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How to get your brand off the hamster wheel from hell

It is truly amazing the amount of help you can access today. For example, I was looking to optimize my author profile in order to improve its chances of ranking higher in Google search results. Not something I do every day. No worries, though. A simple Google search and I had tutorials from reputable sources that walked me through the process.

We can learn anything with a few keystrokes. It truly is a marvel. I have to admit, I’m a bit of a junkie for learning and tinkering with this stuff. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment. But then, it’s never done. Because an algorithm will change. A new platform will hit the market. And these things will require tending. And it happens at an ever-increasing pace. The more I optimize, the more I feel like there is more to optimize. And when I step back from it, it starts to feel like a hamster wheel from hell.

I’m not advocating that we abandon the wonder of all the technology. All I’m saying is that we need to keep it in perspective. If all you are doing is chasing the technology, I guarantee that somewhere down the line you are going to have a moment of reckoning. One day you will find yourself wondering if you have really done anything of meaning over the last year. Or years. Or decades. You may find that you have been an unwitting servant to the fickle whims of technology.

We do not have to accept the hamster wheel as our only option. We can choose something that can take our brand beyond optimization to transformation.

It all happens when we ask one question:

What difference am I making in a life?

The power of this question is in its ability to give our brand something beyond a technical proficiency. It begins to give our brand real meaning. Meaning that taps into a core desire we all have — to feel like what we are doing is making a difference for another. I call this the Big Audacious Meaning (the profound difference you make in a life, a community, or even the world.) It is the fundamental tenet of a purpose-driven organization.

We need the optimization. And let’s face it, it’s not going away. But we need the question more. Because it drags us off the hamster wheel. It enables us to really examine what is at the core of what we are doing. When we do that, we can discover the thing that will transform our brand.

Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the forthcoming book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail — a brand innovation company, helping organizations find their unique, undeniable and unshakable sense of purpose and create innovative experiences that bring it to life.

Originally published at www.dansalva.com on November 28, 2018.

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Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail.

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