Managing fear in your business

managing fear in your business

I have been practicing a thing lately in Henriette Weber Inc: fear. Looking fear straight into its eyes. Corner it and telling myself; what are you afraid of? I have become great at identifying my fears and asking questions around it – where the most action-packed question I can ask myself is: how can I turn this into something I am not afraid of any more?

Let me give you an example. Last week I was in a meeting with a potential client that I want to work with. I am in a place where I don’t take new freelance work in, but this client would be close to a con-amore project, so I would totally make room for it in my calendar. Our values align, I think they’re awesome – but not that digitally-savvy, yet. Even though, I do a good job of communicating technically hard-to-understand issues to people who haven’t been introduced to them before. I have a metaphor for every issue that could be hard to understand to have people understand it better. However, I just didn’t feel like I was coming across properly. I did my best, but I left the meeting feeling kind of down because I know my message, and the reason they should hire me, hadn’t come across clearly. Now, normally I would have been hitting myself in the head for a day or two because I hadn’t done a great job. I probably wouldn’t be the one running their brand strategy and turning them into the most admirable company in their field. But this time I opened my notebook and wrote down ‘to-do: plan more basic content around my work for newbies’. I turned the fear of being misunderstood into an actionable to-do that I am already working around.

After my illness, and having looked the worst of fear in the eyes and lived with it every day (yes, the fear of dying far too soon). I’ve changed my looks on fear. I could go into the wildest of details, but believe me, having battled a life-threatening illness will make you change your views on pretty much anything. You have to hope for the best and celebrate the small things you can do today that you haven’t been able to do yesterday. For me, every full breath of air was a winning-streak. I have gotten a brand new perspective on how I run my business and how I make my money.  And I have promised to treat my bad-ass self better and more lovingly. Getting myself caught in being misunderstood is not something I want to be afraid of anymore. It will be something I create new cool initiatives around to prevent.

If you turn your fear into actionable items then it will become manageable. If you turn your fear into something, where you have a ton of backup, then at some point it’s not fear anymore. That’s how you’re managing fear in your business.

rock on

 

Why do we need disruptive trends?

why do we need disruptive trends

The business world is in dire need for diversification. Every brand has a need to stand out these days. Enter stage: disruptive trends. Think about what Patagonia has done with their ‘buy less’ strategy. Standing out has become one of the primary reasons for selling your products. If you’re good at spotting disruptive trends, you can get ahead of the competition. But if you’re great at implementing these trends you can hit a home run with your branding. You can save a gazillion dollars in marketing because you’ve already claimed the mind space of your clients and potential clients within that niche.

This means that businesses are becoming more creative and making more state-of-the-art/ cutting-edge products – in order to gain market share.

If you can define disruptive trends and show the business world what it will look like in 3 years there a good chance that you can get ahead of the game.

 

 

Social media DO’s and DON’Ts

social media do's and dont's

Here’s a small list of social media do’s and don’ts  that was mapped down on a piece of paper at Henriette Weber Inc. HQ. It’s the structure of  a talk that I did around CSR and social media a while back.

Do:
define and show the substance of your brand
– engage people in the things you care about and you do
– Make sure you practice what you preach – also in public

– transform great ideas into great content
-facilitate the people saying great things about you

don’t:

– be stupid
– maintain – be proactive instead. otherwise you’re not generating leads OR love.

rock on

Add action to your personal mission statement

personal mission statement

You should create a personal mission statement, so you always know where you need to go, where your true north is.  My personal mission statement has become a way to adjust what I am doing and what choices I am making.

Another  important element is to start showing the world how you’re living your mission statement. Adding action and documenting those actions in pictures, blog posts, tweets, pins, snapchats, you name it. Documenting your journey is  something I refer to as “storyliving” – a word I have developed and a cornerstone of my branding work with my clients.

Actions and documenting those actions (the glossy word “storyliving”) when it comes to personal mission statements adds substance and trust to your brand. Suddenly you’re not only claiming you’re doing living your personal mission statement, you’re showing  the world around you how you’re true to yourself.

You’re not just sharing buzzwords and making your way to becoming an expert because of your brand. You’re consistently showing that you’re adding action upon action and that you mean what you say.

rock on

Current trends in disruptive brand building

current trends disruptive brand

I see the business world right now as a place that’s frantically looking for disruption. The “old school” disruptive brands such as Amazon and Facebook has managed the digital transition very well, but at some point they went from being idealistically based to being stakeholder and money based. I know they are not the companies that are the least disruptive (some companies are not even looking at disruptive brand practices yet).

