Are You Brand Worthy?

From time to time, we all think about who we are and how we are perceived by others. How does our “audience” see us. Not just within our business but the person we reflect within our environment.

From a personal perspective, it’s not about the friends or family we have, but how they qualify you in their lives? Do they respect you, understand you or even listen to you?

What about the people who come and go along the way – employees, associates, partners, clients and people you meet in restaurants or where you buy your coffee each day.

It says something when people remember you, even just your voice. Not just how they know your coffee type but your smile, the words you have said to them and the attention you’ve given to them.

 

In this great world of technology, what is your UX and does it make your brand worthy? If you were a robot or an avatar what would you leave behind as a memory?

I recently went to an presentation and during the Q&A I asked a question. Someone I had not seen for over 5 years immediately came over to me and stated that my voice brought back the good memories of our association. That’s all he heard as I did not say my name. I was recognised by the tone of my speak.

 

This is what I hope for every day when I do business.

My voice, my actions and my beliefs are my brand. Where I speak, where I act and what I say leave impressions on others. Reactions such as the one I mentioned made me assess and realise that what I offer as a UX is worthy of a good brand or image to others.

Every morning I am grateful for the people I meet in my life, even those who disagree with me because they mould me into the person I am. They make me develop my brand into something I am proud of.

Life is about wealth – not just from our income but from the wealth of knowledge gained, the wealth of love we give, the wealth of wisdom we pass on and the wealth of happiness we experience.

If you are in small business, an entrepreneur, manager or executive in a major corporation take a minute and think about your brand. Is it worthy – does it have a message – do you leave a UX for others to remember you by? I truly hope so.

Overqualified & Undervalued

Overqualified & Undervalued

With over 40 years of experience in the business world here and overseas, I am realising that all the hands-on experience and copious projects worked on, individuals worked with, business strategies developed and implemented make me overqualified and undervalued.

I wonder how many other experienced individuals are going through the same scenario and unfortunately, I know of a few.

I celebrate others successes, no matter what age and have mentored over 50 interns in the last 5 years, all have gone on to employment and clear career choices.  This is part of why I do what I do.

I have helped professional athletes and entertainers learn how to run businesses, created partnerships with small business operators and much more.  This is the most rewarding part of what I do, helping others through my own knowledge and skills – this is what I want to continue to do.  

(Here comes the rant-sorry)

My skill sets work in many areas of a business from law to marketing to technology.  I’m not afraid of getting my hands dirty, haven’t had a sick day in over 8 years, nor taken a long holiday in the same time.

Very technology aware having been the second mainframe operator working for Gadens (then Gadens Bowen) and trained by IBM and Nashua in Australia at the young age of 19. Au fait with most technology, working on pc and mac platforms, numerous CRM systems, know social media, build and designed websites and understand the digital world well.

I am and have been a paralegal, business manager, marketing consultant, product developer, music business manager, international financier, author, mentor, stress management consultant and counsellor working with charities, NFP, corporates, entertainers, sports personalities and entrepreneurs.

I have changed and morphed myself as needed in my career at the request of others because they trusted my skills in delivering their project, idea, business or product.  If someone asked if I could work on a project, I simply did my research and due diligence to support what I needed to get the job done.  I never said yes unless I knew I was capable.

My formal qualifications came later after my actual work experience and practices.

 

Yet it seems that although I am highly skilled, multi-talented, loyal, solution focused and trustworthy I am undervalued by HR departments and recruiters.

We speak about millennials all day long, how to get them in the workforce, how to create “start-ups” and technology hubs, seeking to assure there is youth employment opportunities. With less than 4% success rate for start-ups, maybe we need to rethink these structures and assure there is experience and knowledge embedded in their strategic plans.

On the other side of the coin is the discussion to raise the pension age to 70.  If it’s a sensible measure, doesn’t that also mean we need to leave open the opportunities for the older generation to work longer?  This is the first time we have five generations in the work force.

 

Seniorpreneurs, business owners aged 55 to 64, lead about 34% of Australian firms, according to new research from the Swinburne University of Technology and Queensland University of Technology. The entrepreneurship activity rate of 8% for this age group is about 3% above the average of innovation-driven economies, which makes them the fastest-growing pack of our entrepreneurial talent.

I am tired of hearing about how “overqualified” I am and I know I am not the only one.  What we provide in an hourly rate, is well worth considering…intuition, resourcefulness, strategic thinking, pragmatic problem solving, performing and operating within complex, sensitive and high-volume environments, experience in working with complex stakeholders, sound researchers and so much more.

A crucial skill a mature worker brings is social intelligence, especially in this day of technology, they have the capability to work with others due to their aptitude to read and understand the needs of stakeholders, in and out of the workplace.

If you have a young person in your HR department, how much knowledge do they have or are provided about mature workers and the long-term benefits.  Yes, an organisation may have to pay a little more than a millennial or person immediately out of University, but what they receive and provide is years of knowledge and expertise.

When you hire a mature individual, you bring in a mentor for the succession plan of your business, a true team worker, problem solver and someone who find challenges second nature and quick to respond.

Please don’t underestimate the over 50’s generation, even the over 60’s, as we have so much to bring to an organisation.

Thank you for taking the time to read this…

The only way you change is accepting that you need to

Change is inevitable. Each week I meet individuals passionate about their purpose and desire to be successful in their endeavours. They express something is stopping them from achieving their ambitions and feel a sense of fear and regret.

When I ask the question “What’s stopping you?” there are moments of silence and they’re not sure or can’t pinpoint the issues.

