Thursday, November 24, 2011
The first step towards personal branding is to accept that you are a brand. Now you are able to use the same marketing strategies as corporate and product brands to build your own brand and get recognized. So how do you discover your brand? Think about what you are passionate about and what you would like to do for the rest of your life. Specify your goals, mission and personal brand statement. Your personal brand statement is what do you do and who you are and you also need to create a development plan. Have you ever been called creative by your peers or co-workers? Well that description is part of your brand.
Secondly, you need to select a niche. What is a niche? Niche is a focused, targetable portion of a market. So how do you find your niche? Get started by writing down your expertise, education, experience and what you are passionate about. Once you figured out that you had a passion for that, you need to check out your competition in the niche that you have chosen. Now write down all the ideas that you have for your particular market you have chosen. If your niche is too narrow, you may have to expand it a little. After that, start researching your clients? Who will your niche are targeted towards? Will it have a good reception? How do you reach the people? You need to research properly before starting. There’s no point choosing a niche and creating a brand centred on it when you didn’t do your research.
Now let’s create your brand. With that niche and your action plan ready in mind, it’s time to highlight your brand. In the modern age right now, there are so many ways to reach your targeted demographic. It could be through business cards, portfolio, websites, Twitter, Facebook and so much more! All of these marketing strategies are free! All it needs is your persistence!
So what are you waiting for? You’ve got the basics now. So start creating!
Don’t put off what you have to do today to tomorrow. Your brand is not going to create yourself. You already know what your niche is and you already have a plan. All you need now is to put your plan in action. Remember, you are in charge of your own personal brand. If you don’t build it up, who will?
You need to define your brand. Your brand also has to be consistent. For example, McDonalds taste the same in every country. That is consistency. Consumers would expect that your brand is consistent every where. If it is different, your personal brand will drop and it will hurt the image that you are trying to put forth with your own personal brand.
3. Bad time management
You need to know how to manage your time properly. If you cannot keep track of your own work and time, why would clients trust you with their money? Part and parcel of your own personal branding is to deliver the goods on time and in a consistent manner! There is no point having really good products but at the same time being unreliable. Clients take reliability into account when choosing your brand.
4. Being stuck in a rut.
You need to constantly keep on moving. Your ideas need to be fresh. If you just stick to the same old concept all the time, someone is bound to take your idea and an extra zing to it. So keep those fresh ideas coming. You don’t want your personal brand to stay on a plateau phase all the time! You want it to keep growing and growing!
Most importantly, what you can take home from this article is, you are in charge of your own personal brand. If you don’t work on it, nobody will!
Firstly, you got to put yourself out there. If you want to make friends, first you need to get out of the house. If you don’t put yourself out there, you are never going to have the opportunity to meet new people. So switch off the idiot box, get off the couch, put on something nice and start meeting people!
Secondly, you should join a social activity. Join classes that will enable you to know more people. For example, if you have always been interested in dancing, now is the time. Join a dance class. There you will be able to meet people who have the same common interest as you and you will be able to make new friends.
Thirdly join sports. You don’t have to be good to join a team. You could always sign up for basketball or tennis. You could then organise basketball games with your friends every week. In addition to keeping yourself tip top condition, you are also having an amazing bonding session with your team mates!
Fourthly, volunteer for a cause! Volunteering is a great way to meet new people while working towards a good cause. By working together with other people, you may meet others who have a passion for the things that you care about too. So what are you waiting for?
Lastly, when meeting new people, be a good listener. When somebody is telling you their story, don’t try and top their story by telling a story of your own. Listen intently when the person is talking and don’t interrupt them. Remember all the important details about them and ask questions about their interests. You will come across as a good listener which is an extremely sought after quality in a good friend.
So what are you waiting for, try these few steps yourself and start making friends!
Firstly, you need to find potential friends. You could find your potential friends from you list of acquaintances. These are people whom you know but may not talk to on a regular basis. It could be people from your work or people in your classes whom you get along with. Turn all these people into your new potential friends. You never know, they may be an amazing friend to have but you have never found that out till now!
