Many possess skills, talents and attributes that come easier to them than others. This stuff doesn't feel like work, and it's fun. For some it is writing, rain making, negotiating, playing sports, singing, public speaking or even solving problems. Many believe people who have these traits are considered naturals. They think gifts are included in the DNA, and are passed down when they got their set of genes. Or they are just lucky. That may be true in a few rare cases. But I'm of the opinion there are no gifts of talent, and luck is extremely over rated, too. Gifts and luck happen, when you really love something, are passionate, invest in practicing a craft and continuously developing "the whatever", they become a very natural, effortless act.
For years appearing in the Wall Street Journal has been a dream of mine. The Wall Street Journal is my all-time favorite publication to read. To me it is the “businessperson's must read” to be in the know of what ’s going is in the world and in business. The dream came true this week! I was quoted on a front page story in the Wall Street Journal about Naked Communities Seeking Corporate Sponsors and they mentioned my book title, Brand Turnaround: How Brands Gone Bad Returned to Glory and the 7 Game Changers that Made the Difference, too!
You've experienced a brand earthquake. A recession hit. Your once-successful retail company was forced to declare bankruptcy. Everything around you has crumbled, your credit has been destroyed and all that was once working for you and familiar to you is now gone, including most of your customers. But suddenly, after a year of reorganization, legal battles and a production freeze, you have new investors. And you're in charge of leading the brand turnaround—introducing the new face to a 30-year-old store brand. For a shaken brand that has lost its core buyers, the goal is to find the new and former buyers who will forgive and forget past missteps and love the brand like it was loved once before.
My friends and business colleagues often ask me, "How do you constantly produce so much stuff, ideas, stories, images, books, products and speeches?!". The answer is simple. I consume this delicious cocktail, straight up daily, which let's me get more done and have more fun! Start with ample sleep, for me it's 8 hours. + Eat often, at least five small meals with protein daily. + Set accountable goals, daily (one or two are fine). + Meditate and do deep breathing, even if it's 5 minutes. + Pay attention to what you experience...
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.
So many books, so little time to read. The next 4 titles I've read, I loved, I recommend. They cover marketing, branding, the human condition and how to stay competitive. Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun Loaned to me by another speaker, I laughed out loud for several nights while reading this book. It's a gem. Whether you do presentations as part of your job or you are a paid professional speaker, this book is raw, funny and a valuable resource.Why it's worth the read: It's a fast fuel to improve your speaking, around 200 pages, I love snarky humor, its got lots of it, it provides simple, actionable how to's and it's real. Scott has been around.
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.
Are you ready to fight for your personal brand? Many brands on their top game suddenly find themselves in a truck full of brand trouble. A scandal, bad judgment, a legal mess, a tragic accident or the result of just taking your eye off the ball, the brand goes bad. Beat up brands can recover. I look at brands that have fought their way back from near folds and I'm always amazed at the resiliency and dedication I see. In my latest book, Brand Turnaround, I reveal the steps taken by persistent leaders who overcame major brand shake-ups. I call these seven key concepts Game Changers, and one of them is to not give up.
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.