Creative Badass Challenge – Dave Conrey

I know.  I talk about him quite a bit.  I swear, I’m not a stalker but he resonates with me.  I love his attitude, his delivery, and message.  I have been taking his Creative Badass Challenge (I could have sworn I posted about it before but I guess not).  I signed up to participate in this challenge on June 3rd (2015).  It’s a 28 day program to help you “change the way you live & work.”  Officially, I have completed Day 16.  It has been much longer than 16 days since I began this challenge but some of the daily challenges took me a lot longer than a day to complete (not to mention my husband’s surgery and other health issues).  As of today, I already have a business I am planning for (and thoroughly excited about), and you read my last post outlining my progress in other aspects of getting this business ready for lift-off.  I’m just so excited and, when I did the day 16 challenge I just could not believe my eyes: the challenge is to do something that I am currently doing already (began doing this a couple of weeks ago because of my “shiny object” affliction).  That’s when I knew I had to spread the word far and wide.  You NEED to sign up for this challenge (and complete it … and don’t put it on hold too long, like I did with my Public Speaking course on Coursera so now I have to repeat the last chapter).

Aside from the knowledge and insight you will gain, a great thing about this challenge is IT IS TOTALLY FREE!!!

Dave has been very generous over the years but this, by far, is one of the best deals around.  Take this challenge!  You will not be disappointed.

Here’s a video explaining the challenge:

 

Advertisements

Selling Yourself–The Art of a Winning ‘About Page’ with Melissa Cassera

http://www.amyporterfield.com/2015/07/about-page-melissa-cassera/

So, I have made some steps toward fulfilling my goal of figuring out who I am. See, in an earlier post, I mentioned I am a teacher and student. I love to share all the new crafty things I have been learning … well, no. I love sharing anything I learn, from how to fix your refrigerator to how to crochet this new-to-me stitch. I have also been a bit of a freak (for years and years) about business.

I have always had a voracious appetite for anything having to do with business. My interest was never in a specific business but business in general. I consume anything I can get my grubby little hands on that is even remotely related to business. This week begins a new chapter in my business education. I will be retooling everything. I have registered a new domain name, have come up with a business format (something I will truly love doing that is perfect for my Attention Deficit Disordered mind), and will (once again) be building a new website. I may also (though I’m not quite sure how the transition will happen) be consolidating this blog with one of my other ones and kicking that identity to the curb. I have been feeling that coming on for a long time, that need to break away from the identity I used for so many years on my website, forums and even online radio. I am no longer “Sustainablehome.” I am Brenda Nolen, happy to share who I am and what I have to offer with the world.

That’s where the link above comes in. I can’t tell you how many times I have stared blankly at my “About” page and had no idea what to type. Heck, despite just listening to this podcast, I still have not checked my “About” page here to see how well I did (that’s because that will distract me from my tasks for the day, so I will probably take care of that within the next few weeks).  You really need to listen to this podcast if you want to have a fantastic “About” page anywhere (whether it is your blog, web site, Facebook page, or just about anywhere you talk about yourself).

Public Speaking – Coursera

Since I know I want to make You Tube videos and/or podcasts (still don’t know what the subject will be) I decided to take this free course through Coursera:

https://www.coursera.org/learn/publicspeaking/

It’s a self-paced course that does not offer Verified Certificates but it’s a start.  See, there is a disconnect between my brain and my mouth.  When I’m typing, it’s almost like channeling an intelligent entity.  When I speak, I stumble and resort to wording that typically is not meant for the general public. 🙂

I’m REALLY hoping to be able to purchase a video camera soon, so hopefully by the end of the class, I will be able to post an awesome video with no “uh”, “um”, or (my latest term for a person’s name who I really don’t want to work to remember) “whatshisnuts”.

Speaking of Coursera, I am kicking myself in the back side for not taking advantage of more of the courses when they first started.  Then, they were all free and most offered certificates of completion.  Now, I have noticed, you must pay for most of the courses that offer certificates (if you want that certificate, which would be nice to have).  See, my formal education is pretty sparse.  The only proof I have that I know certain topics is my word (or to show examples).  Those pieces of paper would help immensely if my word/examples are not good enough for a potential employer.  I’ll figure something out but in the mean time, I will be loving every second of every free (appropriate … can get easily distracted on the website) course I can get my grubby little paws on!

Be Everywhere – Smart Passive Income Podcast

No, though it feels like it, I have not fallen off the map.  I have been dealing (and thinking about) those trials I discussed.  Then, once I finally decided how to deal with them, I needed a release.  I began a tutorial on Adobe Illustrator (so, once I decide on a logo that represents me, I will be able to make it myself) but spent most of the weekend playing Diablo 3 with my husband.

