Without fail, every Tuesday night you can find people reaching for the tissues while watching NBC’s hit show “This Is Us”.

People can’t seem to get enough of this show and have fallen in love with the family of Jack, Rebecca, and their three children.

But WHY is the show so popular…what makes it a standout among the endless sea of shows that are suffering from mediocrity and ho-hum plots.

Quite simply….it’s the story telling.

Because not only is it that we are captivated by the lives of the characters, but we can see something of ourselves in the story of a particular character.

The extreme relatability of the characters within the journey of the story is what resonates with those who love the show.

Every character is given the freedom to show their best and worst qualities as the story unfolds.

Consider…

Rebecca’s inner conflict with pursuing a music career and being a mom

Kate’s ongoing struggle with her weight and wanting to accept herself the way she is physically

Randall’s perfect life and the juxtaposition as we discover he has an anxiety disorder

Jack being a great husband and father and his insecurity over his wife singing with the band

Kevin being a pretty boy actor and his desire to be taken seriously

Within a given character we can see ourselves.

Not only do we see ourselves, but we also see how we would hope to be.

The imperfections, the vulnerability, the desire to be validated and accepted for who we are.

It is simply great storytelling.

So, what can this great show teach you about the elements of a great story that can be applied to your Brand? Here are some tips:

You Are Identifiable 

In other words, your audience can relate and identify with you. We all have a character that we feel a strong pull towards on This Is Us…it’s because we can see ourselves in that person. This is at the core of your Brand Story…your Right People feel a kinship with you…they see themselves in your story.

 

There is a Conflict/Challenge/Struggle

Every great story has overcome (and may continue to overcome) some conflict/challenge/struggle. People have the mistaken belief that their audience expects them to be perfect. Not so, people want to know about the messy middle, they want to see your imperfections and vulnerability, they want to know that while you have some things figured out, you don’t have it all figured out.

 

What You’ve Learned

This is not about the number of certifications or letters behind your name. This is about the scars of being in the messy middle. This is where you show people that in spite of the struggles and challenges you’ve gone through,  you’ve come out on the other side…wiser and battle-tested. Here is where your Right People start to see the possibilities for themselves. The character is flawed, but is the stronger for it.

 

Connect The Dots

More than anything else, a great story has the ability to connect with dots. The human brain seeks patterns and a good storyteller is about to make use of cognitive dissonance (what doesn’t make sense or contradicting thoughts) and sort out the jumble in a way that makes sense to their audience.

When you apply these elements to your Brand, you have now magnetized your audience to you. You’ve created emotional connections that allow you to differentiate yourself simply because you can tell your unique Brand Story.

Telling your Brand Story can’t be done in a vacuum…it takes an outside perspective to show you where the hidden gold is in your Brand Story.

I can help you with that (and much more) in the 90 Day Brand Accelerate Program.

I’d love to see you there…tell your story and make an impact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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/badass/

In the online space, there are many words that are tired and overused.

You know…those words that for whatever reason, cause you to grit your teeth and immediately make you tune out to the rest of the message.

I’ve got a couple in mind for myself, but today I’m taking aim at the word ‘badass’.

For some reason, I have felt like I am seeing the word everywhere lately…the fact that it’s a new year may have something to do with it I’m sure.

Errrrybody and everything is badass nowadays.

I poked around to see what definitions I could find for the word…what does it mean to be a badass anyway? And here’s what I found:

 

/badass/

a tough, uncompromising, or intimidating person

the epitome of the American male…an ultra cool mofo (seriously??)

difficult to deal with; mean-tempered, grouchy

ready to cause or get into trouble

of formidable strength or skill

a person whose extreme attitudes, behavior, or appearance are admirable

 

Of all of those, my favorite one is “of formidable strength or skill”

Most of the time, when I see people use the term ‘badass’ it’s in reference to hustle, grind, take no prisoners, or to be a badass business owner. It’s become a word that makes your eyes glaze over…after you’ve done the obligatory eye roll at yet another reference to a program, business, or mindset that describes itself as ‘badass’.

When I refer to Seasons of Your Brand, the ‘badass’ season is one we all go through…in the archetype world, this would be the Rebel, the Revolutionary, the Maverick, the Lone Wolf…the challenge to the status quo. At some point, we want to identify with being a badass….there’s an appeal of wanting to have a ‘badass brand’ or a ‘badass business’…hell yes, sign me up…and then you realize that that particular definition of ‘badass’ doesn’t fit you at all.