Secondly, it’s time to get out of your house and start meeting new people. It may require an effort on your part to do something out of your daily routine. So go out there to functions and or bars and try to meet new people.
Thirdly, remember to get their contact information! Once you meet that person you get along with, remember to get down their contact number. Ask them for their mobile number or email address. Ask them if they have a Facebook account. This will make it easier for you to contact them!
Fourthly, now with that contact number in your hand, invite your potential friends to do an activity together. Once you meet that someone that you get along with and you have a common interest, try asking them out for a cup of coffee or have an outing like a jog in the park together. All these activities together will help build up your friendship whilst spending time to get to know each other.
Fifthly, once you started the connection, try to keep it going. Once you have your own friendship going, remember to keep in touch with them through phone, email or Facebook. Hang out with them on a regular basis. That way you will be able to form a long lasting bond with your new friends.
Most importantly, the only thing stopping you from doing all these is yourself. So get out and start now.
You could get to know people through your friends. When you are meeting someone through your friend, chances are the person has the same interest as you and may be more trustworthy of character. You could also throw a party or an event and ask your friends to invite their friends. This would enlarge your social circle!
You could also always turn your workmates into a potential friend. If you do get along with them, ask them out for lunches or for drinks after work. This will allow some bonding time for all of you. Furthermore, having a friend at work could make your work place more bearable.
Join classes such as yoga or dance classes. Both of you are there for a common interest and being in the same class may serve as the ice breaker you need to get the conversation started. Once you get the conversation started, you could start going for classes together or go for dinner together or a cup of coffee together after your class.
Sign up for a club or an organization such as a hiking club where you will instantly know a group of people who share the same interest as you. You can also start your own book club and have your very first meeting in your own home.
In conclusion, meeting new people may be intimidating and scary but persevere, because we are not made to be lonely. So get out there and start meeting new people!
Firstly, make a decision about which of your friends are short lived and which would last a lifetime. Keep in touch with your lifelong friends. Call them once a month or twice a month. Remember the special dates in their lives like birthdays or major anniversaries. There is no such thing as not being able to find time for your friends. If you don’t have time, create time for them.
Remember to be a good listener. Listen to their problems and give them advice when needed. Display your understanding in a non-judgemental way. If all they need is a shoulder to cry on, then offer them yours. Celebrate their success with them and be there for them during a hardship. You shouldn’t be a fair weather friend.
Plan activities at least once a month like a dinner so you all could catch up. Go for the occasional movie together or have some sport activities together. Or you could also organize sporting activities that will involve your friends like a game of basketball or tennis every Tuesday night. Even better, you could get both of your families to have dinners together. Get your spouse involved too. Make them a family friend! This ensures that you are always in each other’s lives.
You also need to be willing to help your friends in times of trouble. Think about it this way, if you were in the same situation, you would hope that your friend would do the same for you too.
Most importantly, try as hard as you can to keep in touch with them. They have been there with you for your whole life. So appreciate the friends you have now because good friends are difficult to find.
Firstly, there is the posture. You need to master your posture. Compare a person slouched up on the chair as opposed to someone who is sitting back straight with their shoulders outwards. What is your conclusion? A person sitting or standing straight up gives off an impression of self confidence and self assured to others. When you stand straight, not only you automatically start looking better you will also feel good instantly. Furthermore, people will start paying attention to you.
Secondly, there is eye contact. When dealing with other people, eye contact is extremely important. If you keep averting your eyes, people are more likely to mistrust you and regard you as being a shifty or dodgy character. However don’t go to the opposite side of the spectrum. Don’t stare intensely at the person. You will only be scaring them or making them feel nervous and uncomfortable. So try keeping eye contact around 60-70%. This will give them a feeling that you are sincere and genuinely interested in what they are saying.
Thirdly, check your distance when standing around others. Everyone has their own comfort space. If you are standing too close, you will be labelled as being pushy. However if you are standing too far away, you will be called arrogant or stand-offish. So be observant about the distance that everyone is maintaining around each other and try to do the same. If they keep backing up as you get closer then you should know you are encroaching on their personal space.
