YOUR ONE WORD

YOUR ONE WORD

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word … BUDDHA Your one word is the single, powerful and inspiring word that sums up who you are and all that you aim for in life. Reducing who you are into one word will force you to become crystal clear about your essence. This one word will sum up your reputation – your personal brand. It will be the backbone of how you live your personal life, business life, useful also for your personal publicity efforts. You will personify this word, live up to it, deliver on it 24/7/365, every time you package yourself, every time you walk into a room, in every conversation, in the way you perform every task and in the way you deliver on your commitments. This word will sum up the outcome that all your possible audiences will expect from you in everything you do or anything you are involved in. Living this one word means that you will be intentional about demonstrating it in all that you do and all that you are. A few months back, I watched a BBC documentary into the private life and achievements of the eccentric music performer and producer Will.i.am – William Adams – in which the actress and author Joanna Lumley spent time with Will.i.am in his home town of Los Angeles, to shed light on the man behind the global brand, Will.i.am and his impoverished upbringing in the projects of Los Angeles. At one revealing moment, Joanna asked: Joanna Lumley: If you had to think of one word that’s most important to you, or that sums...
YOUR INNER CIRCLE

YOUR INNER CIRCLE

Surround yourself only with people who are going to lift you higher. OPRAH WINFREY Your inner circle includes your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, parents, siblings and close friends, that you spend non-business hours with. They play an important role in your social and business world and they can be your strongest personal brand asset or liability. The way they present themselves also communicates who you are to your target audience and influence your audience’s perception of you. If your spouse, relatives and friends are charming, dress and behave like ladies and gentlemen, and confirm that you are who you say you are, it will convince your audience of your integrity and strengthen your personal brand. Conversely, if they are offensive or politically incorrect – racist, sexist, with dirty and offensive jokes and views – they undermine or sabotage your personal brand in front of your audience, who might assume that their views are also yours. Depending on your audience and their religion and politics, your inner circle’s controversial and offensive views can get you into trouble, costing you your reputation. You need to be aware of the effect your inner circle’s behaviour have on your personal brand. If they are a liability to your personal brand, then you have to take steps to limit any damage they may cause you and, if needs must, distance yourself from them. You may insist on going out solo, keeping them in the closet, or tactfully, tenderly and respectfully explain that there are certain standards of behaviour that you require from those that share your life. These are nonnegotiable. So, make sure everyone...
4 STEPS TO BUILDING A PERSONAL BRAND AND WHY YOU SHOULD BUILD YOURS

4 STEPS TO BUILDING A PERSONAL BRAND AND WHY YOU SHOULD BUILD YOURS

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. RALPH WALDO EMERSON In today’s fiercely competitive and hyper-connected digital age, your success no longer depends on fitting in with others. Your success depends on who you are and your points of distinction and power – on what you bring to the table that no one else can. But how well does other people really understand who we are – our aspirations, experiences, skills set and the value we provide? The answer is that most people don’t. Most people have us in a big file with a number of other people. They’ve a vague idea of what we do or what we’re good at. As years pass, and we continue to gain more experience and expand our skills set, others perceptions and knowledge of us may become out of date. With the growing information overload we’re all facing today, coupled with our fast growing number of connections, others do not only struggle to keep up with us, but it is increasingly difficult for them to retain what little they know about us. This means that we can no longer rely on just being great at what we do and hope that people will remember us, keep up with us and recommend or hire us for great projects. It is so easy to get lost in the sea of other talented and hardworking people. Thankfully, having control of your brand means that you can make sure that other’s perceptions and knowledge of you is consistent with who you are by proactively and strategically highlighting, leveraging...
WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?

WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?

