Define Your Brand

This advice may not make sense, unless you’re trying to build a business, but your brand is so much more than a business you want to start.  Your brand is what defines you.  Whatever it is that you want yourself defined as to the outside world.

Building your brand is a huge step in building your career, starting a business, or anything else you want to accomplish in life.   You need to build a brand on certain foundation principles.

  1. How do you spend your time outside of work?
  2. Who do you care most about?
  3. What are you passionate about?
  4. What do you want to give back to the world?
  5. How do you define success in your life?

What do you think of when asked these questions?  That answers to these questions are your brand, this is what the world sees in you, but its important to not just believe in what you answer to these questions, but to live your life based on these principles as well.   The fifth question is the one that gets tricky, based on the first four questions, you may have already answered it.  If you know how you want to spend your time, who you care about, what you’re passionate about, and what you want to give back, then you know what you need to have in order to achieve these goals, that would be your definition of success.  If you want to be remembered for the time you spent devoted to furthering a certain cause, then your ideal of success would be to have the resources available to do this in your life.

Let’s go ahead and answer these questions and define our brand.  Once we’ve defined our brand, we can begin to charter the path to reaching that success.

Until next time,

AM

A Whole New World

It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to write anything unfortunately, but like many of you I’m unsure of what this new world means for all of us.  We’re in the midst of the most unforeseen circumstance that modern humanity has had to face, and the news and protocols are changing everyday.

The big question is “What can I do?”  Everybody is wondering the same thing, many people losing jobs, or being laid off and worrying about unemployment insurance payments.  At this point the only thing we can do is stay the course we’re on.  Take your time off and do something with it, and when this is over, we adapt to the changes that have taken place, and we move forward.

Take the time you have now to do one of the following three things and you’ll feel stronger coming out of this knowing you’ve accomplished something:

  1. Learn a New Skill
  2. Find a New Hobby
  3. Finish Something You Started but Didn’t Have Time For.

Any of these 3 will allow you to come out of all of this with a sense of accomplishment.

Any bit of positivity you can get will help make this a little bit more bearable.

Until Next Time.

Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough People Do

I know its been awhile since I’ve actually written a piece here rather than just a bit of motivation in the form of a quote, and that’s going to become more of a dynamic mix moving forward.

At this very moment, mankind is facing one of the toughest times we’ve had in a long time.  Millions of people in Canada alone have lost jobs, hours are cut, businesses are going under.  Whether you’re an essential worker grinding it out everyday, or you’re sitting at home trying to budget every dime and keep busy until this passes, we all have one thing in common, one hell of a mental battle.  Though the virus is taking its toll on humanity, and we’re all taking precautions to limit the spread and do everything we can, we’re all also facing a mental battle of our own.

For some this mental battle is a battle of will to keep pushing to serve patients, or clients, for others its a battle to maintain your sanity while you’re sitting at home for days on end trying to find the next show to binge watch.  There is some simple steps we can all take to get through this.

  • Exercise, whether its a jog at some point throughout the day or a full on home workout, we need to do something to keep our body active to help keep ourselves healthy, and also to help ease our minds by focussing on something else for a few minutes.   I’ve started doing a cardio workout each day, and doing pushups on the basis of hourly alarms, so no matter what I’m doing every hour I need to take a break and exercise briefly.  This is a great way to “reset” your mind throughout the day, similar to the breaks you would take in a Pomodoro method for working.
  • Read a Book, turn off the screens for a bit each day, and pick up a book, now this book doesn’t have to be some motivational or self help book, even a good novel will do.  Reading a book will not only let your eyes rest from staring at these screens all day, it will also allow you to use your imagination and relax your mind.
  • Find a Hobby, for me this is becoming a puzzle hobby, I found myself the other day working on a puzzle for hours on end, and not even realizing how much time had passed.  For somebody like me who is constantly needing to be doing something, and constantly staring at a screen this was a shock to me.   I was able to keep my mind occupied for an extended period of time doing something almost rudimentary.  I was able to direct my focus to something and channel my energy.

The moral of the story here is no matter who you are, we’re all in battle right now against common enemies, both a deadly virus and our own minds.    Let’s those of us at home focus on staying home and keeping ourselves busy, using this time to maybe develop, and all the while we’re doing our part to combat the virus, while everyone on the front lines does their jobs.

Stay Healthy, Stay Safe, Stay Sane.

AM

Success Is Not Measured By How Hard You Work

Many people, including myself are guilty of devoting far too many hours to their work, even when it becomes detrimental to other aspects of their lives.   I lived with the assumption for the longest time, that if I worked longer hours, put in more time, and got more done than everyone else that I would be noticed more, and rewarded for my efforts.   For a while this was true, when you’re in an entry level position going the extra mile will get you noticed, and will help you to advance quicker to the front line supervisor and management positions.   This is true at that level, the harder you work, the faster you’ll be able to move up, because you’ll stand out.

Once you get to a middle or senior level management job though, this is no longer a part of your success.   This occurs for a number of reasons.

Once you reach a middle management level position a few things change:

  • The amount of people that depend on your work increases substantially.
  • The impact your work makes on the rest of your team grows significantly.
  • You carry a responsibility over a larger portion of the business.
  • You will have substantially more stressors in your work life.
  • You will already tend to have to be more available if an issue were to come up.

At this point, if you spend all of your time working and just try to accomplish a greater quantity of work than anyone else you’ll most likely find yourself burning out.   As somebody who has burnt out multiple times so early in my career, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.   Secondly, this push to work the largest number of hours can cause 1 of 2 things to happen:

  1. You will try to accomplish a larger number of tasks than is expected.
  2. You will allow yourself more time than needed to complete each task.

Let’s look at why both scenarios can be detrimental to your success.

When you try to accomplish a larger number of tasks than you are expected to, or than you need to, some of these tasks will end up being an exercise in futility.   If others did not need to do this to be successful in this position, then the probability that you NEED to do them is also low.  Secondly, you will most likely find that the quality of your work will be lessened as it is nearly impossible to focus 100% for extended periods of time.

When you allow yourself more time than needed to complete a task you will most likely fall into yet another trap I’ve been guilty of many times.   When I give myself too much time to accomplish a task, I begin to overthink things, and second guess myself.   When either of these things happen, you may end up with a reduced quality of work, and less confidence in the end result versus had you complete the task in a more reasonable amount of time.

The moral of the story here, if that sometimes you need to take time for yourself, and remember that you only need to work as much as you need to work to complete your job effectively.   Don’t put in a bunch of extra hours just because you think it will help you to stand out.  There is people that look up to you at this level, and that’s not the impression you want to teach them either.

Until Next Time,

AM