I was recently invited to participate in several career workshops with high school students in the Chicagoland area. During a presentation at a predominantly white high school in Indiana, I met a young man of color named Brian. Within five minutes of meeting him, I knew he was destined for success. His enthusiasm was electrifying.
During my discussion about entrepreneurship, branding, and blogging, I spoke a lot about my career and educational choices. Although teens can be too cool to appreciate guest speakers, Brian was an exception. His energy and personality was so inspiring, that it reminded me, how we as entrepreneurs should be excited about our brands. Brian did several things that were very encouraging and that I feel all entrepreneurs can apply to their experience when managing their brands on a daily basis.
Despite being only one of two minorities in this non-racially and ethnically diverse business class, Brian took advantage of the moment and let nothing stop him. He said that he would like to attend a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and his career interests were in marketing and engineering. Thus, during my presentation, he asked me questions about going to an HBCU (Spelman College) and how I began my career in marketing. Despite the slight giggles from the class who were shocked that he asked so many questions, he flashed his beautiful smile; ignored them; and focused on the information he needed to know to succeed.
Although a young teen, Brian already has a glimpse of what he wants to achieve in life and his positive attitude was proof that he believed it could and would happen.
My time with Brian reminded me…
1) Don’t focus on what other people are doing.
How much time do you waste thinking about what naysayers may think about the decisions you make for your brand? Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from focusing on your brand and the steps it will take to reach your desired success.
2) Meet the right people.
Be strategic about meeting people. As an accomplished business rock star recently told me she did early on in her career, “Make sure you are in the right places to meet the right people.” Sometimes this meant this entrepreneur had to pay to be at a particular business conference or a special event. However, she felt it was worth the investment—to be in the presence of experts and the right movers and shakers, who aligned with the vision she had for her brand at that time.
3) Be assertive and ask the right questions.
Don’t wait for others to begin the dialog when you are in a workshop. If you have questions or concerns of interest, don’t hesitate to ask. Share your wish for enhancing your brand and when the presenter shares the right information for you, grab it and run.
4) Be confident in your dreams.
Don’t muddy up the vision of your dream with doubts and insecurities. Constantly find ways to empower yourself by thinking of ways you can make things happen instead of why they won’t happen; building a trusted network of support; and investing your time and money in classes, webinars, and workshops that will help to create the best version of you.
Today is a new day. Why not get fired up about your brand?
Wishing you all the best, Business Rock Stars!
What ways do you stay motivated to succeed? Leave a comment below or tweet them to me at @bestrategicPR.