Do you know what Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki, and Oprah used to grow their businesses to dominance? They created strategic personal media brands and showcased their leadership skills through helping people.
When you position your story properly, you–via your personal story, struggles, and experience–can become the truly unique thing that will attract your ideal clients. And your competitors are likely neglecting this strategy.
But highlighting your own story requires both an internal and an external strategy. Leadership is a symphony of four parts: business, health, relationships, and spirituality. Like all symphonies, each part must work in harmony to contribute to the beautiful sound and functioning of the whole.
Most startups and early-stage entrepreneurs tell me, “I’m giving 100% to the business and going all out all the time.” But this is only an effective recipe for burnout. Here’s how to change your thinking and, in the process, change your business.
To be an effective leader you must first take care of you.
What’s the first thing you do before starting your business day? Most people reach for their cell phone. Resist this urge, as the first hour you wake up is a “golden hour,” perfect for doing creative work or writing. The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod has some good tips. For example, immediately upon waking, it’s good to get your blood pumping–a five-minute exercise session, brief meditation, or taking a super cold or super hot shower can all do the trick. You can also fuel your mind by reading or listening to educational audio. Don’t squander it.
Taking care of yourself first sets a precedent that you’re in command, not the external demands of the world such as your inbox, text messages, or other people. If you don’t keep yourself healthy, have healthy relationships, and have a peer group to encourage you, then how can you perform at peak for your business?
Something that helps me is to fire up my iPhone’s video recorder after my morning energy infusion, meditation, and mind-fueling session. I record a quick two-minute-or-less video for myself on the five goals I know I’ll accomplish before the end of my business day.
It’s been a great tool to give positive reinforcement throughout my day and help me accomplish the goals I’ve set. At the end of each day I watch the morning video–it’s a powerful message of what I set out to accomplish. It builds momentum and over time, my goals become strong and stronger. For many I’ve mentored, it’s much more powerful than just writing priorities on a piece of paper.
You can also supercharge your productivity throughout the day in five-minute bursts. Every hour on the hour–unless I’m on a call or in a scheduled meeting–I’ll do a quick body-weight exercise session. This could be wall sits, push-ups, pull-ups, or mountain climbers. You’d be amazed how this supercharges your creativity and productivity.
I was mostly behind the scenes of my business for many years. Although getting over the fear of being in the public eye can be daunting, it’s worth it to your business to charge through this fear.
What helped me was finding a peer group I could be raw with. I could pitch ideas, give speeches or presentations, and show articles. They gave me honest feedback. This practice and their encouragement helped me step out into the limelight. Their feedback and advice kept me from making critical errors or publishing mistakes.
If you’re not publishing on your company’s website, start doing so. You can then republish via LinkedIn’s publisher platform, which gives you greater reach. If you don’t have time, here’s a quick solution: Have someone interview you over the phone and record it. Answer five top questions about your topic. Or have three bullet points about a topic you’re going to elaborate on. Then you can hire a writer or have your assistant craft an article out of this audio recording.
You’ll probably want to edit and add your own personality, but this at least gets you publishing on a consistent basis in an affordable way.
Another route to consider is media highlights. Getting interviewed or featured in stories on respected media publications is critical to your credibility and makes sales easier and faster. Nothing grows your business faster than authority.
Highlighting you, via a personal media brand strategy, is the top investment you can make in your business. Even if external forces conspire against your business or you decide to pursue a different project, you take with you the work you’ve done building your authority and industry leadership.
Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program.