There comes a time in every business when the desire to show up more greatly overtakes the thought of remaining the same. I can remember when it happened in my own business, can you? And, if it hasn’t happened yet, wait for it, it will. In my opinion, you can only play small as an entrepreneur for so long. Eventually your greatness will rise to the top and bubble over, creating a very uncomfortable feeling if you choose to ignore it.

I imagine that this is exactly what Melody, whom I am featuring in this week’s episode of Incredible Factor TV, is experiencing. Check out her question:

“Hi Darnyelle, I’ve been in business for myself for 10 years and I’ve done quite well, however I’m ready to up-level. You see, I’ve been hiding and now I’m being called to a higher level in my business and visibility. I was very lucky coming out of corporate; I was able to turn my former employers into clients which made the transition easy. But now that I’m ready to do bigger, be bigger and experience bigger in the market place I have no idea what I should be doing. What is the first step to up-leveling my brand and my business?”

Check out my response to her question here:

As I share in the episode, I am of the opinion that every 2-3 years, you should review and potentially refresh (or reinvent) your brand, and if you’re wanting to grow your business and achieve a greater level of success, a brand refresh is definitely necessary. The refresh should start with a SWOT Analysis to determine what, if anything, is not working as you seek to up-level your results. Completing a SWOT analysis is about producing extreme clarity for your brand, your vision and the gap that is represented in between the two.

The first key to building a brand that serves you in every way is through seeking clarity. When working with clients, I will often have them vision cast for their brand through the creation of a brand board (it’s a vision board for your brand presence.) Through their vision, I can help them to back into what it will take to manifest the vision that they are holding.

Following the introduction of clarity to the conversation of your next level, you’ll need to commit and decide that you are willing to do the work to experience the results you see in your vision point. The importance of commitment in this process is what positions you to take the right steps to get the new results. And all of this proceeds doing anything new. The clarity and commitment phases of the process will set you up for the final phase, which is all about consistent action.

The consistent action phase of up-leveling a brand is about reaching out to those who are key in helping you to determine and deliver the properties that will lead to the next-level results. This could mean hiring a consultant, building a new business strategy map that lays out exactly how you’re going to achieve this new vision, updating your brand collateral and many more things.

So let’s review:

1. Perform a SWOT Analysis on your brand and business and determine what you need to clarify to experience the results you’re feeling called to. Whether the call is to work less but earn more, to serve more people, to deepen your impact, to grow your footprint – starting by seeking clarity through a SWOT Analysis is a great place to start. Your assignment: List your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as it pertains to your previous brand presence and business.

2. Decide and commit to seeing the process through. Commit to the next level of yourself confidently so that you can walk boldly toward what you’re seeking for your next level. Here you want to be as tangible as possible because the tangibility will make it easy to measure your results and remember, what gets attended to, always gets done. Your Assignment: Now that you are clear about your SWOT, decide what is the priority and the gap that is present. Then make a firm commitment to yourself to make strides toward what you desire instead.

3. Take consistent action in working toward your up-leveled brand presence and business goals. Your Assignment: Ask yourself… what is the first area to be addressed to align your vision with your reality? Wherever you see a gap, create a plan of attack to address it.

As a brief refresher, a brand has little to do with your logo or even your tagline, it’s really about the perceptions a customer/client feels when they interface with it. And, your success (or lack there of) can always be traced back to the brand’s identity and equity. If you’re satisfied with what you’ve done but know you can do better, move in the direction of what you know is possible. And, seek out the guidance of a coach if you feel that you may minimize the opportunity in front of you.

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