HI, MY NAME IS UCHE

HI, MY NAME IS UCHE

Ever felt excited to introduce yourself to someone only to get a cold reply or several unpleasant follow-up questions? Welcome to my daily struggle as a Nigerian. A Delta Igbo, to be precise. My short introduction of “hi, my name is Uche. I am from Delta state…” It is often accompanied by “but you are not our sister na, you aren’t pure Igbo”. Wow, I didn’t know there were some impure tribes.

And I am sure other tribes suffer from this segregation, which means I am not the only one feeling the same way. Being a citizen of a multilingual country having several tribes, you wouldn’t expect everyone to be from the same state, right? And the gospel truth is not everyone would accept you. But we all strive to live in harmony together. I have had some good and bad experience.

Here are some advantages of being in a multilingual country

  1. Enhanced communication skills:

Being in a multilingual country helps you learn from different people about their language, which improves your communication skills. Learning their native language is one of the first steps to founding a lasting stable business relationship either by knowing your clients or boss language. This would elevate your relationship leading to better business results if you travelled there to seal a deal, which improves your communication skills and makes your short or long trip hitch-free.

  1. It breaks the ice:

Speaking with someone from your tribe or a different tribe in a new environment breaks the ice creating, that ‘safe-zone’ feeling between both parties. It would make both parties feel more comfortable living together and improve their confidence.

  1. Changes your perspective:

The journey of learning a new language and meeting different people from different tribes makes you open up to different cultures and lifestyles; in doing so, it affects how you think, the way you see things, and even the way you talk. It changes your perspective in a good way. You could even become more tolerant of people and their attitudes, and in the long run, you would realise you’ve adapted to their way of living, or you’ve learnt new etiquette that is good and needed.

Sadly, here are some disadvantages

  1. It may fuel unhealthy competition:

Being in a situation where both parties do not understand each other, especially at the workplace, this miscommunication would probably lead to unhealthy competition. You think he or she is your rival because you both have different work ethics and, top it up, speak different languages.

  1. You may struggle to get along:

Getting into a different environment may be exciting to a lot of people. It may not be for some people, because you don’t know anything about their culture or language, and buying necessities in the market may be a huge struggle because you cannot communicate fluently in their language. You may also feel a bit detached in a gathering where everyone speaks a particular language that you neither understand nor speak.

  1. It may result in crises:

Being in a different environment where people are absorbed in their culture or conscious of the religion they practice, if you do something different or offensive to their belief, this may quickly result in crises if not handled properly because a lot would think you are insulting their religion or culture and wouldn’t know you are yet to understand their belief, so we are advised to thread with caution if we find ourselves in such communities or environment.

But I would say my personal advantages outweigh my disadvantages because I love travelling. I love meeting new people; even though unpleasant questions always accompany my short introduction, I wouldn’t stop introducing myself, “Hi, my name is uche” isn’t going anywhere soon.

So, let me know your personal experiences living in a different environment, good or bad I am open to learning more in the comment section.

Building A Strong Personal Brand – How

Building A Strong Personal Brand – How

How to build a strong personal brand?

I will give you five points

1. Find your message

A brand is all about communication. It’s simply telling people who you are and helping them to define you by that. Until you have found what to say to people about you, you cannot build a personal brand. So the first question you should ask yourself is “What is my message? What do I want to communicate?

For example, you wouldn’t stay with me too long to discover that I am passionate about God, food and Agriculture and entrepreneurship. Now, these are my messages. You can hear and see them loud and clear in everything I do, on my social media platforms, on my websites and even in my day-to-day conversions.

That is your message.

2. Be your message

A personal brand is more of who you are than it is of what people think of you. Many people focus on trying to convince people of their identity and spend less time on actually building the identity. That’s a wrong way to go.

Once you have discovered the message, the best way to communicate it, is to be that message. It will become easier for people to identify you and know you.

That is where the capacity building becomes critical. Is your message entrepreneurship? Then learn everything you need to learn about it. Is it fashion? You can’t afford to be left behind.

Do you want to be known as a leadership expert, a Human resource authority or a tech guru? Then build your capacity to become the best of it.

I totally agree with the founder of CoinState, Justine Wu, when he said “Be a master of your craft, skillset or industry before starting a personal brand. Then your content will help amplify who you are.”

3. Send one message at a time

The emphasizes on “at a time.”

One of the greatest enemies of building a strong personal brand is trying to be everything to everybody to be everywhere at all times.

It is both frustrating and futile. It shows a lack of focus and sends a confusing message of your personality to your audience. A brand is about identity, and secure identity is built on consistency.

To build an identity that makes you stand out of the crowd, you will need to be distinctive from the crowd and send out one strong message at a time.

