Pursuing Greatness

Some late night thoughts as I wrap up and head to sleep. Figured I’d share them with you as a means for inspiration.

Don’t wait to be great; make yourself great.

The world won’t come to you, you must come to the world and present yourself in the best way that you can. Build relationships, optimize your performance, and advocate for yourself – your brand – everywhere you go. Pursuing greatness requires the endeavor of great things in order to fulfil the pursuit.

Take every stride with pride and exude confidence because awareness of yourself makes you the most trusting in the consumer’s eyes. Be charismatic and effective, and never let opportunity pass you by.

That’s all I have to say for now. Hope you can kickstart your day or pick it up after reading through this. If there’s one takeaway you should have it is to be effective.

Until next time.

ZJB

A Game of Balance

Cue the ambient overtones of the Game of Thrones opening score.

worklife While not nearly as exciting or thrilling as George R.  R. Martin’s universe, your work life as an  entrepreneur becomes an incredible game of balance.  I’m going to focus this post on my perspective of  balance and how you too can multitask (direly a bad  habit, but nonetheless important).

So where does this balancing act of mine begin? For  starters, allow me to explain what I’m up to and what  I’ve got under my belt over these next few months.  Most importantly, I’m studying more than sleeping in preparation for my one of my actuarial examinations (see www.beanactuary.org), alongside with my upcoming employment at a major re-insurer next month. Thrown into the mix is my work with an actuarial society, a risk management organization, and the St. John’s University Entrepreneurs Society (in the great NYC) – oh and let’s not forget, this blog!

We’ll run with those items for now, as it’s really only a slice of the cake. I’ve got a million aspirations and to-do’s, but those are the prevalent issues at hand. Many of you might not have even known my pursuit of a career in insurance, let alone my involvement in the industry. Well it’s true! I’ve found the insurance industry to be a great place for not only individuals looking to grow their careers but also to innovate and revolutionize as well. As an entrepreneur, the words innovate and revolutionize fit well into my attributes.

But how in the world can I manage all of this while still promoting my blog, my brand, and continue to consult on the side? I admit, it’s a lot of multitasking as mentioned, but time management is key. If you don’t become an expert at your own time management it’s surely going to show. As a matter of fact, it shows for me more in my personal life than anything. It’s actually gotten to a point where people will tell me to show up somewhere 15-20 minutes earlier just because they know I’ll show up late if they don’t (hey, I’m working on it!).

Then where does one begin with mastering time management? Start with the little things and work on building your time management “portfolio”: allot certain time throughout the day for exercise, limit the amount of time you mind-numbingly watch television or browse Facebook (#techNOlogy!), and even take the opportunity to track how long it takes you to eat. Maybe you can do something productive like check emails or go through your to-do list while you eat your meal.

As you tackle more and more of your daily routine and scrutinize it to no end, you’ll start to see improvements in your time – namely, more of it. You can then use this time to wisely focus on the present issues at hand. For myself, I try to study for my examinations several hours per day (every day is different), then I make sure all my to-do’s have been taken care of, whether it be planning meetings or emailing my connections, and then I make time for my brand and my blog.

While many will argue your work must come before all else – which I agree with if you are a unique startup with a lot of potential – for my line of work, I manage what I have to do and move on. My service to my readers is my content, and to my clients my service is my consultation. I give you the time of day but do not dilly-dally, for the lack of a better word. You can do this too, it just takes time.

And time is what you have. Go take advantage of it – the most precious commodity that is slipping through your hands. Maximize the efficiency of your time and you will maximize your productivity and potential.

 

Wishing you absolutely the best.

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Back to the Basics

Over the past few weeks, most of my posts have been very involved – discussing specific  themes in personal branding or addressing popular issues. I want to take this opportunity to  focus on getting back to the basics of personal branding. So let’s tackle the tools which will  aid in advocating your personal agenda…

Audit your online prescence

Take advantage of the world of free tools to monitor who’s saying what about your brand or your work. Two great resources I strongly recommend are Google Alerts and Mention. Google Alerts allows you to receive email notifications detailing summaries of articles and online posts where your name/brand is mentioned. Mention.com offers a great service where it scours the internet – social networks and all – for mentions of your name (or keyword of choice). It then emails you a daily summary of your mentions and is actually totally free. Well, freemium, but if you choose to upgrade it’s well worth the price.

Network within your comfort zone

I wouldn’t advise that you simply share your work with family and friends, but I would agree that emerging within your comfort zone is something of key importance. When you are first starting out, associate with other “brands” that you are familiar with – your alma mater, your company newsletter. Beginning with something familiar is a way to boost or kickstart your brand, just like when you sold those candy bars in the 5th grade to your aunts and uncles. Starting small isn’t a bad thing, and in fact, networking within your comfort zone is how I got started!

Pick a model and follow it

Life is all about decisions and so is your brand. You’ve got to decide how you present yourself, who you target, how you market, and what you will offer to your audience. A big recommendation would be to pick a role model – someone who has successfully done what you want to do, or something similar. So if you wanted to work on business branding, you could use me as your model, since I mostly focus on personal branding – and what you would do is look at how I approach the topic of branding and apply it to business. Simpler said than done.

 

So go forth and multiply! Your audience, that is. Take what I’ve thrown at you and try to spin it around a little bit. I wish you the best of luck as you get back to the basics.

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