How to slay the Imposter Syndrome monster

How to slay the Imposter Syndrome monster

Have you ever felt like a poser in your personal or professional life? Do you ever feel like you haven’t achieved “enough” to be seen as a credible source? These thoughts creep into our minds at every stage in the game. Blame it on Imposter Syndrome. How does one slay this nasty monster? It starts with realizing we are human and all make mistakes. Instead of dwelling on our failures, take some time to focus on your strengths and how you can best apply them. Consider these three ways to move past this mindset: Help someone without expecting anything in return. Seek out, or at least be open to, people who are experiencing problems you might be able to tackle. You might pleasantly surprise yourself with your depth and scope of knowledge and how your peer can apply it. Be humble—but not too humble. It’s OK to own your success and acknowledge our role. Sure, no success happens in a vacuum, and there are many factors involved that come together to form the whole package that is you. While some people are privy to certain opportunities that others aren’t, that doesn’t negate the effort put forth. Success is no accident, even if the cards are stacked in your favor. Work through doubt. Questioning ourselves every so often is normal and healthy. Whenever these feelings take over, you are best served to examine and articulate your doubts and anxieties. Sometimes putting pen to paper is the best way to overcome and find a solution to the...
Innovation: Are you doing it right?

Innovation: Are you doing it right?

So you want to become more innovative? Now what? Innovation is not a concept you can embrace overnight. It’s more of a process than anything. Take into account these three key points as you make a cultural shift: 1. Think beyond ideas. What systems do you have in place to foster creativity? Ideas can fail, but methodologies can help you move forward and stay on track in terms of deadlines. 2. Test, repeat and refine. Ideas are only as good as their execution. Start by doing textbook research then actually test your concept on a pre-determined target audience in a specific time frame. Find out what works (and doesn’t) and repeat until you have a refined end product. 3. Evaluate your success. Check in every now and then. Don’t be afraid to halt the project or put it on hold. Evaluation should occur at every step of your journey, and you should always be thinking about its viability and how it fits into the larger picture. Don’t get caught up trying to make something succeed that simply doesn’t have legs. In other words, don’t innovate simply for the sake of innovation. It also doesn’t hurt to follow the efforts of innovative companies you admire. What can you learn from their successes (and...
5 ways to make your workspace work for you

5 ways to make your workspace work for you

Think for a moment about your workspace. Is it neat and tidy? Controlled chaos? Somewhere in between? The condition of your space does matter–and can affect productivity. Not to mention, it also sends a message to clients and staff about who you are. Are you sending the right message? Follow these tips to make your office work for you: 1. Go paperless. Apps like Evernote make it easy to manage notes and collaborate with others. Goodbye sticky notes! 2. Shine some light on the subject. It’s proven that light can affect mood (and productivity). Warmer lighting is best suited for calming and soothing environments. You might consider a floor lamp to add both form and function. 3. Art matters. What inspires you? For many, images of nature are an instant pick me up. Others might appreciate abstract art. Find what speaks to you and go with that theme. 4. Change up your morning beverage. Are you on an energy drink kick? It might be time to rethink this choice, as these drinks are loaded with sugar and other unhealthy additives. Unsweetened green tea is known to increase energy–and you’ll save yourself a few calories. 5. Snack smart. Are you tempted by unhealthy vending machine snacks? Plan ahead so you don’t make poor choices that can leave you lethargic. Almonds, granola bars, trail mix and apples are all healthy choices you won’t regret. With these tips, you can seize the...
3 marketing trends to know in 2017

3 marketing trends to know in 2017

With a new year comes potential for growing your business. It helps to have an understanding of the marketing landscape. That said, these trends should be on your radar as you plan your 2017: 1) Digital is the name of the game. If you haven’t invested in a high-tech and snappy website, you’re going to be left in the dust by the competition. Don’t forget about apps and social media as other ways to connect in the digital sphere. Chatbots as a feature on your website are another way to connect with customers without having to expand your workforce. 2) Personalization is a must. No one wants to feel like they are just a number. Consumers want to connect with brands on a real and more human level. Take email marketing, for example. You might consider generating a segmented email list and marketing to customers based on preferences and buying history. 3) Video marketing heats up. With the advent of Facebook live-streaming videos, it’s easier now more than ever for brands to reach audiences in real time, wherever they are. The most successful companies know how to leverage viewers and translate into monetary value. How will you incorporate these trends in your...
Take your business from good to great with these tips

Take your business from good to great with these tips

What makes a great brand great? Take a cue from some of the most successful businesses and embrace the following three elements: Consistency: This refers to every touch point–from branding to the actual delivery of the customer experience. Do your marketing pieces flow and complement each other? Are you using recognizable colors, graphics and brand voice? When customers buy your product or service, is the quality dependable? These are all factors that need to be taken into account. Focus: The “jack of all trades, master of none” business mentality does not serve most companies. That’s because you run the risk of coming across inauthentic and generic. Determine what defines you as a brand and stay true to that. Customers will respect that approach more than a brand that just latches on to what’s trendy. Community Investment: Many businesses exist not only to turn a profit to make the lives of employees, customers and the community at large better. While giving back in terms of money is one approach, it really comes down to a general attitude of gratitude. This in turn can engender brand—and business, loyalty. Which one of these qualities can you improve on in 2017? How will you go about...
Create some buzz with a business event

Create some buzz with a business event

What are your goals for 2017? If increasing awareness about your company or brand is among the priorities, you might consider hosting a business event. Here’s a quick guide to getting the most out of such an endeavor: 1) Determine the scope. How many guests will be invited and how will the guests list be determined? Will you offer a full dinner, or will it just be soft drinks and cookies? Will you have speakers or live entertainment? How about door prizes? These details will set the tone. What message are you trying to send? 2) Set a date. Timing is everything as they say. Be careful to plan around holidays or any other special events going on in your city. You could even play on an upcoming pop culture event, like a Super Bowl themed event. 3) Delegate. Who will be in charge of planning and execution? Will you have a committee? If you have the budget, you might even consider hiring an event planner. 4) Set a budget. Be realistic. You don’t want to skimp but you also don’t want to overextend yourself either. Get quotes from multiple vendors so you can ensure you’re getting the best deal. 5) Create a marketing plan. How will your customers and prospects know about your event? Will you use social media as well as traditional media? How will you track their effectiveness? 6) Follow up. The engagement shouldn’t end when the event does. Do you have a system for following up with guests? What are the next steps? Let us know how it...