What’s your brand?

If you worked for a company without a mission statement or a brand, what would you think? How would the company’s employees know what direction they were going, or what kind of decisions to make? Do they make key decisions to push innovation and technology? Do they decide to make ‘Green’ decisions or quality decisions top priority? Any employee would make decisions based on their own personal choice or brand instead of aligning with the vision of the owner, general manager or CEO.

This is why companies have mission statements and company values. It’s even why some larger companies develop 5 – 10 year visions. It helps direct the employees for decision making and align thoughts and actions. Without aligned thoughts and actions, you could have one employee strike a great deal on a 5 year lease, but another employee developing relationships to move the company to another state where there’s better commodities and cheaper land for expansion. These kind of misalignment’s happen and cost companies lots of money. In fact, some decisions are made that can prevent or out-cost other opportunities.

Your life and career are somewhat like a company. The decisions you make in life, like which job opportunity to take, whether or not to have kids, and where to live narrow down your next choices. It’s like a highway. You have several roads your life can travel down. When you make decisions at forks in the road, you turn down a different path. There are several paths that fork from there, some merge back in with other paths, some block you from others. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you don’t have some sort of idea where you want to go, you could prevent your ultimate goal from ever coming to fruition. Sometimes, we can get back on track, but at a very large detour or cost.

So, spend some time thinking about where you want to be in 5, 10 and 25 years. It doesn’t have to be a fully thought out plan. The 5 year plan should have the most detail, the 25 year plan should be very high level, allowing for growth and clarity.

But most importantly, develop a personal brand, a statement that says who you are and  your main 2 to 3 goals in life. You can change them if you go through a life changing event, but typically who we are and what we want to get out of life is somewhat consistent for us. These goals aren’t specific details, but more like passions. You may want to be the best mother, but how? Compassion or encouragement may be a goal of yours. Inspiration is one of mine. I live to inspire others. It feeds me like nothing else.

Make a list of the top 10 things that you are passionate about, then continue to combine or narrow them down until you have 2 to 3 things. You’ll be amazed that some of them combine really well. Loving to bake and loving to write are both a passion to create. Write a sentence to loop them all together with a direct vision. It may not be the easiest or fastest thing you’ll do in a while, but I guarantee it’ll be worth it. Making life decisions is so much easier once you know what you want to get out of life. Just see if it fits your brand.

The article below has some great material and ideas on personal branding. Go get started!



What’s Real?

One of the things I have a real passion about is the image that our young women (and young men!) get from the media. The physical image that is portrayed in movies, magazines and commercials is not real. I think we all know that some editing is done, but I believe that most people do not understand the sheer vastness of editing that is being done.

I have made my daughter and her friends watch these videos so they get it. It’s important to me that they understand what’s real and what’s not. The physical appearance they see with celebrities simply isn’t real and it’s certainly not attainable. We should not judge ourselves by what we see on the television.

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A Lesson on Stress

My Grandma emailed me the below story this week and it was good enough, I wanted to share.

Great Lesson on Stress 

A young lady confidently walked around the room with a raised glass of water while leading a seminar and explaining stress management to her audience.  Everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘Half empty or half full?’

She fooled them all. “How heavy is this glass of water?” she inquired with a smile. Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter.  It depends on how long I hold it.  If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem.  If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm

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The Art of Being Yourself

This video is one that I’ve watched multiple times…I know I’ve said that before, but it’s still true. I feel that it’s so important to know who you are, what you want out of life, and to fill your life with all of the things that are meaningful to you. Everything else can just go away. It’s not necessary to ‘check the box’ on everything that’s important to everyone else, just because ‘everyone else’ says it’s important.

As a friend of mine says, “You can have anything you want, you just can’t have everything that you want.” You have to know your priorities and what you want to get out of life.

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Bring on the Female Superheroes!

This video is about the lack of strong female influences in cinema and advertising. I found it interesting because I don’t think we realize how much this influences us. When we see mainly men in leadership roles in movies or commercials, it really does work to shape our beliefs that they are better suited to those roles. Also, men get the majority of speaking parts, in mixed cast movies. I’m sure this isn’t true for female-centric movies such as Beauty Shop, Mean Girls or Bridesmaids, but for the most part it’s true.

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Gratitude is the feeling of appreciation. The best part? Thinking about gratitude actually makes you happier! Even if you can’t figure out anything to be appreciative of, just the act of thinking about it and searching to find something to be thankful for, actually makes you happier. I think it’s that principle where it gets your brain looking for the good, the happy, the beauty of life. Pretty amazing, right? The below link is another one of my favorites. It’s made by SoulPancake. Remember that great company that came up with the Am I Beautiful? video? Yep, that’s the one.

Well, this one, like the other, will also likely get those heart strings and tear ducts going…like down to your cockles. Your heart cockles, I mean. This isn’t that kind of website.

Without further ado, The Science of Happiness, an Experiment in Gratitude. Watch it!! I mean it!! Then tell someone thank you. Your welcome.

Am I Beautiful?

I had the opportunity of attending one of the host locations for LeaderCast Women, the first women’s LeaderCast conference, a month or so back. Boy, this sounds like I am attending a lot of conferences, but I’m really just finally getting around to cataloging a few of these inspirational sources and several of them have started from a conference or a contact at a conference.

We had 9 fantastic speakers. One of which was Shabnam Mogharabi. She is the CEO For SoulPancake, a fantastic company geared around content that feeds your soul. It’s pretty wonderful and honestly speaks to me. I actually looked at the job openings, but they are all in LA. Not sure living in L.A. would ultimately work well for me and my family.

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The Power of Vulnerability

I recently attended leadership training specifically geared for women. This training was especially helpful as it broke some of the stereotypes I had previously been guilty of. It also opened up my eyes into ways that I, as a female, can lead with confidence, not allowing stereotypes to change the image of me that I felt I needed to project.

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