Most Sunday mornings I spend having breakfast with a good friend of mine. Quite often he relates issues from his business life and then seeks my opinions and insights…which I’m more than happy to provide. Recently his topic was wondering how he should react to a decision his boss had made which he strongly disagrees with. Without hesitation I responded with sound advice beginning with “Don’t react – respond!” and went on from there. I did this using a sports analogy to which he was able to relate and very quickly he knew how he would handle the situation.
So, what’s the big deal about coaching a friend through a difficult business challenge? Well, let me tell you. Nine years ago – ironically on Labor Day weekend – I was being ousted from a 25 year marketing and branding career in the corporate world. Things had gotten to the point that I was unable to integrate my personal brand with the corporation’s expectations. Add to that the fact that my personal life was in a state of significant transition and it should come as no surprise that it was not a good year for me.
A friend of mine uses the phrase “…like a cow looking at a new gate.” That describes pretty well what I felt like…confused, scared, baffled, lost.
Fast forward nearly a decade. I now coach, speak and consult on branding- both business and personal. My clients range from CEO’s to a billion dollar bank to countless solopreneurs and other businesses both big and small. Some may find these statements to be a bit braggadocious and self-centered on my part.
That certainly is not my intent. My purpose is to show that no matter how dire things might seem – it is possible to change our situation. In my case, I was forced to chart a new course. The journey from ousted corporate executive to a successful and contented one-man shop has been painful, enlightening, difficult and empowering. Importantly I’ve been able to embrace my most authentic self. I was able to reignite my life. I have achieved clarity and have obtained insights and perspectives which are priceless.
The most amazing thing about all of this is the number of incredible people who were put in my life – and the fact that I was open to being teachable. Actually, it may be more amazing that I was, in fact, open to listening. 🙂
My Seven C’s of Branding were born from the journey I have lived and the lessons I have learned along the way. These seven keys to effective branding are what have been the foundation of my personal growth and success. One of the biggest lessons for me was that we can chart a new course whenever we choose to – there is no need to wait until we have no other option.
I’m grateful to be at a stage in my life where I can put the lessons learned from my experience to work for clients – and my Sunday morning breakfast buddy.
Over the next several weeks I’ll be writing about my Seven C’s of Branding. I invite you to come back for a look and hope that you’ll provide insights from your own personal branding journey.