Building yourself as a successful brand.

Which are you? The drug dealer or the pay it forward networker.

What separates you from every other successful industry professional out there? If I called all of your clients today, without time for them to prepare, what would each of them say about you? Are you reliable? Hard working? Honest? When a problem arises do you offer custom solutions for the task at hand?

Good. That’s a start.

Give and give often.

We live in the age of a service economy. Many of us are of the mindset that if we aren’t providing a service and getting paid for it we are failing. In ReWork, a book by 37 Signals, Jason Fried and David Heinmeier suggest we run our businesses like drug dealers. Give them a free taste of what you have to offer. If it’s good enough, they will come back. With money.

A growing trend pushed heavily in new social media networks seems to be the art of helping others. What differentiates this trend from the drug dealer business model? They don’t help others in hopes of collecting a reward.  These people genuinely care about your success.

Which are you? The drug dealer or the pay it forward networker.

Revel in your failures.

I have never met a single person that has been successful with every endeavor. Small or large, you have experienced failure. There is no shame in accepting that.

Recently, Pitch Interactive created a proposal that included a failure. It was a huge risk to use limited space in a request-for-proposal to detail a failure instead of more success. Are you humble enough to do this? Learn from past failures so they do not happen again. Their risk became their reward.

What makes it easier? When you are honest with yourself.

One of my favorite sports commercials was Dwayne Wade’s “Fall 7 Times. Get up 8.” commercial. You can’t help but pull for a brand that never gives up. That has potentially unrealistic goals for success but never stays down. Because when that eighth time happens you know in your heart you gave it everything you had. And you earned it.

Ambition and persistence.

Do you think you’re the best? I hate to break it to you but there will always be someone better. More efficient, better cost to quality ratio and possibly even provide a better overall service or product.

The people that succeed aren’t typically the best in their field. They are the people that never give up. When people say they won’t succeed another side of them takes over. They push harder. They don’t set time limits or guidelines on their success. Point A to point B. They just succeed.

The responsibility of being a brand.

Prioritizing your time properly is crucial. Those of you that run a business and have a family know how hard that can be. But what if you are the business? Do you have an off switch? Can you sacrifice a business deal for time with your family? It’s not by chance that so many successful business owners have relationship issues. You and you alone are responsible for the ebb and flow of your business. It’s difficult.

What makes it easier? When you are honest with yourself. When you present the real you to the world. Then it becomes a lot less work. You aren’t busy trying to portray yourself in a certain light. You don’t have to spin public relations a certain way to ensure your market hold. Your brand is you and you are your brand.

Are you all of the above? And, more importantly, are you being honest with yourself?

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