The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 3 months ago

215. Your Personal Brand is Not a Selfish Pursuit w/ Dr. Cindy McGovern

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

You may not realize it but you’re already selling your personal brand to people.  

And your personal brand is directly related to your company’s brand.  

Today’s guest Dr. Cindy McGovern, helps us understand our personal brands and how they can directly coincide with the brands of our companies.  

Hear our conversation with Dr. Cindy McGovern, CEO/First Lady of Sales at Orange Leaf Consulting:

  • How you can establish your personal brand 
  • What people are saying about your legacy 
  • How perfecting your personal brand is not selfish 
  • How to be proactive in selling your personal brand 

More information about Dr. Cindy McGocvern and today’s topics:

Subscribe, listen, and rate/review the Customer Experience Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon, or Google Podcasts, and find more episodes on our blog.

The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. You do have a personal brand and everyone knows what it is, except for you. That quote comes from a new book called Sell Yourself. How to create, live and sell a powerful personal brand. It was written by today's guests, who also spent time with us on episode, which was based in part on her Wall Street Journal Best Seller. Every job as a sales job, how to use the art of selling to win at work. Now I know what some of you might be thinking, and here's my promise to you before we get into the conversation. If you feel like selling or sales or personal brand or personal branding or for someone else, not for you, because there's an ick factor there for you. You do not understand them the way that she teaches them. Our guest is a speaker, a consultant in the first lady of sales. She's earned multiple advanced degrees in communication and she helps all kinds of businesses and individuals with sales strategy, personal development and leadership. Dr Cindy McGovern, welcome back to the customer experience podcast. Thank you so much, Ethan. It is an absolute pleasure to be back with you. Awesome. I'M gonna I'm gonna ask you the same question I did get started. When I say customer experience in your answer might be exactly the same, it might not. We'll find out. When I say customer experience, what does it mean to you? Customer experiences me going through a journey that gives me a story to tell after I've experienced it. I have to walk out with something that I can talk about, that I will want to talk about. To me, that's customer experience. Awesome, there. Arkable quality is one that comes up a lot here, this idea of something worth talking about him. That's IT, right. Does it lead me with enough that I want to write the review or tell a friend, hopefully something positive, because it could be remarkable the other way Um, really well done and super concise. Um, what do you think is just to kind of start opening this up, what is the relationship between customer experience and personal brand. Obviously not every step or touch point of of inexperience involves another person, a lot of them do. I would argue, and I have argued on some shorter self episodes of this podcast, that the ones that involve other people have a greater impact and leave a stronger emotional resonance because we're fellow human beings. But in your mind, what is the relationship, maybe between customer experience and in a personal brand? Um, they're completely intertwined, in my opinion, and the reason for that is exactly what you just said. As humans were pack animals. At the end of the day, we're trying to find an emotional connection and that's partially what creates the impact on you from the experience to give you the story to tell. But it's usually that person or that individual that you're interacting with. So even you know, think about your dry cleaner. You go to a dry cleaner not because they just clean your clothes. There's twelve of those within a mile of your house. You go because you get thirty seconds of interaction with a human that makes you feel good and then you walk out. Yeah, it's so funny. It reminds me of when, when my wife, officially on both of our behalves. Uh changed our primary grocery store because she got tired of going in there and being made to feel like she was an inconvenience to the people around her, whether it was the cashier or the person in the aisle or somebody else. It's just I just don't feel welcome here, which is saying nothing of like that. There's some physical setting issues as well, but the people were like she was made to feel as if they couldn't care less that she was there and that she was a bit of an inconvenient. I'm finally done, and so now we drive eight extra minutes out of our way right because there are grocery stores all over in any case. Do you buy that argument about human to human moments Um and emotional resonance? Like, how does that impact a brand perception, personal brand or corporate brand? So I think that's everything, and that's partially why I wanted to write this book, because they think people have to recognize they do have that brand, whether they know it or not, and it's impacting not only their own success in life, but the success of the company brand and the company brand and self brand. We can talk about that. But, but truly, I do think it's about that human interaction and that impact that you have, because that's the connection you end up having. And it's funny. You're saying you moved your grocery store to a different one, the dry cleaner. I drive to my old neighborhood for the same reason and I find parking in the city and I go in and they're all hours are not great and I still do it because it was that impact, that human...

