Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Living Up to YOUR Personal Brand Promise

Throughout my HR career, I've interviewed many people who loved to sit across from me and talk about their experience, skills and education - and all they could bring to the job. They had ideas, information and suggestions on how they could come into our organization and improve processes, procedures, and the bottom line. They made it clear that if we hired them, they would give 110% every day.

Yea..well...it all sounds good.

While many of the new employees did just what they were hired to do, and some even did more, there were also those who failed to live up to their own hype. They didn't meet the expectations they set about their work performance. There were days when we would love to see them give just 50%. In the end, they failed to live up to their personal brand promise.

Your personal brand promise is being who you say you are...whether it's related to work, your own business, or your personal life. So, of course, I have to ask: Do you live up to your Personal Brand Promise?

At work, do you deliver on the promises you made when you were hired? Are you dependable? Do you focus on doing your best? What does your reputation say about you? Would your peers and leaders say your give 110%, or at least 100%?

Dan Schawbel , personal branding expert, says branding is crucial for a corporate employee:
"If you work for a company, and enjoy doing so, then personal branding becomes the cornerstone for how you move up the hierarchy and become recognized as a leader."

And if you're an entrepreneur, branding yourself, and your company, is crucial to your success. Would your clients say you live up to your brochure? To your marketing? To the expectations you set? Would people who have done business with you refer you to others?

There's nothing more disappointing than deciding to do business with someone and having them NOT live up to their brand promise.

And there's also nothing more disappointing than dealing with individuals, whether they be a friend, coworker, boss, employee, or family member, who doesn't live up to their personal brand promise.

Remember, if you're all hype, with no substance, you'll eventually be found out...and you could lose your job, your client, or worse - your self-respect!

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Doreen Rainey is a Life Coach and Speaker who helps her clients Get RADICAL!
For a FREE 30 day membership to RadicalLifestyle.com or to subscribe to her bi-weekly newsletter, visit her website.
Join Doreen in the Washington, DC area for the 2010 Get RADICAL Women's Conference featuring Jillian Michaels, Fitness Trainer from The Biggest Loser.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Persistence or Stupidity

Regardless of what book you read about success or what successful person you listen to, they will always talk about the characteristic of persistence. The idea that you should never give up, keep going, don't get sidelined, and don't ever stop, is a prevalent theme when it comes to going after your goals.

We've all heard sayings like: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. But is there ever a time when you shouldn't try again? When you should - dare I say it - give up? Should you ever consider letting it go, changing course, pursuing a new direction or simply stopping.

If someone were to ask what it meant to be persistence, it would be fairly easy to give a definition. We may even admire certain people because of their ability to fight through any circumstance to ultimately get what they want.

Persistence has probably shown up in our own lives. Maybe it was sheer persistence that got you through school. Or maybe it was what allowed you to find a way/make a way to buy something you really wanted. Or perhaps it was the way you finally got the man or woman of your dreams.

But in reading Mentored By a Millionaire, by Steven K. Scott, he addresses the ugly side of persistence. The side where there is continued loss no matter how hard the effort. Loss of time, loss of money, loss of motivation, loss of family, loss of friends, or even a loss of self-confidence.

The question is, how do you know when you've ventured over into a level of persistence that is actually more detrimental to your well being? How do you determine when there is really no chance of you getting what you want?

Scott helps us figure it out by defining the critical distinction between what persistence is and what persistence is not.

What Persistence is Not: When failure is contemplated, persistence is not simply a matter of staying the course no matter what. When failure is experienced, persistence is not simply refusing to give up and then trying the same thing over and over again, but with more effort, intensity or frequency.

What Persistence Is: When failure is contemplated, true persistence makes the necessary mid-course corrections to reduce risk, and increase the possibility of success. When failure is experienced, true persistence analyzes various elements or factors that may have caused or contributed to that failure and then design and tries creative alternatives that might result in significant improvement and ultimate success.

In other words, he says successful people should approach each important project or goal expecting problems, setbacks and potential failure to block their path to success. Then utilize their partnering skills to draw on the creative input and resources of others to creatively persist through each problem until they succeed one way or another. If, after all of that, they discover that a project is a "three legged horse", they should "shoot it" rather than race it.

I love that last sentence. It means that you have to really analyze your situation to see if the path you're on will render you the results you want. And while some will say that you still shouldn't give up, you have to make the choice for yourself. For if you are relentlessly pursuing a goal that's a "three legged horse", it can be freeing to give yourself permission to "shoot it" and let it go.

That doesn't make you a failure. It makes you smart.

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Doreen Rainey is a Life Coach and Speaker who helps her clients Get RADICAL!
For a FREE 30 day membership to RadicalLifestyle.com or to subscribe to her bi-weekly newsletter, visit her
Join Doreen in the Washington, DC area for the 2010
Get RADICAL Women's Conference featuring Jillian Michaels, Fitness Training from The Biggest Loser.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2nd Annual Get RADICAL Women's Conference

It's that time of year and I'm so excited!

