IN-Spiration Challenge: Wear Confidence on Your Sleeve

Confidence is everything. Any person can have a good idea or say something inspiring, but no one will hear it if there’s no confidence behind it. People would simply ask, “WHY should I listen to this guy?”

Right now, you might be thinking, “But I am confident. Why am I still not getting people to listen?” Unfortunately, the answer could be what you are wearing.

Confidence is a lot more than just what you say and how you say it. The truth is that we live in an extraordinarily visual society. Style is how you show your confidence.

Think about it for a moment. Think about everything in your closet. Now, pick out an outfit that makes you feel more confident. What makes you feel comfortable? Are they the same piece of clothing? More than likely, they are not. When we think of the comfiest piece of clothing in our wardrobe, we probably think of our favorite pair of sweatpants and an old t-shirt. Not something you’d wear to pitch meeting. Instead, you’d want to feel sharp in a nice suit or a classy dress. Right?

Every day, when I walk to my closet, I think, “What outfit will give me confidence today?” Even if I’m only wearing it to get coffee and write, I put that effort in to elevate my own confidence. That is why I am challenging you to do the same.

Starting tomorrow, I’m challenging you to walk to your closet and “put on” your confidence for the day. First, put on something that you would wear every day and take a picture. Think about how you feel and how you are standing when you are wearing that outfit. Then, find an outfit that brings you confidence.

You know those shoes you have in the back of your closet that made you feel powerful, but you wanted to save for a “special occasion?” Make today a special occasion. Want to wear jeans? Elevate them with a nice top and add a stylish accessory.

Once you find that confident outfit, take a picture and print it out next to the photo of your “comfortable” outfit. Do this every day so, at the end of the week, you can see and feel the physical difference in your confidence. Let that be your reminder the next time you want to dress in leggings in a large t-shirt to work because you felt lazy that day.

Check out the gallery below for some of my go-to confident booster outfits.

IN-Spiration: Think About Change From Different Point of View

Now that we’ve talked about taking action and chase your dreams, we have to talk about what happens when you keep trying the same approach with no positive outcome. We want to explore change can be very different depending no the person. There is only one quote that is perfect for this idea.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

Humans are creatures of habit. We do the same thing every day even when we are desperate for a change in our lives. If we even think about deviating from the daily plan, we become terrified of being unproductive or failing at life. Want a quick change to spice up your life? You change your hairstyle. When we want to lose weight, we go on the same diet that takes off a couple quick pounds, but only leads you to gain twice that weight after. If you want to enlighten yourself, you go on an “Eat, Pray, Love,” trip. Do you continue to meditate when you return to your normal life or does it become a picture on your mantel?

This becomes harmful to our personal discovery. Even when we decide to change it’s in predictable in a way that keeps others from judging us. Want a quick change to spice up your life? You change your hairstyle. When we want to lose weight, we go on the same diet that takes off a couple quick pounds, but only leads you to gain twice that weight after. If you want to enlighten yourself, you go on an “Eat, Pray, Love,” trip. Do you continue to meditate when you return to your normal life or does it become a picture on your mantel?

Want a quick change to spice up your life? You change your hairstyle. When we want to lose weight, we go on the same diet that takes off a couple quick pounds, but only leads you to gain twice that weight after. Want to travel? Don’t just go on road trip to your grandparents’ house.

You are different from everyone else. Be different in every aspect of change. Go left instead of right. Don’t just cut your hair dye it bright red or blue.

Do what feels true to you. Be your true self by any means possible and don’t fall into insanity or mediocrity.

Now, what do you think? What does this quote inspire in you and how can you apply it to your business endeavors? Or your personal endeavors?

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What is “In-spiration?” In addition to creating custom content for entrepreneurs, Write Mind Media LLC is dedicated to helping business professionals create inspiring brands.  We help them to become better business professionals and human beings through inspirational quotes, an in-depth look at how these ideas can help you in business, and developing weekly challenges to push our readers to do better.

How to Network: The Foundation of Influence

Courtesy of Kaboompics

In addition to writing and marketing, I have also worked in entertainment and if there is one thing that I have learned in that experience, it is that networking is everything. Knowing people and collaborating with them not only gives you new opportunities, but it also lays the foundation for future followers.

However, not everyone understands the importance of networking or are too shy to follow through with conversation. That is why we are giving you a few tips on how you can improve your networking skills

1. “You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.”-Benjamin Mee, “We Bought a Zoo”

 

Courtesy of Kaboompics

When I met Elie Wiesel for the first time, it was because of 20 seconds of insane courage. The goes with meeting people like President Muhammad Nasheed of the Maldives and interviewing Piper Kerman, the author of the book “Orange is the New Black.” If you see someone that you admire or who you have always wanted to work with, 20 seconds is all you need to say “hello” and make a first impression. Don’t let those 20 seconds leaves you in the dust.

