How Do I Know I’m Ready To Start My Own Business?

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I’ve built two 6-six figure businesses and I know starting your own business isn’t for the faint at heart. It’s hard work and requires your time, resources and attention.

Let me ask you a question, what does it mean to you to become an entrepreneur? 

Are you thinking about becoming well known and rich? Do you have thoughts of customers beating down your door to purchase your product or buy your services?

I’d like to use this analogy:  starting and building a business is like having a child. The thought of walking around with a baby bump or saying, “We’re having a baby” may excite you, but when long nights, poop filled pampers, temper tantrums and costly education become your reality, the glamour loses it’s shine.

Being in the trenches daily and sacrificing what you want for what your child needs can, at times, can make you feel stuck and wonder if your investment is going to pay off.

Now, let me be clear. Those feelings don’t mean that you don’t want or love your child. But they do signal, your awareness to your commitment, investment and desire for great outcomes.

When you understand that, Welcome to Entrepreneurship!

If you’re thinking about launching a business, consider the following:

1.  What product or service do I want to provide? Before investing your time and money in a business make sure there’s a market.

2. Am I called to do this work? Is this the best path to take to do it? Something has to keep you pushing through disappointment and persevering over the obstacles you’ll face. What is it?

3. Do I have the faith to sustain my efforts? You have to believe in yourself, your product and your ability to reach your goals, which means you have to have a strategic plan. More information on that later this week. Don’t miss it. Subscribe to this blog now via the RSS or sign up to your right.

Do you have a business and after investing thousands of dollars, you haven’t been able to sell your product or land clients, schedule a 30-minute consult with me to discuss. Call 888.588.0423 or send your email request to questions@srenee.com. In the subject line write: Free Consult.

Copyright 2018 All right reserved. S. Renee Smith.

 

Should I Create My Own Brand or Become the Company’s Brand?

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During a personal branding workshop for a group of polished, ambitious, and smart new hires at a national corporation, I asked the question: Who are you? No one moved. Their firm grasp on investment portfolios, command of Wall Street lingo, and expertise in accounting principles didn’t help them with this basic question. They looked amazed, caught off guard, like I had just announced a pop quiz that they hadn’t studied for. Unable or perhaps too stunned to answer the first question, I continued, “Why are you here?” The tension eased and hands began to pop up.

Not knowing whose hand raised first, I randomly called on one of the blue-coat-white-shirt-fancy-ties to my left. Sounding like a well-rehearsed 30-second elevator speech, he pronounced, “I’m here to represent the (industry) in integrity while helping my clients build the wealth that they desire and come to expect from a (name of the company) employee.”

I wanted to applaud him for his performance. He had learned the bank’s language. He definitely had their image. Unfortunately, he was a long way from home. His response didn’t represent his brand. It was the company’s brand. He did what most people do when they get hired—find a way to fit in. Falling into the image trap of believing that if I show up the way the company executives want me to, I’ll be rewarded. In order to successfully navigate across the new normal of workplace dynamics, you have to BYOB: Bring Your Own Brand, which means, you have to bring the real you, not just the image you think the company expects of you.

I’ve worked with new hires and seasoned employees at state and government agencies, colleges and universities, corporate and not-for-profit organizations, and I have found this: Many people don’t bring their brand to the company. They accept the values, culture, image and brand of the company—even when they don’t believe in them.

How many times have you heard your co-workers complain about the unfair practices of the company? They label the culture as cutthroat, negative, or unfair yet they quietly yearn to become more entrenched in the organization. They are willing to abandon more of themselves for the schemes that they despise.

In return for handing their life over to the employer, a complete and sometimes unfair assessment by the employer establishes the brand of the employee—how talented the person is, how those talents will be used, who they will be exposed to within the organization, and which growth and advancement opportunities the employee will be considered for. Often marginalized because an employer only has a limited perspective of the employee’s abilities, the employee feels trapped by the system’s skewed perception.

But the employee is unaware that the company’s perception stems from them. The real culprit is the employee’s failure to create and manage their own brand.

