By Anel Martin
Well, that is a big question!
Personally, I think what is holding us back from powerful, successful and valuable brands is the same thing that holds us back from fulfilling careers and happy lives. That is a big statement but here goes! I think it is the inability to speak up, trying to fit in, not being able to decide and FOCUS, believing we don’t deserve it (whatever “IT” is for you), lack of self-discipline and confidence.
So let’s run the list down:
- Speaking up
The old saying goes “if you don’t ask, the answer is always no” so many things in the world just get swept under the carpet, so many opportunities go to waste because we are unable to speak truth to power or make ourselves heard. How many times have you sat in a management meeting and had the most phenomenal idea (but you said nothing)? Well, I rest my case. If you want a strong brand you will need to find your voice. Start small, but start now!
- Fitting in
The Industrial Age wanted us to fit in and be interchangeable because our offices were a factory, a big machine and if you were too special or different you were not replaceable. Remember that in the 4th Industrial Age people will pay more for special, unique and different. The artists and problem solvers will thrive (the people who do “human work” and creative work) they will pay for art but not for painting. So the challenge is to let go of this old wiring of being the same and fitting in. It will not serve you in the future.
One of the most tragic things people say to me once I start working with them on brand is that if they make these radical changes/improvements their team members (most specifically other PAs) will notice and be judgemental (thinking they are trying to suck up to or impress the boss). To me, this speaks to a lack of team cohesion, insecurity (on their part) and a low-performance culture. Remember that it is your career and they don’t pay your bills. So do what you need to do to create the life you really deserve. Don’t let the critics slow you down. Cream floats to the top, always and without exception!
- Indecision and lack of focus and action
What do you really want? It is a big question, and for most of us, an open-ended one because we don’t want to commit and make a decision. We happily float along in the grey area which has become our comfort zone. I could change things, improve things but that would require hard work, dealing with resistance and challenge. So instead of doing what is important, we stay in the “urgent and too busy zone” when it comes to focus areas and priorities. Is it any wonder that so many of us feel stuck and uninspired? Are you living the same day, every day?
- Not feeling deserving
I am not special, why should this happen or work out for me? Why should I get the promotion or the praise? Well, if you don’t believe you are good enough, no one else will either. This is an inside job and REAL work needs to be done on correcting and improving our inner dialogues. No one can fix this except you.
- No self-discipline
Doing the work requires discipline. Standing out from the crowd and excelling requires you to do things, create habits and keep hours that few others would agree to or be able to maintain. This is what separates the good from the GREAT! What is YOUR STANDARD? What do you require from yourself? I am not asking you to strive for perfection but to focus on excellence, quality, and good value for money. I am asking you to do the hard work because the results are worth it! Self-discipline is not for reward or recognition, it is about YOU, your goals and ambitions!
- Low or no confidence
Your brand cannot thrive until you can cure yourself from imposter syndrome and from that voice in your head that mistakes assertiveness and confidence for rudeness and arrogance.
- Learn to say no.
- Learn to respect yourself.
- You are a LIMITED EDITION – OWN IT!
- You only get one chance to do this, there are no do-overs.
- What is the worst thing that could happen? Keep asking yourself that!
- That voice in your head is a broadcast from behind enemy lines – tune OUT.
- Learn to look after yourself physically and emotionally.
My challenge to you is to break out and break free from these factors. You have unlimited potential, you were born into genius and it is time to escape from mediocre! Build a brand that earns you more money, more respect, more opportunities and creates more impact in the world and in your life. Be brave and walk TALL.
Anel Martin is a former awarding winning administrative assistant from South Africa (now based in Dubai) who now works as a full-time trainer and Results Based Coach. Her goal is to help assistants to find their voices and their confidence. She is a published author and the book is titled “The Executive Secretary Guide to Building a powerful personal brand” https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1539535576/ visit her website for more free resources, information, and services www.anelmartin.co.za