In our current digital era, where almost everything is presented, managed, generated, communicated, developed, you get the idea, VIRTUALLY.


It does not matter what you do, what you wish to accomplish; you are up against competition after competition. Hence, by developing an effective personal branding will differentiate you from the others. An effective personal branding will also establish a solid trust in this virtual world that dominates most of our activities.


Without further ado, let's get into the HOW!

STEP 1 Content Development

Content should include a brief introduction as if you were at a networking event introducing yourself to someone.


Do's:

Keep short and sweet. You do not want to put people to sleep or roll their eyes.

Showcase your authenticity. For example, if you are known to be a humorous person, make sure your introduction is humorous.


Potential challenge

It's never easy to write about ourselves, especially if modesty is one of your admirable characters. Based on my experience, people who struggle to write about themselves are the most loyal, easy to work with, and trustworthy colleagues to work with or lead. They tend to be the under promise, over deliver/perform type of people. Therefore, do not feel bad if you are having trouble writing about yourself.


Solution

Create a list of bullet points of who you are, your accomplishments, past awards or recognitions, then go to Fiverr and find an

editor to compile all that into a paragraph or two. Fiverr is a great place to find talents. Be sure to read reviews. My strategy is that you do not need to go by talents with most reviews. Sometimes people who are new to Fiverr will deliver the above-and-beyond quality of work with the shortest turnaround time. Be specific with your needs, expectation, and deliverables.



STEP II Place content on a website


Of all websites I have used in the past, I am going to say that my favorite one is Wix. I have been with them since the beginning and witnessed their improvement throughout the years. Unlike WordPress, Wix does not require a massive time to manage. When using Wix, you also eliminate the need to hire a web developer which can be costly. If creativity isn't one of your fortes, hiring someone to create and set up your Wix site is cheaper than if you were to use WordPress.


Do's

Wix has tons of template created for various industries. I personally prefer to start from scratch. Everything is drag and drop. Still, if you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.


Potential Challenges

Because Wix comes with lots of fun apps, like kids standing in a candy store, be sure to limit on implementing the ones with highest needs and value, avoid adding apps because it looks cool.

Solution

Again, if you need assistance building a site or simply have questions, please post them in the comment section or reach out to me directly.


STEP III Make sure your site is welcoming and search engine friendly

Do's

We all know the importance of first impression. Your homepage is your first impression. Make sure it's friendly so people will stay on the page and get to know you better.

Potential Challenge

One common challenge I see is people want to fit their entire life into one paragraph and overwhelm the audience. Imagine yourself being on the first date, and you certainly do not want to talk your date's ear off. Therefore, let's not do that online either.

Solution

If hiring a professional web designer is out of your budget, have a friend or two whom you trust to take a look of the site and provide feedback. Alternatively, send me the link and I'll be more than happy to send you my feedback.

STEP IV Maintenance

If you're using the site for getting the job you want, be sure to update achievement periodically. I recommend you keep the site running to build your domain authority. Opportunity may come to you when you keep the site up.

If you're using the site to promote you business, be sure to update page content each quarter. By updating content shows search engine that you do care about the site.

To Be Continued...

Updated: Sep 4, 2020

Amid COVID 19, my college boy moved into his very first apartment. Along with four other college boys.

They signed the lease last Fall after visiting a few options nearby the campus.


Two weeks before the big move-in, one of the boys' moms, let's call her Chopper One, reached out to all four moms, myself included, suggesting it would be fun to work out who gets what for the apartment. And I clarified with her: she did not propose to have the boys work out the logistics. She wanted moms to work them out.


My initial reaction was, why do moms need to be involved when these kids are 19 and 20? And that was the first friendly threat this mom gave me by "offering" to remove me from the group chat. Politely I asked to stay because I did not want to miss the opportunity to see if she was a helicopter mom but stated I respect my son's independence. I would stay out of his personal affairs, such as setting up the apartment.


I then wondered...


Why bother sending them to college if they can't even decide what they need for the apartment?


Within minutes, another mom, let's call her Chopper Two, texted the group picture after picture of all brand new kitchen items, from utensils to pots and pans, to dinner mats.

Holy macaroon!


Still, I reached out to Chopper Two, asking if she would like monetary donation if all boys were to use them. She declined. Her reason being if we all chipped in, move-out would be a nightmare because it would be difficult to decide who owns what and whatnot.

She completely missed the part "consider such contribution as the other four boys leasing your kitchen items."


Two days after the move-in, Chopper One texted the group suggesting we all chip in to buy an area rug for the living room. Once again, I had to confirm if our self-sufficient college boys want this rug, or perhaps, us moms are buying it as a gift for all of them.

Annoyingly, Chopper One replied, "I don't understand how buying a rug has to do with them being self-sufficient or not... I don't believe for one second these boys would go shopping for an area rug."


Hmm. Enough said.


She dismissed these boys' ability likely based on her observation of her own. In fact, none of the moms has met each other or even know the boys who are sharing the apartment. She took out the opportunity for these boys to learn what's needed for their daily life on their terms.