Registration is now open for the 2010 Get RADICAL Women's Conference taking place on Saturday, March 27, 2010 at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, VA - just outside of Washington, DC.

Last year's conference was incredible! There was so much energy in the room as each speaker shared their strategies for getting ahead - and staying ahead - at work and in life. Women came from all over the country to learn, grow, network and get RADICAL!

I met women from California, Florida, Boston, Colorado, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Chicago - just to name a few. And of course, the Washington, DC area was well represented. As a matter of fact, we have already outgrown the hotel we used!

We are planning an awesome conference this year and would love for you to join us. Some of our speakers are returning with fresh insights and strategies that will build upon what they shared last year - including Jillian Michaels, Fitness Trainer and Life Coach from NBC's hit TV show, The Biggest Loser.
However, we also have some new speakers that will be joining us as well. They will be announced in the coming months so stay tuned!

If you came last year, I would LOVE to see you again. If this will be your first year joining us, I look forward to meeting you. With the caliber of speakers we have, this will be a career enhancing, life enriching experience that will impact your professional and personal life.

Early registration, which gives a discount off the regular registration fee, is now open for both general registration and VIP registration. A VIP registration gets you up close and personal with Jillian in our exclusive VIP luncheon. There's also front section seating and a few other great perks. These special registrations are limited so don't delay! There's even a 2 payment option.

Why "Get RADICAL"?

“Get Radical” is a Call!
A call for women to become bold and courageous enough to depart from the usual, expected or ordinary in order to take charge of their professional and personal life. A call for women to live with purpose and passion in all that they do. A call for women to experience fulfillment and contentment in their family life and in the business world. A call for women to enjoy the fruits of their hard work and reward themselves with fun!

“Get Radical” is a Challenge!
A challenge for women to step out of their comfort zone and explore new possibilities. A challenge for women to get the skills, education, and information they need to make smart choices when going after their goals. A challenge for women to set aside fear and replace it with faith and courage. A challenge for women to step out of doubt, uncertainty and hesitation and onto the path to success!

“Get Radical” is a Lifestyle!
A lifestyle dedicated to continuous improvement in finances, career, relationships, health and wellness, and fun! A lifestyle that understand the importance of investing in one’s self to continually learn and grow. A lifestyle that embraces the philosophy of selflessness – being willing to share with others by giving back!

In planning this day for you, we focused on gathering women who are experts in their field and have overcome challenges, difficulties, and adversities to achieve amazing success.

They'll share entertaining, informative, and poignant stories about the lessons they've learned, all the while inspiring you to take your goals and dreams and put them into action.

Don't miss this opportunity to laugh, learn, grow, connect with others, enhance your career and change your life.

See what a couple of our attendees said about last year's conference:

"This conference was an amazing, life changing experience. I would recommend it to anyone who is eager to learn, grow and take their life to another level of consciousness. It was a truly inspirational event."

"I ventured out of this comfort zone and traveled 7 hours to this conference on my own! Never have done(or would have done)something like that before...so glad I did. Left feeling empowered, and ready to create my dream life!"

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

How Do You Handle the Heat?

It was June. It was Las Vegas. And it was HOT!!

Several years ago, I took a trip to Sin City to spend 48 hours with a speaking coach. But not just any speaking coach. This was Patricia Fripp. She has coached and trained speakers around the world and Meetings and Conventions Magazine calls her, "One of the 10 most electrifying speakers in North America". You know what I call her? One of the most terrifying speaking coaches in North America!

I'd been in the audience several times when she gave presentations about the art of speaking. Obviously, she was an outstanding speaker, but what I really loved about her was her honesty, frankness and candor as she talked about the skills it takes to be a great speaker. She emphasized the fact that you not only have to have the knowledge and information for solid content, but you have to be able to deliver it in a way that can hold the attention of the listener, and make them remember you - and what you said - long after your speech is over.

Impressed, I decided to take the trip to Vegas to spend some personal time with her. I am a firm believer that no matter what your profession, you should want to get around people who are the best at it and this was my opportunity. She was offering one-on-one coaching for a very small group of people and I jumped at the chance.

The process was simple. I would send her the outline of one of my speeches in advance, show up, present about 10 minutes of it in front of her, get her feedback, rework my speech that night incorporating her suggestions, and then present it again to her the next day.

I think that one of the biggest hindrances to people stepping out of their comfort zone and putting themselves "out there" is the fear of criticism.

  • What if they don't like it?" (whoever they are)
  • What if I fail?
  • What will they think about me?
  • What will they say about me?
  • What if I make a fool of myself?
  • What if they laugh?
  • What if I'm wrong?

And you know what? People won't like it. Not only will some people not like it, they will not be shy about telling you they don't like it and why. But if you want to be great - you've got to be ready for it. The good news is, criticism, when considered without emotions attached to it, can lead you to grow, develop, and become better at what you are trying to do.

