuff up just to sound like you are “in the know” makes you appear desperate for attention. You have better things to do.

2. Taking Credit for Work You Didn’t Do – I can’t believe people still do this and think that they can get a way with it. If you are working with a team to complete a project, make sure you publicly thank the ENTIRE team even if you think you did all of the work. Trust me, you’ll be respected and people will want you on their team in the future. The cute BCC on feature on emails is used more often than you think. Don’t let work karma bite you in the butt.
3. Arriving to Meetings Late – Just stop it. Seriously. It’s disrespectful to the meeting organizer and the other attendees. I do my best to arrive to meetings early. I don’t like to keep people waiting because it’s rude. My supervisor has a standing rule that if you are late, you have to either sing, dance or tell a joke. Don’t be the source of entertainment or laughter. Learn how to manage your 168 and get to meetings on time.
4. Coming to Meetings Unprepared – In my opinion, this is worse than arriving late. If you are facilitating a meeting, make sure you have an agenda. No one wants to sit through a meeting while you try to wing it. If you are responsible for an item on the agenda, make sure you have everything you need to contribute to the meeting. Want to be a superstar? Distribute materials ahead of time so that the attendees can come to the meeting feeling prepared and ready to contribute to the conversation.
5. Being a Naysayer…ALL THE TIME – Negative Nelly. Debbie Downer. Nervous Norbit. Buzzkill Bobby. Whatever your name is, please know that you are sucking the life out of your co-workers. Your constant negative comments about every idea suggested by a co-worker doesn’t make you the “devil’s advocate”. It makes you look like the most insecure person in the office. Get some ideas of your own instead of wasting time finding something wrong with someone else’s idea. Instead of saying, “No, that won’t work” try saying “That sounds interesting. Can you tell me more?”
I would love to hear what bad work habits/behaviors you like to see added to the list.
With love,
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Did you know registration for Work Your Package Women’s Conference 2016 is open? Did you know you can reserve your seat for only $99? Register today at www.workyourpackage2016.eventbrite.com 
Five Ways to Boost Your Personal Brand

Five Ways to Boost Your Personal Brand

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What does Apple, Google, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, FedEx, Southwest Airlines. General Electric and Microsoft all have in common? Amazing brand recognition.  So how you boost your personal brand? It’s not as hard as you think.

  1. Create your own personal website or landing page. Believe me, this is not as hard as it may sound. In many cases it can be done for free or very little cost. For as little as $10 per month, you can create a site without knowing any coding language.  Having a personal website will allow you to have a space put up a virtual resume and any project samples that showcase your skills.
  2. Create slide share presentations. SlideShare is a great way to put up content about your area of expertise.  If you are not familiar with Slide Share, take a look at what other people have shared. Some of the best presentations have very little copy and more images to convey the message.
  3. Create a YouTube video channel.  If you have a smartphone, you have the capability to record a video. YouTube has an editing section is easy to use once you spend some time learning the different tools available.  With one video you can introduce yourself, your knowledge, personality, and creativity all in one place.
  4. Complete your entire LinkedIn profile. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you are doing yourself a disservice. HR reps around the world are viewing LinkedIn profiles. A well-done profile is almost a prescreening process for jobs and even promotions. Business owners use LinkedIn to decide if they should do business with you.  Much like a personal website or landing page, LinkedIn allows you to showcase your body of work and the steps you have taken to get to where you are at in your career.
  5. Start a blog. You can use sites like Tumblr, Blogger, and WordPress to create a free blog page. Your topic can be on anything that you enjoy and you can choose to write commentary, give advice or just show images. It’s your blog, you can do whatever your want….as long as it strengthens your brand.

Do you have any tips for personal branding? Share them below in the comments.

With love,

 

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My Haters Are My Motivators

My Haters Are My Motivators

Haters are my motivators

The MOST ridiculous phrase ever created. Usually said by self-absorbed, self-centered, arrogant, cocky and insecure people that have the nerve to say that foolishness with pride. I’m going to pause right here….Are you kidding me? Let’s get something straight, everyone who doesn’t agree with you, congratulate you on your achievements or jump on your bandwagon is a hater. They just aren’t buying what you are selling and see you for who you are. And if your motivator is negative energy and people hating you, I feel sorry for you. Would you still be motivated to do something extraordinary if you were respected and admired?

If you can’t be real with yourself, you can’t be real with anyone else and you are setting yourself up to be alone and therefore continue to perpetuate this nonsense that you have “haters”.  Here’s a newsflash, no one wants to be around narcissistic opportunists. No one wants to be around a someone who uses other people to get  ahead and constantly changes alliances depending on the benefits that may come by association. People can smell unauthentic actions and words a mile away. If you find yourself without meaningful and soul-nourishing relationships and you are constantly using  that pathetic phrase to explain why, then it’s not them, is you. If one person tells you that you have a green tail, that person is crazy. If two people tell you, then is may be a conspiracy. Honey, if seven people tell you, I need you to go find a mirror and go look at your tail.

