Everyone wants to be fit, but few are willing to put in the work.
Over the past decade, I’ve spent a lot of time working out and talking with renowned trainer Nate Miyake. We talk about a variety of stuff, but often end up in the same spot: doing anything well takes time, effort, and discipline.
If you want to get fit, you don’t just wake up one day and decide that today you’ll get fit. Sure, you can buy some Spanx, but they’ll only take you so far. Instead, you have to set goals that work for you, and make the small decisions everyday that help you achieve those goals.
It’s the same thing with branding.
Many times, I’ve spoken to people who think building a brand is just a matter of hiring someone to give them a logo. That’s like buying Spanx – it’s a temporary, uncomfortable solution, and won’t stand up to scrutiny.
Instead, building a brand is a long term process, which requires careful planning and goal setting, plenty of preparation, and ongoing discipline and action.
You don’t get fit by walking into the gym one day, randomly lifting a few weights using poor form, and walking slowly on a treadmill for 15 minutes. But that’s what many people think with regard to their brand.
So how do you get fit?
- Set goals that are personally resonant and realistic. Do you want to run a marathon, climb a mountain, or just get to a reasonable level of fitness?
- Develop a strategy that includes overall diet and workout plans.
- Prepare by getting the things together that you’ll need. This may include things like buying running shoes, workout gear, and getting a gym membership.
- Execute! This is the easy part, but also the hardest part. There are no short cuts, no secrets. It’s just discipline and hard work.
This is similar to branding:
- Define who you want to be in a way that’s resonant with employees and realistic. In some ways, this the hardest part – and the most valuable part – of the entire process.
- Develop the foundations for building that – how you’ll look and how you’ll talk about it. Develop a plan for getting it out there.
- Prepare to meet the world by extending it to different mediums – your website, videos, etc.
- Execute! This is beyond simply making things look good. This means following up on the decisions everyday that reinforce who you said you’d be.
When it comes to getting fit, most people tend to prefer to skip to step three and stop there: I’ll go by a pair of running shoes – that’ll do it! In the same way, many companies prefer to skip to step three of branding and stop there: we need a new website, and that’ll change our brand! And it doesn’t, and they wonder why.