At the core of it all, success is all about human connection. We tend to think that our degrees or certificates are what defines us and what level of success we can attain, but it’s really all about energy, attitude and perspective. Brandinc founder Brandi Sims learned this lesson for herself, and has built her own PR company from ground up just by virtue of her ability to facilitate and foster genuine connections. While Brandi has her MBA in PR, she still struggled with imposter syndrome which told her that she needed more certificates or validation in certain areas of her field. However, one day Brandi decided to take the leap. She acknowledged that there’s always room for improvement and growth, but embraced the fact that she had all the experience she needed to go out on her own and be successful--and she was right. Brandi founded Brandinc PR in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, a time where anyone would have run from the idea of entrepreneurship, but she stuck it out through hard times, and is now able to tell her story of how she built her business and maintained confidence in her ability to succeed. Here’s a few key takeaways from our conversation:
Body language speaks louder than words. Even when you aren’t actively speaking, your body language and facial expressions are telling a narrative for you. So, whether you’re feeling confident or insecure, happy or frustrated, chances are your body language is conveying that. Thus, when it comes to human connection and making a good impression, it’s important to be cognizant of your body language and make sure that it is aligned with what you are truly trying to say or convey.
Constructive criticism can help you construct a better you. It’s natural to want to be perfect, but the fact is that no one is perfect--but we can progress. So, rather than running away from criticism, one key to success is to actually embrace it. The right form of criticism can actually be a positive tool that helps you grow. The key is to take the evaluation and make it actionable.
Cultivating confidence is an active exercise that you have to engage in daily. We aren’t always going to feel our best, but the key is to check our energy and assess why we might be lacking confidence or feeling down. To switch up your energy, Brandi recommends standing in front of a mirror and reciting positive affirmations to yourself.
You don’t need another certificate to validate you. In the world of comparison, overachievement, and imposter syndrome it’s easy to doubt your self worth and ability to do the work that you want to do. However, chances are that if you look back at your life and your experiences you are already doing that work. Rather than comparing your credentials to someone else’s, go within and look at your own abilities and talents. You are already where you need to be and know what you need to know. It’s time to stop doubting yourself and start putting your best foot forward.
The absence of accolades doesn’t mean you’re not doing well. People can be very noisy and have a lot to say when we make mistakes, yet silent when we are actually doing well. This is why assurance and validation has to come from within--we can’t rely on others to give us a stamp of approval; we have to be firm in what we are doing and proceed from a place of purpose and confidence.
Positivity is contagious. So you wake up in the morning and are feeling great, but what happens when we run into a grouchy person? One response might be to meet them with the same energy that they’re giving you, but why not spread light and joy instead? You never know what someone is going through, so rather than allowing their energy to bring you down, try lifting them up instead. Energy is contagious and smiles are infectious.
Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. In business and in life in general, you want to do what you can to put yourself in a position to be successful. Every moment is an opportunity, and you never know when your next big break is going to come. Doing what you can on a daily basis to stay organized, focused, and prepared is a major key to success and being able to conquer opportunities that come your way.
Gratitude goes a long way. In a world of tit for tat and transactional relationships, people aren’t accustomed to just being thanked and appreciated. Simply thanking someone for the impact they’ve had on you or time they’ve spent with you can do a lot to make them feel appreciated. Thanking others with no strings attached can do a lot to raise the vibration of the relationship. After all, people love to feel that they are of value, so why not make someone’s day?
The key to success is resilience and adaptability. If we’re being honest, there’s always something going on that has the potential to distract us or keep us from reaching our goals. However, the key to overcoming obstacles ahead is learning how to go with the slow and develop a plan to rise above whatever comes your way.