Archives For brand YOU

brand YOU


How to play in the realm of making a difference

Brand YOU is who you really are. And it’s by embracing this truth you start being a person who makes a difference in life and the world.

It’s not easy, and I reckon this is what it takes to be that person. First, you want to stop just being concerned about the stuff that until now you think is so “important” – like what people think of you, and what your position is, and how much money you got, and your posture in the community, and what you believe in, and all that other stuff that massages your ego and ultimately doesn’t make a difference to anyone or anything.

Then, if you want to play in the realm of difference making, you need to be willing to take a stand. And you won’t get any applause for it either. To the contrary, people will judge you and criticise you and say things behind your back. You will lose friends on Facebook and Instagram as your popularity takes a dive.

I’ve said it before, and I say it again – popularity is for mediocre people. If you want the monument of having made a contribution to the quality of life, then this is the domain – you have to take a stand for who you are, what drives you, and why you do what you do.

And yes, it does take a heck of a lot of courage. What if it turns out that you’re a fool? What if other people laugh at you? What will people think?

Well I can tell you what they’ll think. They will think terrible things about you. What the heck do you think they are going to think? They think terrible things about you anyway.

If you want to move them, inspire them, give them the opportunity to express their own magnificence, and be that person who does make a difference … the hell with what they think.

You got this!

brand YOU


Never be afraid to bet on yourself

We live in a world full of experts. There’s always someone with more experience than you saying how things are supposed to be done – tweeters, bloggers article writers, senior managers, highly paid consultants.

But the reality is that there is no playbook. We’re all just figuring shit out as we go along. And when all’s said and done, what other bet can you make that’s going to be as sure a thing as betting on you? Answer – None. You are the best bet there is.

Every day you are called to make bets on yourself. There are the big bets such as taking a new job, moving to a new city, starting a business, or getting married. And then there are the small, seemingly insignificant bets, which shape your life just as much as the big ones. These are the everyday bets you take – opportunities, choices and decisions that you meet with either a “yes” or a “no”.

And if the idea of betting on yourself feels a little risky or crazy, just consider this: every time you don’t bet on yourself, you will always lose. No amount of betting against yourself is going to bring your dreams to life. In the end you’ll always be left wondering “What if…” as you look back on a lifetime of regrets and unanswered callings.

On the other hand, when you bet on yourself, you’re believing in what’s awesome about you. You’re believing in your potential. You’re believing in your dreams. When you bet on yourself you get to be in action, and give yourself the chance to win big. Will you always win? No way. Sometimes you’ll lose big time, because losing comes with winning. That’s life. And at the end of the day at least you can go to sleep knowing you gave it a go.

I’ve gone into so many situations where I literally have no idea what I’m doing or how I’m going to approach the project. But somewhere inside me, I know. I actually do have the answers. Maybe not all of them, but at least a sketchy outline, and that’s all I need to get started. I pick up the rest of the plan along the way, and somehow it all works out in the end. Most of the time anyway.

So will you bet on yourself? And the answer should be simple. Every. Single. Time.

You can do it. You’ve got this.

brand YOU


The itch you can’t ignore

Life comes in two flavours – the fixed, and the variable.

Most of the people I meet prefer ‘fixed’ over ‘variable’. They want a world that’s safe and secure. They want certainty over doubt. They are dead set on building a world and a future they can count on. And they have a plan to get them there.

At the same time – and in spite of their preference for things ‘fixed’ – they have a constant, nagging itch for the taste of something ‘variable’. The itch to take a risk. The itch to test, to prod, to dare, to try.

And then, like all itches, it stops itching, and is forgotten. And so it sits in the background of their lives, like an annoying pebble-in-the-shoe that pops up every now and then.

Unless they scratch the itch. Flare it up, make it even more itchy. But no, that never happens. And that’s because they have all been taught not to scratch their itch. At school. At home. By their parents. By their friends. “Stop scratching that itch Richard, you’ll just make it worse.”

In this way they have been fed a diet of ‘fixed’ food, off a menu that offers predictability; staying focused; being in control; playing it safe; lying low; avoiding danger; being reasonable; always having a plan; making it safely to death.

The brainwashing is subtle. It doesn’t change their basic need for safety. Instead it just uses that need to convince them that the comfort zone is the place where they need to live their lives. After all, “That’s what sensible people like you do”.

And yet, there is still that part in them that itches to climb trees, to leap about, to shout out, to throw the dice, to take it to the limit. YOLO!

For some the itch will become so overwhelming that it will dominate their days, and ask them put your soul on the line. And if that’s you, it is entirely possible that there won’t be a massive standing ovation for you at the end of today.

That’s okay. There’s still tomorrow.

And at least you lived 🙂

brand YOU


Life begins at the end of your comfort zone

For four years now I have asked groups of people to give themselves a score out of 10 when I make this statement: I am on fire and my work is remarkable.

And the average is a 7 … ALWAYS a 7. They tell me it won’t be a 7 in New York, but it’s a 7. It’s always a 7. Without exception. That’s because we have created a culture where we constantly remind one another about the dangers of standing up, standing out, being different, and being at odds with the group.

Nobody wants to be a 10 or a 4. Because the cardinal sin in the corporate cubicles and boardrooms is to be at odds with the group. The guy who scores himself a 10 is labelled “an arrogant dickhead”. The girl who scores herself a 4 is labelled a “hopeless loser”. Not literally, or to their face, but everyone is thinking it — and everyone knows everyone else is thinking it.

And so a 7/10 is the default setting. The comfort zone. Everyone in the room has been conditioned to prefer fitting in than standing out. Everyone in the room has been seduced into being invisible. Everyone in the room is there to do someone else’s bidding, not to speak their truth. The comfort zone.

My work, and just about everything I do with every waking moment of my life, is to get people to shift from being a 7 to being a 10. To help people discover and realise their full 10/10 potential.

And the first thing I always tell them is Life begins at the end of your comfort zone, so stop being a fucking 7.