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How to build and develop your personal brand

Personal Branding

In the past, the term branding has always been associated and linked to companies. However, given technology and social media, the playing field has changed and almost every individual has a personal brand. You might not be aware but most people have a digital print but not consciously cultivated these brands.

Today it is not about if you have a personal brand, rather how you are going to guide and cultivate the brand. Your personal brand is how you appear to the world. When people get to know who you are and identify you with a specific skill or expertise, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the go-to person in your niche or industry.

Building your personal brand helps to open many professional opportunities. Creating a vision for your future and implementing this vision can lead a better job, expanded network, industry recognition, and more.

Here are few ways you can start building or expand your personal brand:

Think of yourself as a brand – Ask how you would like people to associate with you when they mention your name. How do want to be perceived?

Create an authentic personal brand and image – Your brand should be a reflection of who you are. Do you know what you believe? What you stand for? What your strengths and weaknesses are?

Undertake an online audit – Go through your social media profiles and make sure everything is current and up-to-date. Cultivating a strong personal brand is just as much about being responsive to what is being said as it is about creating intellectual property.

Buy a personal domain – Having your own personal domain is probably one of the best ways to rank you name on search engines. This can be 2 to 3 pages with your resume.

Speaking engagements – Speaking on a regular basis is an excellent way to build your brand and network. Speak from a place of knowledge and make sure you know what you’re talking about, and answer questions in a way that serves your audience.

Add value to your product – Look for ways to add value to any conversation and audience with fresh, creative content that lines up with your brand.

Share your thoughts and ideas with purpose – Remember, every tweet, social update, picture your share, all contribute to your brand.

Create a public slideshare – To demonstrate your thought-leadership you can create presentation expressing your point of view. Slideshare’s allow you upload your valuable content and make it available to your audience.

Continuing education – Identify a skill that you would like to learn or improve and commit to a plan to develop the skill.

Join an online group and conversation – To connect with other professionals and expand your network, you can join a LInkedIn group

Get recommendations and endorsements – Ask your supervisor, manager, or boss to write a recommendation and validate your skills and expertise.

Create a personal video – Create a personal video outlining who you are is a very powerful vehicle for building your brand.

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What can you do if you hate your job

My Dream Job

Given the global slowdown and uncertainty over the past few years, many people have held onto their jobs even if they were miserable. There are signs that things are starting to improve, so for those of you who are not happy with your job, this is the time to start doing something about it.

Are you one of those people who hate Sunday evenings things about going to work the next day? When you are in the right job there is something to look forward to every day at work. Obviously, no job is perfect and there might be some irritations and snags, but overall you are satisfied and happy.

If you want to get out of the wrong job, here are few things you can start doing and prepare yourself for future market and economic upturns and opportunities:

Undertake a self-assessment – Be honest and ask yourself why you hate your current job. How long has you felt this way? Is it your current job role? Is it the corporate culture? Make a list of pros and cons and what you believe is your dream job.

Evaluate your career goals – Take the time to figure out what your career goals are and ask yourself where you would like to see yourself in 5 years. Will your current job be able to help you get to where you want to be? If not then what? If you know what you want, it makes it easier to put things into perspective.

Talk to your supervisor or boss – If you are unhappy with your current job role, working hours, compensation; it is a good idea to approach your supervisor, manager, or boss to discuss how you feel.

Change you job role without leaving – If you are happy with the company but not your current job role or supervisor, it might be a good idea to seek out a different position within the organization.

Seek out other opportunities at work – If there is an HR department, don’t be afraid to approach someone and ask about other opportunities within the organization. Offer to assist someone on a project to gain new skill and mentorship. Try make changes that will help boost your overall experience in the workplace.

Always maintain your professionalism – Even if you have reached a decision to quit, maintain your professionalism and work ethics and keep doing your job. Inform your superiors about your decisions and offer to help find a replacements. This will help with a recommendation letter and keep the door open if things don’t work out. Never burn bridges.

Do Not Quit – For those of you who have a job with a decent salary package and not totally unbearable, then just stay put. Change is always a difficult process and remember that quitting a finding a new job might not provide you with a better solution. Before you quit any job, change fields, or career path; make sure you are prepared, educated and qualified for the path you follow.

Check your attitude – Ask yourself what brought about this hatred for your job. Perhaps it was just one small experience when you were having a bad day that has left a bad taste in your mouth. Take a step back and let it go. Try keep a positive attitude and focus on the aspects of your job that you enjoy.

