Discovering your passion

Have you ever looked at the end result of someone’s life you look up too, but fail to see how to make that happen for us. I find the trouble with this approach to finding one’s passion means that when things do go the way we planned we become disappointed. There is also the possibility that we don’t really know what we want to aim for, and yet we see other people achieving levels of success in areas that we aspire to – this can leave us feeling lost and discouraged.

I loved this quote from Gary Vaynerchuk who said:

“You’re not lost in life, you’re just early in the process.” 

Perhaps, when it boils down to it what stops us more from discovering our passion is the fear of failure, but what if to fail was to pay the cost of achieve success.

“Without failure there is no achievement.” – John Maxwell

 

Got any top tips for discovering your passion? If this encouraged you, please do let me know. As always I’d love to hear your thoughts on this blog.

Much love,

Leanne xox

 

 

 

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What’s personal branding got to do with it? 

So what about your personal brand?
I was recently asked about some thoughts on personal branding and decided to share a few more as I think it could be helpful and relevant to you. Especially if you are embarking on a new blog.

I’ve talked a little about some of the things you should think about when starting a blog, but now I want to get you thinking about your personal brand.


1. What is personal branding? It’s simply the who, what and why you do what you do.

2. Why is it important? To be able to communicate who you are and what do with a clear message on what you are trying to achieve is important for yourself and engaging your audience.

3. What can I do to nail my personal brand? Get a pen and paper and write down words that you feel describe you, your gifts, your vision. Try to keep it to 2 or 3 sentences max. If it helps just answer who, what and why.

“A picture tells 1000 words” 

Think about the images you have across your blog, and social media platforms. Are they easily identifiable? Do they communicate something linking back to the who, what and why you do you? This could be translated in the colours you choose, a logo or a corresponding image that you use across each platform.

Ok, that’s a few thoughts from me on personal branding. What’s yours? Share below or join me next Friday for more discussion on growing with your brand.

Xx

What’s social media got to do with mental health?

A lot. It’s mental health awareness week and I want to touch on the issue in relation to social media from the perspective of a social media manager.

First up my disclaimer is that I love social media, and believe it holds incredible value for business and brands and consumers. I also am real enough to admit that on a personal level it’s not all roses and sunshine – like anything it can be abused or used in a way to abuse ourselves and others.

As a marketer, and curious person, I find it interesting to observe how we interact with each other online, and the different ways we use social media. We’ve really have carved a social culture out online that continues to evolve  and there are some habits that I’ve noticed that haven’t really shifted in the last 6 years or so. I think they’re relevant because our habits have an impact on the way we live our lives. Here are a few quick fire thoughts of habits that I believe we need to be careful of:

  1. Posting or venting your thoughts and feelings on social media doesn’t mean you’ve dealt with an issue.
  2. It’s ok not to have an opinion on everything.
  3. It’s not ok to hide behind social media and use it as a tool to abuse others in the same way it’s not acceptable to do that face to face with someone you do not know. FYI According to my twitter feed today it looks like the law is introducing serious consequences for those who choose to take that path now too.
  4. The need to be known or followed is overrated, seriously. Remember what you see on social media the majority of the time is someone’s highlight reel. I know of people who have large reputable followings who look cutesy and inspirational on the outside, but severely depressed, isolated and lonely in reality.
  5. Comparison in is a killer – this is really relevant in any sphere or walk of life, but especially on social media when we are matching and patching our homes, family and lifestyles against other people.
  6. Time management  and healthy breaks – if we turn our phones off, or delete our apps for a second it doesn’t mean we’re missing out. Actually I highly recommend taking social media breaks to just be in the moment. I have been guilty of this one too, so I recently removed Facebook from my phone (except Pages for work purposes) and I can’t tell you how much time and space in my mind I’ve saved from a developed habit of being glued to social media. Its liberating.
  7. Consumer or consumed? Our attention span has dramatically fallen over the last few years, and whilst I’m no mental health professional, I know this is having an impact on the way we consume content, particularly online. For example, the length of copy, or video clips has continued to shorten and simplify to accommodate our fast-paced lives.

Consumed or consumer? Stay tuned for Friday’s blog post that delves deeper into the question how much does social media impact on our mental health?

Ponder, and plan

I am so excited about the future; as we bring 2013 to a close and push into a new year, I’m already thinking about what kind of things I would like to see in my life, in 2014. I wonder if you’ve started thinking about next year, or if you are currently focussed on the current project, or moment in time. Whilst it’s good to be able to live in the present, I also believe it’s good to have one eye on your dream, and be working daily towards achieving success in both. 

There is so much opportunity, but living in London it’s easy to become consumed with ‘chasing ones tail’ so to speak, and filling time with everything and anything. I’m now learning to spot the trend and excuses that have kept me from fulfilling some of my goals, and I’m glad to be sharing this thought with you today that will hopefully help you avoid similar pitt holes. 

1. Never dwell on the past – simply learn from your mistakes, and make the adjustments. If you’ve taken something on that has overwhelmed you, or hasn’t turned out quite as you expected, then see it as a learning curve and move on. 

The greatest failure is the one who experiences a fall, but never gets back up. 

2. Live with your purpose in mind – It’s way too easy to become consumed by all kinds of useless facts. Living with your dream, or vision in mind, I believe, is the key to achieving.

“A man without a vision is a man without a future. A man without a future will always return to his past.”

