This week we’ll work on more effectively achieving your goals as you build your personal brand. Helping us today is personal development guru (and a top personal role model) Steve Pavlina, who is widely recognized as one of the most successful personal development bloggers on the web, attracting over two million monthly readers to his blog.
With a full-time job and outside hobbies, it can be difficult to regularly make time to build your brand. Use the tactics below to break through the clutter and achieve your goals.
1. Super Slow. Commit yourself to working on a particularly hideous project for just one session a week, 15-30 minutes total. Purge 10 tagged Facebook photos that don’t back up your brand. Write a few paragraphs of your first eBook. Call a colleague to get feedback on how they perceive your brand (so you can improve it). Then stop. This is particularly effective for painful tasks that you’ve been avoiding. It’s easier to plow through them if you know you’ll only spend a small amount of time.
2. Dailies. Schedule a specific time each day for working on a particular task or habit. One hour a day blogging or tweeting could leave you with a flourishing blog or a powerful and engaged Twitter network. Make it a regular part of your routine so that your dailies become second nature.
3. Add-ons. Tack a task you want to habitualize onto one of your existing habits. Answer a question on LinkedIn related to your expertise after you eat lunch. Send a written thank-you note or a let’s-catch-up note to someone in your network every time you cash your paycheck. These are fun to creatively tie to other events and are doubly satisfying when completed.
4. Mastermind. Run your problem past someone else, preferably a group of people. Invite all the advice, feedback, and constructive criticism you can handle. What would your closest friends and mentors do? Integrate their feedback and see if it works for you.
5. Armageddon. Use overwhelming force to totally dominate your problem: as Steve says, “use a bazooka to kill a cockroach.” Block out a two-day camping trip and bring nothing but a notebook and a full list of your accomplishments. Don’t pack up your tent until you’ve crafted the perfect three-sentence bio for yourself. With this approach, I find it helpful to focus on one problem and not give up until it is solved.
Bonus: Know when your work is “good enough.”
Before putting more effort into any task, ask yourself: Will anyone but me appreciate my efforts? Can I significantly improve this if I keep working? Does the possible gain in quality outweigh the lost time? If you’ve answered “no” to these questions, wrap it up and move on. If you’ve answered “yes,” map out what still needs to be done and do it – but nothing more. Perfectionism can slow you down just as much as procrastination.
What tactics do you use to make sure you get everything done related to your personal brand? Is it a daily or weekly routine, or just whenever you remember? Is it part of your corporate policy? I’d love to hear your personal stories and strategies you use to get things done for your brand.
Pete Kistler is a leading Online Reputation Management expert for Generation Y, a top 5 finalist for Entrepreneur Magazine’s College Entrepreneur of 2009, one of the Top 30 Definitive Personal Branding Experts on Twitter, a widely read career development blogger, and a Judge for the 2009 Personal Brand Awards. Pete manages strategic vision for Brand‐Yourself.com.