For most, I think it’s an unconscious decision. With the day-to-day financial challenges and pressures to get ahead, many people haven’t taken the time to find their inner peace by answering the question: Who am I?

I believe that the best thing about today’s challenges is that it’s bringing us full circle—back to our true selves. Loss, devastation, and excessive stress is prompting us to ask the right questions for the right reasons:

1.  What brought us to this space?

2. Why are we here?

3. What are we to learn?

 4. Where is truth?

5. What is the truth?

6. How can we live it together, even if our truths are different?

This is an excerpt from The Bridge to Your Brand Likability, Marketability and Credibility.

Copyright 2018 S. Renee Smith. All rights reserved.

Why Branding Makes Decision Making Easier

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Daily you are faced with choices. Where I should go? What should I do? How should I do it? The answer to these questions establishes your priorities? When you don’t have a clear understanding of who you want to be in the marketplace, the choices are endless overwhelming and costly.

The branding process can eliminate the confusion and overwhelm. Whether you deliberately create a brand for a product, business, or for personal and professional development, here’s what you can expect:

1. A process that provides focus to your daily activities and behaviors.

2. A vision that guides your decisions, helping to alleviate some of the stress associated with making decisions.

3. A platform to focus and market your skill sets and receive compensation accordingly.

4. Greater negotiation power when signing contracts, getting a new job and interacting with a loved one.

5. People talking–creating buzz about you that expands your network and opportunities.

Additionally, what you may find most fascinating about going through the branding process is being awakened to the many human conditions that adversely affect our world, becoming aware of how you’ve been directly connected to a specific problem for a long time, and discovering how your experiences prepared you to address that problem.

Are you looking for a fool-proof guide on how to establish your own brand, find your own invaluable skills and emerge victorious in an ever-changing business world. Whether you are looking for a way to take your personal business to the next level, market your unique skill set or build lasting, meaningful relationships, The Bridge to Your Brand Likability, Marketability, Credibility will  help you identify, plan and achieve your goals. And if you want to learn how to create buzz, visit www.srenee.com to receive my FREE 90-minute audio course.

Copyrights 2018 All Rights Reserved S. Renee Smith.

How Can I Get My Boss (Client) to Notice Me?

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I like this question because you’re thinking in the right direction.  People have to take notice of you before you’ll ever get an opportunity to sign the contract, land the book deal or secure a promotion.

The person whose attention you’re trying to get has to first see that there’s a reason to look your way. 

So let’s examine this question from their perspective. Ask yourself:

  • What are they looking for?
  • What do they want to achieve?
  • What’s important to them?

The only reason people will look your way is because you have something they want. So, do you have something they want? What is it? As I share in The Bridge to Your Brand Likability, Marketability, Credibility clients and customers (and your boss is your customer) are looking for the following:

1. Your innovative ideas that lets them know that you stay on top of your game.

2. Your intellectual property that says, you know what you know and you know how to position yourself in such a way that they know what you know. Did you get that? If not, read it again.

3. Your value proposition that clearly defines how what you know benefits them.

To learn more about how you can get noticed, sign up to get my 90-minute free audio course How to Create Buzz and Grow Your Life and Business  (if you don’t get the pop-up screen, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click, Get S. Renee’s Branding Secrets Now).

Copyrights 2018. All rights reserved S. Renee Smith.

How Can I Rebuild My Brand?

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I was asked this question after speaking at a national conference in Los Angeles, CA . As I listened intently, I was trying to assess:

  1. How bad is the situation?
  2. How is it impacting her life and career?
  3. Can she rebuild where she is or does she need to redesign and start over?

Whatever the situation, I knew at the core credibility and trust were lost. If you aren’t getting the response you want and deserve, then you have trust issues. It’s simple: people don’t trust you and we all know what happens when a relationship has “trust issues.”

Do you want to become a trusted resource? For whom? Are you fighting to gain the trust of a person or market? If so, you have to build your credibility with them. Credibility is earned by living up to your brand promise.

Like any relationship, brands are built on likability, marketability and credibility. Do you bring consistent, reliable and honest value? Perhaps, what you are saying isn’t being perceived as honest. Maybe your behavior is inconsistent, or you’re just not perceived as a likable, trustworthy person.

