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5 Steps To Become A True Entrepreneur From One College Dropout Who Reinvented Himself

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5 Steps To Become A True Entrepreneur From One College Dropout Who Reinvented Himself

Dropping out of college and hanging out in your parents’ garage aren’t parts of the traditional recipe for success. In Sam Ovens case, something was different. By his second year of university, Sam knew that staying in school was not doing him any good. He wasn’t interested in the 9 to 5. Like most budding entrepreneurs, he wanted something different – something better.

In 4 short years, Sam made $10,000,000 dollars and moved out of his parents’ New Zealand garage to Manhattan. Sam rewrote the playbook for the consulting industry, and, at 26, he’s one of the fastest-rising successful entrepreneurs. There was no magic moment that turned his life around, and his rapid success offers lessons for other, would-be entrepreneurs.

Successful Entrepreneurs Are Made by Experience

OVENS International, the consulting company that led to this entrepreneur’s wild success, was not his first business. It wasn’t even his first successful business. It did change the way he thinks about entrepreneurship, however. From his parents’ garage, Ovens had started several previous businesses, including a reverse job board that flopped after nine months of hard work and investment. He had nothing, but didn’t quit.

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Research shows that he was in good company, repeat entrepreneurs are more successful. Learning from mistakes is what separates a business owner with a decent shot at success from someone like Sam Ovens, who entered the business consulting industry, flipped it on its head, and enjoyed wild success by the age of 26.

Never Underestimate the Value of Being Organized

Repeat business ownership can teach valuable lessons, but only if you are prepared to learn from previous mistakes. Planning and organizing are vital to an entrepreneur’s skillset for a few reasons, most importantly because you can’t learn a lesson from the past if you don’t know where things went wrong in the first place.

There is another reason to stay organized and plan. Building your personal brand takes time and commitment. Your agenda will already be packed, and if you aren’t following a schedule and planning, making time for personal branding could be easy to overlook. Your personal brand is just as important as your company’s branding. Look at Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Richard Branson – their names are synonymous with the companies they created.

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Look for Solutions Where Others Think They are Impossible

One lesson repeat entrepreneurs master is the need to rethink approaches, both theirs and accepted industry practices. The willingness to self-criticize, analyze, and innovate are skills that make breakthroughs more possible.

One of the most common questions startup owners are asked is how they came up with their ideas. Sam’s story offers a clear lesson on this count. The innovative nature of startups is often a result of the analytical nature of the people running them. Innovation isn’t a one-time event in a successful startup’s life. Success doesn’t revolve around a single decision. It’s a process that evolves over time, as important decisions are evaluated and reevaluated. The willingness to rethink what existed is why Ovens’ consulting firm succeeded so quickly, and how he could reshape the industry’s grey areas into a clear science.

Talk to People

No matter how amazing your product or service is, it cannot sell itself. Talking with people about what you do is a major step in advancing your brand, and one that can be particularly difficult for introverts. Start with your personal network. Discuss your business with friends and family, and sell them on what you do. It’s often easier to sell to your personal network. They already know you, and talking with them is less intimidating than approaching strangers.

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Once you have your elevator pitch mastered and have made a few sales in your personal network, ask for referrals. Grow your business through family and friends first, and ask for testimonials. The ego boost from a few good testimonials will help you to get over any rejection you might face later and you can also use them to help attract new customers.

Last Word – Keep Analyzing and Evaluating Your Decisions

Sam Ovens took an incredible journey from living in a garage with three failed businesses behind him to managing a multimillion dollar consulting firm from Manhattan. He’s made millionaires out of nine other consultants and helped nearly 140 more earn six-figure incomes. His success is the product of repeatedly analyzing and evaluating himself and his company and remaining flexible but persistent.

Look in the mirror. Don’t be afraid to criticize yourself or your business. The change brought on through careful analysis can take your business from a pipe dream to an overnight success.

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Featured photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on August 25, 2021

Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

“Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

What Is Your Personal Brand?

“Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

According to Castrillon,[2]

“One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

“if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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1. Set Your Personal Goals

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  4. What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

3. Write Your Professional Story

Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other People’s Stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

“your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

Reference

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