Friday, July 25, 2008

What is Your Purpose?

Author Robert Byrne said "the purpose of life is a life of purpose". Have a purpose. Find a passion. Spend some quiet time and think about what gives you the most joy. What is not work to you? What would you do with your life if you were assured success? Maybe your purpose needs to include volunteering for those less fortunate. Your purpose might be to mentor others or to raise children who have faith, a work ethic and are good citizens.

We are rarely taught to serve in life - we are taught to work. Give of your time, energy and resources as an act of love - love sparks the fire of passion. Doing what you love has rewards that money cannot buy. Do what you do because you love to do it. Thinking of your work as service gives you a purpose.

Go out and purposely have a great day and weekend.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

July - National Cell Phone Courtesy Month Tips

July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month. Use extra caution to avoid annoying others with your cell phone usage.
1. Unlike land lines, cell phones go everywhere - when you call someone be sure to ask "is this a good time"?
2. It's okay not to answer your phone. Let it roll to voicemail. If you are in the middle of something important -such as dinner - why would you answer your phone? It makes the caller uncomfortable that they interrupted you.
3. Unless you are expecting a kidney, leave your cell phone in the car if you are going to church, the theater, seminar or a restaurant. If you are expecting an important call at a restaurant put your phone on vibrate and excuse yourself when the call comes through. Then go someplace to talk where you will not interrupt others.
4. Don't put face-to-face conversations on hold while you take a call. You risk offending clients, colleagues or your boss.
5. Get off the phone if you are next in line at the store, post office, doctors office etc. Using hand signals to give instructions to a waiter or receptionist says they are too insignificant for you to end your call.
6. Planes, trains and automobiles are not great places to hold people captive and make them listen to your calls. When people are forced to listen to you talk it is an invasion of their privacy. Use text messaging instead.
7. Talk at normal conversation levels. If the cell phone signal is bad talking louder will not help.
8. Use mute while on conference calls - especially if you have pets and children.
9. The other party would probably rather wait a few minutes to have a conversation than listen to your bathroom activity. TMI
10. Use generic ringtones. Not everyone shares your taste in music and not all ringtones are appropriate for business, the office or around children.
11. Avoid using the phone while driving or use hands free capabilities.
12. Let others know when you are on speaker phone, if not it leaves them open to unknowingly exposing sensitive business or personal information to strangers.
13. How many times have you thought someone was talking to you only to find out they were using an earpiece and talking to someone else? It's confusing and embarrassing.
Spread the word. Discuss cell phone manners with friends and family members.
Enjoy your day!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Brand" New You - Part 2

As with any brand, our personal brand ultimately exists in other people's hearts and minds. Our personal brand is our unique promise of value. It's what those around you expect from us - what we're known for - our reputation.

Know yourself to grow yourself. We must be crystal clear about the values we bring to our organizations. We must determine our strengths as we see them and as others see them. Our personal assets are ours and no one can take them away from us. We must learn to take responsibility for these assets and use them to our advantage.

Successful branding requires commitment and consistency. Being consistent is "having a stardard below which we do not fall" (Lynne Marks). Our business image needs to make us look credible, stable and friendly. It should represent our personal and professional accomplishments. What do we need to be consistent with? We need to be consistent with our values, vision, goals, and position. Do we look like our resume? Do we look like how we want to be portrayed? Is this our best? Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have. If people react positively to our appearance each time they see us - that builds a level of trust. It all says "I'm a person of value. I value myself - therefore I value you".

No doubt about it, image is important to our brand. We must take the time to know ourselves to grow ourselves, then it will be easy to be consistent on a daily basis.

What is your image saying about you this morning? Go out and enjoy your day giving everyone your best.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Brand" New You

Which famous brands do these statements represent: When you care to send the very best, Just Do It, We create magic moments in the lives of families?
If you said Hallmark, Nike and Disney you understand that branding is a global concept. A brand is a companies most valuable asset. Personal branding is the most effective way to communicate what makes you different, special and valuable to employers and customers then use those qualities to guide your career. Unless you identify your unique quality you do not have a competitive edge in the marketplace. We need to know who we are and why we are different otherwise we will just sound like everybody else.

Over the next 2 days I'll give you some tools to begin to build your personal brand. I'll explain why image is important to your brand. You will learn what it means to know yourself to grow yourself. Then I'll explain how to be consistent with your personal brand.

If you refer back to my first blog it touches on why image is important. What does your image say about you? Does your image project a high quality brand? Is your outward appearance a reflection of your qualities, character, integrity and talents? The moment we see someone we make judgements about them based purely on the way they look. We make evaluations about their character, temperament and professional skills. We do this within a matter of seconds. Since our initial split-second contact with people is eye-to-body, doesn't it make sense to choose carefully the way we dress purely to commumicate what we want to have thought about us. When we first meet someone they don't see our beautiful home, framed degrees, certificates amd accomplishments. Your appearance is your most visible and portable possession.

As you walk out the door this morning take one more look in the mirror - what are you projecting and is it your best?

Have a wonderful day!


Monday, July 21, 2008

Part 2 - Turning Your Closet Into a Boutique

If you've completed the first 5 steps I know you are already feeling better. Remember, to keep clutter and chaos out of your life you have to first conquer it in your closet.
6. Remove clothing that is out of style, stained, or discolored.
7. Have you worn it in the last year? If not - remove it.
8. Remove socks without mates, hoisery with runs, shoes that hurt your feet, anything torn, stained or loose elastic. Remove anything of low quality and anything that pinches, rides up or binds.
9. For clothing that is not worn but brings back fond memories, place those pieces in a "sentimental box" and store them under your bed.
10. Remove and discard all wire hangars.
11. Remove items out of your closet that is not clothing, shoes or accessories such as fabric rolls, Christmas decorations, presents, wrapping supplies etc.
Keep your closet a shrine to your clothing that is a daily expression of who you are. Enjoy!


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Turn Your Closet Into Your Boutique

Do you walk into your closet each day with a smile on your face and think "what will I wear"! Or do you walk into your closet with a frown and think "what will I wear"? Today and tomorrow I will give you tips on how to organize your closet so you'll feel better each day you open the door to dress. As Evana Maggiore states in her book Fashion Feng Shui "the physical state of your closet has a corresponding effect on your life. The health of your closet determined by the quality of its contents, your attitudes toward those contents and your interactions with them - is reflected in your own well being". Here are a few ways to conquer your closet chaos.

1. Clothing can carry emotional baggage. Remove clothing that brings back unsettling memories.
2. The sight of clothing can remind us of money we have wasted. Remove clothing that still has price tags attached.
3. We have all missed goals on the weight-loss/weight-gain resolutions. Remove all clothing that does not currently fit your body.
4. Don't worry about upsetting that relative who gave you an unwanted or useless gift - get rid of it.
5. Remove any clothing that needs repair and repair it or dispose of it.

Check back tomorrow for the remaining tips for turning your closet into your Boutique