...connection piece, and I think that actually is really what we're seeking. And even electronically we're seeking that. So even if you're chatting, we're doing that. There is that human impact and we've all seen, you know, chats that go viral on the Internet because they're funny and they're interactive, but it's still that human connection, still the piece. Yeah, let's go at least briefly. It might come up again. I actually pulled a quote out of chapter five because I think it's it's so interesting. I feel like it's really timely. I think it's related to some of the work that I do with the title of a chief evangelist Um and and the quote is part of this new focus on employees personal brands comes from a shift in consumer behavior. So I would love for you to take on on the front half, in the back half of that, a little bit like Um, I know you've been hired to help companies develop personal brands, among a variety of other things that you help companies with. Um, helped develop, you know, this process that I think you've packaged into the book really nicely, Um, but personal brands religion to company brands. Why does the company CARE? Why did it? Why are maybe some companies resistant? And then that that's the first half. And then the back half is this shift in consumer behavior. Like, why does this matter more now than before if we didn't already cover it? So let's flip them, because the back is actually what makes it happen. So we live in a peer review society. Now, in five seconds I can tell my twitter verse exactly what I think of whatever experience I just had, and so they become more intertwined now because of that piece, because the world is very small. I mean, think about anything you've done in your life in the last week. There was some peer review aspect to it. Truly, it was either somebody told you that that restaurant was good or you saw a sign of and you know, saw that somebody respected that or there was some piece where there was a piece of influence. So that's the first thing is I think that makes the world very, very small, which companies are now responding to because they're recognizing that every person in their organization is an evangelist for that brand, whether they recognize it or not, and I would argue that every job really is a sales job, but that's another day. But truly helping them to embrace their brand and develop it, and that's what we do. You know, when I go into organizations and helping them, they're recognizing that it's no longer bringing everyone to sameness in an organization. It's elevating different ideas, different experiences to make it stronger, because your customer base is more diverse, your customer base is shifted, and so helping them to really own their magic that they bring to the world. I call it superpowers, but your superpowers that you bring that the companies are recognizing. That's a good thing for them. So interesting. I just yesterday read uh an article that talked about covering this idea of like hiding aspects of yourself in order to be more acceptable to the people around you, whether that's your team members and coworkers, or whether whether that's a community or type of customer that you serve that you don't necessarily fit in with. And it's so interesting because we wind up at the same conclusion, which is that this diversity brings richness and value and benefit to the whole thing. But it's so funny. Our default in a lot of cases is to do some form of covering where we're going to withhold or or actually actively cover up true, authentic aspects of ourselves, our values, our personality in order to conform to what we think the situation demands of it. And I just love the wonderful world that you just kind of gave me a glimpse of, where we actually do celebrate this Um in all its richness. So let's let's go right at personal brand, the line that I read in the open Um. You do have a personal brand and everyone knows what it is, except for you. Um, here's just another one your legacy. I just want to broaden this out and go straight at the Naysayer ick factor dynamic here, because you definitely, if you spend any time on Linkedin, you'll definitely get to too very strongly of vocal camps on this thing. One is it, I built my entire career off, and the other one is Yuck Um. So here's the other one. Your legacy is what people will remember about you long after you're gone from this life or even from a job you've had for a long time or a neighborhood where you lived for decades or a career you retired from. So this kind of legacy, what people say about you when you're not in the room. So, like when you talk about personal brand, what is it and why should I not feel like I'm begging people to look at me or whatever? Of the other...

...people you probably know even better than I do what they want to say, like that's not for me. Like what is personal brand and why? Is it really for everyone? And then we'll kind of get into some some practical and functional aspects, things people can do, but I want to start there because I want to welcome more people into this. Yeah, so the first thing is you absolutely have the brand and maybe you do know it, but are you selling it the way that you mean to be selling it, or do you not even know what it is? Do you know what people say about you, like you said, when you're not in the room, because I'm gonna tell you, they're saying something. You're leaving a legacy already. Let's just make sure it's the one you want to leave. Let's make sure it's the one you want to leave behind and the impact that you want to have. And if you're more diligent about recognizing the feedback around you and some self awareness, then it starts to feed you information so that you can say, Oh, this is getting me closer to my goals are further away from them, and there's a little bit of a part of personal branding that I want people to see this as something that helped you and that self awareness is going to help you get closer to your goals. And and just a quick example is there's a story in the book about, you know, being passed over for a promotion and it's like, but I do everything right at work. Okay, that may be great and you check all of the boxes, but are you selling it? Are you selling that you're part of this? Are you speaking up and giving new ideas, or are you just I'm a nine to five, I do the things. So you have to be mindful of that and I think that that's one thing where people recognize they're leaving that legacy and sometimes in our world nowadays, you know, we're very busy people and we think, oh well, I'll get around to doing something. You're doing it now. As far as personal branding, it's happening whether you are aware or not, and so that's part of what I wanted to help people with with this particular book is recognize you know that train left the station. Are you hanging on by a Pinky? Are you driving the train? And I want you to be able to drive the train. Yeah, love it and it's it's true, and it's just like customer experience. It is happening, whether you care about it, want to pay attention to it, are curious about the feedback or not. It's just like your company brand. You have one, and it's whatever anyone says when you're not whether or not you're in the room. Um. And so just another kind of key idea here. Um, it's it's he always or she always. Is the root, like the first thing that comes to mind. Um. And so do you have an exercise around that? Like is is it? Should someone just go ask, like you know, Um, what comes to mind when you think of me or like like what are just just a fun little exercise maybe that someone could do. Well, it's funny that you say that always or never thing, because that's actually an exercise in the book that I encourage the reader to go to go through that piece. But there is that exercise of, you know, asking for feedback from people that you trust around you and just saying hey, just out of curiosity, what would you know? What are two words that come to mind? What are five words that come to mind? That's an easy way to start, but there is a level of vulnerability that is terrifying for a lot of people in that and so there's a piece of number one, you have to give yourself permission to explore this and get out of your own way in that regard. And then the second thing is you have to be open to whatever it is they say, which you know might not be great, might be great, but regardless of what it is, take it as the reality because that is their perception. And so even if there's is a one off from everybody else, that takes you back to okay, well, what am I selling that person that I'm not selling everybody else? Or what am I not selling them that I should be, and so any information is really good information in that. But it is about solictening the feedback. And you know, for for managers, this is something I coach on a lot where they're afraid to give feedback. They're afraid to give open and honest feedback. And I look at it as a leader. If you can't tell me what I need to fix or where I'm stumbling, that doesn't do you any good either. That doesn't do the company any good. That's actually diminishing my brand because I have potential that's untapped. And so, you know, for the leaders listening, I would say that's the other things is this is an opportunity to help your team to fully step into the spotlight of their personal brand and recognizing that as a company, your brand of your people is your only nonproduct, non price differentiator. So tap into all the superpower as you possibly can. Yeah, so good. It's kind of where I wanted to go next, which is again kind of around this. You know, another objection is like it does it all have to be about me? Is this a selfish thing? Um? Is it just about getting hired and promoted? Or can this help customers? Can I make this about other people. So speak to that other side of it um where it's not just about you and what you need and what you want, but like, how is this a gift to other people, and perhaps not to sound too corny...

