Recently I've been forgetting things. Last Friday I headed to Chicago. When I got to the ticket counter at the airport I had a flash, did I remember to pack my Apple power cord for my laptop? No, I didn't. And because I've bought so many of those silly $100 replacement cables and lost them too, I was not about to hit the road without it. So I quickly phoned up my driver to see if he could run back to my place, get it and bring it to me before my flight left. Like a champ, he said no problem. So how does a list-obsessed traveler like me forget stuff like this? By moving too fast.
This past weekend I attended the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. This show hosts over 100,000 attendees from over 100 countries. The mix included suppliers, restaurateurs, the media and entrepreneurs, like myself, hoping to tap into this lucrative 600 billion market. For the past year I've been building restaurantbrandingroadmap, an e-learning product, a web site and business that serves up marketing and branding help to this niche market of independent restaurateurs. I hope to launch the first product within the next 60 days. To date I have built a membership model website and a robust blog.
Have you called yourself recently? On all of your phones? If not, it's a fast find and fix to improving your brand impression. How do I know this? Because I was grossly guilty of phone message neglect. Fortunately, I have good friends who tell me the truth. Here's a recent call I received. "Hey Karen, Ms. Branding Diva your phone message stinks. It's too long, you sound like you are in a tunnel under ground and teetering on having a bad day." She was right. This was a big disconnect from who I am and what my brand stands for. Here's the really sad part, it's been like that for a year, YIKES!
Last week I had drinks with a retired colonel from MacDill Air Force Base. This guy had been to 2 wars zones, Iraq and Afghanistan, three times. He had been inches away from grenades exploding and been literally shot at from 10 feet away. Fortunately, the bullets missed him. Many in his platoon were not that lucky. He knew I was an entrepreneur. He’d been to my websites. This is what he said to me. “Karen, you are so brave and courageous. I admire that so much. I don’t know that I could do that, be a front line entrepreneur like you. You've got to hustle business every day, be such a self-starter and operate with so much uncertainty". WOW, here’s a soldier who risked his life for our country, thinking I’m the tough one.
The past few months I’ve really amped up my commitment to my tennis game. I play 4 or 5 times a week, take lessons and participate in cardio drills. The results have been GREAT. I’ve lost 5 pounds and buffed up quite a bit. And I’ve had a surprising number of wins when I was really behind. I’m talking down by two sets, against a 26 year old or in a deep hole with scores like 5,0 and 5,1 and I've come back. I've been thinking about this phenomenon, how it happens and how it applies to life and business too. For me it’s about a few big emotions: frustration, annoyance, disappointment and how to manage them.
This past week one of my favorite guys and myself celebrated a birthday. I’m happy to report that I’m the younger one. In fact, Abe Lincoln is 203. For those of you who know me well know I’m not a holiday girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love to celebrate, I just believe that everyday you are above ground is a celebration and special, instead of making a big deal about the traditional Hallmark days. As I added another year to my timeline this week, I reflected on some of the most meaningful threads that make up my fabric. I put together 52, and yes there is a reason for that number, I hope you enjoy.
Do you have the skills, mindset and traits to save a sinking brand, no matter how rough the seas get? Branding guru, CEO, marketing director, head honcho, boss, manager, entrepreneur—whatever your title, one day you may be faced with an unexpected challenge. Lead with courage, you’ll likely turn it around. Manage with mediocrity, and your brand’s life may be very short. Leading a brand turnaround is no easy role. If it were, there’d be fewer brand casualties. It takes a special kind of person—one who can lead and battle through brand bumps, uncertainty and the stress that comes with unfortunate situations like product recalls, scandal and controversy.
I can't believe it's here. My new book will be on bookshelves and ship from online bookstores like Amazon and Barns and Noble this Friday, December 16th. Thank you all for the hundreds of congrats notes and words of support. I know many of you downloaded the sample chapter per my LinkedIn and Facebook author page notice. If you had trouble getting your chapter, it is because you were already in my opt-in list. So I've set up a direct download here without any further sign up needed, just click the book. Sorry for that inconvenience.
In the past few years, personal branding has become a hot business topic. News anchors and journalists refer to individual brands when they cover business leadership superstars and business losers too. Executive recruiters consider a candidate’s brand when they are on a search for the best professional for a position and most entrepreneurs’ success depends on their strong, personal brand to attract employees, get funding and be an ambassador of their company. Last month Daytime, a nationally broadcasted TV show that airs in over 35 markets, invited me to help out with a special segment called “Getting back to work”. The goal was to take two professionals who had lost their jobs and with an improved personal branding program, help them find the ideal career or opportunity.
Jennifer Prosek, author of Army of Entrepreneurs, is the founder and CEO of CJP Communications where she leads many of the firm’s key accounts. Her offices are located in New York, Connecticut and London and with over 70 working professionals, the firm ranks among the top 35 independent public relations firms in the US. You could definitely say that she knows how to run a business or, should I say, how to gather an army of entrepreneurs. Want to know the secret?