It was a tough week last week, with personal and family issues coming to the fore at the Arctic Bee office. Both Luke I respectively took a little time out, albeit for very different reasons.
However, as with all painful experiences in life, there are positives. And as I happen to be doing a dissertation in personal branding, there are many things from the past week that I can relate to business. So here are my takeaways:
1. Be Authentically You
I am lucky to have so many close friends who care about my wellbeing and have been there for me, as well as receiving messages and phone calls from clients and networking colleagues who were concerned as I was taking some time out.
I am very much a people person, have a warm heart and I’m authentically me, which helps develop human connection. When you focus on surface-level connections rather than deep and meaningful connections you have an issue. You cannot maintain an externally perfect image forever; sooner or later it will crumble. So be authentically you and show a little weakness. Not only is it proven in research to improve your personal brand value, it makes you relatable: people do business with people.
Be authentically you with your clients and stakeholders and in your personal branding
2. Know Your Value
If somebody brings your self-worth into question, dig deep and pull on your inner strength. You know your value – just look around you at the people that appreciate you and show it through their actions. Anybody that can’t see the value you have to offer isn’t worth holding on to.
This includes clients. Oh yes, we’ve all had them. The clients who argue over every single penny they spend with you and try and get your prices down even though you know you’re worth so much more. So know your value, because those clients that recognise what a great job you do will be so much more rewarding to work with, and in turn you’ll be incentivised to work hard on their behalf, producing better service and customer care.
If somebody can’t see your value, let them go
3. Listen to the 100 positive voices versus the 1 negative
For every negative there are a thousand positives. We have a tendency to listen to the one negative voice amongst the myriad of positives – it’s a natural human thing to do, but sometimes you need to take a deep breath, step back and see the bigger picture. For the one negative voice I heard last week, there were a resounding number of people who reaffirmed how amazing I am, and these are the people worth focusing on.
This is the same for reviews and customer feedback. One or two negatives shouldn’t detract from the overall great work that you do; listen to feedback and rectify it if you are in the wrong, but if you do a great job and know it, don’t let the naysayers get you down.
When something bad happens, step back. Focus on the positives and put the negatives into perspective.
4. Keep moving forward
Life isn’t static and things happen. But dwelling on what you said or they said or what you could have done differently in any given situation isn’t productive. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t learn from your mistakes, but being stuck in the past and using that as a beacon to guide you and inform your future decisions isn’t so smart either.
Just because one person did this or that in any previous relationship, whether business or personal, doesn’t mean it will happen again, so don’t ignore the red flags but keep an open mind. Because you never know what you might miss out on.
Learn from your past mistakes but don’t let them control you. Let go and open yourself up to future possibility.
5. It’s not about you, it’s them
Know that when somebody is unkind, rude or brings you down, it says more about them than you. I’ve recently experienced somebody being very rude to hospitality staff, so much so that I went to have a quiet word and apologise on their behalf. Maybe not my place, but it doesn’t take much to be nice.
It’s not about standards to treat people badly. That’s not to say that you should never complain, but there are ways to do that and still treat people with dignity and respect. So perhaps it should not have been a surprise when those harsh words were directed towards me. It’s a pattern. It’s not about me personally, it’s about them, and it always is. So, as long as you know that you were true to yourself and authentic, don’t question yourself when somebody brings you down.
When somebody is rude, disrespectful or unkind it says more about them than it will ever say about you.
So there it is – a little wellbeing break this week and some time for reflection. Back to a full on and very productive week for the Arctic Bee team this week.