...about it, but like a gift to the world for of you spending the time and energy to focus on the essence of what you want to be, who you want to be, how you want to be described when you're not in the room, and really live into it. So that's one of my favorite pieces of this is it is about recognizing what you can bring and what you do want, that legacy, and that's where I would tell people to start from. But the other thing is when you start exploring your own brand and you start looking at how you're living that brand and where that fits in and maybe why you haven't stepped into it and leaned into it, because you do feel selfish. It's a personal brand that's about you, and so you stop yourself, and that's a little bit of the permission that I was mentioning is you have to give yourself permission to be open to that. But I would also say look at the world and look at the people that have made an impact on you. Just you know, who are the people that you even admire? If they had stayed at home them and not brought their superpowers to the forefront, they wouldn't have had that impact on you. It wouldn't have helped you, it wouldn't and you wouldn't be doing the same impact on other people. So so that's the thing. But in in exploring that piece of is this about me and my game? Yes, there's definitely some of that, but I actually don't even teach that philosophy and sales. I teach sales as you give first and then you get, and that's the way I think a personal brand is. You know, I'll elevate a facet of my brand in a conversation if I think it's going to be beneficial to the other person and if it will help them on their journey, and then if it helps me, great, you know, I believe there's plenty of abundance. You know, it'll come back around at some point. But I think that's where we have to recognize that it's not just a personal brand. It's a personal brand that has an impact on those around you. And you're having an impact already. Is it on purpose? Yeah, Um, I want to do a quick sidebar here, because something you just mentioned is something that's come up in a variety of different ways, Um, in personal and professional conversations, which is this. You know, we all know what we want as an individual or as a company. So let's keep it in a company context. Is, you know, this is our quarterly or our annual revenue number. These are a couple of like milestones along the way. We need x number of deals at x percent, you know, average contract value, or which means we need x number of appointments and like. So we kind of came back into it and we have all this stuff and and this just this idea of the more we can give people what they need and want, the more likely we are to get what we want. But instead, somehow, especially in a business context, we don't get them reversed, but we don't prioritize them in that order. We say we'RE gonna go get this revenue and then we wind up doing things that don't actually serve our interest because they don't always serve other people's interests, like a I'm sure you've observed this. So maybe speak to that a little bit. Maybe where or how or how often or how much Um, and then you know maybe why do you think that is? And to the degree that you've coached people around this, what do you share? Like I just think this is such a big idea of we're so in its basic human stuff. I would assume that if you and I found a nice piece of literature or philosophy from seven hundred or eight hundred years ago, there'd be some version of this in there Um and if anyone listening has one at mind, just email it to me, ethan at bomb bomb dot com. I'm curious how far this goes back, because it's just ancient truth in a social species that this is how we get what we want, is by giving people what they want. So I'll stop lecturing and offer that back as a wide open question, like why do you think? How big is this? Why do we do it and what's what are some ways around it? So, like I said, we're very much pack animals. We are looking to belong, which is why the same this part is so crucial, like if you walk into a room, you look for somebody that's familiar and then you go talk to them first. Like that. That's that feeling of comfort, and I'm not taking that away by saying you sell your personal brand. What I want you to do is elevate the facet that makes a greater impact around you and creates that legacy and from sort of this corporate version of this and and sort of how companies do it. Going back to what you said, you know the sales and revenue funnel. You need seven appointments and that's going to convert to this many this and this many this, and then we hit our units and hit our quarterly and everybody's happy. But I wrote a blog about this many years ago. So I know this goes back at least nine years, Ethan, and I know you've been talking about it longer than that too. But but, but I said put your employees first in your customers second, and everybody flipped out and they're like no, no, customers first. I said, did you read the blog? Because it talks about if you empower them, then they want to give. If you give to them, they want to give. And then we create this and, and you know, I'm not trying to be like happy world thing,...

