I focused my inner speech on the wrong things for most of my life.
- Get a job
- Get a wife
- Stay healthy
- Check the boxes
That’s what the people I loved expected of me.
They wanted my life to be easy.
They wanted me to be “happy.”
They wanted me to be happy! What does that mean!
I just asked myself “why” three times and have no further clarity on why I chose to follow the path I took for forty years of MY life (I am now 44 and became an entrepreneur at 40).
For me, life is a series of making progress and corrections, and with each step, I revisit the legacy I leave behind and look at it from my newly discovered perspective.
As I grew up, I discovered my strengths, worked on my weaknesses and made many mistakes. I learned, through therapy and personal exploration and experiences that:
It wasn’t until I took control of my identity and defined what was important to me on my terms that my identity became evident.
But it wasn’t a therapist who solved my problems.
It was me.
After many successful years in corporate America, I took another job at a big company that wasn’t a good fit for me. The warning signs were all there, but I could not see them! But it was a high-paying job at a good company with good benefits!
I had thought I could do whatever it took to be “successful,” even compromise my ideals at the time to appease my “boss,” who didn’t see me as a person and just wanted me to fall into line. That didn’t “work out” – In October 2017, I was laid off right before my 40th Birthday.
On a cold day in January 2018, after many months of trying to secure another corporate job, I attended a free workshop at my Alma Mater, Columbia University. The timing was right for me to receive the message – at that session, I defined my core values: candor, curiosity, and collaboration, which was my first step to shifting from living on someone else’s terms to my terms.
Having core values helped me change from superficial and intangible happiness to searching for meaning in my life. I filed for my LLC in May of 2018.
Having meaning in life is much more profound than happiness. According to author Emily Estaphni Smith, Meaning consists of purpose, belonging, transcendence, and storytelling (the story you tell yourself about yourself).
Subsequently, I realized that most people in my life, especially those I love the most, don’t understand who I am, want to be and what motivates me to keep pushing forward. I started to notice emptiness in exchanges and a lack of meaningful connection with those I loved.
I filed for divorce after a 10-year marriage.
At the same time, at the age of 40, I started my entrepreneurial journey – something I was too scared of to this point. It would have been a lot easier to find my way before I had a family and financial pressures associated with being a divorced dad of two living in NYC. But that’s not the way it happened.
When I defined my identity, my inner voice shifted from being afraid to unstoppable, from negative to extreme positivity. But it has taken me four years to harness this energy to be on the fringes of realizing my full potential as an entrepreneur- professor, coach, and consultant.
My Redefined Methodology
Once your inner voice says the right things, you are well-positioned to manifest your dreams into reality while still avoiding the superficiality of creating a false intention.
Your inner speech makes you tick and is the driving force that defines your life’s trajectory. It links your imagination with your spirit.
Today I am building a life and business based on trust and respect. I want to profit sincerely and authentically without its weight burdening my shoulders. Working and being with insincere partners/companions takes away from my inner speech. Instead, I talk to people whose mental energy aligns with my values, and they help me reinforce them.
Taking control of my identity allows me to learn from the errors of my past and forge a future that accommodates my values and lets me be whom I want to be.
I don’t envision a future made of compromises.
This year, I have defined a methodology and focus to steering my approach in a simplified-yet-compelling fashion. Looking back at all the conclusions and parameters I have derived as a brand coach, professor, and consultant, it comes down to two simple concepts: identity and intention.
Your Identity Exemplifies Who You Are
Defining your identity is the primary step to establishing yourself as a changemaker. Regardless of your profession, your identity sets standards for your role and expectations of potential clients and partners.
So what is your identity exactly? Your core values.
I have stressed the significance of core values in leading an initiative. They give individuals clarity of thought, allowing them to flesh out their essence as a brand that impacts others. Core values come with a sense of belongingness and motivation, enabling leaders to lead with purpose.
Your core values also explicitly state what kind of partners you want to collaborate with and what qualities you stick by as a leader. While your core values are an invitation for like-minded individuals, they’re also a disclaimer for those who disagree.
Your identity is a culmination of your purpose in creating a brand, the value it carries, and the impact it will have on the stakeholders. It is decided once in your lifetime and stays with you forever.
As a brand coach, I have three core values that I live by Candor, Curiosity and Collaboration. These make up my identity as an individual driven to change lives for the better.
Your Intention Conveys the Key Message Behind Your Brand
Why are you doing what you do?
One of my main areas of focus as a brand coach is Simple Marketing Promise, which is essentially the key message you want to deliver to your target audience about what you stand for and how they will benefit from it.
Your intention is an extension of your Simple Marketing Promise; it’s a manifestation of your aspirations.
Your intention explores the power of ‘why’ behind your initiative and illustrates the search for its meaning and purpose. What outcome do you seek to achieve through your brand? For instance, if you are a student in need of credits applying to volunteer at a nursing home, how would you state your intention convincingly? Your reason could be that you wish to record the legacy of men and women in their 90s and upload it on Spotify. That intention has value-charged outcomes that benefit others apart from yourself. Through good intentions, you get the result you want.
If your expected outcome is simply a personal benefit, like getting a job, you need to rethink your intention!
Intention can change periodically, say annually. And you keep renewing it according to the immediate goals you wish to achieve within a specific time frame.
How can I make it happen?
An essential takeaway from my past experiences is that one shouldn’t be afraid to sell themselves. If you believe that what you’re offering could mean a lot to somebody, then you’re doing it right. Who knows, what you think of as an interruption could keep somebody from drowning. You could be giving them a lifeboat, a lifevest, or even teaching them to swim. It’s a different kind of sale for each person, but they’re all equally meaningful!
My intention for 2022 is to deliver Scale and Impact by teaching and enabling the next generation of authentic marketers.
After that, you declare your goals for that time frame.
For instance, my goals for 2022 are:
- Define my legacy speech and do at least three paid public speaking engagements about identity and intention.
- Give unselfishly to guide at least 1,000 people through the first step of defining your identity for free with monthly sessions.
- Through inspiring content, emails that don’t suck, and free sessions, inspire at least 500 people to work with me to translate their identity into a satisfying career through a 5-week paid group session called “Find Your Why.” This group session builds from my initial private coaching offering.
- Work with at least 250 people who want to build on their newly found identity to establish their brand and business authentically through the Act Like a Marketer Academy.
- Teach new classes at Sacred Heart, FIT, and Fordham and refine approach and methodology at the “inspired professor.”
- Build on my momentum with the Association of National Advertisers to deliver at least six sessions of Establishing an Effective Digital Brand Connection and build out a Masterclass of additional content supporting my curriculum.
- Begin to write a book building on the concept of identity and intention.
Why did I transparently share my intentions?
- My intentions are pure.
- There are no tricks here.
- I have worked my life to get to where I am today and am going into my fourth year as an entrepreneur. Now is my time to fully act on my intentions.
- I can and will receive financial compensation for my talent and the lessons.
- I can support my life, and my family’s on my terms.
The same can apply to you.
Ready to get started?
Join me on Thursday, December 30, 2021, for my first complimentary core values session.
You are the hero; I am your guide.
2022: New Year; New Intentions
Event by Jay Mandel
Thu, Dec 30, 2021, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Join me at New Year. New Intentions.