baseballWhen we were in grammar school, we were taught the concept of stop, drop and roll in case of a fire. I have found this approach to be useful in my personal and professional journey of growth.

STOP: Sometime, we have to place ourselves Under Construction. If you broke your foot, you would wear a medical boot. People will see it, recognize that you’re not matching, but they will understand. When you’ve healed and you’re ready, you will remove the boot and the world will see your new and improved look. The same is true with your website or any other social media presence. It’s ok to put up an “Under Construction” page for awhile. People will see that you’ve shut down, but they will understand that you’re going through a transformation process to improve. For those who feel like they must leave it up because they’re going to miss out on something or someone, ask yourself what type of people are you attracting with misinformation, misspelled words or outdated content. Anyone who’s looking to take your brand seriously will not give you the time of day if what you have to offer isn’t a clean, clear and functional representation of your brand.

When we get dressed, we always check the mirror to make sure our makeup is on point, our shoes, dress, purse, tie, pocket square, etc… is a good coordinated compliment to our overall appearance and presentation. People notice if you are wearing one red shoe and one black shoe. They notice if your pants are too long, your dress is too tight or if your perfume is too loud. People will look at you strange and talk about you. You will end up being somebody’s meme. The same is true for whatever business you’re in.  Just as we go back to the mirror to double check our appearance, we also have to go back from time to time to make sure that our cyber world hasn’t been hacked and that it’s working properly.

Drop: It’s all about proximity. I was watching an episode of Shark Tank and Damon John was offering advice to a contestant. His paraphrased statement: “It’s all about proximity. If you hang out with four broke people, guess what? You’ll be number five.” Steve Harvey says that his dad told him that the best thing he could do for broke people is not to be one of them. As I work to grow and establish myself holistically, I often reflect on these two statements. Who am I hanging around? Are these people adding value to my life? Am I adding value to theirs? Broke isn’t always in finances, as I’ve dealt with a number of people who were also broken in spirit and time. They have of time for drama, gossip, pity parties, Real Housewives of whomever and yet, they have legitimate issues that are legitimately affecting their overall quality of life. However, you have to be willing to put yourself in a position of prosperity. You have to be open for change. And, most of all, you have to put in the work. Sometimes, you have to be creative in your creativity and ask for help. Put yourself in a position to receive the things you say you want and need. You have to do it mentally AND physically.

Roll: Move your brand in the intended direction. People will treat you and your brand in accordance to what you’re showing them. I remember having this great video made of me to promote my new business and the videographer thought it would be good to incorporate my ‘why’ for the business. The result? People who saw it viewed me as an abuse survivor who became an entrepreneur rather than an entrepreneur who is also a survivor. I found myself being sought after for my advocacy, and my business became secondary. It took me nearly two years before I realized that I’d inadvertently misdirected potential business in a different direction. I branded myself the wrong way. Since that time, I’ve removed the video altogether from my site.  I use the video for advocacy speaking and training purposes.

Remember to stop, drop and roll when considering which direction to go in and eliminate the potential fires that could result in moving by the wrong direction.