...but you create this. You know Nice, he gets Nice, gratitude be gets gratitude, and I really do believe that and if you think about it like this, I mean we all learn this from like Mr Rogers when we were kids. If somebody is not gonna smile, you know, you give them your smile or whatever and you can't help it. You literally see them and somebody smiles, you smile back. So if we're giving we're creating that chain reaction and that's what you're selling. You're selling that human experience with the other person that then hopefully elevates them and as a company, if we're not giving our our people free reign to do that first of all, and the tools and the skills to do that, how much revenue are you leaving on the table because they don't either know how to do it, don't feel comfortable doing it, don't have permission to do it or don't even know what the impact is? So there there is a a revenue piece to this, but it's also a cultural piece, and culture is so huge right now. You know, at the time that we're recording this, right after the great resignation, people are having, you know, remorse about it and all the things that are happening in the world, but the number one reason they've left is culture. And if you read any of the study as any of the articles. That's the thing. Well, if you're creating an organization and a culture where people feel like they can speak up and they can sell themselves and they can sell their ideas, and not only can they, but you're encouraging it, they like to stick around. Yeah, and and I think we've all been just to that kind of contagion effect. You know. I know I've been inspired and reminded and motivated by meeting people that seem to be their full selves, Um and confident, bold, but not necessarily you know, personality, which just like something very deeply rooted and strong about who they are and where they are and what they're doing and how they're doing it. And it just comes through right. They don't have to explain to you that this lights them up. It's obvious, Um, and it's just fundamentally attractive. Okay, Um, similar is question. And then we're gonna get into the methodology of create live cell Um. You know, I think a lot of people believe that I'm doubling back on this a little bit, but I think it's important enough. Um, I think a lot of people think that their success at work depends on output delivery achievement. You know, I'm at a hundred. I've been in a hundred and eight percent of quota on average for the past eight months, um. So you never need to worry about me producing. I do it consistently. Um, versus kind of the feeling side of it, what it's like to work with you. Like. I think we all think it's about the former and underestimate the importance of the ladder. And I know that you, I'd be surprised if maybe you haven't written on some some variation of like, you know, the cancer, the cancer and the organization where you know they're a hundred and thirty percent of quota but everyone hates them and they're a jerk and a lot of customers don't even like them, but gosh they can sell right. So like is personal and personal brand is both right. It's it's it's what it feels like to be around you, as well as kind of what you're delivering and what you're getting done. Like just talk about the balance between those two things anyway you prefer. Yeah, so I I have written about this and I do speak, you know, to it in the book, as you mentioned, but I wrote a blog is a couple of years back, called why you're not getting promoted, and it has nothing to do with outputting. It has everything to do with how you're selling yourself within the organization and I think that people do underestimate that. I think that we think, well, my performance speaks for itself. My you know, I do everything. I come to work nine to five. But if you're a jerk to work around, that's not going to put you in a position to move up or it's also not going to put you in a position to be more successful where you are. Not Everybody wants up mobility. Some people are very happy where they are and they and they want to stay in that role. But you're still impacting those around you and you still can't do it in a vacuum and you're forgetting that you're selling the wrong thing to those around you. So I call these prickly people when I'm working in an organization and when we're consulting syst someone and I say you got a prickly person, and what I hear all the time is, oh, but that's just so and so. It's like we dismiss it and we say, oh, but that's just Sam or sally or whoever, and I'm like, but why are they allowed to be this way? Like, has anybody talk to them? And they're like no, we just basically put them in a back room and don't let them talk to anybody else. But the problem with that is their legacy is happening and they're impacting the rest of the world in your your ecosystem, and if you're a leader, that's saying something about your leadership as well that you're not willing to address that. So that directly impacts your personal brand. So I think it's all how that that sort of ecosystem works together. But the the prickly person is usually also the one that is either not self aware or they are afraid. They're truly afraid. And so, as you know, if you're mentoring someone, you know I think there's sort of two things in the world. There's mentors that there's TOR mentors. Right.