Regardless of your challenge you first have to pinpoint where you are. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Am I believable? Does my brand package match my mission and message? Or am I on the hustle trying to get something from people? When the wrong thing drives you,  you’ll get the wrong response.
  2. Am I honest? Do I have evidence of my ability to do what I say I can do? Is my message being communicated in a way that connects, engages and prompts a response? People like to feel like they are dealing with a person of integrity who has their best interest at heart.
  3. Am I trustworthy? Do I return calls in a timely manner, follow-up and meet deadlines? Do I have focused and consistent message? Am I trying to be everything to everyone and I’m failing to be anything to anyone?

If you need to rebrand or redesign and relaunch your business or career, consider my online program UnBottle Your Business Brand or pick my book The Bridge to Your Brand Likability, Marketability and Credibility.

Copyrights All rights reserved. 2018 S. Renee Smith. My website is srenee.com

Do I have a Brand? If So, How Do I Know?

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It is a cold winter Sunday morning. I’m running 20 minutes late. Church starts at 11 a.m. It is 11 a.m. I still have to pick up a child I’m mentoring who lives 15 minutes away. I arrive at his home. Instead of sending my usual text “I’m here,” I anxiously, but gently blow the horn. He walks to the car, opens the door, and jumps in. While pulling the seatbelt, he says, “Ms. Renee, you are the only person that trusts me.”

Showing no emotion, yet completely shocked by his eyebrow-raising statement, I wait to hear the click sound of the seatbelt that lets me know it’s okay to begin to back out of the driveway. As I put the car in reverse I’m suspiciously wondering: Am I about to get punked by a seven-year old? Shifting to a mindset lacking emotion or judgment, I asked, “Why do you say that?” Without hesitation he said, “Because every time something happens, my mom asks me what happened, but when I tell her she doesn’t believe me.” Trying to be objective, yet wiser than the mini man, I threw out another question. “So why doesn’t she believe you?” I don’t know, he replied.

I understood his bewilderment. Like what many of my adult clients face, this young child’s quandary illustrated a classic personal branding issue based on past events and behaviors. I searched my mental database looking for an age appropriate way to explain his problem and how he could solve it.

After serious contemplation, I couldn’t decide. Hesitant to guide him from pure assumption that he had created some trust challenges that needed correcting, I waited to collect more data. Driving on to our destination, I decided that reassuring him with a list of people who trusted him would suffice for the moment. I did, however, bookmark his statement intending to revisit it when I could best serve him.

Later that day we went to his favorite place, McDonald’s. After eating a six-piece Chicken McNugget Happy Meal, a cherry pie, and drinking some chocolate milk, he claimed he was still hungry. Surprised, I asked, “Are you sure?” Nodding his head up and down I continued, “What would you like?” He pointed to an oversized color poster hanging on the window that advertised a 10-piece Chicken McNugget for $1.99. “I want that,” he said energetically. “It’s only a dollar ninety-nine.” I didn’t offer to buy it for him right away because I wanted to give myself more time to think and make a good decision.

Finally I asked, “And what else?” He added, “A small fry.” After some savvy seven-year old negotiation, I silently opened my purse and pulled out my wallet. Looking for $3 for the $2.99 meal, I began explaining to him how to go to the counter, place his order, and pay the cashier. Watching closely from afar, I heard the cashier say, “You don’t have enough money.” Thinking that I could have made a mistake and not wanting him to feel embarrassed, I rushed over to find out where I went wrong in totaling $1.99 + $1 = $2.99.

Puzzled by the miscount, I looked probingly into the eyes of the cashier and asked, “He doesn’t have enough money?” She confidently replied, “He ordered a 10-piece Chicken McNuggets, a small fry—and a smoothie.”

I smiled at her, peered down at the mini man, and gave him my you’ve-been-naughty look. I requested that she remove the smoothie from the order. I then walked slowly back to the dining area to wait patiently and wisely for him. As I perused my mental database again for the best way to handle this defining moment, I suddenly remembered the statement he had made earlier. But before I could say one word, the 4’2” fella hopped up in the seat and cleverly declared that the smoothie was for me. “I wanted to surprise you,” he announced.

