A Word From the Unwise

photo.PNG

The other day I had a counseling appointment scheduled to help an art student choose a major. In these sessions, we typically spend some time discussing classes they’ve enjoyed (or hated) in the past and visualizing what they want their careers to “look” like. But this appointment took a very different turn.

Unlike many young people with big dreams, this student currently worked in her field: part-time at an art studio AND as a small business owner. His biggest problem was that he didn’t enjoy the curriculum and he didn’t mesh well with his classmates. They frowned upon him because she didn’t drool over the type of artwork that they loved, didn’t dress like them, and because he …*wait for it*… joined a fraternity (gasp!). That was it. He hated the structure of his classes, didn’t fit in with his classmates, already worked as an artist but wasn’t sure if it was “safe” to change his major. At one point I had to ask for clarification: you’re stressed about dropping your art major…when you’re ALREADY AN ARTIST?! Based on all that info, here’s what I explained to him:

1. When I look for a creative entrepreneur, I don’t care about the type of degree they have. I want to see their portfolio to know what type of work they’ve done in the past. Experience and passion is what would make him an artist, not necessarily a degree in art.
2. If your biggest “problem” is your environment, then you don’t actually have a problem. Just move! You don’t like your classmates, don’t talk to them. You don’t like your classes, change your major. It’s simple.
3. Don’t create stress where there isn’t any. Don’t make simple decisions hard by over thinking the issue or prolonging the decision. Make a choice to be happy, take the action, begin enjoying life.
4. Think about what you, 5 years from now, would regret. And do now what you think you’d wish you’d done.
5. Think about your best life: you switch majors, ditch the stress, graduate early, spend a year studying for fun or traveling abroad, and enjoy time with your girlfriend and fraternity brothers. Life is good! Try to spend just as much time thinking of the best thing that could happen as you do being “realistic”. Happiness is just as much of a possibility as pain is.

By the end of our appointment, he gleamed from the excitement of how great his life already was! All he wanted was permission to be happy. And if you feel the same, here it is: let life be good. The struggle doesn’t HAVE to be real! Too good CAN be true so instead of thinking that something is wrong because you’re completely happy, just seize the moment!

Multitasking Like You’ve Never Seen It Before!

photo-4 copy 2

I’m all about productivity and efficiency (maximum output, minimal input) and at least once a week you’ll hear me tell someone that I’m counseling to “work smarter, not harder”. So you can imagine how bright-eyed I was when I heard a radio show host say that the way to get rich is to figure out how to be in two places at one time. *cues loud screeching sound* Wait… one person producing profitable results in two different locations at the exact same time? Now that is what I call Sucsass!

I really like this concept because I feel like I’m always working. I always have more than one project that I’m working on because I believe that the best way for me to reach my level of desired success is to cast a wide net. I don’t just clock in 8-5 Monday through Friday but I also maintain this blog, I write for other sites, and I’m always networking. The more often my name appears, the harder is becomes for opportunity to miss me (that’s my take on probability theory). I write my blog posts during the evenings and on weekends and I schedule them to automatically post at different times throughout the week. I could be at my desk in the middle of a career counseling appointment but to the rest of the world I’m at Starbucks with my laptop creating content. This blog has become my way of being in two places at one time. And while I wouldn’t describe myself as “getting rich” I can definitely see the potential. Everyone won’t want to write a blog but the internet allows us access to multiple streams of income through online boutiques, networking/professional groups that require membership fees, or finding other ways to share informational content that others would be willing to pay for.

I haven’t figured out all of the details yet but this idea certainly has my wheels turning. It has become my new motivational mantra… a Sucsass statement, if you will. Until my breakthrough happens, I’ll be doing my best to be in as many places at once without ever actually going anywhere!

Building Your Personal Brand

photo.PNG

Lately, I’ve been on a serious personal branding kick. So many people come to me asking that I review their resumes, but that should be the least of their concerns. Sure resumes are important but they are only a small portion of what gets you hired because they are only snapshots of you in that exact moment. So even if you’re planning to write a book, expecting to host your first event, or preparing to present a workshop, no one will know by simply looking at your resume. That’s where brand building comes in.

Your personal brand is your vision of the future manifested. Is it the sequence of actions you take to influence the way others think about you and the image or emotion that others experience when your name is mentioned. Your brand is all that’s left when the company downsizes and everyone gets laid off or when you forget your resume at home and still have to make a lasting impression. Deciding what you want your brand to be is a matter of comparing who you are now to who you want to be in the future, and then creating everything that will fill in the gap.

To get started thinking about your personal brand:

  • Ask yourself, “Who am I?” and if you’re having a hard time answering that question start listing some of your past success, memorable moments, or asking loved ones what words come to mind when they think of you.
  • Google yourself and see what comes up in the search results. You’re almost guaranteed to be Googled when you submit a resume for any job, so take some time to see what others are finding. If you don’t like what you see, start thinking of ways to generate new content about yourself on the web (hint: professional twitter account or your own personal website)
  • Research your role models. Assess what you admire about them, what ways you’re similar to them, and in what ways are you different. And if you can, find out the details of their career path and learn from their decisions.
  • Create a vision board and write your future resume.

Once you have collected all of the details of what you want your new brand to look like, it’s time to put it on blast.When you begin strategically branding yourself, you become a walking billboard and everything out of your mouth is a public service announcement. So start being more intentional about what you post on social media and make sure that everything now aligns with your new image. Then, share it everywhere with everyone until they fall in love with it too!