If you’re like me, then you find that the end of a calendar year seems to come faster and faster these days! All the personal brand plans, goals, objectives and processes we start off the year with seem ancient past by December.
When thinking about your personal branding, a calendar year end can be a benchmarking opportunity to help you assess progress towards goals. But, your calendar year end is certainly not the end of your quest to build your desired brand! That comes much, much later.
As we wind up 2012, here are some ways to tie up loose ends and begin 2013 fresh and focused:
- Take stock of your activities this past year. Were you consistent in your behavior and action? Did you meet new contacts who add value to your intentional network? Did you update your style to reflect your desired personal brand and image?
- Learn from what worked. To what can you attribute specific, positive results in building a positive personal brand? Maybe you became more focused and intentional in your social networking. Did that yield positive results? Perhaps you tried to be more other-focused (as we discuss in this blog on Networking). Did that lead other people to view you as less self-absorbed? Maybe you took action to correct a bit of negative feedback you’d received on your personal brand. Now might be a good time to circle back to the people who offered that feedback to see if they noticed an improvement.
- Learn from what didn’t work. As we stretch and flex our new personal brand muscles, we can learn from the missteps as well as the successes. For instance, perhaps you tried a new behavior or action that felt outside your comfort zone, even when intellectually it seemed prudent (as a goal to build your personal brand). If the behavior didn’t yield results, it was likely not helpful for you. Similarly, did you try to network with a new audience where it felt unnatural and uncomfortable? Again, maybe this is too far of a stretch.
- Remember the formula for credibility. In order for your personal brand to be known for something (where you’ve earned credibility, not just visibility) you must articulate your values, then act accordingly. Have you forgotten to let others know about your personal brand? Do they know what you believe in, would fight for and value? The formula doesn’t work without all the steps in tact.
- Share. It sounds contrived, I’m sure, but the power of attraction truly does work when you help others. When you give, share, provide and help other people, you are rewarded with abundance — in your personal brand and in your life. Truly selfless acts are greeted with opportunity, generosity and gratitude beyond what we can imagine. I am often asked what trait I find most in common with my successful senior executive personal branding clients. I see generosity. Not necessarily “philanthropy” or charity work but a true commitment to give some away, knowing that the return rewards are so much greater.
As we close this year out, I hope you can appreciate the good in strangers, the gorgeous blue of the afternoon sky and the warmth of a loved one’s embrace. May the abundance and joy of the season surround you today and always.