Today, I needed something that would not require me to sit still, so I thought I would finally listen to this podcast:

Be Everywhere – Building a Profitable BRAND by Thinking Outside the Blog

I downloaded it a while back, thinking I would listen to it once I figured out what I wanted to do with my life.  Well, it turns out that if you even think about having a blog, podcast, or You Tube channel (whether it’s for money or not), you NEED to listen to this podcast!  He gives wonderful tips for everything from which programs are the best to how to tag/which key words to use!  I don’t know why I didn’t listen to this sooner!  I am writing my list (I’ve already had video camera and digital camera on my list for a while).

So, let me know what you think and check out the rest of his site.  There is so much information that I could (and have) get lost on it!

Tim O’Brien on Personal Branding – CSUN

I’m a huge fan of video/audio presentations.  So, while sitting here, recovering from a night of insomnia, I decided to add to my You Tube channel (actually, tailor it to this blog).  I found this presentation from 2012, given by Tim O’Brien.  He is an expert who helps people develop a successful personal brand. This is an informational presentation he gave to Business Honors Students at California State University, Northridge.

So, what makes this one any different than the websites/courses I’ve already shared?  This: “Your brand is the word or phrase people think of when they think of you.”  Well, my immediate thought was a smart-alack comment (which probably is true in a lot of cases) but I have no idea otherwise.

So, watch the video.  I love it!  I’ve also turned the video into an audio file (below the video) so it can be downloaded and listened to at your convenience.

 

Click to listen or download: http://www.mediafire.com/download/3e69smu6tcvxkhm/Tim_O’Brien_Personal_Branding_(Unedited).mp3

 

Personal Branding – Where You Want To Be – Steps 1 and 2

9:00 am – I am so stuck on step one!  This is from http://www.quicksprout.com/the-complete-guide-to-building-your-personal-brand-chapter-1/, Where You Want To Be, Step 1 (Determine The Aspects Of Your Life That Have Been Rewarding).  I have this basic list of … generic “stuff” that I haven’t been able to narrow down.  I’ve had this list, in this form, since Friday and all I keep doing is staring at it, thinking, “And?”  I’m sure it doesn’t help that, in addition to this life-altering journey I have embarked on, I’m working my way to becoming a non-smoker (dealing with the emotional “needs” that have kept me smoking for 28 years without gaining back all the weight I have lost).

I did a search on Google for “break through” and this popped up. lol You can find this on Deviant Art http://magictrick5125.deviantart.com/art/Nerd-Break-Through-311479524

11:00 am – Well, would you look at that?  I took a nap (my body is not happy with me at the moment) and I’ve broken through!  I’ve whittled down my random thoughts into a list of 5 acts in my life that have been/are rewarding.  Not only that, I have completed step 2 (Narrow Down The Aspects To A Potential Vision) also (pretty much)!

So, what are these 5 acts that have been rewarding?

  1. Gaining and sharing knowledge that has improved my life
  2. Developing creative solutions to problems
  3. Nourishing others, mind, body, and soul (or doing my best to 🙂 )
  4. Sharing my successes and failures to help others
  5. Writing

So, the next step (Create An Ideal Career Ending) … well, that.  My brain has already skipped it (ooh, I can take writing classes!) so I will have to force it back a step.  I just took a look at the rest of Chapter 1 of The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand and realized … this is just Chapter 1 and I’m not even half-way through!  I’ll work on the next two steps today and then move on (hopefully tomorrow) to Others Worth Emulating.

Personal Branding – Who Am I? – Traits

So, steps four and five of Defining Who You Are from The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand is Identify Your Ideal Traits and discuss the results with family and friends. I looked at the list on that page and immediately thought, “Eh, I don’t know.”

But look! There is a link to a test that will tell you what your traits are! Here are my results: My Big 5 Personality Traits Results and here they are in list form:

  • You are somewhat conventional.
  • You are well-organized, and are reliable.
  • You tend to shy away from social situations.
  • You find it easy to express irritation with others (Who?  Me? Insert innocent face).
  • You are generally relaxed.

