Journey of Life

Last week, I was invited to give a story workshop for the Heart of Florida United Way. Without getting into too many details, it was great to give back and help those who have been selected to carry the story of United Way to our central Florida community.

The quote, “See one, Do one, Teach one…” was on my mind as I prepared for the training. Just a few days before I was working hands-on with my business partner to help tell his story for an upcoming launch. If it’s not messy, you haven’t tried hard enough. See below.

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Before you can jump into this level of story strategy, one of the first activities we did in the session was a Journey of Life Map from Stephen Denning’s book, The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling. I’ve talked about this for a few years now as an activity to help someone think about their moments of inspiration and also the people and places that have made them who they are and who they will be in the future. Documenting your stories from the past, present, and future goals, helps you construct your TRUE STORY, your authentic story that lets people know who you are, what you are passionate about, and your expertise. However, for every situation there is the “right story.”

Before the session, I took my own advice and spent a few hours going back and adding more detail to my own Journey of Life Map. I realized that while my life is busy and cluttered the more I focus on my goals, I will learn to tell the right story and tell the story right. I also realized there were many stories I should tell to help people understand my own journey. This process made me think about my own goals and what I want to do next as part of my Journey of Life. 

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It was rewarding to see how this experienced touched those in the story workshop. Through this activity they were evaluating the most important* story with their connection with nonprofits and the community. The asterisk is to there to help you remember that the most important story depends on the purpose and audience while telling the right story, and telling that story right.

I encourage you to complete your own Journey of Life Map and keep reviewing it for the opportunities you have to develop your TRUE STORY. Brainstorm, create, and tell your authentic story!

Let me know if you need any help with this activity or helping you tell your TRUE STORY or constructing your CEO STORY. I’d be happy share some other experiences from CEOs and other professionals who’ve used this to help tell their story and find their focus. Leave me a comment below to let me know your takeaway from this.

Find Your Purpose Before You Build Your Personal Brand

Eight Steps to Build a Foundation For Your Personal Brand

“What’s Your Passion?”
“Create meaning in everything you do.”

We hear those phrases a lot and as we try to figure out our path they echo in our minds guiding us to make the right decisions. How do we walk the line and make it happen? Change is one of the hardest things we can do. Trust me, I’ve had a few decades to practice. Reinventing myself is not new to me. I’ve started a family, moved around the country for jobs, changed careers and launched several businesses through the years. The concept of creating meaning in our lives has pushed me to making big changes including becoming an executive director for nonprofits and has guided me in other areas of my life as well. Finding a purpose-led life is in my DNA. I think it is in most people and I wrote this with you in mind.

As the years move quickly, you have to stop and give yourself time to evaluate where you are and where you want to go in order to stay on your path. That’s what I was going through for the last several months. I had decided back in December that I was going to make some changes. That decision was made even before my son was in a serious auto accident and I had my appendix removed the day after. Those incidents confirmed for me that change was needed in my life. Sometimes we are given those physical reminders that we are human and change is needed. For me, it was a time to step back from what I had been doing, filling my time, filling my mind and I made a decision to let it go. If I could have, I would have checked into a condo on the beach and finished my book. But, I did what I could and I focused on keeping my family healthy, improving my own health while staying focused and productive. Instead of talking about work/life balance I’ve been taking my own advice in creating a more meaningful life. I wanted to share a few tactics that have helped me make some changes recently. Remember, this is a journey and there is no “right” way to do this. I hope these eight steps to building your foundation for your personal brand will help you get started today.

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1. FOCUS
To make a real change in your life, focus on what you want to achieve. This is a difficult one but once you can identify and visualize your life you can start making moves to realize your dream. Narrowing your list of things, you want to do will help. How do you pick which one to focus on? That’s another post but you are on your own as I still deal with trying to do too many things and why this is number one on my list to help you. Stay focused.

2. SAY NO
Saying no more often helps you say yes to the opportunities that will take you on the right path. This works together with having focus. If you are clear on what you want to accomplish, saying no becomes easier. And this applies to all areas of your life, from diet and exercise to how you spend your downtime and who that is with.

3. STAY MINDFUL
I can’t say enough for being mindful and staying positive. Throughout the years, all of the opportunities I have been involved with came out from me being in the moment and being ready for new opportunities. Staying positive and speaking it into existence goes along with this concept that you are physically and mentally ready for your new opportunity even though you might know what that is entirely. Trust your gut and make those changes along the way, even if they are small ones at first. It makes a difference.

