When it comes to career advice, personal branding was the biggest buzz phrase of 2015. Millennials know they need a personal brand to succeed in 2016 and beyond, but so many have no idea where to start. They spend 5 minutes thinking of what their personal brand should be and get discouraged when they can’t think of anything. If this sounds like you, then congratulations. You just found the blueprint to a dynamite personal brand. Keep reading to see for yourself.
Part 1 of this 10 part series covers the CEO mindset. If you are going to truly embody the concept of personal branding, then you need to think like a CEO. Because you are a CEO- the CEO of You INC.
Perception is Reality
I’m sure you heard this phrase before. Self-help books like The Secret and The Law of Attraction are based on the concept that our mindset shapes our reality. I’m not here to sell you a new-age belief, but I am here to tell you that, at least to a degree, perception is reality. Let me give you an example.
Two people see a harmless garden snake. One of them has grown up with a pet snake and has a parent that is a snake handler. The other was bit by a snake as a kid and has had a phobia ever since. The person who has the phobia freaks out as if it’s a poisonous cobra, while the other goes to the snake and casually picks it up. These two people experience very different realities based on their perception of the same event. Now let’s look at the employee mindset vs the CEO mindset
An Employee Waits, A CEO Creates
This is the essence of every difference between employees and CEOS. Employees wait for things to happen while CEOS make them happen. A big part of this is thinking proactively instead of reactively. Here’s an example related to the job search.
An Employee mindset is to blast openings on job boards with your resume and patiently wait for your phone to ring. Someone with an employee mindset assumes that if an opportunity isn’t posted on a job board, then it doesn’t exist.
A CEO mindset is to make a list of companies you’d like to work for, searching LinkedIn for decision makers within those companies, and reaching out for a connection. Someone with a CEO mindset proactively cultivates these relationships to position themselves for a heads up from an insider if a position opens up. Do you see the difference?
How To Get In The CEO Mindset: A 2-Part Exercise
The first step in building your personal brand is learning how to switch on the CEO mindset at will.
I’m a huge fan of creative visualization. Tangible creative visualization would be a vision board. It is a visual representation of your aspirations that you create with images. Intangible creative visualization would be guided mediation. The following 2 part exercise combines both to help you get a clear picture of what the CEO mindset looks like, and more importantly, what it feels like. To complete this exercise all you need is a Pinterest account.
Part A: Who is your CE(her)O?
For the first part of this exercise, pick a CEO you look up to. It’s okay if you don’t know of a CEO off the top of your head. Think of your favorite brands and look up their CEOs. Browse Pinterest for some ideas.
My CE(her)O is Richard Branson. My idolization of Richard Branson started as a teenager when I saw his episode of MTV Cribs. The guy had HIS OWN PRIVATE ISLAND. That blew my mind. I said someday I’m going to own my own island, and looking back, I can point to that moment as the moment I knew I was destined for entrepreneurship.
I don’t just idolize him because he’s insanely wealthy. I idolize him because he’s also rich in love for his fellow man. To paraphrase one of his quotes on running a business, he puts his employees first, his customers second, and his shareholders third. That’s not an attitude you get from most billionaire CEOs.
What I did was search Richard Branson on Pinterest and Pinned a few things that resonated. In the description of each pin I started off with “ Richard Branson is my CE(her)O because…” You can check out what I added here.
Do this same exercise for your CE(her)O and aim for at least 3 pins.
Part B: Visualizing Your Dream Office
The next thing I did was searched Pinterest for my dream office. This will help give you a concrete image to visualize for this part of the exercise.
Once you got your image, study everything in it and commit it to memory. Now, when you wake up each morning in 2016, visualize yourself walking into your dream office. Cover all of the five senses. What do you hear? What do you see out of your window? What does your office smell like? What does the latte you drink each morning from the coffee shop across the street taste like?
Using creative visualization is something many of the world’s most successful people use to get in the right frame of mind, and the good news is that you can too with this simple (and fun!) Pinterest exercise.
Keep an eye out for Part 2 in this 10 Part series “Your Unique Value Proposition” and follow my 2016 Vision Board on Pinterest for examples of this exercise and all subsequent exercises.