Brand Your Uniqueness

In addition to networking events, I try to attend conferences that either inspire, empower or educate me. My intention is to continue to push forward by surrounding myself with those who have much more experience and exposure as business owners. Earlier this week, I attended the 15th Annual Moving Your Business Forward conference hosted by the Atlanta Tribune. The event started with a panelist of representatives from several big named corporations including Home Depot, AT & T, Grady Hospital, GoDaddy and of course Atlanta Tribune. The panelist provided insight about how small business owners can present themselves to big corporations and the importance of preparation for the opportunity. The topics ranged from professionalism to scalability of your business model.

Afterwards, there were breakout sessions that focused on new technology, live business pitch, and branding in the current social media climate. Shawn Pfunder, Senior Communications Director for GoDaddy was the highlight of the event. Shawn also interviews small business owners for Steve Harvey’s Funderdome show on ABC.

Shawn’s been working with freelancers, entrepreneurs, and business owners for more than 20 years. He’s consulted companies large and small on communication, social media, and marketing strategies. At heart he’s a small-business superfan. He believes that working for yourself is one of the most courageous and creative moves anyone can make.

Three small business owners were selected to share their pitch with the audience who would vote for a winner.  After each pitch, Shawn Pfunder asked a series of questions about each company to gauge their marketing strategy to create and expand their online presence. The winner Yvette Pegues owner of Your Invisible DisAbility Group captured the audience with her passion for her business.  In addition to sharing her business model and strategy, she shared her real life experience about what it was like to live with a disability.  Although she is paralyzed she discussed her refusal to allow her disability to take over her life.  Yvette has a very active life that includes skydiving.  Her words were inspirational and spoke to the courage that all business owners need to find their passion and follow their purpose.

The last segment was a presentation by Shawn Pfunder as he shared the importance of finding your identity as a person and incorporating your uniqueness into your brand. He provided multiple examples of how creating your authentic story and allowing yourself to be less than perfect is what makes your brand unique and relatable.  He discussed how social media is key to your future growth potential and provided tips on how you can share your uniqueness over social media.

The more human you are, the more likely you are to standout. – Shawn Pfunder

I walked away with a lot to think about.  I immediately sat down to think more about my personal and business identity and how I could marry the two. I created a list of the top ten things that identify or define who I am. Then I did the same with my business.  I almost instantly saw the advantage of this exercise. I could see where I am not connecting my uniqueness with the service I provide.  I instantly started thinking of ways to rectify this. This event was very eye-opening and I definitely walked away with more than I expected. If you are trying to create your brand start by making a list of the top ten things that define you and your company.  I’d love to hear your feedback below.

Peace and Blessings

 

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Happy Endings and New Beginnings

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The first cycle of my journey into entrepreneurship has come to an end.  Spiritual nudging’s have been evident all around me. I have been seeing all the usual bread crumbs my guides have placed before me including repeating 111’s.

111’s encourages you to assist and inspire humanity via your natural abilities, relying upon your inner wisdom and intuition to guide you

Some endings I was aware of and others I was too scared to ask. Knowing requires action and I was avoiding the next steps on purpose. I knew my accounting contract with my previous employer would end by September however it ended a month early.  I also knew one of my private yoga clients would be going back to school by September.  That contract ended two weeks earlier than planned. The ending of one of my corporate yoga contracts was completely unanticipated. The prior year’s contract with this client ended in November, however, two weeks ago I received notice that August would close out the 2017 contract. The door for future partnerships and opportunities was left open which made me feel good about my relationship with this company. The reality remained, this first cycle was ending and how I navigated this transition would be pivotal.

The accountant in me came out and I immediately pulled out my spreadsheet.  I had to make sure I could continue to live on my terms for just a little bit longer. I immediately got scared.  I’m not going to lie because that last one threw me off. Then my conscious-yoga side kicked in and I started to focus on my breathing. There is an always an energy tied directly to our thoughts especially about finances. I am a proponent of prosperity thinking which leaves no room for impoverish thoughts.  What I think and speak becomes my reality.