So, if you're in some sort of leadership role and you're wanting to be the mentor, how can you have that dialogue to raise their awareness? How can you reach out to that person and try to bring them in and see if they're willing and if they're not and they're happy being the prickly person over here, then you have a decision to make in terms of the impact that their legacy is having on the rest of the organization. That's kind of the cancer you're talking about, is it's impacting it regardless. So we're fully interconnected. Yeah, here lies a prickly person, someone we all tolerated. Literally, yes, literally, that is the legacy. And again for the leader, that's you know, this is one thing that I end up coaching a lot of the managers and leaders that we work with on is they don't necessarily see the direct thread from ignoring that to their brand, and I think that that's really important to kind of raise the self awareness around that. Is, if there's a problem or a prickliness that you're not addressing, it absolutely speaks to you. It absolutely you know, it has an impact on the legacy that you leave and you could be leaving a wonderful legacy of you know, you buy everybody lunch and you take care of them and you're super encouraging and then you know you're afraid of that person. That's that's a that's a little a little little checkmark there. Yeah, I mean ignoring an unpleasant, aggressive or nasty or prickly person who is a high performer says we care about the numbers more than we care about our people, even though the website and all the literature and recruited me and you know the featured reviews on glass door. I'll say that they care about their people. But you know that that message is a really strong one. So let's get into the framework that you put around this, Um, and I guess first, is this a framework you put together because you were coaching people through and you needed that, or is this something you're like, okay, I'm going to finally formally organize my thoughts into a book on this topic, and here's the framework. How did create lives sell come about? And then, Um, then we can maybe just jump into a couple I mean, we obviously can't recreate the book and a conversation. Um, and it is by this when this is releasing, by the way, for folks listening, uh, the book again is Um Sell Yourself. It releases the third week of September and this is going to release in mid August. So Um, there's still plenty of time to pre order. Uh, and I recommend it. It's a book that I've already read Um and proudly and endorsed and when you asked me to do so as an honor to be able to read it in advance and to share my take on it Um, and I'll save that for the end Um. But, uh, how did this framework come about? So it's a great question and it's kind of a funny thing. I've been coaching on personal branding for years, but I didn't they call it even personal branding necessarily. I was calling it selling yourself and being a good leader and being a good salesperson, being a good customer service representative. And as things started to shift in the world in the last few years, I saw a need for more proactive personal branding, that people were needing to step up in a way that they hadn't maybe been called to, or they had been called to but hadn't given them solves permission to do and I said, I'm practicing what I preach. I'm not doing the world any good by not talking about this. And so the great resignation was was the catalyst for me and I said, okay, I need to sit down and think about how I'm teaching this, and I was doing create live cell in my coaching and in my own practice of my brand. But I hadn't actually picked three words. So the book forced me to sort of take the ideas and put them together and and I write books very weirdly. I I write on a post it wall and I take all the ideas and I literally stick them it's it's very funny. I can send you a picture, but I stick them all on a wall and then I start rearranging them and then I start looking for patterns and the chaos, and that's when I was like, Oh, I'm creating it. Then you got to actually bring it to life and live it every day and then you got to actually take it the third step, and the third step was the part that I didn't get in other personal branding lessons I had learned, and so that's where that moment was like, Oh, wait a second, I have to help people with this, because they're getting the first two, they're not getting the most important one, which is selling yourself. People forget the operative word to sell. Yeah, so, Um, it starts. Let's talk about create. Let's just spend a minute on each one of them. Um, in part you already did a good tea up on separating live from selling. My personality is such that isn't living it selling it enough, you know. Um. So I'm looking forward to getting like the divisions between those. But create. I think when a lot of people think create a brand, I think a lot of people think about like the people they see on Linkedin that are...

...doing this, that and the other thing and they're just, you know, it's turn off for some people. Maybe, let's say, Um, and UH and and and create, you know, might have these connotations of manufacturing it, but it's not. It starts with the way I read it was, you know, it starts at some level as an exploration of your own kind of core values, in your own purpose and what motivates you. So think about it as much as this creation process is as much discovery and self reflection. But put a little bit more onto that. So part of the reason that I wanted to share this message with people is because I want them to live their best lives. So my motivation is I want to give you every tool that I can think of that maybe I wasn't given, that's going to help you reach whatever your goals are and reach your own personal and professional potential. So if you start from that space, it does come from? Okay, you've got to create it, because it does exist, but is it the one that's going to get you where you want to go? So, you know, using a sales example, you can go do a ton of sales activities. Are they actually productive? I can get in my car and drive around all day, but is that actually selling? Maybe not. So it's looking at more of a strategy and recognizing within yourself what you want to be known as. So it is kind of starting with the legacy and going backwards. But that self exploration and self discovery. I don't know that everybody has really given themselves the luxury of sitting down and thinking about that, and so that was part of what I wanted to do, is say give yourself permission to sit down and go you know, everybody knows me as the person that throws the birthday parties, but I don't want to do that anymore. So how do I how do I stop selling that and sell something else? And so that was really where it began and and I want to make sure that it's not manufactured, and that's why I spend so much time on this self awareness part and getting to the heart of who you already are and is that matching with where you want to be? Because there's a there's a little bit of a matchmaking game in the book of Okay, I'm here, but I want to be here. Okay, well, that that. That does it. Or I'm here, but I'm also here. Is that really getting me there? And I talk about sort of like dual brands in the book and you know, they're both created really well, but they're battling with one another perhaps. So that's where the create piece is so crucial, is just for you to be able to take an inventory see if it's getting you closer or further away from where you want to be in your legacy. Yeah, I love it. and Um to the point of like competing, you know, obviously a phrase that you use and there's if you confuse, you lose Um and it's it's so true, like we don't have time to parse these things out and figure out like which one is the real you you know, and we we all know that person or we know that story or as part of a Um, you know, a movie or a story that we've read or watched, and so um this you know which one is the real one. Is You know, no one has time for that and it also refle x the fact that you haven't done that work at some level. And so, Um, this isn't about cutting things out, it's about emphasizing the most important things to you, especially to the degree that intersects with benefiting other people. All the act alone, as we've already established, is a benefit to other people. Um. And one of my favorite lines in the book behave like the person you want others to believe you are. That's part of that, um. What's part of all the steps? Honestly, Um, I guess that's probably most associated with lives. So let's go there now, like Um. So, so you've you've spent this time. And, by the way, for folks listening there are one of the things I really liked about the book, Um, is that there are a number of lists in there, like to organize to either give you multiple takes on something or to walk things out in order. It's like a very well organized and thoughtful and you can really participate with it either in the read, in the experience of the read, or we can break them apart and do each one of them as a separate exercise, Um. And so there are a number of step in processes in considerations and the create Um as there are and live and cell. But that's that's my attempt to move on from create um live. Obviously, the better job you do creating something or organizing or discovering something authentic that's true to you, that inspires you to be more like that, to be more like the person you want other people to believe you are, then the next step is just to do it. But it's not just doing it like it's somehow. It's more complicated than that. Or is it? Isn't it always? Yeah, it's funny because that that's exactly true. It's always more complicated. But what I would say to that is live the brand that you can live long term, because I think sometimes people try to create this like little box or this little pedestal and it's like, if that's not really you, don't don't say that it is. I mean the point is to be an authentic version of yourself and elevate those assets that you want the world to...