I can’t agree more with the results and I’m sure my family and friends would agree with these most of these results.  It turns out that I need to work on “well-organized” (I just found out my perception of me being organized is not shared by others) AND “shying away from social situations”.  See, there are many times when it feels like there is a disconnect between my brain and my mouth.  When I type, it’s like channeling a smart person.  When I speak, I feel like an ignorant fool (with a foul mouth).  That is what has held me back from speaking on any more radio programs/podcasts … the intellectual disconnect.  I stumble over words, have difficulty remembering proper terminology, and it comes out of my mouth as “that doo-hickey or thingamajig or whatsitsnuts”.  Then, I curse.  🙂

Working on organization will require me to get out of my own head: actually ask others for their opinions/help.  That’s not an easy thing for me to do.  I’m the kind of person who, when something needs to be done, dives headlong into a project.  I learn everything I can about how to do it properly and, if I get stuck, I just learn more (putting the project on hold).  When did this attitude first develop?  When I had a broken down car and every male who promised they would work on it didn’t.  I bought a Chilton’s and got going on it (it never ran again … contaminated fuel system) but I knew how to figure that out and realize what I could and could not do myself.  That’s when I first discovered that the only person you can truly rely on is yourself.

So, that’s it.  I’ve completed all the steps of figuring out who I am.  Now, I need to reflect on everything I’ve come up with.  That last sentence of the last paragraph kinda threw me for a loop.  I can see being that way then (single parent) but I’ve been married for almost 15 years and didn’t realize I still felt that way.  That’s not a reflection on my husband but on me.  Hmmm … need to think.

Personal Branding – Who Am I? – Passions

This is step 3 (Defining Your Passions) from Defining Who You Are from The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand and this is where my A.D.D. really kicks in.

Here’s the straight-up, actually written on paper list of what my passions are (I will elaborate on those passions that require it):

  • My husband
  • Business
  • Graphic Design – All Things Digital/Computer Related/Internet
  • Education
  • Self Improvement

Now, for the elaborations.

Business: I have been a total geek for anything related to business (in general) for as long as I can remember.  I love just about everything about the topic of business (except taxes).  I even have a diploma from a technical school (which is worth less than the paper it’s printed on but cost me $5,000) in Small Business Administration (I learned Lotus there … yes, LOTUS lol … in my defense, it WAS 1992).  From day to day administrative duties to marketing, I love it (heck, I even loved working with one office manager to develop the standards and practices that enabled the company to become ISO certified).

Graphic Design: So, the other day I stumbled onto this wonderful podcast (that I obviously can’t say enough about) Fresh Rag.  I began to browse through the podcasts when I noticed a theme (yeah, I’m a bit slow sometimes): The site focuses on artists (anything creative)… then he mentions Graphic Artists.  I decide to look up exactly what the term Graphic Artist is and that’s when I hear the angels sing.  🙂  Just about every area of interest I have falls under that category!  Take a look at the courses offered at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and you will get an idea of what I’m talking about.  I really had no idea that everything I’ve been learning (or wanting to learn) fell under one category!

Education: No subject is safe from my interests.  Anywhere from fiber arts (knitting, crocheting, weaving, etc.) to rebuilding a car engine, I have learned it and will continue to as long as I enjoy doing it.  This past year, I have strayed from my typical “only if it’s practical I can learn it” education to pushing more creative pursuits.  I completed (framed and hung) my first ever water-color painting and now that I’m sitting here, contemplating creating a logo that represents me, I guess I should learn to draw (I currently can draw a mean stick figure, though in high school I once read that the human hand was the most difficult part of the human anatomy to draw correctly so I spent months on that one subject).

My First (and only) Watercolor Painting
My First (and only) Watercolor Painting

Self Improvement: This really could fall under the subject of education but this is more personal.  We all have issues/hang-ups and if we do not learn to overcome them, we will never move forward in our lives.  So, looking at this more in-depth, I have been on the quest of “Personal Branding” for over two years.  I’ve been working on breaking through the self-built walls in my life, pushing past my comfort zone, and learning to embrace not only who I am but who I can (and will) become.

So, that’s where I am today. Step Four of Defining Who You Are from The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand is Identify Your Ideal Traits.  This should be fun!  I will begin this today so, hopefully, it will be ready to post tomorrow.  This will be posted today.

Personal Branding – Who Am I? – Values

These are steps one and two of defining who you are from The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand.

This one has been particularly difficult.  The goal is to define your values, then prioritize them.  That tiny list of values on their page did nothing for me.  I really had no idea what was required of me.  So, a-Googling I went.

Creating And Living by Your Own List of Values

And

What Are Your Values? (This one has a list of 100 values to choose from)

So, what are my values?  They are things I never equated to values.  The first thing that popped into my head when I read the word “Values” was the Bible but did any one example show itself?  Nope.  I obviously have never thought of values.  Here is the initial list I wrote down.  It’s pretty much alphabetical.