Your brand is the truth about you, well told. OLD ADVERTISING SLOGAN Your personal brand is simply your reputation. It is not your name, your website, your logo or what you look like. These are how you tell the story of your brand. Your personal brand is what people think, know, feel and say about you, when you’re not in front of them. It is the sum of who you are, what you stand for, what you promise, your ability and commitment to keeping this promise and how you uniquely add value to your world. So your brand is a lot more than what’s going on visually and it matters a great deal whether you’re young or older. Every action you take and some actions that you don’t take shapes it. Your appearance, the way you enter a room, your body language, your handshake, the way you communicate and interact with others, your website, your online profiles and conversations, your blog posts, your tweets and more, all add up to define your personal brand – how people see you. On that note, you can see that whether you’ve thought of it or not, you already have a personal brand. Every one, from the Prime Minister David Cameron, the artist Sam Smith, to your grandmother or father, we all have one. Even your dog or cat has a personal brand. So the first question to ask yourself is, What is your personal brand currently saying about you? Is it clear, positive and compelling? What does it promise? What value does it represent? Is it working effectively for your vision? Do...
FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. MAYA ANGELOU How you start any relationship is extremely important. Within seconds of meeting you, people make decisions about you based on their first impressions, then gather more evidence to support it, so always plan for your first impression. Your first impressions are usually the final impressions, because it is what happens at this point that opens the door for you to make further impressions or shuts the door firmly on you for good. So make it count. So how do you make a powerful first impression? Your appearance: Your appearance including grooming is very important in a first meeting and should communicate who you are and what you want to say to the person or people you are meeting for the first time. It is you visual resume and should always highlight what is right and great about you. Unspoken details colour others’ judgements about your character, capabilities and your value. Every detail matters, so pay attention to every item on your body. Be on time: Tardiness is insulting and disrespectful. But don’t be too early either. For business meetings being 5 to 10 minutes early is okay but not more. Your Smile: A warm, genuine smile involving both your lips and eyes gives you instant attraction, tells the other person that you are happy to meet him or her and puts him or her at ease. Your Handshake: Because the handshake is the only physical closeness at most first meetings, much emphasis is...
WHAT OR WHO IS YOUR ENEMY?

WHAT OR WHO IS YOUR ENEMY?

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. WINSTON CHURCHILL Yes, we all have an enemy. Naming and facing your enemy is important. Why? Because it will help your growth and success and may even eliminate that enemy. James Arthur Baldwin, the American novelist, essayist and playwright said, that, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” You have to confront what or who frightens you; what holds you back from growth.  You cannot afford to play the ostrich and bury your head in the sand hoping that they will miraculously disappear. And there is no magic wand that you can waive to get rid of your enemies. You have to face them down. If you don’t, their hold on you will get stronger and stronger. So you really have no choice but to fight. My observation is that it is far more powerful and fruitful to become a person with a cause than a person with a grievance.  When you are face to face with an enemy, you are up against a discovery about your true strength. Because until you’ve faced and fought your enemy with every thing you’ve got, you’d never discover how strong you are. What frightens me most is how quickly many people settle to what they call their lot. A bullying boss or partner who frequently undermines your existence, racism, corporate slavery … What ever is yours; you’ve got to face and fight it. You’ve got to fight it with every thing you’ve got, even if you think you’d loose and...
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR YOUR GREATER FUTURE?

WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR YOUR GREATER FUTURE?

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. NAPOLEON HILL,  This question requires you to step out of your comfort zone and really think big. Note that you will never rise above the image you have in your mind in any area of your life. So please be your most inspired, dynamic, and creative self. Don’t put a limit on your imagination. A modest vision will only inspire mediocre actions and a mediocre future.   So, aim beyond what you think you are capable of. Nothing you can envision is impossible. And even if you don’t hit that desired mark exactly, you’d be far beyond where you started and much closer to your dream. It may never be mine, The loaf or the kiss or the kingdom, Because of beseeching. But I know that my hand  Is an arm’s length nearer the sky For reaching.  EDWIN QUARLES BE A STORY WORTH...
HOW TO GIVE YOURSELF A QUICK FACIAL