...see. But they that's what you're gonna live. So if you know, there's this little, teeny tiny piece for you, like, but I really want this superpower to be great, but it's super hard to maintain. You're never gonna live that a day in and day out. And and this is also the thing where it's like people that go to work in a new place and you dress great for the first week and then you get a little lazier and then a little lazier than and it's like we know we're all gonna show up in jeans at some point and it's totally fine, but own that. Own that, that's you know, hey, I'm putting my best foot forward and, by the way, I'm gonna being jeans next week. And if that's you, be you. It's completely okay. And and you know, at tire is something that's obviously tied in very much with personal brand, but I only think that's one teeny tiny aspect of that. I think that it's all the facets of your brand and all the facets of your personality that you have to live to the fullest. And so it's not just in what you say, but it's in how you behave. It's the wake that you leave behind is truly the living part and it's the story people are saying about you is also the living part, because they're living your brand with you. They're talking about it. They're the ones that are kind of getting the message out there and if they're not seeing it live and in action, you're not having that emotional impact, they're not having a story to tell. Yes, this goes back to the importance of creating well and not not just something you can live long term, but that you want to Um, talk, talk about. Look, I guess this is a little bit this is a specific to the framework, but we will get to sell in a minute. Um, how much of this is aspirational, like in that discovery process and the living like I can see it being like there can be a little, I'm imagining with a little bit of tension there where you want to push it a little bit so that you want to live into it, even if you maybe have doubts or aren't quite there yet. Like, like, I don't this. I read it not as a you know, and you already just spoke to it too, but Um, you know, it's not drawing a box and living in this box. In writing a label or a couple of labels on the box so that people can go that's the box that she lives in. Look, it's here a couple of words that describe it on the side, like it's it's got this maybe an aspirational quality, but then that creates this tension of like, but I'm not quite there. Is that honest like. Talk about that tension a little bit and and it certainly. I mean, Gosh, let's not turn this into a therapy session, because there's so much in this like in this Um and there, as there is throughout all of this personal branding stuff, and I'm sure you've encountered it and found yourself in that role, especially in a one on one setting. Um, but talk about that tension between is this who I am, or is this who I want to be, or can it be a blend of both? There there's a great book that I read years ago and I said I could be anything if I only knew what it was, and I love sort of that phrase because it's true that we have to really recognize what it is we want first. But that does create tension because you're going to have to leave some things behind in order to do that. And it's sort of like, you know, if I I run into this with people I coach all the time, while I want to, you know, elevate my game and I want to go after larger accounts or I want to be a meter manager or whatever. Well then that means you can't do work that doesn't match that. You'RE gonna have to delegate, you're going to have to give up some control. Same thing with your brand. If you want this brand here, there are pieces where you may have to leave behind. If you're looking for you know, going back to attire, because it's the easiest one. If you're looking for being in the C suite and they're all suits, you're probably gonna have put on a pair of pants at some point. You know you can't wear the jeans. But but recognizing that tension and actually leaning into it a little bit, and and I think it's important to recognize why there's tension, because to sell your brand, and not to skip ahead, but to sell your brand, you gotta believe it, you gotta own it, you gotta want it and you gotta sell it with everything you've got. And so you have to ask yourself, is this really what I want, or that what I think I want, or is it what somebody told me I should want, which I talked about in the book as well? You know, we sort of take on this persona that like, oh well, you know I'm supposed to do this and I'm supposed to do that. So then you lean into that. So look at where the tension comes from and recognize if your desire outweighs the fear and the discomfort, it's time to rebrand. Yeah, so good. I mean it reminds me of when I was much less self aware and I was trying to be the things I thought other people needed or wanted me to be. Um, and you're not getting any force or momentum because there's just no strength behind it. Um, there's nothing to live into because you're not sure if it's the thing because you haven't asked anyone and you certainly haven't asked yourself. Um. Okay, it's a brief confessional. Um. So let's talk about selling because again, like my personality type is like, well, I am. You know, I think people would dis ride me with...

