Turning Pain Into Strength

My friend Robert Goolrick is one of the most remarkable people I’ve met. He’s a first class novelist, writing two New York Times bestselling books: A Reliable Wife and Heading Out to Wonderful. These are stories that will linger with you long after you finish them. He writes the kind of novels you have to tell someone else about. He also wrote the bestselling, non-fiction book The End of the World as We Know It about his unbelievably difficult life.

A Perfect Life?

Look at his life now, and you’d think it was made-for-movie perfect. His books sell millions of copies. He lives a gentleman’s life in Virginia. He travels to exotic destinations. On his wrist, you are bound to see a timepiece to remember.

You may see the external life of dreams, but dig a little more and learn his story.

As an adult….

  • He was fired from his job as an advertising executive.
  • His manuscripts were rejected by publisher after publisher.
  • He was addicted to drugs and drinking.
  • He cut himself.
  • He literally lost a decade of his life in a world you wouldn’t recognize.
  • He was institutionalized.

As a child….

  • He was verbally abused.
  • He lived in squalor (complete with rats!).
  • He was raped. By his father.
  • He was neglected.

Most of us don’t understand that kind of life, that kind of pain. But all of us have obstacles thrown in our path.

Responding to Challenges

Reinvent Your Personal Brand

Have you been passed over for a promotion?  Again?

When others describe you do they use words like “visionary” or “dinosaur”?

Are you looking for a job?

How would you describe your own personal brand?

Have you missed an opportunity because someone thought of you incorrectly?

Take Charge of Your Personal Brand

Karen Kang is one of the world’s authorities on creating a personal brand.  As a brand strategist, Karen guides individuals through a process to strategically create a personal brand.  Karen knows what it takes to build a brand.  She is a former partner with world-renowned Regis McKenna, Inc., the marketing firm that created and launched the Apple brand.  She’s the founder and CEO of BrandingPays, and she has consulted with over 150 organizations around the world.

Her new book BrandingPays is a step-by-step guide to reinventing your personal brand.  I recently had the opportunity to ask Karen a few questions about her work and her book.

Karen, you’ve worked with startups all the way to some of the world’s biggest companies.  Although you continue to do corporate branding, your new work is mainly focused on individuals.  Why is personal branding so important today?  Has personal branding increased in importance?

Personal branding has gone from being a “nice to have” to a “got to do.”  Competitive forces in business and communication—from globalization to social media—have combined to make personal branding a requirement.  Gone are the days when you got on a career track with one company and rode it until the end of the line.  Whether you work for a company or not, you are a free agent.  You need to think like a “company of one” in how you position and market yourself.

Karen Kang

How to Get Through to Almost Anyone with Soar Selling

Photo by tgreyfox on flickr.

David and Marhnelle Hibbard have just released Soar Selling, a new book designed for anyone in sales.  And, in my opinion, all of us are in sales and can benefit from learning the techniques in books like this one.  The subtitle is, “How to Get Through to Almost Anyone-the Proven Method for Reaching Decision Makers,” but it’s more comprehensive than that subtitle suggests.  It’s a must read for anyone in the world of selling.

I recently had the opportunity to ask David and Marhnelle about SOAR and their observations of the world of selling.

First, what does the SOAR acronym stand for? Soar Selling

It stands for “Surge of Accelerating Revenue” because when organizations install SOAR… revenue ‘surges!’ – It’s about driving net new business.  Through years of training sales, we have seen client attrition in organizations, mergers, economic shifts, loss of major accounts, etc….as a result, it is critical to consistently drive new business to protect base revenue!  So SOAR is about driving strategic call activity to potential new clients.

As your subtitle suggests, you have methods for getting to decision makers in this book.  It’s impossible in a quick interview to delve into all of the tactics and methods for doing that, so we will briefly touch on that and then hit other areas.  What have you observed is the biggest problem for sales people reaching decision makers?

Multiple, but one of the primary is their “mindset.”  Salespeople often approach making the call with an attitude of “TRY” or even worse…“I don’t think I’ll get through – I’ll probably get blocked or the receptionist is out to get me.”

Mindset and attitude figure prominently in your teaching.  Tell us more about mindset. 

“If you think you can or your think you can’t …either way you are right.”  We teach the techniques of getting through and there is a specific formula SOAR reveals; however, the power of mindset and strategic SOAR mechanics ends up defining results!

5 Winning Lessons from Book Covers

Photo by garyhutson flickr.

The other day I shared my annual best book cover list.

Did you ever think that a book cover could teach powerful life lessons?  What’s the leadership lesson from a book cover?  Last year, I shared how they can help with goal setting.  This year, let’s consider what the great book covers teach us.

A great book cover teaches us to:

 

Be expressive.  The best covers communicate.  They may be bursting with color.  They convey ideas but also evoke emotion.  Winners are people who express who they are without reservation.

Be original.  There are many book covers that look the same.  Winners stand out.  Name five people who you would define as winners and leaders.  My guess is that you also describe them as independent and unique.

The Best Book Covers of 2012

Do you ever buy a book because you are attracted to its cover?

Admit it.  You’re walking past a row of books when something catches your attention.  You pause for a second, linger just a moment and, before you know it, you’re flipping through it and standing in line at a register.

Book covers can do that.  A well-designed book jacket invites you in.

Readers of this blog know that I love books and am surrounded by them.  Last year, my wife even surprised me with bookshelves in the last remaining room without them: our furnace room!  Yes, devices are terrific and mine get used plenty.  But, I love the feel of a real book and I enjoy the artistry of a good cover.

So, here is my list of best book covers for 2012.  (And, if you missed, here are the best book covers of 2011.) Let me know your favorite.  And, if you see a great one in 2013, leave a comment here so we can consider it for next year’s list.

(See also 5 Winning Lessons from Book Covers.)

Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel

 

underwaterdogs

 

What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

 

Whats Left of Me