4. START A 30-DAY CHALLENGE
Along your journey, you might have to make more drastic changes in your behavior and attitude. Force yourself to change. Change your behavior. Change your attitude. Change your life. Whatever it is give yourself a micro-challenge over 30 days. State your goal – make it S.M.A.R.T. and give yourself a reward for accomplishing your goal at the end of the 30 days.

5. EVALUATE WHO YOU (REALLY) TRUST
It might be time to change your circle of people you are connected to. Whether it is a business partner, client, or friends, you need to be able to trust everyone you are connected with. If you don’t have a strong support system or don’t feel appreciated in your current situation, you should make some changes today. Evaluating your situation and your circle of trust, is important in not only finding clarity and getting into a positive situation but staying that way into your new future.

6. SET GOALS & DEADLINES
Anyone can have a great idea but developing a realistic plan with goals and deadlines will help you stay accountable and on target with your life plans or projects. Writing down your goals and sharing your plan will help you succeed faster. Finding a coach or business partner might help you with these actions.

7. PLANT YOUR SEED
My Dad would tell me if I was stressed, then all I needed to do was get to work. Work helps you get your ideas moving even if you were going in the wrong direction you can make it up but if you stay still you’ll never make it happen. My Dad also reminded me of this important reminder about learning along my journey: When you’re green you grow and when you’re ripe you are dead. Learning, working hard and keeping an open-mind so you can listen to others is critical.

8. GET READY FOR YOUR NEXT CHAPTER
My best advice: Work hard and don’t worry. You should be excited for your next chapter. You deserve all the goodness out there. Stay focused and stay positive. Work hard to bring your passion to life. I’m looking forward to telling you about a new project I have been working on as a result of heading down this new path back in December. I was fortunate to find a new business partner with similar values and a very similar vision to accomplish bringing meaning and purpose into our daily lives. If I can do it, so can you. When will you start your next chapter?


I look forward to hearing your success stories. Share your story below or ask me a question. If you need more help, I offer personal branding services to CEOs and entrepreneurs who need help building and executing their personal brand strategy.

Thanks for staying connected to KenDeGilio.com, The Brand Coach Blog.

Thank you for your support of #DPunplugged!

On May 13, I had the pleasure of organizing a live music event to benefit one of my first interns, Dan Perichino. His good friend, Andrew Rapier, a member of the band, Felicity, gathered his band members and four other local bands – The Foreign Exchange Students, Conflicting Motive, Van Chiso, and G-Ro & POB made a special appearance to help support the cancer fight of our good friend Dan Perichino while enjoying live music in downtown Orlando. 

The story of Dan’s journey has played out on Facebook while his friends and community have rallied to lend a hand.

           

 

Andrew and his band, Felicity, have been big supporters of Dan.

We want to thank everyone who came out to support Dan including all of the bands and the volunteers who made it happen.
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The Foreign Exchange Students

 

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G-Ro & POB

 

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Conflicting Motive

 

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Van Chiso

 

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Felicity

All funds raised by the Dan Perichino Cancer Fund go directly towards paying for Dan’s treatments. Cancer treatment is extremely expensive, so every dollar makes a huge difference! If you’re not able to donate, please show your support by sharing this page with family and friends and sending Dan a message of encouragement.

You can donate to Dan online at: http://danperichinocancerfund.com. 

You can also find Dan on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dpcancerfight/. Thank you!

“What Makes A Storytelling Workshop Successful?”

I was recently invited to speak at a Leadership Program by the Orange County Office on Aging, Aging Matters: Connecting with the Media and was asked to conduct a storytelling workshop, How to Identify Your Unique Story. It was a great opportunity to provide a hands-on workshop to a professional group who don’t normally focus on storytelling or digital marketing but have to connect with the media and the community via traditional and social media channels.

If you are a creative or a digital marketer and work in “storytelling” you probably understand the dynamics of orchestrating a well-crafted digital story for your clients and their audience. As a CEO, you might even be fortunate enough to have a natural gift for storytelling for your company. That “secret sauce” is what allows us to create meaning and develop understanding for the companies or organizations and the audiences we want to share it with.

I asked myself, “What Makes A Storytelling Workshop Successful?”

There are many opportunities to deliver examples but when you are asked to not just discuss but teach this topic, you think of all the lessons you’ve learned along the way and try to incorporate some of the best aspects for the group. Some of the activities that I used on the group are the same activities I use when I develop a storytelling strategy or execute a create storytelling plan. I wanted the group to make that connection with not only how important storytelling is for an agency but to empower them to be able to develop and execute their stories as they move forward.

