What get’s you out of bed at 6:00am? Is there something that you are not willing to sacrifice no matter what the cost? What is your anchor?
For me it is bicycling. Even on a winter morning I am still motivated to crawl out of bed, jump on my bike, embrace the cold air, and hit the mountain trails. Cycling has been my anchor for many years. It is such a passion in my life that I even found a way to incorporate it in my personal branding business. After all, people identify me by my cycling so it is a critical component of my own personal brand.
In his book, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance, entrepreneur Jonathan Fields says that a certainty anchor is a practice or process that adds something known and reliable to your life when you may otherwise feel you are spinning out of control. I know that the moment I feel stressed or out of control, my regular bike rides bring back the sense of stability and sanity that I need in my life. I almost feel like I cannot be myself if I remove my ‘cycling ritual.’
In personal branding we talk about the importance of your values and passions.
- Your values GUIDE you. When you hit that fork in the road the values that anchor you will help you to make the right decision. Your values ensure that you stay true to ‘brand you.’
- Your passions DRIVE you. They energize you to move forward and empower you to not give up even in the face of uncertainty.
Your certainty anchors are based on your values and passions. Once you give up these anchors you are essentially eliminating a core element of who you are and what defines your brand.
Anchor Your Personal Brand in Something You Enjoy!
Your certainty anchor is something you enjoy and are strong at doing, or it is something you may not be very skilled at but have the passion to make stronger. If you hate riding a bike then making a ritual of going for a ride will not anchor you like it does for me!
Follow this 3-step process to establish the certainty anchors in your life and ground your personal brand.
- Clarify your anchor - Look at your daily life and make a list of the things you count on. Something that recurs regularly or at least something you always say you wish you had time for. Maybe it is doing a crossword with a cup of coffee, or going for a walk in the park, or meditating for 10 minutes. Whatever it is does not matter. Simply identify what you look forward to and what keeps you grounded.
- Make it a consistent ritual - We often think of routine as boring and mechanical – the things we “have to do” to get the job done. By making your anchor a consistent part of your life, ideally your daily life, you are taking what you value and giving it a priority. It is the thing you “want to do” not what you have to do.
- Be constantly known for it - It is natural to keep our rituals to ourselves because they are personal and private. However, once others around you see your anchor you will be known for it. You will be “that guy who loves to always….” By making your anchor an obvious component of your brand’s identity, you will not give it up. Tell your colleagues not to disturb you from 9:00-9:45 because this is ‘your time’ to take that walk, or do that crossword, or meditate! Once it is a pattern and you make it known to those around you, people will not only identify you by this anchor but they will make sure to give you the space and time to do it. In my case, my business card has a photo of me on a bike. I love the reaction I get when I hand people my card. “Oh, is that you?” It provides the hook and helps me to share why cycling is not only an anchor in my life but also a critical component of my business. I am now known as the personal branding guy on the bicycle!
How have you grounded your personal brand? What are your certainty anchors? Please share your ideas below.