I don’t often hear conversations about Branding and Information Management practices in the same conversation, but nonetheless, I’d like to go there. It seems a bit odd – like talking about wood canoes and bike brakes, doesn’t it? They’re both big subjects, and lumping them together seems counter-intuitive. For me, they’re linked together with one thing that will allow you to do more than anyone else with less resources. By being Proactive.
I’ve worked for organizations with reactive cultures. They’ve caused me much stress and angst. Sometimes, I wish I was more proactive. I’ve found that it’s possible to continue being proactive, even when other people are not built the same way. If you’re like me, and trying to get better at many things, being proactive may allow you to reach more of those quickly. Along the way, I’ve found a few tips on being proactive, and I’d like to share a couple of them with you here.
Let’s start with an Information Management Plan. What is it? It’s figuring out what your plan is going to be by creating Categories (a taxonomy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxonomy ) of what you’re going to sell, then connecting that with a plan of how you’re going to manage your information resources. It’s coming up with which products you’ll sell, which one you’ll sell first, what you’ll sell them for, and a way to organize those products digitally. You may have another information management plan for your website, including what links are where, so that when a linked page breaks, you’ll have a quick way to go update those pages without reading through every page on your website. Information Management Plans can be comprehensive, and well worth reading more about. Don’t let that stop you from putting together a simple one.
It’s the same way with Branding. Today, I spent much of the day putting together my branding look. I’ve been in business over a year without putting any thoughts towards my ‘look’. I’ve been mostly concerned about my product; making sure my writing had the right message for the client. My resolution for 2012 is to step further into my own power, and for me, this includes Branding. It’s powerful to be ready with my ‘look’ so that I don’t have to panic if I need something. I’ve had time to prepare it, to make sure that I’m comfortable with what I’m sending out.
So if you’re considering being proactive, take a look at Microsoft Office Templates (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/). They have several template styles that you can adapt to fit your Branding. Again, start simple. But ship.
There’s so many amazing resources available to us now. What are you doing proactively to move into your power?
Today’s Exercise: Figure out what’s running your day – and how to work on that proactively. Initially, it may mean more work to get ahead of the 8-ball. Don’t let that stop you. Take baby steps if needed. Proactive people get more done, with less. Haven’t you found that to be true?
My suggestion: Write a list of what you want to get accomplished in your business in the next 12 months. Now, put together a proactive plan breaking down that goal into small weekly steps. And always give yourself 20-30% more time than you think you’ll need. And don’t forget to include your two weeks of vacation in your estimate. It’s okay to be proactive with your fun as well. That’s something I’m working on too.