Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Building Our Brand

build-your-brand2 Everyone has heard the saying "Live, Laugh, Love".  You see it everywhere you go, the grocery store, hobby shops, on t-shirts etc.  But what does it really mean?  And then, if you decide to add thoughts to it like Keith and I did, of "Inspire, Serve" that seems to change everything! Right?!

I think that it means something different for everyone.  In looking around I see "Live [well ~ to the fullest ~ every moment]; Laugh [like you did as a child ~ lots ~ as hard as you can]; Love [like you have never been hurt ~ much ~ beyond words]; Inspire [motivate ~ to cause or create ideas ~ believe in others till they can believe in themselves]; Serve [one another ~ the community]. 

For Keith and me, this is our It.  The reason we are doing what we do, our brand, if you will.   You may be asking yourself "What is a brand, and why does it matter?"  Or you are thinking that I am crazy and that is ok too!  :)

The definition of a Brand is the "name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's product distinct from those of other sellers."Initially, branding was adopted to differentiate one person's cattle from another's by means of a distinctive symbol burned into the animal's skin with a hot iron stamp and was subsequently used in business, marketing, and advertising."  No I am not planning to have this burned into my skin (though the tattoo possibilities are staggering!  Must think more about this!), but we definitely want to use it as an identifier to who we are.  We want to be known as the people who do these 5 things on a daily/weekly/monthly/yearly basis. 

Live, Laugh, Love, Inspire, Serve is our brand and over the next few weeks Keith and I will break down each word and what it means to us.

Feel free to let us know how you feel about this, what your brand is, or if you would like some help developing your brand.

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Years – 2014 Goals

We can’t think of a better way to pursue goals than to write them down.  And by making them public it allows us to find them quickly and have more than one set of eyes on the progress meter – so to speak.

Goal - Retirement

My wife is retired!  Now, what does this mean?  It means she is not *required* to have a job.  Working for someone else is a choice she is allowed to make for herself.  One of our greatest goals is to move me towards the same type of retirement.  To that end, our 2014 goal is to continue to grow our business to the point that it creates the same income as my 9-5 job does.  Our goal for 2015 is to triple that, be able to bank 6 months of my 9-5 income, and at the beginning of the 7th month, retire!

Goal – Growth

growth  [grohth]
  1. the act or process, or a manner of growing; development; gradual increase.
  2. size or stage of development: It hasn't yet reached its full growth.
  3. completed development.
  4. development from a simpler to a more complex stage: the growth of ritual forms.
  5. development from another but related form or stage: the growth of the nation state.
I love definition #1 and #5 for what I want to accomplish in life.  Not just business or finances but a true creation of wealth across all dynamics of life.  Wealth creation involves all facets of life and livingness.  With this in mind we will be on purpose about our growth – in the financial, spiritual, mental, emotional and physical realms.

Goal – Getting Social

One of our smaller goals this year is to learn how to be socially adept – and by that we mean through Social Media!  To help further that goal, we aim to produce at least 1 relevant article on this blog each week.  And now the question – what is relevant?  For us, it is living our brand.  Live, Laugh, Love, Inspire and Serve.  We also use Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits approach, especially the Sharpen the Saw piece.  So when we dig into it, we will be cross-cutting in the areas of Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual.  To that list I know I will also add Social Media usage. 
Part of the things that we have dug into is creating a Public Page to act as our public face and a Private Community on Google+ for the people we are working with.