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Sheldonbarrocks.com Posts

Your True Circle Of Influence

Social media provides a platform for us to extend our circle of influence to people we’ve never met in countries we’ve never been to or sometimes even heard about.

But are we really extending some that hasn’t been perfected at it core?

What’s your relationship like with those in your household and how does your life affect them positively? What about close friends? Daily acquaintances? how do you impact their lives?

Do you give freely? Love freely? Help without expectation of something in return? How well do you know your neighbour(s)? Do you even know your their name?

Your true circle of influence starts at your core. Ground zero. Those closest to you. Social media and other alike tools are an extension of who we already are. It was never intended to be a starting point.

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Don’t Be Afraid To Share Ideas

We all are afraid at times. Afraid our ideas will come across as small, not well educated or not complex enough to seem impressive.

And if someone thinks this about our ideas then what? It gets disregarded or not taken into consideration. Now the onus is on that individual to come up with something better. Your job is done until your ideas were proven to be of no effect.

This needs to be our thought process when we experience fear in offering our solutions and strategies at work, in creative groups, with business partners, etc.

There’s value in what you have to offer until someone proves otherwise. And if they happen to, you simply try again. professional growth comes with repeating this process over and over.

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When Culture Shifts, Don’t Stop Learning

Moments in history always bring about changes to our culture. The way we interact digitally. How we do business. Our political system.

Having been born in 1980, it seems like every 10 years there’s an even on historical significance that takes place.

In 1988 it was the Gulf War. In 1999 it was W2K and then 9/11 in 2001. In 2008 to 2009 it was the financial crisis. And this year, 2020, the Coronavirus.

As time moves on its not just the new technology we need to understand better. It’s knowing how to effectively utilize these new tools to add value to the world around us.

Zoom has proved to be a beneficial tool for remote work during the COVID-19 quarantine. Still we need to learn how to use Zoom correctly to get the best out of it.

Additionally for leaders and managers how do we efficiently add software like Zoom into daily team operations and ensure it doesn’t become a hindrance to productivity?

What skills will now be in high demand? How will buyers you’re marketing to make their purchases going forward? What financial investments will be good bets in the next 5-10 years?

We can only answer these questions by giving our lives over to the process of continual education. Read, listen, discuss, work, and repeat.

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Creative Loyalty Doesn’t Exist

Giving your word to someone and keeping is standard practice for maintaining your integrity throughout business and in life.

The same doesn’t apply to your own personal pursuits. Contrary to popular opinion, quitting or giving up can actually be a good thing.

Since 2010 I had launched and subsequently took down several online blogs. While I know there could have been some benefit in continuing with even just one of them, I was honest with myself about how much passion I really had for the project.

Each time I quit I opened myself to experience something new, while adding what I learned from my past experiences to help me excel.

There are those who are okay to continue working on something to uphold the moral code of ‘not quitting’ and ‘finishing what you’ve started’.

You don’t have to be that person. Feel free to quit and start something at your leisure. You’ll come to realize trail and error is the gateway to longterm success and growth.

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Tell Your Story Often

Blogs became popular in the late 2000’s because of the innate ability to provide a platform for sharing personal stories.

These stories were often reflective. Individuals detailing unexpected challenges and how they eventually conquered them. Sometimes it was just about being in the challenge and not knowing how to get out of it .

They were (and still are) appealing because they were personal. Relatable. These stories put us at ease because in that monument we realized we weren’t the only ones facing daily challenges.

Personal blogs have been replaced by content marketing strategies. Companies that do this well are good at sharing stories that touch us on a deeper level than just letting us know why their product or service is the one we should buy.

Whether in business or life, telling your story often is more beneficial then not telling it. Sharing the bad as well as the good reminds us all that journey to success is not without times we’d rather forget.

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Your Brand: Aim To Be A Proprietary Eponym

Kleenex, Q-Tip, Xerox, Band-aid, Jeep are just a few iconic brands that we broadly use to identify all products in their specific market.

The official term is Proprietary Eponym. It’s brand recognition at its finest. And it’s something we should strive for.

Here’s a brief description:

A generic trademark, also known as a genericized trademark or proprietary eponym, is a trademark or brand name that, because of its popularity or significance, has become the generic name for, or synonymous with, a general class of product or service, usually against the intentions of the trademark’s holder. (Wikipedia)

Realistically there’s a very low percentage of us achieving this feat. But that doesn’t stop us from trying to make it happen.

It’s all about the mindset we need to have when building our personal or business brands.

Our brands need to be strongly connected to a value proposition (A promise of value to be delivered, communicated, and acknowledged) to be effective but more importantly memorable.

Proprietary Eponyms have strong value propositions. We know what they can offer us just by their name alone.

Again we may not become generic trademarks but our brand strategy should be designed and established around this idea.

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The Holistic Creative Life

Never limit your creativity to only what you do professionally.

Always be willing to expand your horizons in every area of your life.

Try a new recipe. Take a new route to work. read a new author. Take up a new hobby. Participate in a new discussion group.

But also use creative techniques to stay physically, mentally, and financially sound. Be open to new ways of doing things.

True creatives live well rounded lives and always seek adventure and intrigue. They know that doing so leads to initiating fresh creative thought more often then just living a ritualistic monotonous life.

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A Tip for Self Motivation

In an effort to move forward and accomplish bigger and better, we’re often told to let go of the past or forget about our past failures.

This is true to an extent.

Past shortcomings sometimes inhibit our ability to confidently move forward because of the fear of failure repeating itself.

Alternatively some people look back at failures as an opportunity to learn from it and push them to ‘try again’.

A better tip for motivation is something I practice often.

In biblical times the Hebrews would build an alter at a specific location to remind them of the times God performed miracles in their lives.

When I feel the lack of motivation I usually go back to articles I’ve written that had a lot of online engagement or remember significant accomplishments in my career (like winning awards, etc.).

When you wake up feeling less than inspired to start the day, take time to look back at your past successes. Think about them, and relive the emotions of those moments.

You will be reminded that you have what it takes to execute the next big thing in your life and career.

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Purposeful Connections

It’s impossible to believe that every contact we network with will turnout to be a key contact down the road.

Not all good conversations translate into beneficial relationships. Some may be just for a moment, brining enlightenment to the vision you have for your life.

Other connections will be for only a specific amount of time. A week, a month, maybe longer.

And then, there are ones we decide not to follow through on and that’s okay.

We are not built with the capacity to make every connection a long term one. The key is to watch actions, consistent achievements and actions towards others as an indicator beyond just words from a conversation at a networking event.

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Finding Solutions Already Provided

My kids don’t go to an after school arts programs. They watch drawing tutorials on YouTube.

Creative thought should go beyond the physical manifestation of an idea. It’s about being able to solve a problem using the simplest means.

For kids art classes at home, YouTube already solved the complex part of the problem. Our part is locating the solution already provided.

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