When personal and professional brands meet…follow these guidelines for more authentic engagement and clear boundaries to protect your rep.
When we are running a business we have to stay woke! (Thank you to my children for keeping me up-to-date with the slang…or is “woke” out now?) Woke means you must be aware of how your personal and professional brands intersect. When you are an entrepreneur, you simply can’t take the chance that you will damage your business with ill-applied behavior.
Ask yourself these questions?
- Are you posting personal drama on your page?
- Are you high-handedly discussing politics?
- Are you sharing crude videos with your friends?
- Are you needlessly spamming people?
Let me explain. Before you jump to a defense, there is a reason I am asking you these pointed questions. Don’t answer yet because I am going to ask you one last question.
- Are you trying to grow your business or become an influencer?
If the answer to that question is “yes,” the answers to the prior four questions should be nos.
As entrepreneurs, our relationships between our personal and professional brands are inextricably muddy. Several years ago, the goal was to ensure that your professional Facebook page (or all your social media pages for that matter), used differing marketing strategies. You had a haven for your friends, where you could cut up if you wanted, but your brand page would tell a different story.
Now, the majority of entrepreneurs (at least, the ones I know), have welcomed in all sorts of people onto their personal page to build their networks. The personal page has become an offshoot of the professional page.
This does not mean constant advertising is the goal here, but allowing people into your privileged circle invites them to see another side of you…a deeper authenticity. In getting to know you, you not only gain a friend, but you will also pique interest in your company.
So let’s define what you are lenient about on your page.
Some best practices in this overwhelming social media age:
1. Your Face. You are presenting a face of your brand, if you are intending on being a leader, understand why people gravitate to leaders. They want the reassurance of following someone who has been there, done that and survived. Who has emerged from their hardships with hope.
2. Politics. Yes, it is hard to keep a lid on it when it comes to politics. I used to engage in what I deemed thoughtful discussion, but have since realized…I changed no one’s mind and in business, it is not about offending another person who may have a different belief. It is about presenting the fact that you are a political person. There is nothing wrong with that. Our world needs help. But you will lose business if people perceive you to be a person who will draw them into an uncomfortable discussion.
3. No Drama. A hard fast rule would be to never post about the bickering you get into with your partner, for example. The bigger picture is that it paints you as a petty person, incapable of controlling their emotions. Worse, you may be perceived as a person who likes to inflict pain, or who doesn’t care about the pain you cause. People expect you to conduct a relationship privately. But this rule also applies to engaging in comments with trolls, whether they attack you personally or professionally. You are modeling grace and taking the high road as a leader. This is one of a good leader’s best qualities.
4. Sales Strategy…or Not. There is still a marked line between your personal page and your company page. You can run sales and other promos on your pro page all day long (not the greatest strategy, but acceptable as far as etiquette goes), but do not do the same thing on your personal page. It is about delivering the expectations to your friends. They anticipate that you will let down your guard and interact with people without bringing business into it at every turn. So yes, operate your business. Let your friends know what you do, but remember to let your hair down, too, to show your human side. In the same vein, if you want to get close to someone and even consider working with them in the future, treat them like you give a damn. Don’t just go in for the kill. You know what? You might as well say, “Nice to meet you, whatever your name is that I didn’t bother to remember. I am only talking to you regarding business because I don’t think you merit any use of my valuable time but to quickly pitch you. P.S. Buy my (insert fabulous, life-changing thing here).”
I am not advocating that you become a plastic Facebook user or Tweeter either. Far from it. You don’t always have to be up. Yes, you can have a bad day, but resist insulting people, throwing people under the bus, and showing everyone your circus and your monkeys. I don’t happen to believe in fake either. But I DO believe in positive. I do believe in sharing lessons in the name of prosperity and growth. I do believe that we can push ourselves to be more respectful of our audiences. I do believe in setting a healthy example.
Have a tip to add to this article? I’d love to read it! Please leave it in the comments below.
Original article appeared at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission.
Photo credit: Getty Images
“Sick Biz is an organization dedicated to providing support, resources, hacks, and hope to entrepreneurs affected by chronic illness, pain, disability, and sickness.”
I recently started a new company, which I hope will help many other entrepreneurs like me. After I got sick, I had to reinvent myself and there were few resources to help.
Sick Biz is trying to change that.
Our podcast is booked for six month’s straight, and we have 20+ guest bloggers lined up. Our branding and the logo mocks should be done today.
We will be featured in a major business magazine.
The development of this business gives my pain purpose.
If you are someone, or if you know someone who could benefit and needs support, please send refer them to this article.
