What are the most difficult words to say? For some of you it might be the anxiety-producing 3 words “I Love You”…
But for most of us, especially entrepreneurs, it’s one simple word – “No”.
Why is this? Because we are open, passionate, like to please and love new possibility and opportunity.
But mastering “No” is one of the most important things we can do to grow our businesses.
I know this might sound like an oxymoron- turn down opportunity to grow- but it’s true.
And your Brand can be a powerful tool to help you know when to say “No” and of course, when to say “Yes”.
When you really understand what your brand is about you can use it to help filter which ideas are great (but not for you) and which Ideas are worth pursuing and investing in.
In fact, I believe you should use your brand to impact every single decision you make. Not just how you communicate, but also… who you work with (and don’t), who you hire and fire, what products and services you develop, the partnerships you form, even how you dress and present your personal brand.
Entrepreneurs are constantly drawn to new opportunities because we are looking for ways to do things differently, better, etc. Which often means that we are attracted to every shiny new proposition or opportunity that comes our way. It’s what I call the Magpie effect:
“Oh look something glimmering over there, let’s swoop it up in our beaks”.
But beware, for most of us (even those working in big companies) resources and energy are a finite often limited quantity.
I had my own brand-led decision making experience just this past week.
Someone presented me with an opportunity to get involved in an exciting project with a really interesting brand challenge. A turn around of a behemoth telecomm technology brand that had great products but an out-dated brand idea and image. It’s the kind of thing most brand consultants would jump at.
But I said “thanks but no thanks”.
Because as Founder of a new company I am finding myself with a lot of opportunity, but a limited amount of time. So I am trying to stay true to the idea of BrandTwist and pursue opportunities to help entrepreneurs grow their brands and help large organizations think and act more entrepreneurial.
This opportunity, while it seemed great (shiny) on the surface was for a very large Agency and a very large Client and while it may have paid the bills for a few months (or more) just instinctively felt like it would be a classic re-branding situation, that while I knew I could do it, didn’t feel like it hit the sweet spot of my brand.
I could have gone down the road of finding out more, convincing myself it was kinda of on brand for what I was trying to build, let myself been seduced by the money etc.
But I know from experience this investigation process would have taken a lot of time and energy that I can’t afford to waste.
So I said “No” quickly and decisively and it felt great.
And instead of spending the time over the next few weeks chasing an opportunity that wasn’t quite right, I’m going to put that time to building the areas of my practice I am most passionate about and where I feel I can truly shine.
Brand is your secret weapon. Use it to grow your business. Use it to say “Yes” to what moves you in the right direction and “No” to what gets you off track.
That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?
How do you use brand to say “No” (or “Yes”)?
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I highly recommend tis class to anybody, to both those who have been in business for a long time, and those just starting out because it will put your business on a different level. – Dr. Marina Kostina, Distance Learning Specialist, CEO of wired@heart