Initial List of Values:

  • Achievement
  • Competence
  • Challenging Problems
  • Decisiveness (which is a difficult one for me, since I tend to weigh the pros and cons of so many of the decisions I make that by the time I make a decision, it’s either too late or I’ve lost interest)
  • Efficiency
  • Growth
  • My Husband
  • Honesty
  • Influencing Others
  • Responsibility and Accountability
  • Knowledge
  • Personal Development
  • Quality of What I Take Part In
  • Stability

So, now I have to whittle this list down.  Not just that, I also have to put whatever list I end up with in order of importance!  Now is when you get to see how my brain works.  See, I think Competence and Efficiency should go hand in hand (so I can just move those to a single entry 🙂 ).  Also, Honesty should go hand in hand with Responsibility and Accountability because if you are blaming others for something you are at fault for, isn’t that lying (not only to others but yourself)?  I do not like the term “Influencing Others”.  In my brain, that sounds pushy, like I’m trying to be Obi Wan Kenobi (I love this image, from the presentation: Neuromarketing: The Brain Science of Web Marketing)

Doesn’t “Educating Others” sound better?  So, that would go with Knowledge, right?  😀  See what I mean about how my brain works?  There never is a single ‘correct’ answer.  I will delete (yes, remove) Stability.  While I love Stability (especially financial … knowing I will be able to continue to pay bills is wonderful), embarking on this life-altering mission of discovery has (or will) upset the apple cart.  Now, to prioritize.

Here’s my new list, in order of importance:

  1. My Husband (who is wonderfully accepting of all my tangents/projects/changes I’ve already made in my life)
  2. Competence, Efficiency and Quality
  3. Knowledge and Educating Others
  4. Responsibility, Accountability and Honesty
  5. Growth

So, that’s it!  My brain’s exhausted.  I haven’t used it this much since I was learning to meditate (yeah, you read that right.  It was truly exhausting teaching my brain to stop fidgeting).  Are you ready to truly look at yourself and figure out what values you hold in highest regard?

Tomorrow, I’m onto Step Three (and possibly Four, depending on how long it takes me to complete Step Three) of defining who you are from The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand.  I’ll see you then!

Personal Branding – Step by Step

So, the four basic questions that need to be answered are:

  • Who Are You?
  • What Do You Do?
  • Who Do You Serve?
  • What Kind of Experience Do You Want People To Have When Your Name Comes Up?

If these four questions aren’t enough to make your head spin, then you are further down the path of self discovery than I am!  Heck, despite my first post, I’m still really on question 1.  I keep getting it mixed up with question 2.

Despite my typical learning style (glance through the questions, jump to question 4, get bogged down in the muck, realize I need more basic knowledge/information, then begin on question 1), I am bound and determined to do this one correctly the first time.  After all, isn’t that really what we all want to know?  Who are we, really?  Not the superficial facade we developed over the years to please those outside ourselves (or, for some of us, we didn’t necessarily want to please, we wanted to prove to others we are/are not who they expected us to be).

To many people out there, I am ~cough~ a foul mouthed, crude, rude, opinionated bitch who’s just itching for a fight.  I don’t care about anyone’s opinions that differ from my own.  Also, once you cross me, I’m done with you.  Period.  I saw this on Facebook and immediately had to share it, since this was my parenting style:

Doormat

To some, I am the quiet one who sits in the corner, observing.  I smile and nod in agreement despite the fact that I think what they are saying/doing is bat-shit crazy.  Actually, this is what made me so good at my role of abused girlfriend.  I did such a good job of hiding what was going on behind closed doors that still, to this day (22 years later), many still do not believe me.  Heck, even my father didn’t believe me at the time.  So, I don’t talk about it.  That’s why so few people (until reading this post) have any idea I was in such a situation.

Then, to others, I’m the joker.  I have a sick sense of humor.  I will never reveal to anyone outside my immediate family some of the things that have me laughing so hard, I begin to sob.  Without laughter, I don’t really see a point in living.  Maybe that’s why, out of all the superheros out there, I have embraced Batman the least:

So, who am I?  I know I am a mix of all three of these personas (depending on the situation) but how do I turn that into a definition of who I am?  What makes me tick?  I guess it’s time for me to pull out pen and paper because I still don’t know.  How about you?

In case you are unable to take the Lynda.com course on Personal Branding Basics, here are some links I found that may help you in this journey:

This one has an annoying pop-up that appears every time you move the cursor too high or low on the page but I really like the way they have their guide setup:

http://www.quicksprout.com/the-complete-guide-to-building-your-personal-brand/

This one I liked because of the title 🙂 :

http://mashable.com/2014/11/10/personal-branding-lazy-guide/

And this one is by Pricewaterhouse Cooper for college students:

http://www.pwc.com/us/en/careers/campus/programs-events/personal-brand/index.jhtml#overview

And please take a look at the links I have over there (pointing my finger to wherever my links are being displayed).  I will be adding to the list as I discover more gems of knowledge online.