Scared money don’t make no money

My interpretation of this phrase means if I’m scared to lose financially then, financial gain is highly unlikely. Take a moment to think about the posture and the self-talk that comes with the fear of poverty.  There is a tightness that forms around the shoulders. There is also a very specific dialogue about our deservability and decision-making skills that surfaces.  Prosperity is our birthright, fear only succeeds in pushing humankind further from this truth. Even if prosperity has not appeared in your life yet, we have the power to create the possibilities with positive thinking.  We have the power to establish a belief system that lines up with the energy of abundance and prosperity.

I recently published 60 Affirmations & Reflections for Entrepreneurs. My intention was to provide a roadmap for other entrepreneurs to change their thinking. As I was explaining the premise to another entrepreneur she responded, “affirmations don’t work unless you believe them, if you don’t believe them then it just creates a struggle”. I was initially offended but I am in partial agreement with her.  Positive words mean nothing if you do not believe the words but your belief must start somewhere.  It takes practice, it is not an overnight process.  I have been actively using affirmations and positive thinking since 2010.  I started with the phrase “I love myself” to be honest I probably didn’t start off believing it because no one ever told me it was possible to love myself.  Over time and with consistency I started to see the changes in how I treated myself.  Positive thinking has become a lifestyle.  It’s impossible to think positive all the time but when I drift out into negativity, there is something that eventually pulls me back. It takes practice. I listen to affirmations every morning. I repeat them throughout the day. My affirmations and positive thoughts are constantly evolving. When a cloud of negative patterns descends on me, some days I choose to stay there for a day or two.  However, I’ve planted so many seeds with the people around me refuse to let me stay there.  I start to hear my quotes spill from their tongue. I immediately self-correct and move to a state of thankfulness. In my experience, when I become thankful I automatically shift away from fear.

Once in a grateful state, I was able to look at my life and finances with clarity. I reflected on my three-month plan and adjusted as needed.  Based on the new information I am still on track with my plan.  Shifting to positive thinking moves me from stagnation to creativity. I can focus on pushing my business forward and enjoying the journey.

When the life you know is dismantled, don’t mourn instead prepare for your resurrection

Peace and Blessings

Affirmations & Reflections

 

 

I’ve been staring at the proof of my first book for about a week. Today I decided to check Amazon to see if my book was even listed yet.  Much to my surprise, it was and I felt an overwhelming desire to share it with the world.  As I’ve mentioned previously I’ve attempted to write a book more than once. About three years ago I wrote a book of poetry that I never published. Every so often I come across the document and vow to self-publish it but I never did. In the past, somehow I couldn’t wrap my mind around the self-publishing steps. I read books and articles but couldn’t get beyond the first step.  This time was different. The time was different because I am different.

Now more than ever I feel I have nothing to lose by doing what I want. I don’t answer to anyone.  I don’t have to explain my intentions or wait for approval. I’m operating from a different place that is both familiar and unfamiliar.  I’d wouldn’t describe it as 100% fearlessness but I’m probably operating at 80% fearlessness.  There are moments I still get nervous about what the future holds. Other days I know with clarity that success arrived the moment I took the first step. Holding this book in hand is proof that the life I used to know is no more. A thought I had years ago now lives physically in my hand. There is no going back.

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I’ve used affirmations for years, however, I knew moving in a new direction required more than just knowing the definition of an affirmation. It became necessary to go beyond repeating a one line phrase.  Affirmations reminded me that I was making the right decision and moving in the right direction. I started to incorporate them in my life like never before. It was my way of talking through my own fears. It was written for me to move forward scared or not. I stood somewhere between proud of myself and scared shitless. I found comfort in my affirmations.

After I left my corporate job, it came to me that I needed to share my affirmations with other entrepreneurs. Seemed simple enough but it took about four months think though the concept and put it on paper.  I wanted to go beyond just a one line affirmation. I wanted to share a series of positive statements that could be read, contemplated, visualized and spoken into existence. I divided the affirmations into categories that I thought were most important for entrepreneurs on their journey.  The affirmations speak of love, courage, vision, success, abundance, and entrepreneurship.  This book begins with love because you have to know regardless as to what happens next you are loved. I spent years working on self-love and that love has been reflected in the family and friends who continue to step forward to support me.  Glancing down at the cover, an overwhelming sense of peace finds me. Today I present to the world the gift that continues to push me along as I create my imprint on the world. Affirmations and reflections continue to work in my life and I hope they work in yours as well.

Click the link to get your copy of 60 Affirmations & Reflections for Entrepreneurs.

Peace and Blessings