In many, if not most cases, it’s simply the essential tools required for change – a word that creates fear and yet you know is inevitable.  So why or who instils this fear and how does it take over or place us in a suspended state of being?

The only way you change is accepting that you need to.

The only way you change is accepting that you need to.

Accepting Change

Accepting change as a natural part of life is the same as growing old.  For the first 20 or so years you are trained to listen to voices that are not your own.   The echoes of parents, siblings, relatives, teachers, peers and mentors telling you what’s right or wrong. How to make decisions and impregnating their choices and decisions into your thought processes.

Growing up you realise that not every opinion matches your own belief system. You have repressed your own point of view and to a degree your voice is inaudible. All their beliefs, judgements, attitudes and ideas have been planted in your mind whilst your own opinions swim around trying to take pride of place.  Is what you believe right or more important than what you’ve been taught or told for the first 20 years of your life?

Remove the Training Wheels

The implanted teachings from your past are similar to training wheels on a bike. Fundamental lay of the land rules to set you up for the rest of your life.  You get to choose which of those ideas and thoughts have purpose and connect to your own inner truth.  Now you need to raise the voice that has been sitting silent for so long.

Let the inaudible become audible, raise your voice to become distinct and purposeful.  Pay attention to it, it’s your intuition – very different from your conscience.  Raising the level of your own echo resonates it to the same vibration as your intuition.  Allowing you to overcome fears and make better decisions to create your desires in life.

Know Thyself

Raising your own voice to an audible level means you know yourself better.  The Greek philosopher Socrates used the aphorism “Know Thyself”. Knowledge of self is important to your ability to understand and know who you are. To evaluate others more accurately and therefore makes allowances for them and, in turn, acknowledge your own limitations and possibilities, to make decisions that will help you grow and change.

With a trusted voice, you have a better sense of reasoning and the power to make better assessments about yourself and others.   Knowing yourself and trusting your intuitive process provides you a better understanding of how you see acquaintances, colleagues, and friends. How they should be accepted and how they accept you.  You also become less bothered if someone doesn’t agree with your decisions as now your voice is trusted.

Learning to read others means first reading yourself.

You often make things harder by comparing yourself with the idealised view of others.  Again, the training wheels must be removed so you can make choices of your own.  You may fall over, you may falter but in the long run, taking responsibility for the failings means success and change becomes so much more worthwhile.

The reason I started doing business counselling is because I found too many business owners, entrepreneurs and individuals who had lost their voice. In turn, losing their passion and at risk of letting fear take over.

If every day you can accept that change will happen, if every day you can look forward to any new challenges and “know” that you will find the answers and overcome them, your voice will be heard as an expert in your industry.  Overtime you learn more about yourself and this self-understanding can only help you change for the better.

Recycle Your Business To Stay Ahead

Business is constantly evolving. There are many aspects that simply recycle themselves just like clothing styles in the fashion industry – especially marketing. This is why it’s important to always remember the traditional ways of business because as trends come and go, traditional marketing always stands as foundationaly sound and reliable.

The launch of social media platforms exploded and every business owner, entrepreneur and major corporate turned to social media to connect.

“Social marketing can be applied wherever one has a target audience and a behaviour one wants to influence.” Alan R.Andreasen

At one point, it was said that if you were a business owner and didn’t have a social media platform of some kind, then you would ultimately fail.  Every conversation, every article was about social media and the emergence of social media companies and “specialist” contractors who could make increase your audience and therefore increase your profits.

The excitement of social media and implementation of technology and connecting to the global market drove many businesses to seek out connections to new clients through these platforms. 

Yes, marketing is theory based but it is still drawn from human behaviour.

“It is predicated on theories of consumer behaviour, which in turn draw upon the social and behavioural sciences”.  A theorist or behavioural scientist can say this but as a business owner, I draw my “so called theories” on my practical experiences with clients through capturing their emotions, loyalty and trust.

“If you’re doing it right, social media will lead to real relationship building.” Quoted from the Content Factory but what about the actual experience of looking a customer in the eye, shaking their hand and giving them a smile or a direct answer to their problems.

We may constantly question what is traditionally sound business structures.  Foundational strategies are always borne on what is proven and mature and trends only last until the next trend comes along.

Like fashion, the substantial and basic necessities repeat themselves over and over again.  What was past resurfaces back in the future.

Major automation and marketing companies are now realising that tradition still rules.  I was recently involved in a webinar to listen to a very successful automation queen (I am withholding her name on purpose so as not to offend).  The webinar highlighted this new concept and proclaimed this new way of connecting was the answer.  That all her business clients would benefit from this next trend.  With bated breath, everyone waited to hear the new concept and be the first to take up the opportunity.  She provided what she referred to as a “delicious” package that you could purchase from her to learn how to get this new system in place and obtain the secrets of increasing sales for your business.

After listening to the pitch for 20 minutes she finally stated that “holding events and workshops” was the missing link and would increase cashflow.!

Hold on a minute, am I missing something!  Haven’t we been doing this for years already. The only link missing here is her knowledge of traditional business and the fact that events and workshops have, and are, a foundational tool for every business.

In hearing this proclamation, I turned down the sound so as to not be rude and exit the webinar and went on doing what we do each year, structuring great forums and ,, networking events and connecting to our clients as frequently so as to not appear to stalk them.

Just remember, if you are seeking the latest trend – maybe look back in your box of traditional business and marketing skills and recycle something that worked for you in the past.  Dust it off, give it a new name and recycle what was successful and will be successful again.

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