Leadership and Personal Branding

Charli's Events and Workshops

I’ve recently shared Lessons Learned in Ten Years of Business and wanted to continue to build on that. We all know that being a good leader is important no matter if you are the head of a large corporation or temporarily in charge of a small team. They want to know who they are working with and what you stand for. Below, I will show you why personal branding is important to leadership.

  1. It allows you to be authentic.

In the past, we only had our name to rely on. Now we have our own personal branding. The bad news is if you aren’t creating your personal brand, others are. You show your commitment to your work by defining a clear leadership style as well as if and how you live it. You must go beyond having a developer design a logo, create a mission statement, etc. A leader is a mentor, role model, trusted colleague, expert in their area, and an overall authoritative voice in their chosen field. This goes whenever you make an appearance on social media, in person, in the office, on the field, or even in a podcast. Your personal branding is authentic when you live it every day and others pick up on it.

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The World Needs You… Yes YOU!

Charli at Model Call

These were the sweetness words read to me by my daughter as I recovered from surgery. I don’t know if it was the confirmation I needed to heal or just the emotions that anyone feels when they are told they matter, but it did the trick. I saw this phrase in several letters I received as encouragement and it made you wonder, “The world needs me for what?”

When my daughter read it to me, I immediately thought “Yes, to be your mom!” But, each time I read it in other places, I would think of a different reason. I remember thinking about the engineer who wrote this in his letter, and I thought “Yes, to bring the excitement!” I could give more and more examples, but the main theme was… The world needs you… Because no one else can be you!

This is what I want all of you to know! The world needs you to bring yourself to the table. The world needs your ideas, your creativity, your strategic mind, your critical thinking, and yes your voice. We need to hear from you and learn from who you are!

I encourage everyone who reads this to look into themselves and wonder not “the world needs me for what?” But What can I share with the world that is unique to me? What are my strengths, gifts, and talents? Now, let me settle your doubts right now… YOU HAVE THEM! You were created to be a blessing to others and you are!

As I understand from the outpouring of love I experienced during my recovery from heart surgery, you are loved whether you feel like it all the time or not. Accepting that love or any help from others has been hard for me in the past… Gratitude practices really helps with this. Learning to love and appreciate yourself as the creation you are also helps with accepting love and understanding others motivations.

I am confident that I am loved by God, myself, and others. I say “others” because I could feel the love from strangers as well as friends during my recovery, and it is truly incredible. What strangers’ love did you walk right past and not notice? I challenge you to make it a point to notice. Love comes in so many different forms, and it is an honor to get to know your love language! One of my favorite ways to share love is to mention someone online and include a picture of them (with me if I have it). I like to do this, because I also like to receive that kind of love as well. Bethany Womack picked up on my love language without me telling her. It really made me smile when she mentioned it in passing because I felt like she understood me. Similarly, Bethany captures my soul in photos. Like the one featured here, she captures the things that make me… well ME!

The hundreds of people who posted on my heart surgery and recover posts can not have known how much their comment would really mean to me. It helped me understand that I was loved, in a way I could understand and valued. If this was you, Thank you! I truly felt the virtual embrace!

If public shoutouts aren’t your thing, I’m curious, how do you show love? You can private message me 😀

Ok… I know that is a lot about love on this “professional network” so I’ll get back to business. The world needs you! Know it and shine your light within your industry. We want to hear your voice, we want to learn from your story, and we want to see what you will innovate next!

Don’t know where to start, message me! I’ll listen!

Lessons Learned in 10 Years of Business

Charli and Lessons Learned

Let’s start with this…Double Digits!!! Can you believe I have been a business owner for 10 years?!! It’s a huge milestone for an entrepreneur, and I am so happy to celebrate with all of you!

As I look back on the last ten years, I have so much gratitude for the journey. I have had some huge celebrations and some disappointments and have learned great lessons from both.

Leadership

To be an entrepreneur, you must be a leader. You can’t pass this role off to someone else. Even if you have a team to help you, you must understand your responsibility within the organization to lead yourself and your team. When things are hard, it is your responsibility to share the vision toward improvement. As an activator, so many times I am ready to pass off a project to someone else to carry on. This is not possible for your company. It must be a reflection of you and your values as well as taking into account the views of your team.

I love the work around leadership and developing others. I’ve learned that it takes the individual (me included) deciding to do the work to grow. It really must be their idea. You can suggest and recommend things but a leaders must believe in themselves and their abilities. Sometimes that isn’t natural and sometimes there are limiting beliefs that are keep you from moving to the next level.

Team

When I started the company, it was so that I could have a job. I quickly realized in order to grow I would need help. I wasn’t sure who I needed but I knew I needed some help. I needed people around me that had strengths that were different than mine. I also needed someone that could stand in when I wasn’t able to be there. Each person that has worked for us had a significant influence on what the company is today and I love sharing this accomplishment with all of them. I will add, my team that navigated the pandemic and came through to now navigate my absence is showing remarkable abilities beyond my expectations! I am so proud of what we have built at Empowering Brands.

