Hello my friends and dear readers ,
Today was one of life changing days in my life , I learned that Microsoft had arranged a Tech hope training for us and John Antonios was the one giving it , it was all about personal branding ..
I wake up , got dressed and started my journey to the smart village , a short journey actually since I live in 6 october , When I entered the building I was greeted by The one and only John Antonios , one of the people that radically changed my life .
Yes John you really changed my life , I have a secret to tell the whole world , a confession to make actually , The first Personal branding session that I attended in college was by Yasmine el Ayyat , I didn’t have any connection with Microsoft then , and I kept asking who this John Antonios that she quotes his sayings is , by the end of the presentation I was changed , Meeting you , seeing you, and hearing you in person really changed my life , thank you John
I will try to describe the day
First John began laying down rules for the day , He preferred to make the whole presentation in English , He stressed the fact that if you shy you die so he will not be repeating himself unless we ask him too , he also told us this is An R rated Session and there will be cursing in it .
And then John Started the presentation , by now it was too apparent that he loved Black and white , later on I learned that For him It is all about Black and white .
I really smiled and felt a very happy , safe feeling when I read the quote he chose , he simply wrote ,
"When we lose the right to be different we lose the privilege to be free " -- Charles Evans Hughes
For me it was , Yes Man that is what I am talking about , that is what I have been believing in all my life , that is what people are call me crazy for .John then presented us with the 4 principles of personal branding , he gave us the name of a very good book that he advised us to read , it is ( Career distinction William Arruda)
The principles of personal branding are
1- Stand out :Stand for Sth.
What are the critical success factors that matter the most in todays world
Loyalty Vs. Creativity
Loyalty was till recent , but now the world is in a fierce competition , Now a days creativity matters , it is the success factor.
The company is not my wife . Being creative , being useful is more important than being loyal , Loyalty is important but it is not critical
Love what you do , don’t love the company .
Be selfish , think of You , what you love , don’t compromise what you love .
It is about survival.
Conformity Vs. Individuality
Conformity dilutes the creative person , limiting its success .Individuality shows your ability ,it is what makes you shine .
Hierarchy Vs. Pro-Activity
When you are proactive , you act before things happen .
Pro-activity makes you ready for any chance you can make jumps
Then we began discussing the second principle
Principle 2: Be your Own Boss
John began discussing with us how can we be our own bosses it is all about Being the one in control of your future .
It is a concept. Even if you own your own company , If you are being driven by the environment , you are not in control of where you are taking your business .
Then we moved on to the next principle
Principle 3 : Forget the ladder : it is a Ramp
You have to forget about the steps of the ladder , it is a ramp where you can override the system and achieve progress by your momentum , you can do that by jumps in no time.
At this point it was like ,I love what you say john , I wanted to tell my personal story and personal experience in this matter , It is so true , when you think out of the box, when you are open minded you can really forget about the ladder and you start to jump and fly ,It happened to me in aikido , Normally ( Normal ) people have to make their progress step by step , Winning one belt at the time , there is supposed to me a certain preset time between every promotion , I thought out of the box , I was dedicated , my passion was unbelievable, that I was really jumping in my progress
Normally In Aikido this is how people progress
This is the order of belts
Yellow(2 months ) -> Orange (3 months ) -> green (4 months ) -> blue (4 months ) -> brown (6 months ) -> black
This is the path I took
Orange -> Green -> blue -> black in 1 year and couple of months :D
When you think out of the box , you can really jump
Principle 4 : Think Like a Brand
John began discussing that whether we like it or not we all have a brand , the question is do you promote it right ??
We are all our 24/7 Billboard , our actions , who we are promote our brands
you should be your Billboard it is all about ( ME , MYSELF and I )
It is also important that we each of us remains One brand , the same brand All the Time , You can represent many things . Your brand can be diverse but it must be the same brand .
John then introduced me to the Definition to a thing I had fought for a log time . It is Lizard Brain , the part of the brain that says " Don’t do it , you might hurt yourself . Actually I am always fighting this part , and sometimes it wins , and when it does , I end up losing and hurting , so I was too interested to know that it is a world wide concept , not just something that I experience .
John moved to another subject , he made an analogy between personal branding and Gem mining , the way he presented his analogy made sense , because really our brand is like diamonds, To be a diamond it has passed with three phases .
Extract -> Express-> Exude he made us notice that they all contain an Ex as in " our brand must appeal to the External World …
First Phase Extract Yourself
Like diamonds , Our brand must be extracted from the ground , this is done by
Knowing yourself,Remembering that perception count , Defining your brand and Laying out your brand story .
John asked us if we know ourselves , to be more specific he asked a lot of us if we knew our Vision , purpose and Goals..
Actually I didn’t quite collect the difference between the three , so my answer was not clear …
John then began clarifying what they are .