Just think of any well known person. For the hundreds, thousands, or millions of people who admire, look up to, think highly of, respect, or hold them in high regard, there are probably just as many people who don't like them, don't respect them, and don't hold them in high regard.

Don't believe me? Think of someone you admire. Now google their name. There's a 99% chance you'll find something negative about them. As a matter of fact, there are entire blogs dedicated to criticizing certain people.

But the key is not to let the negativity stop you. I believe you should consider the criticism to see if it's valid, and if it is, make the necessary adjustments. But if it's not valid, you have got to be able to get over it, forget it and move on.

Now, back to Vegas!

There are 6 people in this coaching session and the few people that go ahead of me, while pretty good speakers, were completely picked apart by Patricia. Being no fool, I paid close attention to the feedback Patricia was giving and made mental adjustments in my head to make my presentation better when it was my turn.

Then, she called my name.

As I took my place in the front of the room, I knew the presentation would not exactly match what I had originally sent her, but I believed it to be for the better, as I had now incorporated the feedback she had given to other speakers. As I finished up my 10 minutes, I braced myself for what she had to say. And it was a good thing I did - as I'll never forget the first words out of her mouth. It went a little something like this:

Well, I see that you've done something completely different from what you sent in. And thank goodness because what you sent was quite dreadful. At least what you did today was better - but just barely.

Now, I had a choice, I could put my defenses up, argue with her, try to explain why she was wrong or simply shut down. But instead, I took a deep breath, relaxed my face and simply said - or should I say begged - "Help me!!!"

And help me she did. Everything from how I stand, to how I move, to what I do with my hands, to the cadence of my voice, to engaging the audience, to improving the layout of my speech, to developing better content, to staying true to the message and topic that I am so passionate about (helping people live a radical life).

What about you? If you want to go for greatness, you've got to be prepared to feel the heat. The heat of someone criticizing you. The heat of someone not liking what you're trying to do. The heat of failure. The heat of disappointments. The heat of someone really wanting to help you if you would only let them.

I thank Patricia for her honesty, her expertise, and her desire to help make me great. I got 200% better at my profession having spent those 2 days with her. And looking back, I'm really proud of myself. For that was the day I realized that yes - I can handle the heat.

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Doreen Rainey is a Life Coach and Speaker who helps her clients Get RADICAL!
For a FREE 30 day membership to RadicalLifestyle.com or to subscribe to her bi-weekly newsletter, visit her website.
Join Doreen in the Washington, DC area for the 2010 Get RADICAL Women's Conference featuring Jillian Michaels, Fitness Training from The Biggest Loser.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Overcoming Incredible Odds

I've just started reading a book called Mentored By a Millionaire by Steven K. Scott. And while I haven't finished it (so I'm not fully recommending it!!), the beginning of the book shares stories of some of the challenges successful people have had to overcome to reach their goals. Here a couple of examples from the book, along with a couple of my own.

After graduating number 299 out of 301 students, this man went on to flunk out of college after getting a track scholarship. Challenged by his mom's several suicide attempts, many had written him off as someone who wouldn't amount to much. Yet, this man went on to become one of the most successful actor, writer, and director in the history of television. Who is it? Michael Landon.

After dropping out of school in the 8th grade, he never got to read the school physic books that said it was impossible to make a radio small enough to fit into a car. He went on to invent the first car radio, the autopilot system, the 8-track recording cartridge, and proved the experts wrong when they said it was no market for small corporate jets - and he made a lot of money proving them wrong. Ever hear of Lear Jets? That would all be due to the man who did all of this: Bill Lear.

What about the boy who followed in his father's professional footsteps? After graduating with honors from Princeton University and the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, where he received his MD, he returned home to the University of Colorado for his residency in Internal Medicine. Then, in a move that shocked patients and parents alike, he quit his job as a doctor and moved out to Hollywood to pursue stand up comedy. He has never looked back. After lots of success on the comedy circuit, he's now the "Go To Guy" as a host on the #1 show on the Style Network - Clean House. He also hosts a spin-off show called Clean House Comes Clean that is the #2 show on the network. Who is it? Matt Iseman.

A young woman was born to drug addicted parents who were both HIV positive. When her mother died when she was 16, her father moved to a homeless shelter, leaving her alone and homeless. Starting high school later than most students, she remained without a stable home while supporting herself and her sister. Overcoming incredible odds, she received a scholarship from the New York Times to Harvard University. She is now a successful speaker and workshop leader and has been featured on ABC News 20/20, Good Morning America, the Today Show, CNN, and written up in The New York Times, People magazine as well as numerous other media outlets. She has authored advice columns in the New York Times Upfront Magazine. Who is she? Liz Murray

So what about you? What incredible odds do you need to overcome to make your goals and dreams a reality? Have people written you off ? Are you in a career that's not your true calling? Have you had to deal with financial troubles, lack of education, a career change, toxic relationships, bad marriage, abusive parents, or fear? Whatever the obstacle, why not find a way around it, over it, or through it - dealing with it once and for all?

Because just the like the people above, you CAN overcome incredible odds.

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