The proof is in the pudding! It worked! 


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Lead by Example.

One of the other tactics for the CEO Story was to not just tell a story but to “dissect” the speaker. I’ve been doing this for years with one of my favorite storytelling sites: TED.com. This time, however, I was fortunate to bring a friend and fellow entrepreneur, Joseph Luczaj. In letting him tell his own authentic story, the audience could see his strengths and learn from his opportunities to better connect with the audience. He was gracious in letting us peel apart the sections of his talk and then piece it back together to create a stronger story in the future By examining this story, from the inside out, the group was able to identify their own authentic story and feel great about telling it to others. We used lessons from Stephen Denning, the father of modern business storytelling and author of The Leaders’ Guide to Storytelling. His main lesson, and I repeat often: “Tell the right story and tell the story right.”

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Recommended Viewing.

If you are ready to get stronger with your personal brand and your own storytelling, the one piece of advice would be to watch TED.com. There’s no better homework then to not just watch but “dissect” the speakers and listen to their stories. What makes you believe them? How do they convey what matters to them? How do they best connect with the audience? What makes you want to stay connected to them? The “secret sauce” is there is no secret sauce, we are all unique and have our own authentic stories. Tell them to your tribe.

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CEO Storytelling Workshops

I provide custom Storytelling Workshops and Personal Branding Workshops to help corporations and organizations develop their authentic stories and their personal brands. If you’d like experience a storytelling culture in your business or organization, contact me or comment below to design a custom workshop. If you have a great story you’d like to share, provide the link below. Keep telling your story!

 

Personal Branding In Progress

Personal Brand & Website in Development 

Construction zones are exciting to me. As an architecture major at the University of Florida, I started out as a freshman wanting to build dreams. Today, I still get to do that in branding even though I switched majors to Advertising and graduated from the College of Journalism and Communications and not Architecture. However, the analogy of “building a strong foundation” and “form follows function” are two themes that strike a cord for building a brand in today’s digital world.

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So, all these years later, I continue to build my personal brand like everyone else with those themes in mind. This time with a dedication to my own personal and professional blog, The Branding Coach Blog, to address the world of branding, storytelling, and marketing from my POV. Between this blog, and my other business projects, LaunchMob and Brand Like A Boss, I hope to be building valuable resources for you and building my online brand coaching and consulting business. More to follow on that.

Thanks for joining me and spending your time here. I look forward to your feedback, comments, and suggestions and I build my newest online real estate, at: KenDeGilio.com, TheBrandingCoachBlog.com – because my last name is hard to spell even I get it wrong some times. That’s not my office in the picture but I do work out of Lake Nona and call Lake Nona my home since 2005.

If you have personal branding or business branding questions, please feel free to leave them below in the comments.

I have some exciting news to share with you about an upcoming interview. Stay tuned. 

Tweet On!

As the world changes and our political climate heats up, it should naturally make you review your opinions and values. Why do you do what you do? Social media has been one way for people of from all ages and all walks of lives to keep us current and create new connections based on those beliefs.

What is happening in the U.S.’s current political race should have us staying updated on the news and how it is impacting people’s lives. I’ve used Twitter to stay current with the latest breaking news from around the world for years now. If you haven’t, now might be a good time to start following Tweeps and important hashtags that matter to you.

I’m just going to leave this Tweet here.

 

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You can connect with me on Twitter here: www.Twitter.com/OrlandoKen

Lake Nona Town Center Unveils The Beacon

Join Lake Nona at the dedication of The Beacon and Code Wall, its newest art installation project, on Tuesday, March 1 at 6:30pm. Lake Nona has collaborated with internationally renowned artists, JEFRË and Michael Counts on a public art project to launch in tandem with the opening of phase one of the Lake Nona Town Center, which officially opens March 1st.

The Beacon, an art installation for Orlando community, Lake Nona from Lake Nona on Vimeo.

Lake Nona invites you to this special dedication performance at The Beacon and Code Wall, a six-story installation designed by celebrated Florida-based public artist JEFRË, and brought to life with video concepts and designs by Michael Counts, a New York-based installation designer and immersive theatre director in partnership with the 3-Legged Dog (3LD) Art and Technology Center. The art installation will be a focal point of the first phase of Lake Nona Town Center.

Mark your calendar and join us on Tuesday, March 1st as artists Studio JEFRE and 3-Legged Dog Media & Theater officially unveil The Beacon and Code Wall at Lake Nona Town Center.
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Ken DeGilio is the Founder of Nona Network, a community network for the Lake Nona area. Learn more online at: https://www.facebook.com/NonaNetwork/. 

