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Monthly archives "October 2013"

5 Personal Branding Tips in Discovering Opportunity

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knocking-featureKnock, knock. Who’s there? Opportunity. Opportunity, who?

If you get to “Opportunity, Who?” you have lost. When opportunity knocks, it is your duty to yourself and others around you to look into the opportunity more. Doing your due diligence with every opportunity that comes down your path is key to a successful person. Sometimes you must take a leap of faith, but in general every opportunity has its risks and rewards.

This article is to help students, professionals and everyone in between know how to discover opportunities to build their personal brand. Below is a list of five key areas in which opportunity can be made a reality.

  1. Being open to opportunities (i.e. Being nice): First you must allow yourself the ability to be open to opportunities. This means being nice to those you come in contact with. With each community, no matter if you are in real estate, advertising, construction, politics or public relations, the community is tight-knit. The longer you stay in the industry, the more you realize that everybody knows everybody. Shutting off one person because of an annoying trait or because they are not attractive could be the cause for many lost opportunities. It is interesting to note that many opportunities come at the most unexpected times, such as in bars, at parties or on your way to Italy, for example. Once you meet someone and leave a great first impression with them they will remember it. Not to mention, if you are lucky, they will come to you when they need you.
  2. Trying the angles. Opportunities come in all shapes and sizes. A few small opportunities could even work out much better than one large opportunity. Trying the angles really means finding your specific sticking point. What specific impact do you want to make that sets you apart from all the rest? For example, say you want to start your own business. if you were starting a cleaning company, do you just want to clean homes or do you want to clean with all home-made natural products and leave fresh flowers behind? if you were starting a marketing communications firm, do you just want to develop  logos and brochures or do you want to connect business with the socially engaged customer through human interactions? You get the idea. There will always be someone better than you in a specific field, but if you help form a new angle in that field, opportunity will always knock.
  3. Knowing when to turn an opportunity down. This is always a tough one. In the second paragraph I mention the term due diligence. When reviewing an opportunity you need to consider all the factors. Are you excited about the opportunity because it will look good on a resume or are you excited because it is the right thing, right now? For example, I was offered the opportunity to sit on the board of a local professional group. The year prior I had tried and failed to get on the board, so it was very exciting to me to be asked straight away this time. Over that period of time some things had occurred in my family life and I had taken up other endeavors from a philanthropic standpoint. I turned the opportunity down and the decision has suited me well. It has allowed me to more closely look at other opportunities I have had that i may have not had time for otherwise. Also I can spend more time where i find it necessary. Turning an opportunity down is never easy. Be careful to thoughtfully decline without shutting the door completely.
  4. Making opportunities for others. Zig Ziglar said, “You can get everything in life you want, if you help enough other people get what they want.” Nothing could be more true than that. When you open an opportunity to someone, or find a way to make them happy, they will never forget it. Similarly, they will also never forget who was behind that happiness. Always think about who you can help, no matter the situation. Of course, you should not expect anything in return, but good favors are usually returned tenfold in other ways.
  5. Making opportunities for yourself. This is one of the important changes you may have to make to your mindset. Opportunities exist, but there is great competition. So, how do you make opportunities happen for yourself? First, you need to allow yourself to seek out the opportunity. This means not discounting yourself or the idea before you start and remaining confident. Second, you need to self-reflect and understand what it is you truly want to do. Third, you must go out and do it. Networking is a good start. If you get lost in the path to finding your opportunity go right to the source. I wanted to interview a celebrity costumer designer for my blog but I had never performed an interview before. I was confused on what to do and where to go. One night when i got home from work I said to myself, “The time is now.” Twenty minutes later I was talking to her publicist and I interviewed her the next week.

Some opportunities are clear and some are vague. Some opportunities will keep you up at night. Some opportunities will drive you crazy. Some opportunities will make you the happiest person alive. My advice to you? Never stop looking.

What opportunity are you looking for? Maybe I can help.