Fourthly, check your mouth movement. Your mouth can give away all sorts of clues. A different type of smile may give a different type of feeling to each recipient. A person will be able to detect whether the smile you are giving is sincere or not. Another example is that pursing your lips may signify you are thinking. However when you are feeling angry, you may also purse your lips to signify displeasure. So be careful of the signals that you are giving out.
Fifthly, check your arms too. Your arms can tell a person how receptive and open you are towards them. Imagine yourself talking to person who has their arm crossed across their chest. You may have arrived to the conclusion that the person appeared to be cold and unfriendly towards you. So here’s a tip, keep your arms at the side of your body. This shows that you are not scared and you are open and receptive to new things.
So try all these tips today and you are sure to notice what a major improvement it has made on yourself.
Do you have a friend or a family member who every time you see them, they are constantly taking a puff on their cigarettes. They are known as compulsive smokers and are addicted to smoking. If you are concerned of their wellbeing, here are a few steps you can take to encourage them to quit.
Sit them down and tell them that you are concerned about them. Ask them why they started smoking. Reason with them. Be honest about the situation. Don’t attack them outright. Do not use words like you are smoking too much and it’s bad for your health. It sounds like an accusation, and their first instinct will be to go on the defense. Start with a simple, I’m concerned about you, you seem to be smoking a lot. Is everything alright?
Then ask them if they would like to quit. If they do, be happy for them and encourage them all you can. If they don’t, do not force them to do so. It might increase the feelings of discontent between the both of you. Find out their reasons for not wanting to quit or wanting to quit. Sit down together and list down those reasons. Reason it out with them rationally in a calm and concerned manner. Do no attack them. They may still be persuaded to quit for the good of their loved ones.
Thirdly, if the person is more than willing to quit, offer your support. Be gentle and kind. If they relapses after a day or two of not smoking, do not reprimand or judge them. Understand that smoking, like all other addiction will have withdrawal symptoms. Pick them up and encourage them to keep on trying and never give up.
Remind them that although they may choose to be an active smoker, their family will be inhaling their second hand smoke. Bring out facts such as there are almost half a million of second hand smoke related deaths. Remind them at the same time that by choosing not to smoke, they will be choosing their family’s health over an addiction.
Discuss with them what to do when they feels the urge to smoke. Provide healthy and positive alternatives for them. Do not replace a bad habit with another bad habit. Here are some things you could suggest: call a friend, take a walk, and learn something new. Every time they have the urge to smoke, ask them to delay their urges by drinking water.
Constantly, keep in touch with them. Always ask them how they are doing. Give them daily encouragement. Tell them how proud you are of them for trying to quit.
Lastly, the first two or three weeks are always the most difficult for your friend. Plan a celebration or give them a treat for making through the week. Be patient with them and give them your support. All these will give your friends the much needed boost they need to quit smoking.
How do you separate truth from fiction about nicotine addiction i.e. smoking addiction? Is smoking as deadly as they make it sound to be? If it so deadly, why are there still so many people doing it and why is the tobacco industry still expanding so rapidly? Here are some of the nicotine myths proven wrong.
Myth 1: Compulsive smoker are weak. That is why they can’t quit.
Compulsive smokers have a problem. Their problem is that they are addicted to smoking. Like any other addiction, it alters the brain. The brain is altered in a way that it needs nicotine to get through a normal day. When they do try to quit, the withdrawal symptoms kick in and smoking addicts look worst off when trying to quit than before. In order to quit, it takes dedication and a lot of persistence along with some positive support from family and friends.
Myth 2: Smoking is not an addiction
Contrary to what manufacturers have been saying for years, nicotine is highly addictive. Some nicotine addicts have claimed that quitting illegal drugs is easier than quitting smoking. Smoking addiction is as real as any other addiction. Since it is not illegal, many people underestimate the seriousness of a smoking addiction.
Myth 3: Nicotine cessation products are the only way to quit smoking.
Nicotine cessation products are not the only way to quit. There are plenty of support groups around and there are also some smoking addicts who have managed to quit without resorting nicotine replacement therapy. These products are only ways to reduce the nicotine cravings. Awareness and education are more powerful tools that a smoking addict can use to quit smoking.