FB Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1507211786253709/

Press Release Link:
http://www.prweb.com/releases/LakeNonaTC/Art/prweb13129059.htm

 

 

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

Some of you might remember the 90’s R.E.M. song, “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” It’s always resonated with me, not for the song itself but for the personal meaning. It’s always challenged me to think about what is really going on and where am I headed at every moment. I wanted to bring that same question to my attendees at my recent workshop, Networking with the Pros: Use Social Media to Connect to the Industry. We were able to bring the discussion to identify online strategies to connect with industry professionals, specifically those being inducted into Full Sail University’s Hall of Fame.

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In the session, assisted by Full Sail University Entertainment Business master’s students, Claire Conte and Chloe Xue, we researched our inductees’ online behaviors in order to best “strategize” how to connect. Then, the group was ready to take our “Social Media Challenges.”  We provided some tools and best practices while the hands-on scenarios made this session come to life to help those with the next phase of their careers. Thanks, Claire and Chloe! 

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Learning, growth, and change happens when you have an open mind and work hard while keeping a solid goal in mind. My goal was to be able to touch others with the important gift to be able to reach out and connect with others in a professional way. Life’s too short not to be living the life you want.

Thanks, Sergio for sharing this picture and I wish you the best in your career. 

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Ken DeGilio, Brand Coach and Brand Journalist, provides coaching and custom training seminars for corporations and professionals including personal branding and social media. Contact Ken DeGilio at Ken@DeGilio.com 

LaunchMob Media’s Community Efforts Highlighted in Fortune.com

REPOST: This article originally appeared on www.LaunchMobMedia.com. As a strong foundation for any brand, its corporate culture is one of the most important aspects in creating an authentic brand, from its employees point of view. This post was originally showcased on Forbes.com and was an original post on LaunchMob Media’s website back in 2013.

One of LaunchMob Media’s core values is to Grow Communities. In fact, part of the backstory for LaunchMob is that the word “mob” was selected because it represented the concept growing loyal, trusted communities; not just customers or fans but actively growing community support for a company’s vision or cause – like a mob, just nicer.

Growing Communities

LaunchMob Media is committed to helping the local community. One way we do this at LaunchMob is by giving back to local organizations like One Brick Orlando. Each month, the LaunchMob team helps local nonprofits like One Brick Orlando, a central Florida volunteer organization, by hosting free social media workshops for its volunteers. While it’s great to give back, the plus side is that the trainings are held in local pubs.

Teaching social media tricks to newbies can be a difficult job. That’s why we try to have fun and keep it casual. Our training events are usually held at local pubs and we take our networking outside the office walls.

Forbes.com

We appreciate being included in the article, 5 Unique Ways to Invest in Your Employees by John Hall, Contributor at Forbes.com. You can read the article here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2013/07/15/5-unique-ways-to-invest-in-your-employees/.

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What are some of your personal and corporate values you have incorporated into your company’s corporate culture? I’d love to hear how you’ve connected the dots from your values into how you practice that on a day-to-day basis. Leave your comments below.

Building Your Brand on LinkedIn

Using the LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform feature is an excellent personal branding strategy for any professional looking to communicate their expertise in one of the easiest online formats available. Professionals can join the blogging community with easy access to over 330+ million members. You have the potential to grow your online community and stay in touch with your professional network in one platform. There is no doubt that blogging helps you build your personal brand as well as it is one of the smartest tactics for building trust for your company.

Good for business, too! From Hubspot, “Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.”  Read more here on business blogging: http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/business-blogging-in-2015.

LinkedIn provides four reasons why publishing long-form content on your LinkedIn page could be a great strategy for you; when you publish a long-form post on LinkedIn:

  1. Your original content becomes part of your professional profile. It is displayed on the Posts section of your LinkedIn profile.
  2. It’s shared with your connections and followers.
  3. Members not in your network can now follow you from your long-form post to receive updates when you publish next.
  4. Your long-form post is searchable both on and off of LinkedIn. 

You can read more about it here: https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/47445/bid/232/pid/231

Here’s a link to my most current LinkedIn post, Quit the BS and Launch in 2016: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/quit-bs-launch-2016-ken-degilio?trk=mp-author-card .  Thanks for following along and be sure to leave some comments along the way.

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Check back as I’ll be giving you content creation tips for your LinkedIn posts as part of communicating your personal brand strategy.

Stay Authentic,

Ken DeGilio, Brand Coach