The popular military call in the morning “Rise and Shine” is most commonly thought to refer to the ‘rise’ – rousing your self from your sleep and ‘shine’ referring to the need to clean your boots until they are shiny. Over the years the term has been adapted more to refer to getting up and excelling at your day.
It can apply equally to your personal brand.
The goal with your personal brand is that you want your brand to rise, in the minds of those you are trying to reach and in the Google rankings, and shine enough that it stands out and gets noticed for the right reasons.
Research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology (link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2009.00549.x/abstract ) has found that morning people tend to be more proactive. Although a direct relation between proactivity and productivity was not made it did find that “Morning people were more proactive than evening types, and people with small differences in rise time between weekdays and free days were also more proactive persons”.
Managing and improving your personal brand is something you must be doing on a consistent basis, and if you don’t, no-one else is going to do it for you. It would therefore be fair to conclude that the morning is the best time to be proactively working on your personal brand.
Here are 5 tips to SHINE and see your personal brand rise;
- Set a long-term plan and goals for your personal brand. Like having shiny boots in the military, the hard work is done over time. Before they need to be buffed the soldier has pulled together all that they need to ensure the job can be done well and efficiently, usually the night before. You need to be thinking the same way with your personal brand. What do you want to be doing? Who needs to know about it? How will they notice what you are doing? What tools do you need? Do you have everything to hand and reachable? How will you measure your effectiveness? Prepare the night before so you have everything in place and ready when you rise.
- Have a morning routine. There are plenty of benefits to having a set routine of repeatable activities that start off your day right. This can include journaling, reading positive content, meditation, exercise and eating well. Starting the day with little or no purpose and lack of focus will leave you feeling like the day may have been wasted. So also start by reviewing your upcoming day, to-do lists and ensuring that what you are doing is ‘on brand’ for you and is taking you in the direction that you want to be heading. If the day is filled with activities that are not ‘on brand’ ensure you carve out just a little personal brand time in there. Check out others morning routines for some ideas and inspiration http://mymorningroutine.com/
- Implement systems and leverage technology. There are simple focus and check-in systems to use such as the Pomodoro Technique http://pomodorotechnique.com/ or Peter Bregmans 18 Minutes http://peterbregman.com/18-minutes/ . Technology can be a huge distraction and dark black holes appear on social media sites all the time. But curating content and automating the delivery of that through your various social media channels for example can be a huge time saver. Also if there are actions that you are taking on a regular basis are there ways for them to be done more efficiently using technology or outsourcing? Being smarter versus working harder are not a replacement for hustle but they could create the space for you to be even more creative and effective.
- No interruptions. The same as you would for an important meeting, client deadline or project or a special occasion, guard your personal brand activity equally zealously. A University of California study found that it takes the average worker 25 minutes to get back into the flow of a task after an interruption.http://www.theguardian.com/money/shortcuts/2013/oct/28/how-to-survive-open-plan-office Brand success does not usually happen overnight. Awareness is built over time with delivery of your brand promise and value, consistent and constant work on your brand will get you where you want to be. Let people know what a closed door means, or if you are in a cubicle have a signal for people to recognise not to interrupt you. Do not use this as an excuse to hide so place a time limit
- Expect the unexpected and do not get distracted. Mornings and days never go the way we planned, but apart from the boots you want to be ignoring other bright shiny objects. There will always be interesting opportunities, new apps, exciting videos and colleagues that seem to have more spare time to chat than you do. Resist the temptation. Refer back to your long-term personal brand plans and goals and ask yourself, “Does this xxxxxx take me further forward in the direction I want to be heading?” Sometimes we do have the capacity to work on a new project that is interesting or fun and not in the main direction of our brand. That’s okay, as long as we have the space. If not remain focused.
At the end of the day take a moment to review what you had planned in terms of personal brand activity and measure the level of completion and success. Set the next days activities based on what you need to do next to maintain the personal brand momentum and very soon you will be seeing your personal brand start to rise and shine.
What do you do when you rise and shine?