HOW TO GIVE YOURSELF A QUICK FACIAL

Nature gives you the face you have at 20; it is up to you to merit the face you have at 50. COCO CHANEL. Your face is key to expressing your individuality. It is your signature, your brand and what people visualise when they think of you, so take good care of it. Start by scheduling a facial to deep cleanse and revive your complexion after the Christmas and New Year’s stress and excesses. How to Give Yourself a Quick Facial Wash your face using the right cleanser or face wash for your skin type Use an exfoliating scrub in a circular motion on your face and neck, avoiding your eye area. Rinse off the scrub thoroughly with warm water. Pat face dry with a clean towel. Apply a lip moisturiser on your lips and and eye gel around your eyes. Apply the right face mask for your skin type on the rest of your face and neck. Leave on for ten to fifteen minutes. Wash off the mask thoroughly with warm water. Apply an alcohol free toner to a moist cotton ball and wipe over your face. Massage in the right face cream or gel for your skin type into your skin in a circular motion. You may repeat this facial weekly. BE A STORY WORTH...
MY BEST SKIN HEALTH AND SKIN CARE TIPS

MY BEST SKIN HEALTH AND SKIN CARE TIPS

What makes people look youthful is the quality of their skin … NIGELLA LAWSON Your skin is a vital and the most looked at organ on your body and should be treated with care. Every twenty years your skin reveals your treatment of it, the environment’s treatment of it and it’s chronological age. It prominently shows any signs of ageing; wrinkles, loss of elasticity, uneven skin tone, etc., for every one to see. The good news is that a healthy diet, the right skin care products and lifestyle choices can improve the appearance of your skin. The greater news is that you can actually repair some of the damage that has already been done with a good skin care regime. Please see below my best tips for caring, protecting and rejuvenating your skin, especially your face – the most exposed part of your skin. My best skin health and skin care tips are: Rest: Seven to eight hours sleep a night makes your skin look radiant and better than any skin cream can. Diet: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to hydrate your skin (about six to eight glasses), and to cleanup your system, so that toxins don’t buildup. Fruits, grains and vegetables keep blood moving through your skin. There is a clear connection between healthy skin and good circulation. Stay away from dehydrating elements such as alcohol and smoking: Monitor your alcohol consumption. For healthy skin, you should not drink more than three units per day. A large glass of wine at lunch or dinner is three units. After that, drink water. If you drink, choose red wine. Red wine...
WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE YOUR LIFE NEXT?

WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE YOUR LIFE NEXT?

Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved. WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN                                                       Life boils down to two simple options: to act or to react. To act: To actively create your life by developing your talents into abilities, seeking and finding opportunities that serve your vision and purpose, and building value for yourself and others in the world around you. To react: To drift along with muddled thinking, taking your talents and abilities for granted, constantly reacting to whatever knocks you may experience, and hoping that something may finally fall into place. What I’m trying to say is that our lives will only go where we direct it. Without direction, we fall into the trap of letting life happen to us, with a resulting overwhelming despair and hopelessness. You have the power to choose the life you want. So where are you going to take your life next? BE A STORY WORTH...
MAKE A DECISION TO BE EXTRAORDINARY THIS YEAR

MAKE A DECISION TO BE EXTRAORDINARY THIS YEAR

I have decided to be more than just a “tick tock” kind of clock. When time drags, I can make it fly. To give a second chance, my seconds spin backwards. And imagine, if I made precious moments less momentary. In the end, we have a choice. Do we settle for ordinary, or do we strive to be made of more? GUINNESS MADE OF MORE COMMERCIAL, 2013 I know that many men and women struggle with their self-image. Self-doubt, low self-esteem and limiting beliefs mean that many of us discount our talents, abilities and attractiveness. Many of us do not really think that greatness or extraordinariness is possible in our current world and any dream that may take us outside our familiar routine is swiftly shoved aside. My long observation is that irrespective of our sex, race or heredity, every human being is born seemingly ordinary, except that none of us is really ordinary. We each arrive on this earth standing on the threshold to true human potential. Only a small percentage step forward to achieve it, whilst many step away from it. However, which ever direction we are heading, there is something in our DNA that makes us dream and aspire to becoming extraordinary. We each have a genetic code that is begging to take us from ordinary to extraordinary. What it desperately needs to achieve this is our co-operation. The world is not looking for mediocrity. There are 86,400 seconds in each day. Make a decision now to be extraordinary each second; to be a thought leader in your field; to rid yourself of habits that are not fruitful; and...

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