Vision, It is Sth. bigger than me , Think bigger than yourself , think of the World , a vision is external to me ...
Typically an vision starts with "A world with …. "
Purpose: to know what our purpose is , Mr john told us to Think of our own funeral , imagine that our soul is flying we can hear what people are saying about us , for example What did people say when Steve Jobs died .
A purpose usually starts with " to make sure every body in the world has … "
Goals, they are the Things I need to fulfill my purpose .
I have to Think SMART( specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely).
The second thing that we need to learn about ourselves is what our Passions / Values are .
Passions / Values
Values are your moral compass ,they allow you to make decisions based on yourself , you don’t accept anything that disagrees with it .if anything disagrees , you jus dump it .
It allows me to make the right decisions for me NOT the society , I don give a Fly about society , about conformity .
the most important thing in personal branding
To know what your passion is , you have answer these questions
1-What fascinate you
2-What excites you
3-What turn you on
4-what gives you a rush
5-What could u go on talking for an hour
6-What would make you get out of bed at 6 am
7-What would keep you up all night
Passion applies to everything you do everyday, online / offline .
Passion is not work related it is about life (Period) .
John then gave us The key question to discover your passion , If you have all the money in the world what would you do ??
The next question would be what do you enjoy about doing it ..
We Asked john Antonios what his passion is and he just answered , and I quote
" My passion is the potential of others …. The extreme opposite is seeing somebody just being normal." - John Antonios
John then addressed a very important point , Never do we set and reflect , we are afraid of what we are going discover if we looked into ourselves .
Reflectionis empting all what is inside .we should learn to expand our focus
We have no control over our brains, we seek others to advise us even though if we sit down to find , Advise is what we know , but we want to hear from others .
Personal branding is really more difficult than finding a diamond…
John then gave us a link to a Free online survey that can help us Shape our brand and discover who we are , You know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder , this surveys allows you to compare what you think of yourselves Vs. What others Think of you ..
This Survey should help us frame our brand , John made note that reach is the oldest personal branding organization in the world . He got certified from it .
Phase 2 Express
1-Create your brand marketing tool kit ( your Facebook , linked in twitter … )
2-Express yourself ( but take note that what you say is forever recorded , Say what you want to say , and only say what agrees with your brand )
3-Assess your online identity
4-Build your brand in Bits & Bytes
John then told us that when defining out brand we need to Identify what our Personal Brand statement is , You also need to tell your brand story , Write you bio , He made it clear that Voicing out you opinion is important , but explain and educate , don’t just curse or disagree for the sake of disagreeing , that is why john is against most Egyptians using twitter to curse when they are discussing politics .
John then told us that he had written an article about the Retweet Etiquette and he advised us to take a look at , I just searched online and this is the first result from Google
John Antonios made it clear again that You Must
Be true to your Values … , also Individuality does not but an X on team work …
we went into a side discussion regarding interviews , how to deal with the question of setting a salary , in a smart way , we must be true to our brand and values
for example if you are asked to name a salary and for example you said 10X and they offered you 6x and you agrees , this is disagreeing with your values , to the outside world , to the HR Man , he might think that you are cheating them , Be Black or white regarding your values ,it matters the most , because they define who your are
back to the main topic In communicating your brand , you must take note of The brand 3 Cs
The brand 3 Cs
you should always be there don’t let "John your good" get to you. You must always put effort into it , Reaching the top is easy , on the other hand Staying on top , is a lot more difficult .
John then discussed a very important point You are a person , you have attributes , let is shine Use it .. Don’t try to cancel the human side of you ,
Whatever you are, be consistent at it and be proud of it . He said that he , like any human has feeling , he may feel depressed , actually he does this often and so from time to time he shuts down till these days pass .
John then gave us some very useful tips for our personal branding
Personal branding tips
1- Do Sth. that scares you every single day . (What John didn’t know , is that I do this a lot , always gets me in trouble :D but who cares , I enjoy everything crazy that I do …)
2-Don’t start running before you can walk , but don’t feel afraid of walking
3-Testing your ego is very important , testing that you are needed it is a good Feeling
4-You cant be perfect from day one
5-Buy your won URL , it is you property you must keep it yours (John said that before naming his child he will make sure to book his URL , and he is dead serious about that …)
6- don’t buy beg bug for attention
7- Give it all the time
John then introduced us to the vanity test
The Vanity Test
Search for yourself .
Mirror Mirror on the wall
Google , Google on the Web
If you excel at one field , people will know you for that and MORE .
Phase 3 - EXUDE
To exude the diamond of your personal brand you must
1-Be the brand in All that you Do
2-Get a visual Identity
3-Increase your Career Karma
With this the presentation and the day ended , actually it marked the beginning
The beginning of you , me and everyone whose life changed by this presentation.