In 2015, I decided to embark on a new venture of personal branding after spending many years working on and developing The LAB in Bangkok. It all began after a move to Sydney at the end of 2014, which completed a 10 year tenure for me living in Thailand and gave me the opportunity to completely step back from the business. This time away provided me with a different perspective and the potential to learn and grow.
I’ve always been really curious about human behaviour and what motivates and inspires people to do great things. Anyone in business knows how important this is, and my curiosity in this field gave me a great chance to connect and speak to many different people who were embarking on new business ventures. I spoke in depth with industry thought-leaders and mentors about their own inspirations, beliefs, and passions.
Those out there who have ever tried to build a personal brand or platform will, I’m sure, empathize with how daunting this task really is. There is no feeling that compares to the one where you have to completely expose yourself, be comfortable with being vulnerable by coming out of the shadows and still remain completely isolated to the reactions of others.
So, as I embarked on this humbling journey, which I can only compare to the first time you try a new sport and you are crap at it!—or perhaps the first time you exercise after a long time and you feel like you have gone through the ringer, and then have the daunting thought of having to go back to the gym and do it all over again—you need to be incredibly brave and have a very strong reason: WHY?
To be successful in your quest here, your desire has to be inspired by a deeper meaning, a profound connection to an end result so you can create limitless power and motivation to commit and to follow through to the very end—whatever that may be.
It was whilst exploring this task that I worked with a coach to help me create my brand and discover what the purpose of this brand was.
Over the 18 month’s that I worked on this secondary business, I couldn’t quite connect to a vision. I knew I wanted to do something but I was having problems with understanding what exactly the “end result” would be.
Fast forward nearly 3 years and I’m still only starting to understand this “WHY?” and the vision is slowly becoming clearer. The website has been developed, my book is being published and I’m doing a lot more presenting on a subject I have a lot of personal experience in.
I was taking some time out last month in the Philippines and talking to a friend of mine, a successful female Entrepreneur who at only 25 has made incredible waves with her E-commerce business as well as mentoring and coaching.
I was telling her about a discussion I had with my coach recently after I thanked him for helping me start my personal branding business. He had suggested that had I given a bit more motivation and commitment, we could have followed this through better. In many ways I felt like he was right, although it seemed like something was missing from this.
You can wake up in the morning with all the right intentions. You can have your gym bag packed the night before, ready and motivated to head to work armed with the definite notion that at 6pm you will head straight out the door and into your workout.
Then what happens? As you are about to walk out the door, you get caught in the middle of everyone who is heading to the pub for team drinks. The dreaded question, the one that you were hoping to avoid comes,”Hey…fancy a quick pint?” Boom, here it is, and now your arm is significantly bent behind your back as you head out with the rest of the team. All that motivation and commitment you started the day off with gets shattered with a cold glass of beer!
So, I said to her, I think something comes before Motivation and Commitment, I feel like you need to be Inspired first. You need to identify a strong understanding of what, who, when or how you have been inspired and it has to be VERY powerful. After a lot of thought and discussion, she then said there has to be a connection to it, a strong, deep, meaningful connection to that inspiration. This connection should be undeniably relatable for someone to relentlessly pursue their goals at all costs.
The “what, who, when or how” Inspiration fosters a deep connection on a very high level to someone personally. In turn, this subconsciously fuels a burning desire, which feeds Motivation and Commitment to succeed.
Over centuries of mankind, we have all applied this way of thinking in business, competition, leadership, transformations, sports and change. With this method we can transform anyone or anything. We could say that some examples of these zeitgeist individuals include Oprah, Elon Musk and Tony Robbins.
Oprah. Her name alone has inspired millions, and though we now know her as a multi-billionaire, “Queen of Media“ she did not have an easy early life. Born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a single mother, she overcame sexual abuse and losing her infant son at 14 to becoming a catalyst in female empowerment worldwide. Despite all of her incredible accomplishments, we love her for her simple philosophy that your circumstances don’t dictate your life, only your desire does.
Tony Robbins serves as another profound example. His start as a humble life-coach empowered him to help millions of people over his 30+ year career, including celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and 3 US Presidents. Tony Robbins now owns an island on Fiji and runs over twelve companies.
Elon Musk founded SpaceX and co-founded PayPal and Tesla among his other accomplishments. Apart from revolutionizing space travel, automobiles and how we consume energy, he has shown the world how entrepreneurs are the ones who lead real change in the world. The world over has been inspired by Elon’s thrilling leadership in such a diverse range of enterprises such as space, solar energy, automobiles and online payments. He makes us as ourselves, is it really possible to create positive change in such varied paths? He’s proven that the answer to that is definitely “yes!”
So, it’s at this point, with Songkran and Easter holidays that we have the perfect opportunity to step back from what we have been doing. Why not try adopting a new perspective, taking a breath of fresh air and just clearing your mind while giving back you to yourself?
These are the moments when we get the chance to reflect on our first quarter of the year. What has been your inspiration? How deeply and powerfully can you connect with it? Is it strong enough for you to be motivated and committed to see it all the way through to the end?
As for me, you may ask? I’m taking a break with my family down under, running in nature, meeting with mentors and developing personally through new visuals, sounds and feelings — enabling me to come back and serve my team, my clients, and my purpose.
Come and find me this April 30, 11:00am at The LAB Sukhumvit with a live presentation of my ICMC Breakthrough Workshop, “Empowering Humanity to do Extraordinary Things”.
– Richard Cohen