The world has become more interconnected than ever before. From the understanding that everything we accomplish is done through connections (whether online or offline) and brands, networking shines as one of the keys to success. As an expert in personal branding, having the chance to discuss about the impact of networking on a personal brand with Paul J.R Renaud was amazing and I thought it would be a shame not to share with everyone. Check out part one of the interview as well.
Why is personal branding important? Could you share a story about how personal branding had a major impact in your life?
In August last year, I was selected as a speaker at the International Coach Federation (ICF) Global conference called ICF Converge2017 in Washington DC…a career highlight for me and yes, Networking had a lot to do with it.
Given the work I had done in terms of my social media presence, the book I wrote and preparing a compelling justification as to why the ICF should select me as a speaker, it paid off.
However true to the law of abundance and being altruistic when it comes to networking my presentation was designed to help coaches learn how to network, to raise their awareness to the benefits of connecting with people, to learn from my mistakes and ultimately give back this hard-won experience to others.
Your brand is critical to your effectiveness
Who should think about personal branding?
The way others perceive you — your brand — is critical to your effectiveness as a leader and your ability to turn your goals into action. People draw conclusions about who you are and what you’re all about through every interaction that they have with you.
People want to do business with those they like, know, and trust — other people, not a faceless organization.
Everyone has a brand. The practice of “personal branding” is making a conscious decision about what you want to be known for. Once you’ve defined that, it means asking yourself, with every decision, whether your intended action builds or degrades the impression you want to make.
People want to do business with those they like, know, and trust — meaning other people, not a faceless organization. If your employees are visible and authentic, many people will find it easier to identify with you and consider your products and services. This makes personal branding particularly important for senior leaders and individuals in sales.
Mistakes along the way have helped me
You are targeting C-suite, managers and entrepreneurs. How did you set your personal branding audience?
Indeed, my coaching protocols occur at many levels of management, from entrepreneurs and managers all the way to the C-suite.
Spanning a thirty-two-year career, I worked professionally at senior management levels, having the pleasure of working in 10 countries on 6 continents, mostly in a commercial environment – telecoms.
For me, coaching is a cross section between my experience and my willingness to help people perform.
That is why, today, much of my work is divided mostly between Executive Coaching because I speak their language and I understand the challenges of entrepreneurs and managers.
I’ve tried to become an entrepreneur on 2 occasions (risky decisions) and failed. I discovered that very successful entrepreneurs failed many times in their quest to becoming successful – that motivated me. I’m now in my 3rd attempt and I can tell you now that I really “get it”.
Those mistakes along the way have helped me, so through coaching entrepreneurs I am trying to share with them from my experience and help them get better.
What would you say is the most important rule of networking?
There are a couple of things that we should consider if we want to understand the benefits of networking and to become a master of networking and use this process to our advantage.
Law of Abundance
First, and probably the most important is to address networking with the Law of Abundance.
The Law of Abundance is fundamental in networking because if you understand this law, believe in it, and start sharing your network, you will receive in ’droves’. It goes something like this: The world has tremendous abundance.
The world is abundant with opportunity, abundant with clients, abundant with ideas and abundant with good fortune.
Perhaps before reading this interview you were reluctant to share names of contacts or colleagues with others. Perhaps your view is that ‘your contacts will remain your contacts – only’!
Networking in line with the law of abundance mindset has proven time and time again that the more you share with people, the more you get in return.
In order to get to that point however, ‘you gotta ask!’
Second, another suggestion is to quite simply ask someone for an insight, help, a suggestion or ultimately a contact.This is where it begins and ends. You gotta ask what you can do for them, before asking in return.
Third, don’t forget to ‘establish rapport’ when you meet people at an event as discussed earlier.
Anybody can be an effective networker
Lastly, if you equate networking to something that is boring, manipulative, self-serving, too difficult and fake, that is what you will end up with. People who like to self-admit that they are not good at networking have already created their own constraints, their own limits. In fact, the reverse is true. Anybody can be an effective networker if you follow the right path and embrace the right attitude. Your attitude will dictate how effective you become as a networker.
One comment from one person changed my life
In your TedX talk in Bucharest you discussed about People Power & Networking. What is People Power?
Well, yes, it was called People Power. People Power is a two-sided coin. The first side of the coin relates back to 24 years of searching and discovering a new career for me: Executive coaching. I can honestly say that the people I have met through networking in my life have helped me find my new career.
As an example, in Canada 10 years ago, I signed up to teach adults at a community college for a seemingly boring topic. At my surprise, at the end of 10 classes one student wrote in his evaluation of the course and said ‘Paul is captivating’.
This one comment from one person changed my life! This is the first side of the coin. Someone witnessing and recognizing you for a very special skill or attribute that you didn’t know or realize you had! This is very compelling!
The second side of this coin is that everyone has this ability to transform others. We just don’t know we have this power. Everybody has the ability to help transform others by giving a bit of yourself and by adopting the law of abundance. We all have this gift!
Give it enough time
How did you find your “zone”? And what are the three rules to finding the people power?
Some people discover their Zone early on, some people discover it only after many years but anyone can discover their Zone if they give it enough time.
I always knew I could be better at something. OK I was a decent Sales Manager, a good Marketing Director and a competent executive but deep down I knew I could really, really be good at something. I often looked at some athletes, young gifted musicians that discovered tremendous abilities at a young age and artists that seem to have the knack or talent. Why couldn’t I have something similar, unique?
At one point I wanted to change my career. A friend spoke to me about coaching 10 years ago. My career was still doing fine but it was time to change and I researched once again the topic of Coaching. This was the defining moment for me.
Then I looked at what I had acquired my career, my skills and my experience:
By using my skills ( as a listener) plus my experience in business, and add to that all the advice I received from the many people I had met, these were the key ingredients to get me started in my new career.
From my peers, I asked for advice and I learned which segments to target my coaching practice. These segments are 30% of my clients today…30%. They were right!
From Jim, one of my favorite bosses, I learned that if combined what I like to do with what I was good at, he said, I would become …deadly that is, the best in the business. ‘Find the intersection of what you are good at and what you like’, said Jim.
Finding your ZONE and through personal branding
I call this finding your ZONE…as surfers would say on a great day for surfing…’Surf’s up dude, ride the wave’.
My advice on the rules to finding People power?
- Never stop looking. My intuition was right with regards to athletes and young gifted musicians that discover tremendous abilities. We all have an ability that lies latent or dormant. It cannot be otherwise.
- Forget what your mother or father told you. Try those piano lessons you’ve always wanted! Dance the Tango! Take up a finance course. Try to sell Avon products. Test drive a motorcycle. Write poetry. Just try.
I am convinced now that we all have a unique ability. And the best way to discover it is by trying different things. I am not different than anyone else.
- My favorite expression is: ‘A quitter never wins and a winner never quits’, hence keep looking. If you didn’t find your Zone yet, you still have time.
It has been a pleasure interviewing Paul. I hope his insights were as helpful for you as they were for me :). You can find him here and do check his social media accounts!
If you’re ready to take the next step, either by improving your personal brand or finding your zone and then making those big $$$, check out my services HERE.
Don’t hesitate to contact me for more details about the celWEBrity Factor journey, the personal branding program that helps talented people like you build meaningful projects and businesses out of their expertise!