So no, I don’t want to be a ‘badass’ in 2017 by any of those definitions, thankyouverymuch.

In fact, here’s what I’ve noticed about women who really are badass:

 

She would probably never call herself that, and yet…

She is the woman who is clear on her Core Values and doesn’t waver from them

She is the woman who has strong beliefs and isn’t afraid to stand on them, despite peer pressure

She is the woman who is willing to do what others aren’t

She is the woman who believes deeply in her work and ability to make a difference in the world

She doesn’t need to be extreme in her attitudes, behaviors, or appearance to be admired…nor is it something she focuses on

She is the woman who believes in herself unconditionally

Her inner strength and resolve are unwavering…even when she is scared to death

Her definition of ‘hustle’ is one she defines for herself

And the irony…a true badass doesn’t consider herself one.

 

She goes about the business of doing her great work, sharing her message, serving her Right People, and making the impact she knows she is here to make.

 

And that my friends…is very badass worthy

 

 

 

 

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At no time in my memory of the age of social media has the current circumstances of our world divided so many.

Insults, name-calling, derision, and ugliness abound.

Focusing on the ‘good’ or ‘positive’ is being seen as having your head in the sand or not being realistic.

Focusing on the problems is an open invitation for arguments and heated exchanges.

Even silence is judged with condemnation and anger.

A simple opinion or comment devolves into a running commentary on your IQ, your parentage, and where you’re going in the afterlife.

Forget a thick skin…you need a full body armor suit when you wade into the social media fray…or even if you don’t.

How do you navigate the turbulent waters of the social media landscape without capsizing or moving to a desert island?

It really depends on you.

What will help and guide you in deciding that (the oars and compass if you will) are a couple of things:

Your Core Values

Your level of discernment

The boundaries you establish between you personally and your Personal Brand

For some people, the answer is a much needed and necessary break from social media…however long that break may be. Often these people don’t have a ‘stake’ in social media…in other words, there isn’t a great investment of time, effort, and energy. They are there to interact with friends and family and most of the time they can do that through other means than social media. Personal Brand equity and relationships aren’t really a priority.

For most of us who are entrepreneurs and business owners, this isn’t really an option, so we have to decide what is acceptable and what is not within the parameters of how we want to be perceived.

Do not confuse this with being authentic and genuine.

It’s crucial to know who your Right People and what they expect from you. I’ve seen coaches who have made their political beliefs known and have gone to a great deal of effort to encourage respectful discourse and dialog. Mind you it hasn’t always worked (it takes both sides after all), but I believe they went into it with clear eyes and an open heart.

On the other hand, I’ve seen angry tirades, relentless arguments, caustic comments…and the level of insults are mindboggling. I’ve seen coaches who call others idiots, go on rants that are full of spite and hate towards those who have different beliefs than theirs.

I don’t know if this helps or hurts their business, but I know who I’d choose to work with whatever their political beliefs are.

As an Alchemist, I move in the waters of ‘no absolutes’, but I want to ask you this:

Is this helping or hurting your Personal Brand and as a result, your business?

Are you cultivating trust and building relationships, or have you turned people completely off by the tone and language of your Brand Voice?

I don’t know…every situation is unique of course, but it’s important to remember that your digital footprint…and the impact and influence of your Personal Brand doesn’t go away.

This isn’t a judgment or indictment one way or the other of what you are putting out in the world…you are at choice, and if it works for your Brand…not only should you keep at it, but for the love of anything, amplify it!

But what is important to remember is that what you put out in the world as it falls under the umbrella of your Personal Brand is also what you live with as it applies to your business and livelihood.

A careless tweet, a nasty comment on Facebook, a provocative picture on Instagram…all of these have a ripple effect and it’s up to you to manage your reputation and Personal Brand credibility. One thoughtless post can ruin brand equity that took years to build.

Know yourself and know your Personal Brand…your business depends on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2017-The Year of The Brand Voice

November 22, 2016

As many of you are, I have been coming to terms with the results of our tumultuous and unprecedented election. It was fascinating to watch it from the perspective of being a Personal Brand specialist, and today I want to share with you what a few of my takeaways have been… and what it means for […]

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