Genuine actions yield genuine results and relationships. Don’t try to fool others by saying you are genuine. Words mean nothing when your actions are contradictory.

With love,

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WYP2015 Speaker Spotlight – Cathy E. Smith

WYP2015 Speaker Spotlight – Cathy E. Smith

1511160_690115257688723_193069271_nWhen I started the process of selecting speakers for the 2nd Annual Work Your Package Women’s Conference, I thought about speakers who would be able to engage the attendees as well as motivate them to take action. First up in this speaker spotlight series is Cathy E. Smith, Social Media Trainer and Marketing Strategist and Chief Marketing Strategist of C2 Internet Marketing Strategies.


What are the three biggest benefits you offer to your target audience and why?

I provide my clients with a social media assessment or client assessment (questionnaire) that they must complete before their first consultation. This allows me to identify where they are in terms of their social media or online presence. This allows me to identify where we need to focus our efforts in order to achieve the best results as well as provide the most value for the consulting time. I offer strategic social media strategies and placement to get my clients in front of the right target market for their respective business. I also assist them in developing an optimized profile. Not all social media networks are created equal and not everyone should be on Facebook. You should be on the top 3 social networks that will allow you to connect with the right audience and make the most effective use of the time spent online. I offer templates, checklists and/or recommended brands to follow in order to increase their own client base. This allows the client to be strategic as well as grow their own following or client base quickly with simple strategies. This allows the client an opportunity to grow without being or feeling overwhelmed.

 
If you had a list of ‘best-kept secrets’ [websites, books, coaches] you’d recommend, which would you include and why?
Websites
Follow.net – for identifying top brands or complementary brands in order to keep up-to-date with what is going on in your industry or for continued learning and development and success with your own brand;
Payhip.com – for promoting  and selling your own eBook or product without monthly fees
Books
Think Like a Billionaire, Become a Billionaire by Scot Anderson – You have an opportunity to create your own manifesto and vision for success based on biblical principles.
Coach
Allyson Byrd – She has major clients and results from helping major companies and brands. She makes you take a hard look at yourself, where you are going in your business, and the bottom-line numbers. Are you running a business or a hobby?
Looking out 3 to 5 years, beyond the obvious trends, what do you think will be the next big change in your industry?
There will be a major shift and increase in the use of podcasts to promote brands and generate revenue. There will be an increase in online learning using innovative tools and the emergence of a new social network that will take the world by storm larger than Facebook.
Post-Event Withdrawal

Post-Event Withdrawal

I spent the last couple of months planning a division annual meeting for IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals). As one of the co-chairs for the annual meeting, it was my responsibility to attend meetings to coordinate the activities and tasks for thirteen different committee chairs and representatives. The meetings started with a frequency of once a month. Those meetings were relatively easy to deal with. An update here, a question there. No big deal. But then the meetings switched to every two weeks and the information that my co-chair and I should have received wasn’t forthcoming from the appropriate parties (How’s that for a politically correct statement?). When we started meeting every week, I became a very cranky version of myself. I questioned my sanity and intelligence for taking on the responsibility in the first place. I mean really, who was I trying to impress? I’ll tell you who. Myself. But was it nice to hear from the attendees that we did a great job? Absolutely. When a room full of seasoned, experienced, Alpha female administrative professionals give you a compliment, it is nothing to sneeze at. Administrative professionals are some of the hardest people to please. I love them dearly, but if there is something wrong, if there’s a typo, if a waiter took too long to bring the soup they will let you know about it…immediately. It’s not that we look for mistakes, we are just quick to find them and 99.9% of the time we can offer a solution to fix it.

Planning a meeting of this size for an elite group of 120 women was a challenge and an honor. Having such a huge responsibility tested me in ways I thought only my husband and children could. I had to use technical as well as soft skills to be the best co-chair possible. Even though the planning got rough at some points and feathers of pride got ruffled, I would do it all over again. When I went back to work today, I could not believe that all the planning was over. I missed my cue sheets and conference timelines. I missed the banquet event orders and the room layouts. I missed providing solutions to problems. I didn’t look at any of the meeting materials today instead I stacked them in a corner on my desk.  I tried to think about the many tasks to be completed at work. And then I received an email from the Registration Committee Chair….a list of all the attendees. I fought the urge to send out the survey right then and there. But I’ll give you two guesses what I’ll be doing first thing in the morning and the first guess doesn’t count…