Leave you anger at home – Even if you are miserable at work and hate your job, you must not take this out on your clients or colleagues. Avoid all forms of gossip and complaining. Discuss your feelings with your co-workers but be careful

Top reasons for Startup failures

Success and failure

Do startup companies have all the fun? They create new markets, disrupt old ones, receive enormous amounts of venture capital, have the best office building – and more. Is it really that easy to start a business and reach stardom.

Statistics show that the vast majority of startups fail. Reasons for failure could be because of premature scaling or for doing things correctly but in the wrong order or at the wrong time. There are many opinions and experts who will provide different advise and reasons as to why startups fails and how to keep a new business afloat in the perilous waters of the entrepreneurial sea.

All entrepreneurs have made mistakes, are making mistakes, and will continue to do so. Generally, it is not one mistake that sinks a startup, rather multiple reasons. There are, however, some key factors that can certainly weigh down a business and possibly sink it forevermore.

Research by CB Insights highlight the top reasons for startup failures:

Startup failures

Morning routine tweaks to boost productivity

Boost Productivity

We all could use a boost of energy, productivity and self-control at the start of our day. Research has found a direct link between self-control and our energy levels, moreover this link is also finite and diminishes as the day goes by much like our muscles.

Like it or not, as the day goes by we all tend to lose and find it more difficult to exert self-control and focus on our job and tasks. As we lose self-control we start to feel tired and find it more difficult to complete tasks. There is also a direct negative effect on our mood.

This loss of self-control and exhaustion as the day goes by has a negative effect on our productivity, thus making the morning hours the most important and part of the day. It is the morning hours that we are most productive and should tackle our most difficult and important tasks.

The trick is not just to work during the morning hours but to do things that will increase our energy levels and make it last as long as possible. Research has revealed a few simple thing you can to do in the morning in order to maximize your energy throughout the day and boost productivity.

Whether you are a morning person or not, here are a few tips and tricks to incorporate into your daily morning routine to boost your day:

Begin the day with exercise – As little as 10 minute of exercise in the morning gets our neurotransmitter going and make our brain feel soothed and keeps our impulses in control.

Lemon and water – Before exercising, have a glass of lemon water to help spike your energy levels physically and mentally. Lemon helps to provide a steady level of energy that last the entire day and helps our stomach to absorb nutrients.

Avoid technology – Try to avoid any screen time which will detract you and make you lose focus and succumb to the needs and ants of other people. Keep the first hour of the day for you and set a positive calm tone for the day.

Don’t skip on a real breakfast – We always hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast will help to avoid obesity, stabilize your blood-sugar levels, and help to avoid that hunger feeling over the course of the day. A healthy breakfast will make your day more productive.

Set a daily goal – People who set realistic and concrete goals generally have a higher level of confidence and feeling of control . When setting daily goals, make sure they are realistic and achievable. Unrealistic goals will only set you up for failure and disappointment.

Make sure your workspace is clean – When you arrive at work make sure to clean your workspace which will help you to increase your even of concentration. Research has shown that people who work in a clean workspace out-perform people with a cluttered space.

Start the day with your toughest tasks – Given that your energy levels and productivity are the highest in the morning, it is advisable to tackle the most difficult and important task first. Jump right into your task even before you check your email and social media and avoid any forms of distraction.

Create a to-do list with time parameters – To-do list help us not forget things but they can be misleading at times. Generally, to-do lists tell you about things to do but do not take into account the number of hours you have in the day. Adding time frames to your to-do list will help you to become a whole lot more productive. It will help you to avoid procrastinating or multi-tasking in order to complete things within the allotted time.

Don’t go over meeting schedules – Meeting are generally the biggest time wasters and can ruin your productive mornings. Don’t let your meeting drag on forever and over the schedules time allocated. Setting an sticking to meeting times will help motivate everyone to stay focused and efficient.

Never multitask – It is very tempting to try multitask in the morning when you are full of energy but it will set your whole day back. Many research studies have shown that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. People that are bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information, or switch from one job to another as well as those who tackle one task at a time. Multitasking reduces not performance and efficiency .

Learn to say ’No’ – Learning to say no is probably the most powerful and empowering word to learn to say and protect your precious morning routine. Being able to say no to new commitments will honor your existing commitments and allow you to complete your task that you set out to do. Not being able to say no will only increase your stress levels and hasten burnout and depression.