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Elevating your leadership | “I don’t care that they stole my idea…I care that they don’t have any of their own.” – Nikola Tesla

Branding vs. sales & marketing

Branding your business and yourself is a massively important strategy that will assist with your long-term viability and sustainability. Your reputation, your accomplishments precede you and people will be mindful of what you do before they reach out to you for an opportunity.

Great brands stay a lot longer while sales come and go. Strong brands will survive and endure a bad product/service or two, while those who are focused only on transactions are at a much greater risk to going out of business. Focus on building your brand.

5 interview questions to ask candidates

Here are 5 interview questions to ask candidates and job applicants that I have found useful over the years:

  1. Tell me about yourself?
  2. What motivates you?
  3. Why this position, business and industry?
  4. Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
  5. What can I answer for you?

Additionally, I spoke about 5 interview questions to ask employer which is the other side of that same coin. Finally, I would love to learn what are some of the questions you like to ask or have been asked during interviews?

How to price your product or service

Pricing your product or service effectively is of great relevance with respect how well it will be received in the market. While it is not the only aspect of importance, it certainly impacts how your prospective clients will think about the value of your product or service.

In order to be competitively priced, you must learn all you can about the market, your industry, particular segment you are in (including your competitors). Then, price the product slightly above the average price point (assuming you provide greater quality and value, which you do). Additionally, you can target a luxury market/brand and therefore price higher, but at that point you really need to differentiate yourself from competition, mostly in exclusivity and client experience.

Finally, you can always low ball the market and go for pure volume, but be careful that you have the infrastructure in place to handle a potential influx of orders, because not being able to do so can seriously damage your brand and reputation. Also, competing on price alone is a race to the bottom and it is not sustainable long term.

Personality, communication, negotiation and leadership

85% of your financial success depends on your personality, the way you communicate, negotiate and lead. Only 15% depends on your technical skills. Knowing this it is essential to focus on improving those essential skills while building your networks and friendships.

While in some career technical skills will be of greater value and impact, as you grow and advance up the career ladder their influence begins to be replaced by your personality, communication and leadership skills.

Don’t be afraid to fail

Failure is not terminal, it is not fatal. Well, most of it isn’t and shouldn’t be anyway. Failure is a part of the process, it is an inevitable component of successful ventures and endeavors and as such it shouldn’t be seen as a limiting factor. Don’t allow to be scared by the prospect of failure as then you will never make progress, you will never do anything new.

Do you remember learning how to swim, or ride a bicycle or drive a car…all of those where someone scary things, but you have pressed on until you have mastered them. The rest of life is much of the same, filled with opportunities and challenges most of which you can overcome with focus, action and strong belief in your abilities.

Don’t be afraid to fail.

Progress equals happiness

Progress = happiness! Success arrives at the end of a sequence of steps, generally in smaller, more manageable increments. Success is rarely an event, but rather an outcome of a process, dedication and hard work. With that in mind, focus on small, incremental improvements and progress, not changing yourself as that will happen on its own in due time.

Take it one day at a time and make measurable actions towards your goals. In time, you will be standing in front of your goal, ready to embrace it.

5 ways to remain cool, calm and collected

5 things to consider as you are dealing with challenging individuals or situations. No matter what happens, staying cool, calm and collected with benefit you.

Here are 5 areas to focus on when you are dealing with events which are not worthy of your time, effort or attention.

  1. Look at the big picture and the issue’s relevance
  2. Look at the individual causing the issue
  3. Contain the issue
  4. Take the high road (where possible)
  5. Realign with your major goals for this year

What’s your story?

What is your story? What is the excuse you keep telling yourself for not going after all the things you want and deserve in life, in career, in business, health, family…what is it, do you know?

Now, that you are being honest with yourself, let’s take this moment to reflect on what you truly desire in life and career. Do you know what that is and do you know what you need to do to get there in due time? If you do (and only your truth and awareness matters) you need to spend more time focusing your attention, energy and action on those areas. Take it one day at a time and build necessary momentum in making progress and moving forward.

One day, time will pass us by and when you look back on your life, your career, your contributions, nothing will hurt as much as regret for not acting and taking chances, even calculated risks at times. Go after your dreams and goals, TODAY!

Stop wasting time, you can’t buy it back

Don’t waste time. In life, in business, in career, in all you do, wasting time is a significant deficiency for most and it should be taken more seriously as time can’t be bought back, it can’t be recouped.

If you know that a particular place is no longer the right fit for you, it is critical not to continue wasting more time hoping it will change. If it hasn’t changed over the past several years, what gives you the confidence that this year will be the year it does? If there’s new leadership, or new priorities that could bring some hope, but if nothing has changed, it is time to move on. You have one life, ask yourself is this how you want to spend it?

Complaining is an ugly attribute and generally gets you nowhere. If you can do something to enact change please do, otherwise, gracefully and professionally thank them for their time and move on to a place where you will be a part of something larger than yourself; a place where you will be valued and respected and a place where your contributions will be noticeable and recognized.

One life, tick-tock, tick-tock…

Go beyond compliments and help people

Complimenting others is a nice thing to do when it is sincere and comes from the heart. Sharing compliments and being nice to a fellow human being makes us feel good and makes them feel event better, but is this the best we can do?

Why don’t we take this a step further and actually invest our time and effort into helping other people. Take a moment to open a door for someone else; help them with their bags or boxes up the stairs; help them find their smile again. Furthermore, the most important component in this practice of selfless help is to be truly selfless and expect NOTHING in return. When I say NOTHING, I mean NOTHING…don’t ask them for anything in return and don’t expect anything in return…EVER!

Can you do this?