Bonus Tip: If you’re really nervous meeting new people, have a go-to friend that will help introduce you and make sure the conversation doesn’t die. Think of “How I Met Your Mother” and Barney’s favorite game “Have…You Met Ted.”

2. Speaking of First Impressions

Always be ready for a good first impression. If you were to see me out, working on these blog posts, you would see me in a nice outfit (normally a nice blouse, heels, and my Lucky Brand jeans that I swear by) with my hair and makeup done. You only ever get one shot at making a first impression and you never know when it might happen. It might be at a conference or it might be at Starbucks in the morning. Always be ready and waiting to make that next, crucial connection.

Bonus Tip: Invest in a conversation piece. With a simple outfit, they grab attention and can start conversations. Mine is a pair of saddle shoes that no one can believe I got from Payless.

3. “Let Me Give You My Card.”

There is nothing more important than making sure that you leave a conversation with a person’s card and they leave with yours. Invest in nice, eye-catching business cards that stand out amongst the 50 other cards people get at conferences. Also, don’t forget to send a quick “Nice Meeting You” email after big events to keep the conversation going.

Bonus Tip: Don’t be afraid to get creative. Horror filmmaker, Lynne Hansen, leaves “I Make Films Like a Girl” buttons at every film festival she attends. By the end of the festival, everyone knows her name.
Courtesy of “I Make Films Like a Girl” Facebook page

4. Have to Go to Conversations Starts

Small talk sometimes is a good way to start a conversation, but are cliché and die off quickly. Prep some interesting topics in your field that will not only make you memorable but will also impress the other side of the conversation. If they think you know what you’re talking about, they will be more likely to come to you in a pinch.

Bonus Tip: Want to speak with the expert from that panel you loved? Don’t be afraid to wait on the edges after to speak one-on-one with them and ask in-depth questions about the topic. It shows your initiative.

 

Motivational Monday: Channeling the Light of Maya Angelou

Today’s motivation comes from the life of a favorite poet of mine: Maya Angelou.

About Angelou’s Life

While she is known for her book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” she was also known as a singer, actor, director, and civil rights advocate. In fact, she was a good friend to civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr.

Most importantly, she was a spiritual leader to many through her words and no-nonsense attitude. She forbade curse words in her home due to the power the words could have. Leaders of peace like Nelson Mandela and President Barack Obama called her a friend. She was truly a “phenomenal woman” as she described in her popular poem.

Photo Courtesy of Maya Angelou’s Facebook Page

Angelou had a difficult childhood, having been sexually assaulted at the age of eight and being mute for several years after the incident. Even then, she knew that her words held the power to change the world. Eventually, she would pen the story for “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”  The memoir would be what took her from a famous entertainer and activist to a global icon.

What We Can Learn From Maya Angelou

This week, we are focusing on becoming your own inspiration, to use your life as an example of perseverance and success. There are very few people that personify this ideal than Maya Angelou who faced adversity from so many fronts throughout her life as an African American woman.

Even though she has passed on, I doubt that her words will ever be forgotten. They are not unlike the words of Elie Wiesel, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, or Malala Yousafzai. They serve as a testament to a life lived. She learned from her experience, reflected on it, and allowed those lessons to make her a better human being.

As an entrepreneur and as an influencer, you must learn from your own life experiences. What would make your life easier? Think of what inspires you, makes you happy or sad. If YOU don’t ask the questions…someone else will and they will be the ones that inspire the world.

So, follow Maya Angelou’s advice.  “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” Find your light so you may inspire others to do the same.

IN-Spiration: Examining Life and How You Can Start to Thrive

It’s almost been a month on this blog! Can you believe it? Throughout our first month, we have explored how failing can lead to greater success, the power of giving back, and how creativity can revitalize your work environment. Now, we want to focus on the most important part of being an influencer: YOU!

To kick off the week, we are getting IN-Spired to self-reflect with Socrates.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” 
― Socrates

What does it mean to examine life? Is looking at which habits work and don’t work in your life? Could it be meditating on your place in the universe? Perhaps it’s cleaning up your social media page?

This quote brings up hundreds of questions. However, the core of Socrates’s statement is simple. If you don’t reflect on your life then it’s all for nothing.

Millions of people around the world work hard to survive, to earn just enough to build a safe life. They don’t dare to fail. There’s no jumping outside the box. It’s just existence.

That’s not living.

Life is meant to be explored and understood. If we didn’t reflect on why we were here or how we can make the world better then what is the point of humanity? What’s the point of consciousness?

