Foundational Entrepreneurial Elements of Building your Brand


Your Story

  • Timeline: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
  • A Calling Description

Core Casting

Delving deeper into the core of our foundation we uncover methods to surface the meaning behind why we do what we do.  There are unlimited depths to which you can develop more as an individual – getting out onto paper either for the first time or the 100th time helps clarify purpose.

  • Mission
  • Values
  • WikiYou

Organizational Core Casting

Pulling back the veil; exposing the core of our organization’s foundation allows us to analyze the reality and the meaning behind how our business is running and what we need to expand upon or improve.

  • Reflection
  • Future Vision Casting
  • Current Reality
  • History and Future


By understanding common values and creating a bold vision, you have set an aggressive target for your year.

Here we find the commonalities that bridge the gap between your personal passions and your organization’s purpose.

We are not imprisoned by our circumstances, our setbacks, our history, or even staggering defeats along the way. We are freed by our choices.

Jim Collins

You Are the Secret to Your Own Prosperity by Peter Voogd

Your Story


  1. a) Yesterday

Time to take a jog down memory lane and set the stage to begin future casting.  Our personal timeline takes us through:

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

Picture a timeline of your life drawn out horizontally with milestone markers of memorable events, achievements and lessons.

Take a piece of paper or multiple pieces if you want and draw out a line starting with where and when you were born.  Segment the timeline off by large events, name them, and continue to break down each segment until your memory recall details of the event.

Really think about  your chosen highlighted points in their fullest detail.  What time of year what it?  Was it cold?  Where were you living?  Who were your friends?  What circumstance was your life in when this event took place that it stands out in your memory?  Why does it stand out still?  How did it shape your beliefs?  What did it do to make you who your are today?

I still carry a note in my box of memories given to me 20 years ago by a waiter at a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse inside a Marriott just outside of New York City.

I don’t remember the name of the town but I remember I was starving and exhausted after a prosperous day working as a rep at an art fair.

I decided to treat myself to dinner and remember those days in my early twenties of my struggle to survive as a single mom.  Not only was I barely hanging on to survive but I was also living in shame and humility for feeling like a failure.  Only years previous I had a flourishing life in San Francisco and now was living in a small town, alone, broke, stressed and trying to raise a little child.

However my resilience overcame the humility I felt from my choices and I realized why I made the choices I did.  I made them because I had belief in my ability to raise a child on my own.  I made them because I knew it would be a hard road and that all hard roads created character and taught valuable life  lessons.  I made the choice to have a child because I knew it was the right thing for me to do no matter how dire the circumstances.


This was the story I explained to the woman seated at the small table next to me in the bar / dining area of Ruth’s Chris.  We were conversing so I joined her at her table.  To this woman’s left, also sitting alone, was a man who had overheard my story of resilience as I explained it to the woman.

After he left he handed this note to the waiter to give to me:

Courtyard Marriott
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After 20 years, I still carry this note.  Naturally I have no idea what this man was going through in his life.  Perhaps he needed to hear a story of struggle and triumph against all odds.  Perhaps he was at a crossroads and my story of choosing the road less traveled helped pivot a decision he needed to make.

I don’t know what this man was going through but I know that his words, “If I didn’t tell you ‘Thanks’, you wouldn’t have known the difference you made for me tonight” made a difference in my life, it affirmed my belief in myself.

This moment is a milestone marker on my timeline as it solidified what I knew about myself despite my mistakes.  It helped me trust that I was on the right path  and that my inner strength and my outer world were aligning.  I was becoming me and I was affecting others lives through my actions.

As you travel back through your timeline what stories, what moments do you recall as ones that were the building blocks of who you are today?  What lessons have you learned from them?

Your timeline will remain private.  We all have memories that hurt us deeply and I hope somehow you’ve found peace and a constructive way to view make the most or best of past hurtful events.

The most important part of outlining our timeline is focus on highlighting the  memorable events that will lend to our story’s outline and turn it into something more than a fact driven bullet point resume.

So don’t delay start working on your timeline right now.  Begin with major markers and narrow down to the specifics in between.  Think about WHAT happened and HOW it affected you.


You are today where your thoughts have brought you.

You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.

James Allen


  1. b) Today

Present moment.  Taking an objective look at where we are TODAY allows us to step back from our daily routine and come to grasps with whether or not what we are building today is constructing the life we truly want tomorrow.

We will go about this by creating an inventory of our day.

Start by understanding gratitude.  Effective gratitude comes from an underlying attitude versus a temporary focus on one item or thing to be grateful for.

With practice this can become second nature.

Create a short list of what you’re grateful for by finishing the sentences below.  Feel free to add on any additional elements / factors of your life you wish to acknowledge gratitude for.