Here is the link to the Sick Biz Facebook group. Please spread the word to help other entrepreneurs.
The world is not against you.
The strength of your struggles has everything to do with your attitude.
Yesterday, I logged into my bank account and saw a weird charge. I knew I hadn’t been to Chicago in the last couple of hours, but I thought maybe I had bought something online I had forgotten about over the past weekend.
Let’s face it…life is a blur many days. It takes everything to slow the ride and decipher the mosaic of action, people, events, everything!
But paying attention paid off. Literally.
After interrogating my family to see if I was crazy (always a fun exercise!) I figured that purchase was bunk.
Cue calling the bank and filing a claim. In the five mins that passed, another purchase had registered to my account. Apparently, I was witness to an unfolding shopping spree. How thrilling! What fun that sounded like! It was interesting to see where people would spend my money.
I guess we were headed to buy beach apparel next.
When was the last time I had been to the beach?
I stopped further shenanigans in the midst of finding a collar for the cat’s fat neck, threatening my hair into a presentable shape and losing the connection with the claim department, all while coaxing a cat on a leash out the door shepherded by my lion-heart daughter.
She is unflappable.
Now, in the car, we called the claims department, I punched in the address on Lauren’s phone, so we could get Monkey to the vet eye clinic, profusely apologizing to the lady at the bank on my phone for Monkey’s incessant yowling every five seconds.
My account was frozen.
Including all cards.
How was I going to pay the vet?
I dug out an ancient check, Deacon had told me to put in my wallet in case of such emergencies, calmly combating the side-eye the receptionist leveled at me as I explained sheepishly that my name might not match my driver’s license EXACTLY because I had been married last year.
OMG…how shady did that sound?
Long story short(ened).
In the past, I would have announced the universe was out to get me…that I had brought on such energy because I “had it coming,” that my very existence had warranted “bad luck.”
Instead, I went home, worked my tail off, and gave thanks for the ability to pay for our precious Monkey’s eye.
I, too, turned unflappable and was able to handle whatever was thrown at me because sometimes we are supposed to pause.
Grateful. I stopped a binge in motion! It could have been so much worse (and so much more work.)
The pharmacy called and said they had the second medication for my pet monkey. LMAO. The lady on the phone and I had a good, ongoing laugh as she processed my order.
No one is out to get you. No energy is meant to swallow you up. Unless you let it.
As I have told my children growing up, “You will be as miserable as you want to be for as long as you want to be.”
It can turn a day that could tank your spirits into an amusing adventure.
How will you frame your day today?
However it shakes out, you are in control.
Never doubt it. The world has conspired to help you succeed. But sometimes you won’t know the direction.
You will think the direction is not for you because it is not where you want to go. But it just may be where you are supposed to go.
Where you are called.
Every situation is an opportunity for empowerment.
Seize the day and make it yours.
The people I work with in my career as a writer and editor are so cool. Many of them are business owners and entrepreneurs and half the time they act as my own legion of life coaches! As a result, I am privy to innovative thought processes and unique ways of surmounting obstacles.
I also stumble upon content that pushes my own continual healing. Personally, I do a ton of writing on learning to eliminate self-limiting beliefs and examining how our pasts can fuel our emotional rehab.
After a certain amount of internal work has been accomplished; I’m talking decades of counseling, tapping into the gift of changing your mindset and figuring out how to handle compulsions and urges in the form of eating disorders and anxiety tendencies, you can start to chip away at your own self-awareness.
How do other people see my responses? (Not from a standpoint of needing their validation), but to gather intel on how you can be more compassionate, for example).
- Do I understand my triggers?
- Do I know how to rationally react to these triggers?
- What do you believe you are capable of accomplishing?
- How do you define your limitations?
I don’t want to give anything else away, but I did take a test, which took me deeper into evaluating particular habits and beliefs about myself than I would have dissected on my own. I had never taken a test like this, asking these sorts of questions and it spurred my self-examination. I’ve always wanted to ask myself these questions so I could think about how far I’ve come in my healing journey. But I never knew what the questions would be. It’s always valuable to gauge our progress and so I seized the opportunity.
But why is understanding our self-awareness important to our emotional health?
Let me give you an example. My childhood was rough; it didn’t offer a lot of security and when we are plunged into and restrained in survival mode, this is how we think long-term. It is how we plan. We use this method like we flex a muscle. Our every decision has a desperate root. We can’t move out of simply reacting quickly to situations and triggers. I was not self-aware during this time. I was furious and devastated and terrified because there was no motionless core to which I could anchor. I didn’t care how I affected people when I spoke, or through my actions. Half of my responses were couched in the subconscious need to receive some kind of frickin’ validation that I was worth anything. Truly, I could have given a crap less about the feelings I influenced in others.