I thanked him for his attempt at generosity. Then I carefully constructed an illustration that explained why surprising someone with a gift by spending their money on what he believed they wanted failed to exhibit genuine kindness. I also revisited his opening statement for the day, “Ms. Renee, you are the only person that trusts me.” This led to his first free coaching session on personal branding and its impact on his present and future relationships and endeavors.

If you are like him, you may not realize that you have a brand that you’ve been consciously or unconsciously building since you came to this planet. It’s the reason you were treated a particular way in school by your classmates and teachers. It’s what’s causing you to be overlooked and underestimated. It’s your brand that is still tagging along with you determining your personal and professional advancement.

The most important point to recall for now is that you have a brand. Subscribe now to get this week’s posts as I walk you through the steps to discover what your brand is.

This is an excerpt from The Bridge to Your Brand Likability, Marketability, Credibility. Get your copy now to get the information and questions to help you shape or reshape your brand.

Copyrights 2011 All Rights Reserved

If I Am Selling Myself as a Product, What Solution Do I Provide?

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Great question–that only you can answer.

In my book, The Bridge to Your Brand Likability, Marketability and Credibility I outline the pillars of  personal branding…

1. Mission. Your mission answers the questions: What are you on earth to do?  Who needs what you have to offer? How do you what you do?

2. Message. What do you want people to know, do or have. For example, my message is There Is More Inside. All my books, programs and self-development tools lead my clients back to their authentic selves by helping them to look within for their answers. Whatever you decide is your message downsize it to 7 words or less…less is better.

3. Value. What do you have that someone else needs? How bad do they need it? What’s at risk if they don’t get it? I encourage you to make a list of your skills, talent and abilities. Chronicle your awards and achievements. Keep in mind nothing is too small that it should be overlooked. You have something significant to offer, it’s your responsibility to discover it. 

Are you stuck? Do you want to build a personal or business brand, author a book or become a better communicator or public speaker? I’d love to help.  Visit srenee.com to learn more or to book your consult.

Copyrights 2018 All rights reserved. S. Renee Smith.

 

What Should I Do When I Don’t Know What to Do?

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We all have moments when we don’t know what our next step should be.  It can be an overwhelming and daunting task to figure out what path to take. There are times when you don’t know what to do because you’re not sure what you want and then there are times when you know exactly what you want, but don’t know where or how to get started.

My clients come to be because they are stuck. Either they want to identify their internal barriers to success, figure out their life purpose, land a coveted promotion or after investing thousands of dollars in their business, they still don’t know how to package, pitch and promote themselves and what they do to create buzz and generate interest in them.

Here are my quick-fix suggestions:

1.  Ask for assistance. God has given you an internal guidance system. The only reason you don’t know what to do next is because you’re in a whirlwind of energy that is not your own. Sit with yourself and ask:

  1. What will serve my highest good and that of others?
  2. Who can help me get there?

You’ll be amazed how you are led to what you need when you need it by simply asking.

2. Act on your promptings even if they frighten you. You’ll have a feeling of what you should do. You may think about a person with whom you haven’t spoken to in years, reach out to them. If they don’t have the answer or don’t respond, don’t give up you’ll find the right door if you keep knocking.

3. Invest in yourself. You have to believe in yourself enough to get the information you need to advance your life and career. Be diligent in your pursuit of your passion and happiness. Invest in yourself by hiring a coach that can help with the following or any other needs:

  1.  assess what you have and how you can package, position and promote it
  2. identify your blind spots so that you can see what other people see that may be hindering you from getting what you want
  3. help you sharpen your tools for success

Are you stuck? Do you want to build a speaking business or some other enterprise? Is authoring a book on your list? Do you have your eyes on a new promotion opportunity? Is becoming a better communicator or public speaker on your mind? I’d love to help.  Visit srenee.com for more information and to book your consult.

Copyrights 2018 All rights reserved. S. Renee Smith.