A while back I wrote a comment for the Danish magazine Berlingske about living in a world with 800 million cover girls. Everyone can take a selfie.  Is It very glitzy and glam, right? And at the same time so exponentially hollow and not grounded. I can’t tell you how many times I have met people who want to talk about using social media to promote a not-relatable, guru-like brand. Mainly because the brands themselves, think they are better than the people to whom they are relating. I can’t begin to describe how many business plans and yearly reports I have seen the word “connect” and “relationship. Then when it comes to disrupting a brand by connection and creating relationships, businesses chicken out because they are afraid of losing value by being “among the crowd” and not sitting on their high horse.

Want to build a truly disruptive brand these days? Turn to the relatable and the nearness. See people eye to eye. The small things. The daily execution.  It might not look innovative on a day to day basis, but keep that course, put it in your communication and marketing plans, and you will be disruptive entire industries.

rock on

Do you know your creative triggers?

creative triggers panda

What do you do to get your creative juices going?

I became aware of my creative triggers when I was a teenager – starting with cruising around my hometown on my bike and dreaming up great ideas and master plans for the future. But the bike was just the beginning of it. I later set out to find out what my creative triggers where, both when it came to my writing, but also when it came to drawing.

Creative trigger for writing: trains.

When I am doing keynote speaking gigs in Scandinavia or Germany, I prefer to get on a train and write for hours on end. I don’t know why I get so focused on trains, but it works every time. I get sucked into this train writing vacuum each time I get on a train, and I loose track of time.

Creative trigger for drawing: Rebellion

When I am going to draw something, I find inspiration in music and rebellic pictures. Street art. Words written to inspire. The image in this post is a quick sketch of a smoking panda.

Why do we have creative triggers?

I think it’s our brain’s way of saying “you’re inspired now – get to work”. Sometimes being in a room with no WiFi can be a creative trigger – simply because I get the feeling of not being on the internet, so I might as well write. That feeling of inspiration is one of my favorite feelings in the world. So, when I can’t get on a train to get big chunks of words down on paper,  I go for a brisk walk of around 40 mins. Another thing I often do is to go across the sea from here, to Helsingborg to sit at a café and write. I think the travelling aspect helps with inspiration as well. Or maybe, that things are just different if you go to another country.

Last week I wrote about being on a writing retreat in the middle of nowhere. I was so productive. If I am in a big city (Berlin is one of my favorites) I have a need to explore and not to sit down and write all the time. Mind you, when I am exploring, my favorite thing is to bring my small Ipad to a coffee shop and sit there and write. Normally it’s good words and work that comes out of it.

I think it’s important to know how you can trigger your creativity. It’s also important not to leave everything up to “feeling inspired”, but getting to work even though you’re not inspired and then appreciate when inspiration comes to you. Writing for me, is a job. It’s just what I do. If I left it up to “chance” or “inspiration” to get going each morning, I wouldn’t get much done.

rock on

 

 

 

How to create a personal mission statement

how to create a personal mission statement

One of the pieces of advice I always come back to, when it comes to my client work is that I want them to “speak in manifestos”. When you work with complex messages, it is always beneficial to be able to go back to “oh that’s what we mean” – or “oh yeah that’s why we’re doing this”. Especially when you work in teams and across management levels. That’s why I always work with different cores and different manifestos with my clients: it simplifies messages and get’s everybody on the same level.

It has been important to me to have a personal mission statement that keeps on reminding me, why I am as I am and choose as I choose. Now, I don’t post my personal mission statement at home on my wall. It lingers in my journals ready for me to look at it and remind me at times where I forget it.

Steps to writing a personal mission statement

– Who inspires you and why?

The people who inspire you can change your perception of things.
I have always been amazed on how much influence the blogs I subscribe to; they have on my life. There’s some of them I have been following for more than ten years and some of them are new. Some of them, I have subscribed to for some time, unsubscribed, and then resubscribed again after some time. If you want to change parts of you, you have to change your input.
I am aware that what I read isn’t only links that are shared by my friends on Twitter, or by the blogs I follow, but it’s also defined by the books I read and the magazines. Without going into details, it’s just important that you know what the different “outlet’s” are giving you.

– Who do you want to be?

I am still at a place where I am just happy to breathe. I am happy that my health is going in the right direction. But I think someway along the way, I don’t want to let my illness define me.  I want to be a writer. I AM a writer. But I want to write more. I want to create more. I want to feel good. To me, it’s more important to ask who you want to be today, than who you want to be 30 years down the line. That’s also an important question to ask, but the world are sometimes a bit too goal-oriented to me.

When you have answered those questions – you’re well on your way to being able to draft a personal mission statement. It’s not an easy process, but if you map down all the important words that keep popping up in your head, you can quickly write something together that looks like a personal mission statement.