3. Value time – This links in with the previous to points, but I find that I need to be reminded of this often. We have enough time to do what we need to do, but we also have ample opportunity to get distracted and to waste the time that we have. It’s important to take time to think about what we’re spending our time on, who with, and where it’s leading us. 

Time is a currency that we can’t exchange, so spend it wisely.

A Toast To Raising Our Standard

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We all have a set standard in life – a blueprint, if you will – for how we think life should look and what is an acceptable terms of agreement between us, and the wider space we live in.

When we set a standard we make a decision that no matter how rocky, or rough a road becomes (figuratively speaking) that we will not steer away from that road. They are the foundation from which our choices are made from. A standard can be anything from what kind of food we will fill your bodies with, to what kind of attitude we will take on each day, to the kind of lifestyle we should be living (e.g. healthy, or unhealthy).

You may have heard the saying, “you are what you eat.”  Well what if we are what we believe, then choices we make each day are feeding into the rest of our lives, and as I explained in my previous post “The Importance Of Personal Development” – Growth in life is inevitable. We are either increasing through growth, or dying. It’s that simple. A skilled man only becomes skilled through diligence and practice. That is why our perceptions of life, will have direct influence on the standard from which we live. Are we happy to continue living with the current standards that we have, or do we have the gumption to believe for more:  To raise our standard, and set the tone for the life we imagined.

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Holding life lightly

In the absence of blogging life has been teaching me a fair few tricks, hints, and lessons. I’ve been relentlessly applying to jobs, setting objectives, goals and doing everything I can to move towards them, whilst being party planner and bridesmaid to a lifelong friend.

I find every day is different in someway, with one challenge, or another; but above the confusion, toil and turmoil I have come to understand that to achieve success in any area of life it is good to hold life lightly.

If you hold on to a career, a relationship, or even something as materialistic as a car, then you run the risk of loosening the very thing you desire. Most of the motivational and leadership chat that I’ve heard seems to be focused on pushing people up a hill, but I want to suggest that there is not one reason for failure, but many. Most of the motivational and leadership chat that I’ve heard seems to be focused on pushing people up a hill,You can do nothing, and get nothing, or you can do everything and still get nothing. How is this possible? Well, obsession to always achieve, or win is equally bad as doing nothing to obtain the dream in your heart. Many hands make light work, but much work make light hands. In other words, the more you fill your time with stuff the weaker you become. People mistake busyness as a sign of strength, or achievement; but it’s not. It is only when we strike balance between hard work, and margin do we find ourselves in the slip stream of life.

Whatever you do today, make sure you take a moment to stop and enjoy what you have in your hand. It’s good to take stock, and don’t lose sight of what you do have on the way to where you’re going.

The oyster and the pearl

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I stumbled across a website called How Stuff Works, which explains how pearls are formed in the Oyster to produce the beautiful pearl that is etched onto our chains, earrings and bracelets. I have mentioned the story before, in brief, but being the curious kitten that I am I have delved a little deeper in my research, whilst going through some changes and circumstances in life. First, let me paint the background picture to this post.

“The formation of a natural pearl begins when a foreign substance slips into the oyster between the mantle and the shell, which irritates the mantle. It’s kind of like the oyster getting a splinter. The oyster’s natural reaction is to cover up that irritant to protect itself. The mantle covers the irritant with layers of the same nacre substance that is used to create the shell. This eventually forms a pearl. So a pearl is a foreign substance covered with layers of nacre. Most pearls that we see in jewelry stores are nicely rounded objects, which are the most valuable ones. Not all pearls turn out so well. Some pearls form in an uneven shape — these are called baroque pearls. Pearls, as you’ve probably noticed, come in a variety of various colors, including white, black, gray, red, blue and green. Most pearls can be found all over the world, but black pearls are indigenous to the South Pacific.”

Whilst growth takes place within, notice that it requires an external substance to influence and irritate the organ that produces change. 1. Growth is dependent on our environment 2. Growth is never comfortable Being the reflective soul that I am, and in the process of packing for London, I would like to share a few thoughts today about pearls, growth and change. It’s a bit of a deep topic today, but if you are growing a team, a business, or your own life, then hopefully you will find this useful. If not, come back again soon and I’ll muster you up something a little less meaty.

My good friend pointed out in a conversation that we  are a generation that when something doesn’t work, we throw it out, or trade it in and buy new. Where as the previous generation, baby boomers and above, grew up in a culture that when things didn’t work, they fixed them; she got me thinking…It’s easy to dismiss situations in life when things don’t go our way, or it turns out to look different from our preconceived idea. For example, a business venture that didn’t work, or a relationship that required work, or project that turned out different than what you anticipated.

It’s inevitable that in life we will experience change, and lots of it. When I think back to what it was like growing up through childhood in a rush to experience adulthood, celebrating every inch of growth with a competition between friends. The irony is that when we finally reach adulthood we often find that we don’t like the responsibilities that come with it. If we don’t allow our businesses, or our teams to adapt to the change in the market, or make room for our digital and tech savvy culture, then we limit our effect as a business.  If we wrap ourselves up in cotton wool, and never take a chance in life after listening the bad news reports all day, filling us with fear, then we would miss out on the beauty that life has to offer. Change is readily avoided and resisted by many human beings, and as a result they become stagnant and malnourished, when in fact change is an opportunity for growth.