It’s time to do a mind-sweep, because what you think is gushing out of your mouth and into your texts, tweets, posts, and email. That self-talk you’ve got going is killing your chances to connect with the opportunities that are all around you. Personal branding is a 24/7/365 effort – because if you do it right, your message is being carried even while you sleep or watch Tim have his first breakdown on Project Runway.
It’s not that you’re thinking bad thoughts. You’re just not thinking about growing your business, getting a job or landing a promotion – unless you’ve been sent an email to schedule an interview.
Opportunity doesn’t wait
But really, the best opportunities don’t say: “Hey, it’s me! Opportunity! Can you get your mind off working or texting or whatever else you are doing, and come take a look at this?”
If the best opportunities did that, they’d attract 5000 really qualified candidates and the endless stream of resumes you and all your competitors send, only to receive back an auto-responder acknowledging “your interest in our company.” How that’s been working for you?
If you’re not ready for every opportunity to get attention for the things you do well and demonstrate the qualities that define your personal brand, then you are not locked and loaded on success. But, your mind may be lagging behind real time.
Competent but not connected
I had a car wreck-like encounter on Saturday, when I introduced two healthcare practitioners who need each other in order to grow their businesses. I am a consultant to both. I know unquestionably they have the core competencies, resources and like-mindedness that will transform each of their lives.
These are both outstanding men in their fields, with strong personal and business brands. I happen to not only consult for each of them on building those brands, I see them as a patient. They and some other folks are trying to avoid my having back surgery, and help me deal with searing pain that feels like a forest fire is burning, wildly out of control on my right leg. So, they know each other from me, and their visibility in the market. Plus in separate conversations with me, they’ve each expressed interest in how they might work together.
On Saturday, we get together to review the “nerves gone wild” leg and perhaps talk a bit of business. After we non-invasively poke my leg with a laser, the first doctor opens the business conversation, in a pretty direct manner. He asks us to walk through his space. He tells us he’s got a chance to take over more space next door. He asks how much space the other practitioner needs for equipment and patient care. And, so the opportunity to discuss how their practices might come together and share patients commences!
Uh, no. It does not. This simply isn’t the way my other client rolls. He’s still thinking about my leg. And, he doesn’t keep his architectural specs in his head. End of conversation.
They shake hands and talk about heat versus ice and agree ice is better.
I’m in pain (business pain, I can’t feel my leg because business dealings flood me with adrenalin, which translates to a state of consciousness where I, like a very evolved yogi, could have a stake in my leg or my head and not feel it). I cry inside for the lost opportunity, and the pain it will take to create a hole in their schedules for another meeting.
Here’s the lesson
Sometimes you are standing right in front of the opportunity that will transform your life, but your mind is doing other work. You’re not trained to mind-sweep away everything that doesn’t matter right now, in order to focus on what does matter.
And, sometimes you are frittering away your time rather than twittering thoughts that will get you the kind of attention that transforms your life.
Consider why you should mind-sweep at a moment’s notice. You are always just six degrees of separation – or less – from exactly what you want. That’s why personal branding is a 24/7/365 responsibility to yourself and everyone who relies on you. It’s why we introduced the concept of networking and engage in it.
Explaining how to see opportunity is not like explaining how your microwave works or why Donald Trump is suddenly selling vitamins in a MLM video. The opportunity to open your mouth or tap on the keys and leverage your personal brand is so pervasive and so often overlooked, I could cry. And, I’m tough. I don’t cry when my leg goes afire.
Here’s what to do:
- Always have your goals in mind.
- Identify and memorize what you would say if the great dealmaker in the sky presented you with the one person who can make your goals your reality.
- Take advantage of every interaction, on-ground or online, to move you closer toward what you really want. Sure, they may be tiny, incremental steps – but it’s better than your great ideas, strengths and plans being stuck in your head, and losing the opportunity to advocate for yourself.
Now, do the mind-sweep. What do you have to say for yourself? I’d like to hear it – along with 10,000+ other readers – in your comments below.
Nance Rosen is the author of Speak Up! & Succeed. She speaks to business audiences around the world and is a resource for press, including print, broadcast and online journalists and bloggers covering social media and careers. Read more at NanceRosenBlog. Twitter name: nancerosen.