Note, the keyword is “one at a time”. In as much as you can be many things in life, you can’t be too many things at a time. As I will always say, no one gets to the top of the two maintains at a time. A single (or few), clear and consistent message can help to strengthen your personal brand anywhere, anytime.

One of the best advice I have heard about brand was by Adams Smiley “Carve a niche, and then carve a niche within your niche. The best personal brands are very specific” he said. The narrower and more focused your brand is, the easier it is for people to remember who you are.

4. Be Real

Nothing kills your brand faster than claiming to be what you are not. Is like giving people hope that you have food in your house only to come and realize that you are also as foodless and as hungry as they are. They will not only be disappointed but will be angry with you for raising their hopes and dash it.

Why saying you are an expert when you know you are still learning? I have seen a lot of experts on social media. Don’t join them for the sake of it. Earn it before your claim.

Earn it before you claim it. Building your life around your message protects you from the temptation of claiming to be what you are not.

Branding is not a deception. It is ‘packaging’ in the sense of it. Don’t get me wrong, the packaging is not bad, especially when you are not packaging empty container and not labelling water as Kerosene in the name of packaging. Do not package an empty box.

Do not package an empty container – it courses more harm than good. Nobody buys a terrible product twice.

I hope I am not speaking in parables?

5. Communicate your Message

Nobody can know who you are until you let them know. Go out there and tell your story. Create contents around your brand. Make sure is Consistent, Original and Genuine.

Don’t forget, Consistent, Original and Genuine.

Until you have horned your writing skills, you may find it challenging to build a strong personal brand. Show me a strong brand, and I will show you a skilful writer. That is why I will always say that everybody should be a writer. If you don’t start your story, nobody will tell it. You have to be the one to start your story.

It is your responsibility, not any other. Note that, the power of your brand lies in your ability to own your values, beliefs and principles and communicate them authoritatively.

Do not just go about agreeing with everybody’s opinion. Develop a mindset of your own and stick to it. They are people I respect, and I look up to, that does not mean I agree with everything they say. If it is not in line with what I believe, and there is no convincing evidence to back it up. I may never agree with you. Disagreement is not always a sign of disrespect; every real leader understands.

 

 

Building A Strong Personal Brand

Building A Strong Personal Brand

When you hear the word brand, what was the first thing that came to your mind? Apple? Facebook? Ajaoko? I wouldn’t be surprised, because these are great names in the business world. But a brand is more than just a name. It is not even a logo; neither is it only an exclusive of the business world. Then what is a brand? Follow me.

What is Personal Brand?

Your brand is the unique combination of skills, experience, values, principles and personality that you want the world to see. It is the image that people create about you. It is what people say about you when you are not in the room.

Everybody has a brand. Yes, everyone has a brand.  It could be visible or invisible, real or fake, good or bad. In the 21st century, your brand can express itself in two different forms, the offline brand and the online brand. Both of them can open or close doors of opportunity for you. Get you hired or fired, can win a grant for you, or you can be disqualified because of them.

Now that we know what personal brand is, let’s take a look at your online brand. Try searching your name on google and answer these questions. Sincerely.

  • Did anything appear on the first page that’s connected to you?
  • If yes, is it what you want to appear on google when you type your name?
  • Does it reflect the sum of your skills, experience, values, principles and personality?
  • Do you think when an employer or a selection panel run a google search on your name they will be glad to hire or select, based on what they see on google?

If the answer is yes, then congratulations, you have a powerful ‘online’ personal brand. But if no, welcome. This article is for you.

You can either ignore your personal brand or let it develop on its own, possibly indiscriminately, outside your control. Or you can help massage your personal brand to portray you as the person you want to be and be known Read that again.

In the 21st century, what people think about you matters? Yes, it matters a lot. Most of the time is not the skills that distinguish people, but what perception? I think we have done enough justice to this, let’s move the thing.

Why do you need a personal brand?

From our discussion so far, you might have already picked one or two importance of a strong personal brand. But In case you have not. Let me spell it out.

1. It helps you to stand out from everybody: The truth is that they are always thousands of people who have the same or better qualification that you have and maybe qualified for the same job you are eligible. But if you have a more reliable personal brand online, there is every possibility that you will be considered.

2. Through your brand, you can demonstrate your knowledge, skills and area of expertise.  If people do not know the skills and experiences you have, it will not benefit them or you.

3. As a job seeker, your brand enables your employer to build trust in you. As an entrepreneur, it can be a game-changer for gaining more clients and even customers.

I saw one striking revelation that 84% of millennials trust neither the advertisements nor the brands that create them. Yet, they are prepared to believe people they feel they “know”– even the business people behind the brands they detest so much. Ellon Musk of Tesla, Steve Jobs of Apple, and Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway are good examples of this fact.

4. A strong personal brand earns you respects from the people you have not even met. And you know what comes with that.

Do you desire a strong personal brand? Learn how here