The Hard Stuff

I was a mom of three (under 6 yrs old) when I started my company. This was no doubt a challenge for our family and the business. My kids have seen me at my best and at my worst. What I know today is that I am glad my children are independent like their mom and know how to work hard. They also know that rewards come with challenges and the good ones usually come with a lot of hard work. Navigating family life and work commitments for both me and my husband, Carter, was a source of conflict especially when his job would ask why I couldn’t watch the kids every-time they were sick. I would get so angry as I was also building my business and there was no one else to do it. These were tough days… But I am so glad we made it through it because now, if my child needs me, I can be there. I can be there because we built a successful business and it allows me and my team the flexibility to work and have a wonderful family life. This is so important to me and one of the most rewarding parts of my business today.

Passion

You must be passionate about your work! If you lose that passion along the way, you must find it or adapt your business. Burnout is real and you must have purpose alongside the work to keep from tiring too quickly. For me, it’s my passion for water and empowering women! I wake up on mission each day and that makes no challenge to overwhelming.

Growth

Moving forward is essential. When you get complacent, you will soon see yourself or your team falling backward. There is a good way to see this forming… it starts with unresolved conflict. Is there something that keeps coming up but isn’t getting addressed? This is a sign to look for a root cause. Problems are often not related to the obvious.

Being Present

The best thing I implemented when Bekah joined our team is a weekly meeting and a Friday email check in. This has allowed us both to grow. It gives her access to me at an uninterrupted time as well as a way for her to keep me informed. There is a trust and accountability for each of us to be there for each other and accomplish our goals along the way. This system has allowed me to fully trust her and her abilities because I know her. I know her because I spend time with her and I believe this makes all the difference.

Entrepreneurship

Yes, I had to learn about cash-flow and credit lines. I still think I need more knowledge of investments and finance even if it was my college major. Having said that, these business tips and tricks are the easy part. The tough part of entrepreneurship is believing in yourself. You must have the courage to take risks and believe that you can accomplish your goals. You also need to be able to adapt and move on when things don’t work out as planned. This is all much easier with a network of encouragers! I am lucky to have such a diverse network. It has been key to my understanding in business and company culture as well as benefited me personally when I needed a good high-five !

So the best advice I can give if you are considering starting a business…Find you a cheerleader, a side of grit, and a list of all things that make you uniquely you. And know…You got this!

Vision

I think the role of the person creating the company has to be vision. They must have a clear vision of where the company is headed. This can change over time but I think it the owner doesn’t know what they what to accomplish then it will be hard to get their team to buy into the work. I do believe that each team member can have input into the vision but the responsibility for vision must stay with the creator as the final say. I say this because I believe the team looks to the entrepreneur for confirmation on next steps. I don’t believe real success is possible with a hand off approach unless the creator steps away completely. This is why staying involved with the people, products, and processes is so important for our leaders. We must understand the work we are asking others to accomplish.

Finding Your Voice

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Water is Life – Buy Pumps, Save Lives

Buy-Pumps-Save-Lives

Can you imagine a world without water?

In remote parts of the world, women spend several hours a day carrying heavy buckets many miles to gather water for their families. The work is backbreaking, and the water is filthy. Because of the effort and time required to collect the water, the children are unable to attend school or play.

More than 750 million people in the world do not have access to clean water. However, the non-profit engineering company, Design Outreach, has developed a deep-water hand pump called LifePumpTM that helps alleviate this crisis, especially in isolated communities.

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Using Your Voice – Part 2

Charli-Using-her-Voice

We’ve previously written about how to Use Your Voice, Build Your Brand and have so much more to say on the topic. Previously we discussed using your voice in marketing, learning from others, and the benefits of public speaking. However, there are other unique and effective ways to your voice. Read on for more tips.

  1. How to Stand Out, Find Your Voice, and Not Get Lost in the Shuffle

There is a sea of voices out there. It can be difficult to find yours, so we recommend beginning by starting with your why. What are you trying to accomplish and why? What gives you passion and joy? Be vulnerable about what you do and challenges. This will help get others wanting to hear what you have to say. Followers must believe and trust you in order for you to help solve their problems, so be accurate as you are being open. You may realize there a niche you fit into. For example, my own Empowering Women in Industry was created when I saw the need for women in the industries to have a platform of their own. In a male dominated space, we lose that organic conversation with women so we need to create it.

  1. Embrace Social Media

In short, social media is an extension of how you network with people. It offers resources to get to know people, their background, and even what they are looking for currently. Social media is a tool just like any content distributor from television to radio that allows you to share message to a broader audience. LinkedIn is great for professional connects. Be sure to fill out your profile with details relevant to your industry, and you will be rewarded with contacts. Zoom is great for meetings, video chats, and can even be beneficial to your business, your personal health, and it can help you follow the right people.

Not comfortable using social media or don’t have the time? Get a third party to manage your accounts.

  1. Give Interviews

As many of you may already know, I love hosting and appearing on podcasts of all kinds to share whatever expertise I can. Everyone involved often finds it a pleasant and satisfying experience, not to mention the knowledge you can bring to the audiences. You may have a friend with a podcast who needs guests. Everyone has a podcast now a days and is looking for guests. Go through your client list to see if anyone is doing so. Don’t be afraid to use a potential client list as well. Find the podcasts, make an offer to appear, and see if they bite. Include why they should use you and the value you can bring. You may even search for podcasts in your industry. The bigger the audience the better, but don’t turn down any relevant option. Worst case scenario, a rarely seen podcast can help you prepare for a bigger one.

If you’re ready, why not start your own podcast? We have done just that with the Empowering Industry Podcasts. We discuss all sorts of relevant topics in a combination of “Let’s Get Social,” “Industry news with EP&E, and “Industry Interview.”

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