After many years of counseling and answering the need in me to heal on a consistent circuit of self-revelation as I build confidence and internal work, I can now say, I care about people’s feelings.
I care about my own self-awareness, too, and I use questions like these to push my healing even further.
Understanding our limitations is critical because it frames our confidence. Knowing your triggers allows you to plan for your deliberate reaction, and it gives you invaluable information about yourself.
I believe that triggers, when confronted are actually our biggest avenues to emotional prosperity. When we define and accept our fears, we can develop plans to move past them, to practice making them smaller and less damaging to our lives. We can have internal conversations with ourselves about being afraid and identifying where fear comes from, that we are humans and instead of seeking to avoid, we can use our histories to teach us, and when we get stronger…we can teach others what has worked for us as well.
I am not denying there are triggers that are paralyzing and traumatizing, but I am a believer in finding the solution to not overcome what we have been exposed to, (because we will never be the same) but to compartmentalize our experiences to our benefit. We can use visualization to shrink terror. We can reason through fright. Because education is the antidote to fear, right?
It is possible to get better. To feel less pain.
We can help other survivors. But before we do, we need to hone our own insight into our self-awareness and realize the vital role it plays in our positive emotional health. I am not a counselor or therapist. My full-time job has been progressive healing. These perspectives have worked for me and that is why I share them. To help people recover from the wounds of their past.
Original article appeared at Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission.
I am taking my first business trip to go to the Success Live event with my publisher. This is the first time I will have traveled since getting sick with transverse myelitis, since learning a trip to Target could double as a marathon. So…I am taking my darling daughter, Lauren as my assistant. She and I will be flying into LAX and staying in Long Beach right near the ocean.
This is a big deal for me as I will be getting the message out about Sick Biz, seeking sponsorship and hearing some of the most inspirational minds speak.
I am a little concerned about all the traveling with the physical challenges I face, but we will use a chair when needed and I will have my trusty golden cane, Deacon, my husband, refers to as Goldenrod.
I know I can do this and I want to lead by example that we can all do things that scare us.
It doesn’t matter what they are…it doesn’t matter what challenges we face…we are the ones who are always in our own way.
So, I am removing those obstacles in my mind and in my tangible life and doing as I advise those who are afraid…focusing on the action.
It’s like I told the kids when they were younger and learning to do chores. “I know how you feel about the dishes, but it doesn’t matter because it still needs to be done.”
This mission needs to go on. The dissemination of the message needs to be done.
I can work anywhere. I can do anything. I can serve anyone, and I can grow this initiative in ways of which I am not even aware.
To have a publisher and professional, proven people stand behind our organization in support of this mission to help such a very special demographic, is mind-blowing. It is happening and I am happily freaking out, but it feels like the universe is also aligning.
Like I can see more clearly.
I am grateful to be the vessel.
I read somewhere that sometimes gold is used to reinforce cracks in broken pottery. What if we all viewed ourselves this way?
What if we all walked into the darkness because it was the way to our brightest light? To the gifts, we all can bring to the world?
That we have a responsibility to manifest?
As soon as the decision was made in our minds and hearts that Lauren and I could do this…the universe aligned profitably.
I know we can do this…we are spreading the message and the reason with love.
We are helping our very first entrepreneur!
We thrive off your support!
My heart is opening even wider to receive what people need.
Every day we learn what our roles are in this world. We are all deserving creatures.
Compassion is what people need. No matter who you are, what you do, where you live, what you look like. We are all human and deserving of care.
In fact, we crave it!
I never thought I would learn strength and empowerment from my baby girl.
I never thought I would learn to be supported ceaselessly through love, laughter and cheer, after years of receiving disposable treatment. I expand in love every day now.
How did I get so lucky?
We are on the road to helping more entrepreneurs reach their dreams. To spreading their messages so they, too, can ripple outward and improve our planet.
I have never been more honored to be an instrument of the universe.
Please spread the message of Sick Biz, and how we can help sick and disabled entrepreneurs through lending a hand to improve their strategies, executions, and finances through a collaborative community of support.
The title of my book will be Sick Success! Thank you to everyone who contributed their thoughts. Now to work on the subtitle. The description is due this week.
#LABound #sicksuccess #unstoppable #bethechange
Photo credit and fantastic artwork: Hilary Jastram
Nothing compares to you…new authors.
From my client and first-time author:
“Second draft back from the editor. This is what she wrote.
‘Readers will FLY through this book as they glean their needed lessons because it is a nimble and memorable work.’
Blown away and super excited 😊