That evening, after Chopper One gave me my second warning to remove me from the group chat, Chopper Two rang me.


I am confident Chopper Two had every good intention when she decided to reach out, but the entire conversation had me rolled my eyes so many times I thought I was going to lose my eyeballs. Below is the highlight of the 50-minute long conversation:


Chopper Two: I only wanted to buy the rug for my son because he's on a budget.

Me: I see. What's his part-time job?

Chopper Two: No, he doesn't work. I give him an allowance.

Me: Well, my son held two part-time jobs last semester. Not once had he asked me to send him money.

Chopper Two: Well, my son doesn't ask me to send him money.

Me: That's great.

Chopper Two: I put more money into his account when it's low.


Okay, Chopper Two. It is not that your son doesn't ask for money. He doesn't have to because YOU make sure money doesn't run out in his account.

Chopper Two: My son is not good at cleaning up after himself. I wash and fold his clothes and he won't take them to his room.

Me: er... do you still do that?

Chopper Two: Yes, of course.

Me: Well, I must be the stepmom then. My son makes his breakfast since he was in first grade and does his own laundry as soon as he started middle school.

Chopper Two: What about when he comes home from college?

Me: He does his own laundry. Every now and then I would offer to do his if he is not well.

Chopper Two:...

Chopper Two: Oh, I just realized there is no knife in the kitchen. I will get one and send it to them.

Me: They are close to lots of stores.

Chopper Two: Yes, but they need to have a knife.

Me: I could be wrong, but I think once they figure it out, there isn't a cutting knife, they will head to the store to get one.

Chopper Two: Well, I can get it for them.


 

Have I a record of helicopter parenting in the past? Heck yea. No parents want to see their children getting hurt, making the wrong decision, which might lead to negative consequences. All parents want to protect their children. All parents want to solve problems for their children before they have to deal with them directly.

Then one day my son asked, "Mom, do you not believe I have what it takes to handle this?"

Ding-ding-ding. Wake up call! Loud and clear!

As a parent, I should not be the one to dismiss his ability to deal with issues, to take away his opportunities in figuring out solutions. I should not be the one. What I think does not represent what he thinks. We are two individuals. Just because he thinks differently than me does not mean he is wrong.

Yes, our children will always be our children. But it doesn't mean they need to live the way we want them to.


And within weeks, these two choppers ordered everything they believe these boys need without realizing how fast they took away these boys' opportunities to learn about compromising, negotiating, budgeting, prioritizing, and possibly more.

I'd like to close this post with a writing from my favorite philosopher, Kahlil Gibran:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,

But seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children

As living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

And He bends you with His might

That His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

So He loves also the bow that is stable.

 

And the stepmom (me) removed herself from the group chat.





Updated: Jul 28, 2021


Some years ago, way before the digital era, I intelligently incorporated one of my skills in efficiency to write to 20 friends. I drafted one letter with the latest update of my life, and made multiple copies. I intelligently modified recipients' names accordingly, licked the stamps, and off they went. As I am writing this, it just occurred to me I was already doing email marketing.

Three weeks later, I received a letter from these friends that had me laughing uncontrollably. It turns out they were excited to receive letters from me and decided to share...with each other! It took them less than a paragraph to realize they were getting the same content.

You can only imagine the thrill when Facebook came out. Instead of writing another 20 letters, I can share my life, thoughts, or even an epiphany—all in one place.

Friends and family who give a damn can post their comments. The introverts can simply show their support by hitting that thumb-up emoticon. One solution suits all.


That, however, was some years ago.

I cannot recall when, but social media started posing mental health risks. It began to bring the worst out of people. And most recently, it becomes a platform to publicly shaming others as a form of claiming their right to the free speech.

Introverts no longer rely on the thumbs up or down emoticons. After all, voicing their opinions through typing is lot easier and less intimidating. Respect each other's differences is out the window.


There are days I would find myself being upset over a comment posted by someone. And the comment would rule my entire day. I realized I needed to get on a special diet for my mental health.


 

The recipe is rather simple:

Instead of going through each text first thing in the morning, I disabled all notifications, except for my son's account, and moved the text messaging icon to page 4 on the phone.

Instead of going through emails first thing in the morning, I disabled email notifications and moved the email to page 4 on the phone.

When reading messages, I delete messages that appear to be negative, filled with hate.


I unfollowed all Facebook friends except for the ones who often offer good laughs and meaningful thoughts. Instead, I follow pages such as Tiny Buddha, Fort Worth Foodies, Fort Worth Foodies Home Chef, Chopstick Travels, Show me Something Funny.

Distant myself from people who are bitter, pessimistic, and bible bashers.

Decline social gatherings to do things I truly enjoy, such as reading and drawing.

On the days I feel down, deflated, or sad, I no longer tell myself these feelings are wrong and immoral. Instead, I acknowledge and embrace these feelings. Sometimes I'd intensify these feelings, so I understand how they are triggered.

Dance off (you'll have to be a Grey's Anatomy fan to get this.)

 

Just like all the other diets, a mental diet is a form of self-care and self-love. It is the most successful diet I have ever been on.






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