Persistence

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rubiks_cubeSome may call the persistent one a dream chaser. That they may be. However, Is life not made out of dreams? As children we had dreams of grandeur. Do you remember yours? Things like wanting to play basketball alongside Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls was attainable as a child.

So what happened since then? A little something that certain people call reality set in. The reality of bills and responsibilities – these things are inescapable. The persistent one does not let this hold him or her down. I would aim to bet that if I asked Michael Jordan today what his dreams were as a child he would say to play basketball alongside Dr. J or Wilt Chamberlain. His grades were not the best. He was told he was not tall enough. His other siblings out-shined him in everyday life. With many things going against him, it was his persistence, and a little encouraging from his parents, that allowed him to attain his dream.

For some, dreams like this are still attainable. Dreams make the world a better place. Dreams do not die because you get another year older and have more responsibility. They only get hidden and lost in the dark shadows and cobwebs of your mind. What was your dream growing up? Have you thought about it lately? Not every one of us can be Michael Jordan, an astronaut or the next President. However, we all have a potential that you may not completely understand.

Persistence is unpopular because it is really easy to feel defeated. Defeat has many friends and they are all happy to grab a beer with you. Rejection probes the feeling of defeat. Some people give into it faster than others. Most give up on the dream to quickly, In my world, giving up is not a choice. On one walk with my Dad growing up I remember that he told me that a good person never quits. He reiterated the saying popularized by W. E. Hickson “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Now I admit, I have tried to fall to a defeatist attitude at one point or another, but nothing can stop me from remembering that simple talk with Dad.

Being in competition and getting knocked down is a very real part of life. Very few people succeed the first time they try something, let alone the 800th time. When Thomas Edison created the first light bulb he did not complain about how long it took him. He simply said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve found 1,000 ways how not to make a light bulb.”

Our Scottish and Polish ancestors did not come to America by boat for me to say I cannot do something. That is the whole point of America. America was and is built on persistence. Those who have it can change the world. Those who do not, work for them.

Which will you choose?

17 Social Media Quotes From 17 Presidents

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kennedysSeventeen social media quotes from 17 Presidents? That is impossible. My dear friend, if you have not learned by now, nothing is impossible. The idea of being social transcends generations. It is all a matter of how you apply the meaning behind quote. Below include 17 different Presidents with sound advice for the social media professional. It is up to you to derive the meaning. After all, I cannot give away all the secrets!

  1. Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. – John F. Kennedy
  2. Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light. – George Washington
  3. Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. – Abraham Lincoln
  4. When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. – Franklin D. Roosevelt
  5. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. – Barack Obama
  6. Sometimes when people are under stress, they hate to think, and it’s the time when they most need to think. – Bill Clinton
  7. Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out. – Ronald Reagan
  8. In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. – Thomas Jefferson
  9. My failures have been errors in judgment, not of intent. – Ulysses S. Grant
  10. Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all. – Dwight D. Eisenhower
  11. Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. – Theodore Roosevelt
  12. I would rather the man who presents something for my consideration subject me to a zephyr of truth and a gentle breeze of responsibility rather than blow me down with a curtain of hot wind. – Grover Cleveland
  13. Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude. The first is the resource of intrigue and produces only secondary results, the second is the resort of genius and transforms the universe. – Martin Van Buren
  14. The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty. – James Madison
  15. Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. – John Adams
  16. We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles. – Jimmy Carter
  17. It’s a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word. – Andrew Johnson

Social media is simply another way to communicate. Principles behind it in regards to public relations will nearly remain the same. These living and dead President’s are speaking about war, government, economy and the nation. They did not plan to have the meanings of any part of these speeches apply to social media directly. However, indirectly, they certainly apply. History can teach us many things. The funny thing that I notice is, we are not much different as people. We have advanced technologically in many ways but the principles of our forefathers are almost unchanged. What is the best advice you have ever received from someone unexpected that you applied to social media?