...these three words. I behave pretty consistently. I've got some things that I always do, I've got some things that I never do. Um, I think people can rely on me. I think people generally say positive things about me. Do I need to sell? And if so, what does that activity even look like? Isn't living selling? So I would argue that you are selling because of the self awareness piece. So there's a little bit of that where it's sort of on autopilot in some regard because it's I'm self aware, I know I need to behave in this way so I have this kind of impact on someone. So that is selling, and the other piece of it is recognizing how that impact will then beget where you want to go and how that impact on that person helps your legacy along. And one of the things that I coach so many people on when they're selling their brand is you have to be proactive about it, and that's the true difference between selling the brand and just living the brand. Is What is the forward momentum? What is the action that you are taking? Are you truly seeking the opportunity to elevate elevate that facet of your brand to show them this can impact the organization, this can impact that, and everyone listening sells every day. Can we just like talk about this x factor thing again, because I never want to be in sales. I you know that whole journey. Now I'm the first lady sales go figure that one out. But the truth of the matter is I realized that sales isn't a business skill, it's a life skill. And so recognizing you're selling a brand, you're literally already doing it. But you maybe need to sell something different, a different aspect of the brand. Because even if you don't recognize it and you come to work every single day and you check all of the boxes and you're doing that, you're selling that you're reliable. Are you selling that you are fun to work with? Are you selling that you can be counted on to cover for someone? Or are you selling the fact that I checked the boxes? You're already doing it. So you're passively selling. Is that helping you get where you want to go? If it's not, that's where you move into motion and it's truly that active piece. Awesome. Um, there are so we moved through kind of like the some middle sections of the book there in the structure and the last few there's so many nuances to all of this. So I encourage people to check it out. Called Sell Yourself, one of my I'm only gonna bring one list into this conversation because there are many and I have them all um copy like I took my own notes out of you know, you're kind enough to give me a digital advanced version to read and I ripped all my own notes out of it. So I got a bunch of lists in that one, but I just want to read one list, just kind of as a fun, kind of near close activity. Um. And this one is about protecting your reputation. So, Um, if you're listening and you think, well, I don't know about personal brand and you're just hung up on the language, maybe you can attach to the idea of legacy, maybe you can attach the idea of reputation, maybe you can attach to the idea of what people might say about me when I'm not in the room, because all of these things matter, whether you call it personal brand or not, Um, and so here's the list of ten things to do to protect your reputation, and what we'll do is you maybe I have one that I'd like for you to talk about and you can pick any one of the other ones to talk about too. Um. So number one, control the narrative. We've talked about that a little bit. It's by living in and passively or actively selling to guard your private life, and that's the one I want to talk about. Three, keep your social media clear of politics, racist, sexist or phobic comments. It seems like a no breaker. Don't it does. Don't do people. This one has nuanced to it. Um. Five, be authentic. Six, show, don't tell. This the idea that your claims don't matter nearly as much as what people actually experience through you and with you. That's where the rubber meets the road, to use a phrase I don't really actually like very much. Number seven, be transparent and honest. I think that applies to yourself and with other people, Um, in your words and in your actions. Number Eight, keep polite company. Number nine, don't gossip. And number ten, be accountable, and I assume that's be accountable to yourself and others. So what I'd like you to start with, and then you can pick anyone you want, um just kind of like elaborate on or why you like that one or why it's so important, or maybe an interesting tip or nuance to it. Guard your private life. I think you and I have both seen Um, different approaches, and we'll just go to social media with it, because it's the honest one where we can see things with people that like. I don't. I'll just describe my own experience. I'm reading something on a social site and I'm like, I don't know this person well enough to be this deep in their stuff, like Um. But then on the other side you'll hear people say like well, this is just what it means to be authentic and vulnerable. Like talk about guarding your private life, why is it important enough to make this list in terms of protecting your reputation? So it kind of goes to the first one of control the narrative. But it truly is about you've got to make sure you're clear on...

...what you want to put out there to the world, because if you don't think you're selling your brand and you have any social media platform whatsoever, I'm gonna tell you right now you are actively selling twenty four seven with whatever is up there, and so that's one of the easiest sales tactics for a personal brand today is that. But you have to be purposeful around it. So you want to guard that personal life piece because, number one, maybe you don't want your kids on on social media, you know, for protection and privacy reasons, but also it's guarding that because there are pieces of that that are elevated that may strike the other person that's watching it kind of like you and you're like, I don't know that I need to know this information or I don't know that I have the connection with you. So then it actually sells the wrong thing. And Nine Times at attend it's when it's a deeper personal piece. And and I know folks listening to this and talking about the customer experience. You're gonna sit there and tell me right now, but it's and I told the tragedy story that that's what everybody connected. Totally fine, but that's because that audience, that was the message for them. When you're broadcasting this and you're not guarding your personal life, you are literally out there for everyone and everything, and so it's one of those things where I think is really important to make sure that you're clear and doesn't say that you can't elevate a facet of your brand when the time is right, when you're sharing a story with someone and it's important to let them know that this is a safe space and maybe you share some vulnerability about your personal life. I think that is part of your brand, if your brand is helpful, if your brand is kindness. So it's not that you would never do it, but you must guard it's not saying Tuck it away, but guard it. I love it great that. That's a great nuance. This idea like someone who is guarding something. Let some people through, but not everyone. It's not like it's not a blockade, it's a guard. Great, I love that. Um Is there any other one on that list that you maybe want to share a couple of thoughts or words about? Well, how much time do we have? No, I'm kidding. So I actually think the first one is really important. That's why I put it first in the list. It's controlled the narrative, because I think having that level of self awareness that there's a narrative about you already. It absolutely is out there. Isn't the one you want. And sometimes, when we have moved on from a friend group or we're not in a department at work anymore and we're over here, there's still a talk track happening. Are we allowing it to happen? Yeah, you are, because you haven't addressed it. Is it a good one? Maybe? And then you want to elevate that. That's also controlling the narrative. It's making sure people are saying the right things about you when you're not in the room. But it's also controlling the narrative of the things you don't want said, which leads to guarding your personal life. If, if you've had that encounter with somebody, you're like, I really don't care what this person needs for breakfast, but yet they posted every single day. That control. That creates a narrative about that person and it creates a narrative that maybe they don't want. Maybe it's saying they think they're a narcissist because you know they're showing their breakfast and nobody cares. I don't know what the narrative is, but you're leaving it up to vulnerability and interpretation if you're not proactively controlling it. And that's where the selling part comes into. Is You've got to make sure that everybody that has a story to tell about you has the right words to do it. And that's where it's controlling. And No, you can't control you know, free will and all those things, but you can certainly make the effort to sell the right thing so that people are left with that impression and impact that they can then be a good flag bearer for the message you want them portraying. Yeah, so good. And of course it's the list really does work together nicely. So all I was thinking about right at the end there was the relationship between controlling the narrative and guarding your personal life. And what do you let out and what do you, you know, keep to yourself? Um. I also feel like Um just what you shared there and the fact that you went to the top of the list on it and the way you described it. I'm just gonna share now what I offered to your editor to include, uh, somewhere adjacent to the book or in it or, Um, you know wherever Um. I didn't know if it was too long. I don't know how it will manifest, but but I wanted to share, Um, what I offered to it, which is your reputation is one of the most valuable things you have. So why leave it to others to define? Learn how to leave a consistent and positive impression the first time, every time, and with integrity. This too, personal branding, is a sales job, and Dr Cindy is the best person to help you do it with confidence. Book Releases September. This is releasing, I think, sorry, August sixteen, so plenty of time to pre order. If you're listening to this later on, it might already be available. It's called sell yourself. If you've enjoyed this conversation with Dr Cindy, check out episode where she joined me. We call that one win connection at the...

