Figure Out What’s Really Important

Figure Out What’s Really Important

 

Dr. Carmen April

 

When you figure out what’s important in to you in this life, it’s easy to let go of what’s not. I can’t be everything to everybody and still be happy with myself so I’ve learned to focus on what’s important and let everything else fall into place as they may.

Where do your priorities stand? Do you feel pulled in many different directions and finding that you aren’t at peace with where those paths are taking you? If so, it’s time to make some changes! Make a list of the things/activities/roles in your life that are most important to you. These reflect your CORE desires. These are the big rocks you put in the bucket 1st. Everything else, the smaller rocks and the sand, fill in AFTER your priorities are taken care of. If you fill your bucket with the small rocks and sand first, there will be no room for those things most important to you. When you learn that you can count on yourself, nothing else counts!

 

Dr. Carmen April          Dr. Carmen April is an entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a Nashville Emerging Leader (NELA) Award Winner, a Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter. She is a Reiki Master, a Law of Attraction Practitioner, and an advocate for the power of positive thinking! Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership and Life Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

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If You Confuse People, You Lose People

If You Confuse People, You Lose People

Uncomfortable

 

              A while back, I was an audience member at a business pitching event. One gentleman got up to deliver his pitch and within the first 2 minutes, completely confused everyone in the room about his idea. He lost half the audience within the first couple minutes and these folks checked out for the rest of his presentation. The other couple of people who remained attentive did so only to rip his presentation to shreds with questions once he was done.

              I’m sure you’ve seen this before if you’re a fan of ABC’s hit program, Shark Tank. Individuals come forth to pitch their inventions to the millionaire sharks and either walk away with an investment from one of the sharks or go home empty-handed. Their fate depends on how well they deliver their pitch and get the sharks to believe in them. It doesn’t take long for the sharks to smell “blood in the water” if the person pitching doesn’t do a great job delivering.

               When crafting your message about who you are and why anyone should believe in you, be it your Leadership abilities, or product or services you are selling, you have to simplify your message. Simplifying your message will take some work, but is essential to communicating why you do what you do and why what you offer is beneficial.

                  In the early stages of working to craft my brand message, I realized I had to highlight the value I bring to both my clients and teams I am leading. It’s not enough for me to emphasize why I’m interested in doing what I love doing for myself. I have to convey the benefit of my passion to others.

Here are 5 tips to remember when working to clarify your brand message:

1.) Follow the KIS Method  – Keep It Simple! People love clear, simple messages that aren’t hard to digest

2.) Know you product or service well – better than anyone else!

3.) Be able to deliver your message to anyone in a 30 second pitch

4.) Remember your value proposition to your consumer

5.) Don’t confuse people because WHEN YOU CONFUSE THEM, YOU LOSE THEM!

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

         Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

You can follow her daily #Leadership insights on Twitter @DrCarmenApril

A Major Branding Insight from a Trip to Louisville, KY

A Major Branding Insight from a Trip to

Louisville, KY

     derby  I was recently in Louisville, KY for the Kentucky College Women’s Leadership Conference held at the University of Louisville as the opening Keynote Speaker  – what an absolute honor! It’s a lot of pressure to kick off a major conference, but from the response I received, I think I did pretty well!

                Because I’ve been known to get turned around a bit when driving to new places (even with my GPS signaling the way in my car!), I like to arrive to important meetings and events a bit early. My presentation wasn’t until later in the evening on the day I arrived so I checked into my hotel early and ventured around downtown. I dined at a wonderful restaurant I’d heard a lot about and made a mental note of some other places I wanted to come back to and see the next day. Throughout my entire stay in Louisville, I started to take note of the major brands associated with this city. There were horses (statues of horses) everywhere! I saw people walking around with Louisville slugger bats as souvenir’s from the museum. Kentucky Bourbon was at the top of every single menu of every restaurant I visited. Everything was uniquely southern!

               CONSISTENCY IN LEADERSHIP & BRANDING–  The city of Louisville does a great job of having their hotels, restaurants and small business on board with the major brands present there – Horses, Bourbon and all things southern. There are horses or images of horses everywhere you look. Surprisingly, it doesn’t feel like overkill! We all know that Louisville is home to the world-famous Kentucky Derby. When most of us think of the Derby we think of that 1-day annual event on the first Saturday in May. However, the city celebrates The Kentucky Derby year around. I saw statues of horses, portraits of horses, and Kentucky Derby themed cocktails on restaurant menus. The city is CONSISTENT with that brand and everyone from restaurants to hotels, to clothing stores, gift shops, visitor tours, etc reflects that brand.

                This started me thinking of the Leadership involved in branding on a smaller scale such as small businesses or individuals crafting personal brands. When crafting a brand, it’s important to ensure that every part of your team understands what you want the brand reputation to say and develop creative ways to effectively communicate that. The way you communicate that message should be consistent, creative and capture the attention of your target audience. I’ve never really been into horses as a passion, but I got on board with the Kentucky Derby concept while I was there because of how the city creates a fun atmosphere around it. I enjoyed it so much that I would love to go back with a group of friends on a food and museum adventure!

Is your Leadership, business, or personal brand as CONSISTENT as you want it to be or feel it should be? If not, what steps can you take, right now, to be more consistent in your message?

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

           Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

You can follow her daily #Leadership insights on Twitter @DrCarmenApril

What a Recent Food Trend Teaches Us About Leadership

What a Recent Food Trend Teaches us About

Leadership

You can't cater to everyone

                There’s a recent food trend around the country that can be examined to illustrate how important it is to define (ie Brand) your Leadership style. I came across this post on Mashable that discusses small businesses carving out a niche for themselves. If you own a small business, are the face of your small business” as a solopreneur or if you hold a leadership role in a larger company, it’s important to understand how finding and establishing what you are really good at, your niche, works to your advantage.

              If you cater to everyone, essentially, you cater to No one! – As a leader you must be consistent in those things that make you the best leader you know how to be. While every team you lead will have its own flavor, it’s the direction of the leader that sets the tone for the rest of the group. That’s why it’s important for leaders to Understand their own  individual leadership styleand Deliver it really well! In this Mashable article, each of these New York City restaurants focuses on one item and becomes really creative with that one item! Who knew you could make grilled cheese so many different ways? What about Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches? These aren’t your 3rd grade lunch box PB&J Sandwiches we’re talking about! Some of these PB&J sandwiches are going for more than $9 each!! Guess what? Customers are paying that price because they know what to expect from the restaurant. They count on the restaurant to be really, really good at PB&J because, essentially, that is what they specialize in!

                 What does your Leadership brand say about you. Does your team know what to expect from you? Are you consistent in how you deliver visions and measure results? You can’t be everything to everybody. You must narrow in on a a specific leadership style that is true to you and work to become the best reflection of that individual style you can!

 

Dr. Carmen April's Speaker Series

Dr. Carmen April’s Speaker Series

               Dr. Carmen April is a young entrepreneur and community leader recognized as a 2013 Nashville Business Journal Top 40 Under Forty Award Recipient and is a 2014 Graduate of the New Leaders Council Institute – Nashville Chapter.  Dr. April is available for speaking engagements on Leadership for College Students and Young Professionals.

You can follow her daily #Leadership insights on Twitter @DrCarmenApril