In conclusion, smoking addiction is serious concern. Quitting is never easy but it is not impossible. With commitment, awareness, education and support, even the most hardened smoking addicts can have lasting freedom from their smoking addiction.
We promise ourselves each time that it will be our last cigarette. But we can never truly free ourselves from our smoking addiction. So here are some of the things that you should do and shouldn’t do after you smoked your last cigarette.
Don’t be impatient. Quitting smoking is an ongoing process not an event. Because we have been smoking for a long period of time, our body and brain have been wired to think that we need our nicotine fix all the time otherwise our body would not be able to function at all. So be patient with yourself, quitting smoking and replacing it with a new and healthier habit takes some time. Sit back and relax. The more anxious you are about it, the more likely your attempt to quit will fail.
Don’t be negative. Once the withdrawal symptoms kick in, you are more likely to experience a period of self negativity with negative criticisms aimed at yourself. Your brain is trying to persuade you to think that you will never be able to feel happy again without your nicotine fix. Snap out of it, think about it this way, your willingness to quit shows that you realized that you want to make a change and you have to stick to it.
Don’t neglect yourself. Trying to quit smoking will put you in a state of distress because of the withdrawal symptoms. You have to give extra attention and care to your body. Here are a few things that you should do.
Do eat a well balanced diet with three square meals a day. Your body will need all the nutrients it can get so fill it up with salad and fruits.
Do get more rest. You will be feeling tired from your nicotine withdrawal. If you are tired, rest now.
Do drink more water. It will help you detox more quickly and will also help to silence your cravings for smoking.
Do take daily multivitamins. Give your body the much needed boost to get you through the day.
Do exercise daily. Nothing makes you feel better than some physical exercise.
So remember all these littles dos and don’t. Taking care of yourself is really important and remember no pain no gain.
Gambling addicts are often anxious and unhappy. They are anxious to get back to gambling. When not gambling, they are fidgety and constantly on the edge. They are unable to accept the fact that they have incurred so much in debt from their gambling. Most of them are just waiting for their luck to change so that they can recover their losses.
The more gambling addicts gamble, the more debts that they are in. They keep hopes that a big win will be the end of all their problems. However, this is a far cry from the truth. A big win will never solve the problem. A big win will just give an illusion of another big is around the corner for the gambling addict.
A gambling addict is never a good father or mother figure. They ignore their family responsibilities. Personal relationships become strained. All these are because of the mountain of debts from the gambler’s compulsive gambling. This leads to a lower quality of life not only for the gambling addict but also for the family of the gambling addict.
A gambling addict will never able to progress far in their career. As smart or as talented as they may be, they need to acknowledge that they have an addiction. A gambling addiction gets in the way of work and they get bypassed for promotions and they will never progress far.
All in all, nothing good can ever come out of a gambling addiction. So take the initiative today to kick that habit!
Since it was legalized, the gambling industry has exploded. The expanding gaming industries however are outweighed by the huge societal costs of bankruptcies, suicides and social problems.
In addition, with the convenience of internet, now online gambling is readily available in the comforts of your home. Most people would justify it by saying, I am not going to casino to gamble, I am just playing a little on the Internet and it is not the same thing. A compulsive gambler on the Internet is the exact same thing as a compulsive gambler in a casino.
For compulsive gamblers, they tend to isolate or withdraw themselves from their families. They ignore their role as a father or mother and furthermore are straining their loving ties with their children. As they dip into their family funds to feed their addiction, they are actually taking away their kids chances at having a better future, or going to a college. This would strain family ties with the children. The children may grow up two ways. Either emulating their parent’s example or grow up hating their parents for denying them the chance of going to a good college. It becomes a vicious cycle.
Gambling also increases homelessness because they tend to gamble away their savings. They would have to sell their house to pay off their debts. This may lead to the compulsive gamblers committing suicide.
Ultimately, a gambling addict has to be made to understand that nothing good can ever come out of gambling. They don’t need to fall so low in their live for them to realize that they need to stop this. So if you know someone who is a compulsive gambler, it is time to be concerned about them.
