Struggling in business or your career? This strategy can help
Chris Hogan, author of Building Brands On Purpose, deep dives into what it takes to succeed in life even when the going gets tough.
I once lacked motivation. My business was failing and my personality was my business. This led me to lose my purpose and become depressed. After a downward spiral that lasted months, I found it hard to get out of bed.
That's when my late father's voice spoke inside my head: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going. If you want to find work, you need to pound the pavement."
By understanding who it was in my life that I aspired to be like most, I was able to rediscover my values. Be it a celebrity, a family member or a random stranger, I needed to name that person and recognise what I believe their values to be, which is ultimately why I like them so much.
I found that those who inspire us most are those with which we share the most values. Taking their list and making it your own is the next step.
Explore your own values first and get your mojo back
Education and mentoring are values I hold very dear, which I discovered while exploring my own values. It was at that moment that I made the decision to continue building my marketing agency by going back to what came naturally to me – producing video interviews with local business leaders at a volume and velocity that no one could match.
This approach worked wonders in getting me back my mojo for business and being part of the community. These actions helped build my personal brand up such that the majority of the business community now know me at events.
I authored my book not long after and carry this like a business card.
All of these small sparks have created a fire that has branded me as the go-to guy for creating a purpose-led strategy and delivering seamless content marketing.
In my book Building Brands On Purpose, I reveal a simple process that helps business leaders discover their values, and in turn, their purpose. I recognise the merit of this process because it has proven vital for me, personally.
How to use personal branding for change
It sounds like a no-brainer, but many fail to understand that personal branding starts with you.
It's common to try to improve our personal brand by pleasing others rather than ourselves, but this only makes it more difficult to remain true to our values long-term.
People approach me to help them improve both their personal and business brands, and the first things they want to discuss are:
- What should I wear?
- What should I talk about?
- How often should I talk about it?
- How long will it take before it works?
When approached with these questions, it's clear that these people have the wrong mindset on what needs to come first.
They're not doing it for the wrong reasons. In fact, it's perfectly understandable to want more money and influence. With that said, we shouldn't be willing to adjust our personalities to achieve this success. If we do, we'll inevitably be displeased.
If you're choosing to improve your brand, you don't necessarily need to change, but you should be strategic. Before we decide to change anything about ourselves, we need to understand our values. Values inspire purpose, purpose inspires actions, actions inspire culture and culture is strategy.
5 questions to help you get started
If you genuinely wish to inspire others, your purpose will likely stem from your values and current life experience as well as the answers you're looking for. You should ask yourself the following questions:
- What has been missing from my life that I have had to discover on my own, either by life experience, books, podcasts or being mentored by someone?
- Does it annoy you that this "something" isn't brought up in conversation more, taught more or actioned more?
- Are you the one to set things right?
- Are you the one who's going to truly make a difference in the world by being the one person to give perspective on this topic?
- Can others identify with and realise that they're also missing this – something – in their lives?
Your "why" is your overarching purpose. This becomes the motivation for getting out of bed every day because people like you need you to stand up and be heard.
Now it's time to create content consistently for years on end. It might take 5, 10, 20 or 30 years until you've gained a sizeable audience, but that should be okay because, after all, it makes you happy.
Will you get it wrong sometimes? Will you look back at the journey in years to come and recognise that you're not exactly that person you once were? Will you achieve personal growth? Absolutely.
Even if nobody "follows" you, you're still doing what you love. You will have built a brand by being the best person you can be.
If you catch yourself acting out of alignment with your values, use that moment to check yourself and ask, "Does this really suit my brand and me?" Because it's likely that you're being inauthentic or the values that were once important to you no longer define you.
Chris Hogan is a leading strategic content marketer and author of the book Building Brands On Purpose. He has spent over 20 years working within Australia and internationally and is the founder of MeMedia Marketing Agency, headquartered in Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast, Australia. He is the host of the ProActive Podcast and is well-known for developing an easy-to-implement marketing framework, helping his clients be more strategic and achieve smooth, reliable, sustainable growth.
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