Okay, that got very deep. Most people are not philosophers. The same, though, can be applied to everyday life. Examine why you want the new job or if the person you’re with actually makes you happy. If you don’t take the time to ask yourself these questions, then you might not be living your life to the fullest. You’re just existing.

Don’t exist. Live. Thive. Examine Life.

Now, it’s time to examine Socrates’s words for yourself. What do you think? How does examining life effect your life? Let us know in our comments below or on our Facebook page.

What is “In-spiration?” In addition to creating custom content for entrepreneurs, Write Mind Media LLC is dedicated to helping business professionals create inspiring brands.  We help them to become better business professionals and human beings through inspirational quotes, an in-depth look at how these ideas can help you in business, and developing weekly challenges to push our readers to do better.

IN-Spiration Challenge: Get Creative and Keep Moving Forward

Due to my negligence, there was not an IN-Spiration yesterday or today. So I am mixing it up and incorporating that IN-Spiration into this week’s challenge and, if you’ve been paying attention to my posts you probably know what the

 

focus is going to be on.

Disney! More notably, the creativity that inspired generations of artists, storytellers, and fans to unleash their inner child.

 

Your challenge this week is…GET CREATIVE!

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” -Walt Disney

The beauty of creativity is that you can basically do anything. The Disney company is proof of that, being the first to produce a feature length animated film (“Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”) and ushering in a world-wide entertainment empire.

 

Being creative and fostering that idea within your company can help your business achieve the impossible and create something worth while.

Before you can do the impossible though, you must believe you can.

“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” – Walt Disney

Even if you fail, the power of belief can help drive you towards an innovation that you could never imagine. So, get creative. Make something. Dance and sing like know is watching. Think outside of the box. No matter how impossible being creative might seem, you need to keep moving forward like Walt Disney always did.

John Lasseter continued to move forward despite business failures and being fired from Disney animation.

“Keep moving forward.” – Walt Disney

Our In-spiration Challenges are meant to push the limits of our followers so they can inspire themselves as entrepreneurs and human beings.

What is “In-spiration?” In addition to creating custom content for entrepreneurs, Write Mind Media LLC is dedicated to helping business professionals create inspiring brands.  We help them to become better business professionals and human beings through inspirational quotes, an in-depth look at how these ideas can help you in business, and developing weekly challenges to push our readers to do better.

Inspired Brands: How Disney Has Stayed Magical

The statue of Roy Disney and Minnie Mouse at the front of Disney World. Roy was Walt’s brother and business partner.

In honor of our Pixar post from Monday and the D23 Expo* this weekend, we have decided to highlight the Disney brand rather than a trend.

If you don’t already know, the Walt Disney company has been able to ride the waves of pop culture since its creation in 1923. All the while, they have served as a symbol of childhood wonder and entertainment’s innovation.

The question we’re asking tonight, though, is…how do they do it

Know Your Brand

The fact of the matter is that you KNOW when you’re faced with a Disney product. Disney is a master at knowing its brand and how they can use it to expand it further. Is it always successful? Not necessarily when it comes to some lackluster sequels or the revamp of “Journey into Imagination.” However, it is always high quality and filled with little details that mystify fans. Not to mention, everywhere you look there is a popular Disney character saying hi.

Speaking of Quality

Disney is notorious for its quality. Their parks are some of the best in the world with “cast members” trained to constantly make guests feel welcomed and magical (like asking little “princesses” for their autographs). A Disney vacation, while expensive, is practically guaranteed to feel luxurious and magical.

The pin kiosk in Epcot is where Disney pin collectors from around the world come to trade.

Variety is Key

Disney has everything: movies, theme parks, stores, books, CDs, stage shows, cruises, toys, STAR WARS! Pretty sure the only thing the company doesn’t have yet is an airline. Disney is not afraid to diversify their portfolio. While this doesn’t always work for small businesses, it is an example of protecting the brand. Starting a website? Invest in similar domains to avoid copycats. Creating a film franchise? Make sure no one questions that it is yours.

With the 95th Anniversary just around the corner and Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary not far behind, it’s no secret that Disney is about to make a lot of noise in a big way. They already have Avatar Land attracting more guests to the Animal Kingdom. Star Wars Land will have a huge impact on attendance, especially with more films planned for the franchise. However, only time will tell what else Disney has up its sleeve.

 

*The D23 Expo is basically Comic-Con for Disney. It happens every two years and is when the company announces major additions to the parks (Avatar, Star Wars, Toy Story Land), movies (MCU, latest Pixar, and live-action films), and more.

IN-Spiration: Discover Your Passion’s Perfect Balance

Today, we focus on what drives artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs alike is passion.

“Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks.” – Yo-Yo Ma

Is is passion has been what gives inspiration and energy to visionaries throughout history. It creates a need to innovate and inspire others. It seeps into the very fiber of our creations, gives them life.

We are a society caught between two generations that view passion differently. One views it as dangerous, something that should be kept behind closed doors for the sake of status quo. Another views it as a way to help expand the world, make it better through music, art, and advocacy. These are the people that see risk as an opportunity rather than a hazard.

However, passion is like anything in life. There is a reason it is related to a fire. When harnessed and controlled, it can keep us warm and cook food. If you let it out of control, it will burn and destroy. Too regulated and it will suffocate and snuffs out in a puff of smoke.

The key is to learn what YOUR balance is. What is that magic spot between smoke and wildfire for you to thrive on your passion? Are you taking too many risks or not enough?

Now, is the time to unleash your passion, to begin to understand that limit. Once you achieve that, you may start to realize how far you can soar.

What do you think? What is your passion? Do you know how to balance it for future success? We want to hear about your passion and how you can make it work for you! Let us know in the comments below!

What is “In-spiration?” In addition to creating custom content for entrepreneurs, Write Mind Media LLC is dedicated to helping business professionals create inspiring brands.  We help them to become better business professionals and human beings through inspirational quotes, an in-depth look at how these ideas can help you in business, and developing weekly challenges to push our readers to do better.

IN-spiration: One Word of Truth

Today’s IN-spiration comes from the Russian Writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn and is a quote that I have held dear since high school.

“One Word of Truth Will Outweigh the Whole World” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn

When I first read this quote, it made perfect sense to me while confusing so many others. It is the belief that the right word in the perfect place can change the world.

Since their creation, words have always had power over humanity. They have freed entire countries from tyranny and condemned criminals to death. Words can give hope or cause despair. All you need is to know how to use them.

As entrepreneurs, words can help convey a certain image to your audience. Perhaps, they can be used to help energize your team towards success.

The key to creating powerful words to influence your audience is to be sure there is truth behind them. You can use your words to lie and manipulate, but eventually, it will only lead to despair and mistrust. If you incorporate your truth into your company’s content, audiences will feel closer to you as a person. It gives your service, product, or story a face to trust.

Look at Solzhenitsyn. A Russian writer during the reign of the Soviet Union, Solzhenitsyn was an outspoken critic and wrote personal accounts of the mistreatment his people faced. It was his truths that helped bring to life the experience of Soviet prison camps so those responsible were seen for what they were.

Now, I’m not saying that your marketing campaign must defy regimes and change history. However, they do need to make an impact. Every word must count. After all, one word wasted can always tip the scales from your favor.

 

What do you think? Can words really have such an impact in the world of viral videos and Snapchat? Is there a way that your words aren’t being used to their fullest potential? Let us know in the comments below!

What is “In-spiration?” In addition to creating custom content for entrepreneurs, Write Mind Media LLC is dedicated to helping business professionals create inspiring brands.  We help them to become better business professionals and human beings through inspirational quotes, an in-depth look at how these ideas can help you in business, and developing weekly challenges to push our readers to do better.

Influence Through Creativity

Artists are more powerful than anyone could imagine. While many believe that schools should focus on technology and science, the arts have been increasingly overlooked. It’s unfortunate, especially considering how much influence art has on the way our culture thinks.

After all, the pen has always been mightier than the sword for a reason.

Courtesy of Kaboompics

Why Are People Afraid of Artists?

Humanity has seen millions of weapons from the spear to the machine gun. When we started using atomic bombs, humanity thought they perfected weaponry. However, what most people don’t realize is that weapons were perfected a long time before. They are pens, paint, and paper.

Tyrants have always been afraid of artists. It doesn’t matter where they publish their art, in a gallery or a newspaper. The influence their creations have to speak for themselves. Michelangelo’s art and sciences have made him a master of Renaissance thinking. Elie Wiesel wrote his account of the Holocaust and making every reader a witness to Hitler’s atrocities. Political cartoons and satire news reflect the incompetence of politicians throughout history.

Tyrants know this. It’s why propaganda has become a powerful tool for every dictator in history. It’s also why they push out any other voices that want to create something different.

Courtesy of Kaboompics

The Power of the Modern Artist

Artists and the businesses that employ them serve as powerful influencers over the way we think about the world around us. They influence our opinions, make us think in a different perspective.

This has never been truer than today. There are a plethora of ways for an artist to spread their messages: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, online stores, Netflix. You name it, artists have probably found a way to use it.

How YOU Can Have the Power

While it has never been easier for artists to promote their personal work, it is also easier to find talented artists to hire and create personalized art for your business. It could be a commercial, a poster, or a blog post. This power of creativity has the ability of not only growing your brand but also help change your customer’s image of the world.