Firstly, acknowledge that you have a problem. Understand why you gamble. Did you start gambling because it was fun? You have to realize that your gambling has now become a major problem and is causing a lot of distress in the lives of your loved ones.
Secondly, do not deny or minimize your problem. By minimizing your problem, you are not giving it the proper attention and care to the problem.
Thirdly, find alternatives to replace your gambling addiction. Do not take another bad habit to replace your gambling addiction. Replace with something positive. Try taking up exercises. Going for a jog everyday would be another good activity, Find positive alternatives to replace your gambling addiction.
Fourthly, make a list of your triggers. Recognize what set you off. Is it a particular time of the year, the friends that you hang out with? List it all down, and think of ways you can counter all these when faced with these situations.
Fifth, change your lifestyle. You have to make changes to your routine. Say that everyday on your drive back home, you will be driving past a casino. This would then make you want to enter the casino for a short game or two. What you could do is to change your route. When you get home, if you feel the urge to gamble, go out and take a walk. Delay your urges until it become inconvenient for you to go out gambling again.
Next, be accountable to someone. Being accountable to someone means that you are being completely honest and responsible for your actions. This person will then be able to support you and give you the positive reinforcement that you need.
Lastly, reward yourself. For everyday that you went by, without gambling, give yourself a pat on the back and a little treat. You need to be kind to yourself. If you do relapse, it’s alright, get back up and try all over again.
A pathological or compulsive gambler cannot stop gambling. For them, gambling is an addiction. These individuals are not the master of themselves and are constantly thinking of gambling. This problem can interfere with relationships between spouses. However if there is still something that you believe still can be salvaged of your relationship, here a few little steps you can start right away.
Firstly, stop giving in. When your spouse asks for money, you may have unwillingly given it to me but rationalising at the same time that he is going through a rough patch. Or perhaps you are turning a blind eye when money has gone missing. You may think that you are supporting your spouse, but all you are doing is enabling his addiction. So do not lend any more money to him. You do not have to make excuses for your spouse’s behaviour or the unpaid bills. Be honest.
Secondly, discuss the situation frankly with your spouse. Be specific about what is happening in his life. It has to be clear to your spouse that their gambling has a negative impact on you and the family. This way you are putting the responsibility where it belongs, on your gambling spouse.
Thirdly, be understanding. Hostile communications would yield nothing. There won’t be a lot of problem solving if you were to be hostile towards each other. Understand that your spouse has an addiction problem and the slightest thing or provocation may set him off on his habit. Sit your spouse down and discuss ways both of you can do to deal with this problem.
Lastly, set a limit. Set out a set of rules and make sure your spouse understands the function of the rules. The rules are there to set boundaries on his gambling habit. For an example, it is to keep your gambling spouse from using the family funds.
In conclusion, as a spouse you would want the best for your other half. Educate yourself on how best to deal with a gambling addict. If all else fail, seek professional help, there is no shame in that. You only want the best for your loved ones.
Gambling gives you the illusion of being able to be control of chance. There is only a 50/50 chance that you may win. Gamblers believe that they have figured out the system and they are able to win the game. Chance, however is something that we never have control of. Lady Luck has no favourites. One day she may be on your side, and the next day against you.
The lure of the jackpot is another thing that gets you addicted. Everybody loves to be a winner. The lure of money is too great for certain people. Some people may win when they first started gambling. This is otherwise known as beginner’s luck or pure dumb luck. The person will then believe that gambling is an easy way to get money. They are unaware that there is a 50/50 percent chance that they will lose. The lure of the jackpot is even more so when the gambler is facing a huge mountain of debt and they believe that they need to win in the game to pay off their debt.
When gamblers first started out, they had a winning streak. This often serves as an encouragement or proof that the gamblers should gamble more because they are good at it. By winning in the first few games, instead of betting small, they start stepping out of their comfort zone and start putting on large bets. That is how they accumulate large amounts of debt.
Lastly, it is the belief that their luck will change. After a winning phase and now entering a loss phase, the addicts are holding on the hope that their lucks will change.
In conclusion, gambling may be fun if you are winning but do remember it has destroyed a lot of people’s lives. So be cautious when you are playing.