Here’s my personal mission statement:
“my mission is to change me for the better and share my process. I will do this with being a true, creative, unique and inspiring person.

I know it’s a bit “airy” but it has to be if my work, my health, and everything else in my life has to fit in there. I do create mission statements around ever “sub-area” such as “health” as well.

ps. My mission statement used to have a different tone to it. It used to be:

“my mission is to change the world for the better and share my process. I will do this with being a true, creative, unique and inspiring person.”

But believing that I change the world by changing myself, I changed it a while back. It became closer to the heart of me.

Get creating rockers!

rock on

 

What I learned from going on a writing retreat

writing retreat

I have wanted to go on a writing retreat for ages. Not with other people, but on my own. Simply lock me up in a house somewhere and write.

When my friend Mariakaisa asked me if I wanted to tend to her farm while she and her family were on holiday, I immediately said yes. It was a chance to write more on a book I am working on, and research a lot on it as well. But it had some good surprises coming to me as well, apart from concentrated book writing.

It was so dark at night

To begin with, it felt like a huge challenge to be all alone on a farm where there’s 500 m to the nearest neighbor.  But after some time where I had a chance to calm myself it was wonderful. I’m used to having light, houses and noise around me at most times, so the “pitch-black-ness” of the nights out there made me quite anxious. It also made me look at why I was anxious around darkness, and I healed some stuff around it, that I think I’ve been carrying with me for ages. Another great thing was that I started tracking the daily cyclus of day and nighttime, something I haven’t been that aware of, before.

I didn’t speak many words

I loved to move around in silence. Writing in silence. For the first days, music was playing in the background at all times, but I eventually turned it off. I did the same with my phone. It felt like I was centering myself. It felt like I was finally able to get a distance to everything that has happened in the last year.

I got away from my every day, alone, which was lovely

It was great being alone in the world again, just tending myself and my creativity. It was amazing, and the focus made some things clear around the book. Like there are parts of it that I can’t write yet. There are subjects I need to research more on before I put my take on it down on paper. The focus made parts of the book process easy peasy.

There was a ton of other benefits. Taking my art serious and taking my time to nurture it on my own. Giving myself permission and space to “birth” it. I felt like some of the literary giants sitting in this house in the countryside, surrounded by animals.

Somewhere in this process, it became a book. Maybe a shit draft right now but it’s still a book that I am writing, and not just some thoughts coming together. It has a structure now, and it’s finding its voice.

So writing retreats are highly recommendable. Especially in places where there is peace and silence and darkness at night.

rock on

Hustle yourself larger

eurythmics hustle

Since I read this story I have meant to write about it here on henrietteweber.com.

I love a good marketing hustle, but I also love Eurythmics. When I started out in Marketing in London at the beginning of the 00s, it was on a budget that was a big zero. The startup I was working for didn’t have much money, and the first thing to be eliminated from the budget was the marketing and branding. I was told that they could afford my wages, but they couldn’t afford anything more than that.

What’s a girl to do? Hustle. I hustled myself larger. I (almost) begged to be invited to invite-only industry parties. I was super active in forums, and I discovered a gem: Blogs.

Relationship building online without having to meet for coffee all the time. Where you could make your brand larger than life. Where you could express everything around your company, and if it was remotely interesting to people, you would get a comment. Then you would write some more. And then people you met in the industry knew what you were up to. But it was all a big hustle. And then all of a sudden it became real. We didn’t have to hustle anymore.

We can all hustle. We don’t have to make things from the ground up. We can find a freelancer on odesk or fiverr or even hire a virtual assistant who can help us grow. Reach more people and build an empire. Just like Eurythmics.

You can implement slideshare presentations on your linkedin profile (free worksheet)

idea presentation worksheet

One of my constant go-to’s for inspiration in my work has been SlideShare. Or more the SlideShare / LinkedIn combination. It’s an amazing resource that can be used as a way to inspire you and your work, but also to get your creative ideas out there.

Slideshare has an embed function so you can share it across the Internet in the same way you would a youtube video. But one of the smart things that I often talk to people who want to turn their professional profile up a notch is that you can embed your SlideShare presentations directly on your LinkedIn profile.

That’s great for two things:

People who are interested in working with you will get a behind-the-scenes not “static LinkedIn summary” peek into who you are and what you’re passionate about enough to make a Slideshare presentation about.

You will get to work on your idea if you put it into a presentation. For me, I had one of my presentations featured on SlideShare, and it made a huge traffic increase to my site.

To prepare you even more, I have created a small worksheet that you can download for free.

You’re welcome – as always!

rock on

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