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Managing Brand YOU: Seven Steps to Creating Your Most Successful Self by Ira Blumenthal, Jerry S. Wilson

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CHAPTER 5
IF IT’S TO BE, IT’S UP TO ME!
STEP FIVE: SET YOUR BRAND YOU GOALS
“The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.
—JUMA IKANGAA, WINNER,
1989 NEW YORK CITY MARATHON
REBRANDING YOURSELF IS A LOT like running a
marathon race. You’re in it for the long haul, so having clear and
simple goals and being well prepared will help you reach the finish
without collapsing. You’re at Step Five, and it’s time to set your
branding goals.
You have written your positioning statements, which symbol-
ize the spaces you plan to occupy for each of your target audiences.
If you’ve been true to yourself, these statements reflect who you
are deep down inside and who you want to become for the people
who matter to you—beginning with yourself. Now you will break
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Managing Brand YOU
down these phrases into specific priorities. To organize your prior-
ities, you need to concentrate on setting your goals. As is said, “In
the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to
performing daily acts of trivia.” Don’t let that happen to you!
It is amazing how many people have well-defined objectives for
their careers, yet few goals for their personal lives. That situation
captures the dramatic difference between earning a living and
earning a life. Consider that most businesses have plans that in-
clude goals they hope to reach, and sometimes even recognition of
the potential barriers to achieving those goals. So why do many
people avoid setting goals for the most important business of
their lives—their personal and inner beings?
Are you one of these people? Imagine that it is early morning
and you have just arisen after a good night’s sleep. Without being
conscious of it you will set goals for the day. For example, let’s say
you need to be at work by 8:30
A.M. and the drive is about 25 min-
utes; you will need to leave no later than 7:50 to allow a cushion
for traffic delays. You will mentally select a driving route that is re-
liable and predictable. Once you arrive at your job, you will likely
organize your day to ensure you complete your daily assignments.
Then, after lunch, you will begin to think about your evening ac-
tivities—dinner plans as well as chores and the like. Setting goals is
a simple, almost automatic process we all go through every day.
Now, think what you would accomplish if you were to formalize
your goal-setting to be more thoughtful and more analytical. Oh,
the places you could go (and lengths to which you would grow).
Setting personal goals is the difference between a vivid dream and
reality.
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If It’s to Be, It’s Up to Me!
SETTING PERSONAL PRIORITIES
Before launching the process of setting goals, you need to gain a
quick overview of how establishing personal priorities can be use-
ful. It is natural to try to solve too many problems or issues at one
time; we’re rushed to find solutions. But this propensity for impa-
tience reflects too many objectives and diffused efforts. Avoid this
trap. To meet your goals, be careful in your choice of objectives
and be thoughtful in prioritizing them.
Think of priorities as important areas in your life. In some
cases, their importance may be nonnegotiable; in other cases, you
may be able to rank them lower. So how do you identify what is
and what is not important in your life? Earlier chapters of this
book discussed brand focus and sacrifice. These concepts come
into play in setting the life priorities that will drive your long- and
short-term goals. Sometimes you will find it necessary to forgo
immediate gratification so you can achieve a brighter future in
the long haul. For instance, a friend may invite you out for a fun
evening, yet you know you are committed to attending a lecture
that will be beneficial regarding one of your priorities. It is tanta-
lizing to say, “What the heck; let’s go out and have a great time to-
gether.” Yet this distraction will set you back from reaching your
goals. The philosopher Albert Camus said, “Life is the sum of all
your choices.” How you choose to deal with these distractions will
be a predictor of your future success.
Your Core Essence
In considering your brand identity, you took time to understand
your brand essence—the heart and soul that drive you. This quin-
tessential element of who you are is at the core of your life, even
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