...heart of sales and we really got into this idea of every job is a sales job, Um, and that this is for everyone and that you can set the x factor aside. It's not about convincing, pushing cajoling, it's about being of service and value with sincerity. Sets episode nine, or a little bit earlier than that, episode two with Andy Paul. We called that one the four pillars of selling without selling out, and the reason Andy's book and that conversation came to mind is that it really is about this integrity piece and that you can absolutely win and get everything that you want out of your role and out of your paycheck and out of your life by a doing it with integrity and be doing it in service of other people, helping other people get what they want and in turn getting what you want. It's not some pipe dream. It's happening every day for a lot of people and Um, and you, Dr Cindy, are someone that helps people do that. So, before I let you go, Um, I would love for you to think or mentioned someone who's had a positive impact on your life or career and to give a not or a shout out to accompany or brand that you appreciate because they consistently give you a great experience. So I have to give a shout out to that college professor that I mentioned in the beginning of the book who raised my self awareness around the fact that I had a brand that I wasn't aware of and that was the catalyst for everything and that has stayed with me now for twenty five years. So that is a big deal, um. So I want to say thank you to that person and positive customer experience. I have to sprag on United Airlines because I feel like as I'm flying around and even with the last couple of years, they make it happen somehow. And most importantly, Um, my husband lost his wedding ring as we were going on a trip. United Airlines again left it in the lounge and uh, not only did the flight attendant immediately go to the captain get figured out, they messaged us. She printed out the message on the plane handed it to us that it was there, they had found it, they were going to get it and then they shifted overnight to my in laws. They had it and it was just a most amazing experience and brought my blood pressure down so we could enjoy our Hawaii vacation. That's awesome. You know, the airlines get so beat up, although they do come up at this moment of the podcast, often because of these moments, I think on average it's easy to be critical and uh, I appreciate the opportunity to raise up people who like and and those, those folks, flight attendants, for example, like like that is not an easy job right now. Um, not that it ever has been, but Um, I'm sure they enjoy and you enjoy the opportunity to have these positive moments together. So thank you for that. How can someone that has spent over fifty minutes with US UM connect with you? Orange Leaf Consulting, which we didn't even talk about, every job as a sales job, or the new book sell yourself. Where would you send people to follow up on this? Dr Cindy Dot Com is the easiest place. I actually answer every message that comes through. And then, of course, on social media, one St Lady of sales or Dr Cindy, either one will pull me right up and I check my own mail. So I would be very happy to connect and answer any questions and help anybody, because part of my brand is helpfulness. Awesome. That is D R CINDY DOT com. Dr Cindy Dot COM C I n D Y. Thank you so much for your time, congratulations, and I look forward to this thing coming out into the world and helping people. Thank you so much for having me. It is always such a pleasure, and thank you for all the things that you do to bring your superpowers to the world as well. I'm trying. Thank you so much for that. In the future will be virtually selling and serving more often. But the channels we're trying to connect and communicate through our noisy and polluted, and our faithless and digital communication is both visually and emotionally impoverished. So how do we stand out? How do we truly connect? How do we make people feel like people and not like numbers? Get answers to these questions and more from more than a dozen experts, including a marketing futurist from salesforce, the first salesperson at Hubspot, two co founders of Van Gresso and an emotional intelligence expert with seven U s patents in the analysis of facial coding data by the Wall Street Journal Bestseller Human Centered Communication a business case against digital pollution. Learn more about human centered communication at BOM BOMB DOT COM slash book. That's BOM bomb dot com slash book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning...

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