3 Steps to Reimagining Your Personal Brand
“You’re in a rut,” she said flatly, before adding, “And you may not feel stuck, but you aren’t advancing like you should be online.”
Her comment felt about the same as when I had a bucket of icy cold water dumped on me for the Ice Bucket Challenge a few years ago.
She was trying to be helpful, but I could feel my body stiffen, readying for another blow even as my mind reeled.
“A rut?” I thought aloud, wondering if my voice carried mixed notes of anger and defensiveness from a place deep within.
“One of my biggest fears is not being able to break out of a rut; of becoming a prisoner to my ways, unable to change course.” -Matt Dillon
“You say that a rut is repetitive behaviors that are dull and unproductive. Maybe you’re helping people, but at the very least you seem bored with it.”
She was right. We were discussing this website, where it started, and where I was now. I found myself in the same pattern: wash, rinse, repeat.
If nothing else, I knew I was consistent.
In seven years, I produced almost 1,000 posts. We welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors each month. A national bestselling book now in its fifth printing globally had been released last year. And I am grateful for incredibly loyal subscribers.
That’s all great.
But what matters to me is impact, not numbers. What I enjoy is personal growth, not stagnation.
Was I bored with it? Perhaps. But I think the law of inertia has kept things moving forward, one post, one interview, one book at a time.
And success is like that. It’s so often about discipline. Jim Rohn used to say that, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” He also said, “For every disciplined effort, there is multiple reward.”
After thinking about it, I recognized that she was right and decided to take action. What steps should you take when updating your personal brand? What do you do when looking at your business? I took three:
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” -Jim Rohn
1. Analyze Where You Are
Many people would start purely with the numbers. Instead, I started with mission. Before analyzing numbers, I analyzed my purpose, my passion, my intention. I found that I still enjoy reading books and interviewing authors. I reviewed emails and comments from readers. We sought perspectives from leaders and asked for expert advice on our social channels.
Then, I looked at the numbers: what gets shared the most, what is liked, what works. And what doesn’t? Why is it that so few people are engaging with me on Facebook? (Please do here!). Why do people unsubscribe? And does it matter? I would rather have a smaller, more dedicated audience than a massive, unengaged group. You all know how I adore quotes. Margaret Mead’s quote speaks to me in this context: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
That introspection and study resulted in this redesigned site, an updated logo, easier to read posts, new brand colors, more videos including a new “About Skip” video, and much more. We listened and kept the pull-out quotes. We will still interview authors, but I am focusing on specific areas of success and leadership.
The addition of a podcast is awesome. I love the ability to be more intimate with the audience. My friend Dan Miller, of 48 Days fame, encouraged me to launch one years ago, but I guess I was stuck in inertia. No longer. I’m excited about using this medium to inspire more leaders. It’s called Aim Higher, and it is all about reaching your greatest potential.
When you are evaluating your own business, potential, or brand, make sure you analyze everything. Consider your feelings, your passions, your intentions and not just the numbers. All of it is important before taking action.
Ask yourself: Am I content where I am? What will make me more successful?
2. Cultivate Your Passion
My mission is to help individuals and organizations aim higher to achieve breakthroughs. With that mission front and center, I am being more selective in my interviews. I want to focus on topics that fit that mission. The Aim Higher podcast is a key component of that effort (and, by the way, it would be a great help if you would listen and rate the podcast!).
If you are interested in becoming a more effective leader, tackling your goals, and learning to become a more present, happier, and fulfilled person, please subscribe and join us (it’s also helpful to have a sense of humor, too).
As you look at your own future, think about how you can spend more time on your passion. I love running large organizations and changing culture, surrounding myself with the best and brightest who challenge me, and delivering great customer experiences. I enjoy learning and becoming. If I finish a week and don’t grow as a person, I’m not happy. Complex challenges, even problems, are welcome. I’m thrilled that I live in my passion every week, delivering for customers, and stretching my skills.
Ask yourself: What do you enjoy? How do you limit your time where it drains your energy, to spend more time where you can make the greatest impact?
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” -Maya Angelou
3. Bring On the Experts
Like many other kids, I would dream of having superpowers. Guess what? I stumbled upon a superpower. It’s called getting help. When you ask for help, and bring in experts, you mobilize in a way you could never do on your own. My starting point was asking others for their opinion and then for their experiences. Experts would openly share with me what they learned and how they achieved success.
I didn’t stop there. I decided that I would be a guest on numerous podcasts to learn what that experience was like. Wow, I learned so much more than I expected. Practice beats theory every single time. And then, from design to marketing to technical support, I am able to go farther with others than I ever could on my own.
Know when to leverage the strengths of others. Ask yourself: Can I do this on my own? Should I? Who else can come alongside me?
“The expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.” -Niels Bohr
I’m incredibly grateful for those who say, “Let’s do it together!” rather than “Good luck with that.” Thank you to an amazing team.
And thank you for reading this and for joining me on this incredible life journey. I am humbled to have the opportunity and deeply grateful for your attention in a noisy world. I am thankful for each subscribe, share, rating, like, comment and review. You inspire me to be a better leader.
“Those who drink richly from the cup of thankfulness find themselves refreshed and their cup refilled.” -Skip Prichard, #TheBookofMistakes
With deep respect and gratitude,
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead