Success Tip: Taking the First Step

March 6, 2011

If you are like most entrepreneurs, you have BIG plans.  The success journey can be a long one and you are eager to take that first step.  The question is…which one should it be?  Like a toddler who is taking those first tentative steps, some will be met with words of encouragement and applause and others many have you landing on your backside with a thud.  Either way, if you don’t pull yourself up and step forward, you will never get anywhere. Read the rest of this entry »

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Success Tip: See yourself as others do

February 8, 2011

The key to success is not how you see yourself.  It is how others see you, speak of you and think of you. 

Over the last year, I have had the opportunity to work with some fabulous companies and look at what their social media map had to say about them through their own words and the eyes and words of others. 

As part of our annual CorePurpose brand assessment, I pulled the text of the CorePurpose Blog, CorePurpose website, the @Replies from all five of our primary Twitter Ids along with other online sites and mentions and ran them through a program to get the top words in a cloud.

 jkw cloud

What you see is what we got.  If you were to do the same exercise for your company, what words would you find?

Your brand is how OTHERS see you.

Social Media and the wider web is a powerful tool.  Today more that ever, as entrepreneurs, marketers, and individuals, we have the opportunity to help  shape our brands.  What is out there is at the fingertips of every customer, investor, employee and employer. 

Our words and actions shape how others see us. 

What we say, what we write and what we do form a body of evidence that will follow us for a very long time.  What we don’t say and don’t do can have an equal impact.

If you want to succeed in today’s world, here are some things that anyone can do to build an online body of evidence about who they are and what they offer to others:

LinkedIn

Your LinkedIn profile is your chance to tell your professional story.  Make sure it is complete and accurate.  Your LinkedIn connections are your professional network. Guard them well.  Use judgment in making and  accepting connections and keep it professional.  You never know when someone might want to check you out.

Facebook

On the personal side, how you interact with your friends says a lot about who you are.  Are you sharing and caring?  Funny or smart?  Facebook is a great place to let your hair down and interact – but remember to use a bit of tact. Professional contacts just might stop by to see the “real” you. DON’T embarrass  yourself by sharing things you might wish you had not later… and that goes for your photos too!

For your business, project, or group, set up a Facebook page. It’s a great way to share news, ask for feedback and interact with people who have something to share about what matters most to your business or organization.

Twitter

What are you doing, reading or thinking about?  Twitter is a great way to share it and find out what is interesting to others too.  With a wide range of tools and apps to help you find your way around, Twitter let’s you connect to a larger world than the one you may have built face to face.  If you are interesting and willing to reach out and show interest in others, interesting people WILL find you and you can find them too.  Twitter is the place to be inclusive.  Cast a wide net and you just might connect with people that you would never otherwise get a chance to meet and share ideas with.

Blogs

Have something to say or share?  Blog it.  Be creative and consistent.  You might be surprised as to who might be interested and willing to join the conversation.  Let people know when you share something on your blog with a Twitter update or Facebook post.  There are even tools that will do this for you automatically. You have gifts and knowledge to share. Don’t be stingy.  Put it out there.

Websites

Over 25 years ago, a friend shared with me that the day will come when if you do not have a website, no one will believe your company is “real”. That day has definitely arrived and with so many easy and inexpensive  ways to build one, there is no excuse not to.  Whether your website is a simple 5 page brochure on your products and services or something much more sophisticated, your website tells people who you are and what you have to offer.  Don’t make them  guess.  They probably won’t bother.

The power of any tool lies in the hand of the user.

What you see above is a selection of the most common tools you can use to  build your personal or business brand in today’s socially connected world.  There are many, many more. But a tool is only a tool.  It becomes useful in the hands of the craftsman. (Yes, that’s you.) We use tools to build things up and tear things down.  How you use your tools will say a lot about how others see you.  Be remarkable and people will build your brand for you.  Be invisible and your brand will be too.

Don’t assume anything.  Check! Audit your social media presence.  Track what people are saying and be sure to respond with a “thank you” when it’s positive and a solution to the problem when it’s not.  When you do, you just might find that who you or your company have to offer is written in the  clouds.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

About the Joan:

Koerber-Walker-056 An entrepreneur, author, speaker and corporate advisor, Joan Koerber-Walker’s journey has spanned from corporate America to entrepreneurship and non-profits as well as to community leadership and into the halls of Washington D.C.   Beginning on 2009, she decided to learn more about the evolving world of social media.  Today she is connected to a community of over 150,000 and the lessons she has learned have been profiled in The Social Media Bible and The ROI of Social Media.  You can find more posts about what she has learned along the way by clicking here. To learn more about how CorePurpose and the CoreAlliance can help you grow your business in 2011, you can contact her by clicking here.

CorePurpose  is a registered trademark of CorePurpose, Inc.  CoreAlliance is a  service mark of CorePurpose Inc.  All rights reserved

Success Tip: Check out the BIG Game

February 6, 2011

Today is the big day, Super Bowl XLV.  Folks will be donning green and gold or gold and black.  Friends will gather around TV sets across the country gobbling up things they know that should not eat and for this one day of the year the DVR is set not to skip the commercials, but to catch them for instant replay.

Teams have sweated and toiled.  Investing  millions for their time in the global spotlight.

Closed door meetings, strategy sessions, the big chase, and surprising twists… all come together on Super Bowl Sunday.

 

Chevy provides a behind the scenes look at the drama and strategy of creating a 2011 Super Bowl commercial.

Oh yeah, there is a football game too.

In business, every day is Game Day.

Most of us will never field a team in the world’s most  famous grid iron match up or take the leap to bet around $3 million for a 30 second spot in its commercials although GoDaddy’s Bob Parsons will gleefully tell you what they have done for his team’s business.

It’s not a bet if you know the outcome ~ Bob Parsons

As entrepreneurs, investors, leaders or teammates, success in the BIG game means that every day is game day.  Here are a few things to keep in mind as you watch from the stands or from the couch…

It starts with a coin toss – it does not end there.

Success always has en element of luck to it. Good luck may move you forward faster just as bad luck might slow you down.  But being lucky early does not ensure success. Here is a bit of Super Bowl Trivia:

The team that has won the coin toss is 19-22 all time in the Super Bowl and has lost the past 4 straight and 9 of the last 11. (source)

To win in the big game you need a great team

Don’t kid yourself.  The team with strong players, that plays well together has a definite advantage.  Great teams are balanced.  In football you can have a great quarterback, but if you have no offensive line it is unlikely that you will spend a lot of time in the end  zone and if your defense is weak, the other team will.  Successful teams have the right mix to do the whole job, not just one or two super stars intent on carrying the day.

Give the fans something to talk about.

Winning the big game is about the experience.  In football it is the thrill of the win, the roar of the  crowd and the play that fans will talk about for years to come.  In business it is the achievement of goals inside your company, the praise of customers when you deliver on your promises, and the great results  you deliver to your employees, customers, investors, and partners that keep you ahead in the game.

Innovation = Improvement

Don’t confuse flash and showmanship with innovation.  The victory dance in the end zone is not nearly as important as the fact that you got there and need to get there again to win.  Commercials are entertaining at the break, but the real win will be measured when customers walk through your door or visit your website to buy your products and services.  A bit of flash may bring them in once, but products and services that are new, different, and create value for the  customer are what will bring them back again and again.

Success is not built on just one game.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers are playing in Super Bowl XLV because they won a series of games and more importantly they won when it counted.  Winning at the right time matters, just ask the Jets and the Bears. 

Football is more that a game, it’s a big business. And winning in the world of business is a game where the points are measured in value created.  Take a look at this ranking by Forbes of the most valuable NFL Teams.  You’ll need to keep searching all the way down to #14 for Green Bay and #17 to find  the stats for the Steelers.   Sustained value is a combination of smart investments, the right resources plus  a strong team in the front office, on the bench and on the field that creates long-term, sustainable value together.  Interestingly, the Redskins have one of the best track records for value creation in recent years yet they have LOST 55% of the games they played on the field. It’s not just about winning under the lights, everything matters.

So sit back and enjoy the game…

The Super Bowl is an American tradition.  You may watch it for the game, for the commercials,  or simply as a way to spend time  with family and friends.  But as you dig into that pile of chicken wings, tray of nachos or bowl of chili, keep a look out for the big game changers.  You might have something new to talk about at the office come Monday morning when all the “quarterbacks” come out.

So place your bets, rally your team, and enjoy the game.  It’s almost time for the coin toss whether the Big Game starts at 6:30pm ET on FOX or come Monday morning when you and your team take the field once again.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker


Success Tip: Know what you want to be…and why

January 24, 2011

Whether you are charting the course for your personal career or the path your company will follow, there are two questions that have a significant impact on future success:

  • What do you want to be?
  • Why you want to?

Family Cartoon #5032 by Andertoons

Andertoons Family Cartoons

Mark Anderson’s cartoon may make us smile at the perspective of children on a playground – but the bigger question is one that as adults many of us struggle to answer or even are afraid to when we honestly assess career or company.

Let’s look at it from the personal and business perspective:

In your career:

Is your primary goal focused on money or personal satisfaction?

When you tell people what you do, are you proud of it?

If you could do ANYTHING, would you be doing what you do today?

If you were asked WHY you do what you do – would you be happy with the answer?

Would you want your children to follow in your footsteps?

These questions may sound basic, but when you consider that we spend 5 out of 7 days …or more in our chosen careers, it’s worth giving some real thought.

In your business:

Is your primary goal focused on the bottom line or a broader mission?

If an outsider was asked what your company is all about, would it match what you  say internally?

Management jargon aside – what business are you REALLY in.

Do you and your team have what they need to achieve your mission?

Are you a leader in your industry or space?  Do you even want to be?

Is your goal to innovate and push the boundaries of your industry or are you better positioned to follow trends.  (There are draw backs and benefits to both.)

If you could only invest in one company in the whole world – is this the one you would choose – and why?

If you asked  a random 10% of your employees these same questions, what do you think their answers would sound like?

What do you want to be… and why?

Here’s how I answer these questions:

For myself, I am what I want to be… a business builder.  The title does not matter as much as the work.  Seeing a company or organization that has  great potential and can lead in its field and helping it get there makes the hard work and risk worth while.  Some might call this entrepreneurial, others call it corporate leadership. To me, the process of identifying opportunity, creating the structure and delivering value for customers, employees, investors and partners in a way where everyone benefits excites me.  It’s who I am and what I do well. 

Why do I do it?  I cannot imagine doing anything else. 

At CorePurpose, we do the same things.  By providing services and solutions that build businesses and working with others to help find the answers to THEIR questions, we help them create value for their customers, employees, investors, and partners and create value for ours too.  

Why do we do it? Because we chose for our team people who are the best at what they do and share a belief that businesses grow when they can ask the right questions… find the right answers…and act on them.

Feel free to share the answers to yours in the comments below. 

They may sound simple, but if you really think hard …and honestly, you might be surprised by what your answers are.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

About the Joan:

Koerber-Walker-056 An entrepreneur, author, speaker and corporate advisor, Joan Koerber-Walker’s journey has spanned from corporate America to entrepreneurship and non-profits as well as to community leadership and into the halls of Washington D.C.   To learn more about how CorePurpose and the CoreAlliance can help you grow your business in 2011, you can contact her by clicking here.

CorePurpose  is a registered trademark of CorePurpose, Inc.  CoreAlliance is a  service mark of CorePurpose Inc.  All rights reserved

The Success Tip: Dream then Deliver

January 13, 2011

Dreams-and-Delivery

We all dream.  Without dreams there would be no innovation, no entrepreneurs, no purpose.  From our dreams come vision, inspiration and hope.  But dreams are not enough.  To move from the world of dreams to the reality of success, you need to deliver.  Otherwise you just keep dreaming and never get to see your dreams become real.

In dreams begins responsibility. – William Butler Yeats

As entrepreneurs and as innovators we are in the dream business.  As leaders, we share our dreams and encourage others to believe in them to.  This, as Yeats shared, brings with it responsibility.  Daring to share your dreams means committing to do everything in your power to make them happen.  It also brings the obligation to be very clear in what is illusion and what is fact. When others depend on your dreams for the basis of theirs, you better be ready to deliver. There is nothing worse that having to explain yourself to a disillusioned dreamer who believed in YOU.

If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse. – Walt Disney

Too often I hear people quote Disney, but they only use the first part of the the quote.  It sounds so good to say and hear: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” The reality is that while Disney is arguably one of the most creative innovators of the last century, he was also gifted in the art of delivery.  The second half of this famous quote is critically important. Note that he said that it “started with a dream and a mouse.”  It did not end there.    Disney worked tirelessly to build his business, create a vision, recruit top talent to make things happen, and monitored quality of delivery every step of the way.  Disney was not just a dreamer, he was a doer.

Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined. – Henry David Thoreau

What you accomplished in the past is the basis for your experience and that’s about it.  Whether you are sharing your professional history in a resume or sharing your company strategy in a business plan, the message needs to clearly state what you can and will do.  That is what employers are hiring you for, what investors and customers put their money behind, and what employees buy into.  Dreams, imagination, and vision may get people excited, but a solid plan and clear direction lead to follow through.  Focus on how you will deliver and do it. That is what it takes to “live the life you have imagined.”  

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up. – Paul Valéry

We all dream.  Success comes when we wake up, get moving, and deliver.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned….

Joan Koerber-Walker

A note about the quotes you read here. 

Each of the quotes you read in this post where selected not just for their message but for their authors.  Each is linked to a bio you might want to read.  Yeats won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923 and was active in both the arts and the changing times of his native Ireland.  Disney turned dreams and imagination into what is today a global entertainment and media empire.  Thoreau championed ecology and environmentalism over 150 years ago. Talk about a “green” pioneer.  Valéry was a celebrated writer, champion of the arts and advocate for academia and the sciences.  At one point in his life, he took a 20 year hiatus from writing.  When he ended his ‘great silence’ and woke up, he published a work that has been lauded as one of the greatest French poems of the 20th century.

About the Joan:

Koerber-Walker-056 An entrepreneur, author, speaker and corporate advisor, Joan Koerber-Walker’s journey has spanned from corporate America to entrepreneurship and non-profits as well as to community leadership and into the halls of Washington D.C.   To learn more about how CorePurpose and the CoreAlliance can help you grow your business in 2011, you can contact her by clicking here.

CorePurpose  is a registered trademark of CorePurpose, Inc.  CoreAlliance is a  service mark of CorePurpose Inc.  All rights reserved