Today, one thing that stands out above all else I am grateful for in my life is:

Today, one of the aspects of who I am that I am grateful for is:

Today, when I look forward to (name specific event) I’m grateful that:

Today, when I recall (specific mistake, challenge, hardship) that I made I’m grateful it happened because:

Today, I’m grateful for my mind because it allows me:

Today, I recognize gratitude for my freedom in:

Know this: the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.  If you believe  your abilities are carved in stone and fixed your focus will be on proving yourself over and over.  Recognize you have the ability to change any mindset currently in place and in turn, any circumstance in existence.

Outline your daily routine from the moment you wake up to the moment you sleep.  Do you like what you’re doing?  What would you like to change?

Answer in as much detail as possible.  Create two columns, one on the left which answers the questions posed below and one directly to the right which provides a solution or an alternative option to the circumstance listed in the left column.

What is my specific role?  Do I believe this role is valuable?

What actions do I employ today that builds for tomorrow?  What specific activities do I do that I know will lend to the vision I have for myself?

What fulfills me?  In what activity do I immerse myself in fully and barely notice time fly by?

When do I feel the most open?  Am I alone or with others?  What am I working on?

What creates meaning for me?

What do I think my purpose is?

What stimulates and adds excitement to my daily life?

Carol S. Dweck, Ph. D., author of “Mindset” explains that it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success — but whether we approach our goals with a fixed or growth mindset.

Dweck suggests that in order to be successful in the world, we need to have clearly defined goals and more specifically we need to know who we are and what we want to accomplish in our relationships, our careers and within ourselves.

“Accepting the reality that we can change for the better and that change in small doses is better than no change at all is what makes one person achieve more than another.”



Seven Lessons for the 21st Century by Brian Tracey


  1. You life only gets better when you get better.
  2. It doesn’t matter where you’re coming from; all that matters is where you’re going.
  3. Anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly at first.
  4. You are only as free as your options.
  5. Within every problem or difficulty you experience, there is the seed of an equal or greater advantage or benefit.
  6. You can learn anything you need to learn to achieve any goal you can set for yourself.
  7. The only real limits on what you can do or be are the limits you accept in your own mind.

Myers Briggs

The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.


(take any one, or all, of these tests)



  1. c) Tomorrow

Ponder:  What do you visualize for yourself? What do you want?  What if you do and what if you don’t?  If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do?   What will you have to do to get it done?  By when will you do it?  If you got it, what would you do?  What would you like to be doing 5 years from now?  What is your life purpose?  When you are 95 years old, what will you want to say about your life?

Take 10 minutes and listen:  [insert] future self visualization recording / podcast

Gallup Strengths Finder

Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? 




A Calling Description

Researchers have found that even the smallest tasks can be imbued with greater meaning when they are connected to personal goals and values.

The more we can align our daily tasks with our personal vision, the more likely we are to see work as a calling. Think about how your daily work tasks might be written in a way that would entice others to apply for the position.

The goal is not to misrepresent the work you do, but to highlight the meaning that can be derived from it.

Think of how your own personal goals in life. How can your current job tasks be connected to this larger purpose?

**  Rewrite your job description. **

Think about how your daily work tasks might be written in a way that would entice others to apply for the position.

Researchers have found that even the smallest tasks can be imbued with greater meaning when they are connected to personal goals and values.

The more we can align our daily tasks with our personal vision, the more likely we are to see work as a calling.

Turn a piece of paper horizontally, and on the left side write down a task you’re “forced” to perform at work that feels devoid of meaning.  Then ask yourself, “What is the purpose of this task?” “What will it accomplish?”

Draw an arrow to the right and write the answer down.  If what you wrote still seems unimportant ask yourself again, “What does this result lead to?”

Draw another arrow and write this down.

Keep going until you get to a result that is meaningful to  you.  In this way you can connect every small thing you do to a larger picture, to a goal that keeps you motivated and energized.


“Forget your current job title.  What would your clients / customers call your job title if they described it by the impact you have on their lives?”

Personal Core Casting
Delving deeper into the core of our foundation we uncover methods to surface the meaning behind why we do what we do.  We dive into Values, Signature Strengths, Mantra and Vision Casting.  There’s unlimited depths to which you can develop more as an individual.


How can you deliver a memorable, impactful experience as a leader?  Mission comes from the Latin word mittere, meaning “to throw, let go, or send.”  Also derived from Latin, the word “purpose” (originally proponere) meant “to declare.”  Whether you call it a mission or purpose, it represents the fundamental reason for your organization’s existence.

  • What are we here to do together? Think of those who join your organization.


  • Why do, or why should, potential members choose your organization over your competitors, or other opportunities to invest their time and resources?


  • What do you need to provide to your members to keep them coming back?



Most often when we hear the word “value” we think of what benefit we offer.  That’s important but when we’re looking to build ourselves as assets to the world first we must look inside and establish our personal values.  These personal values act as a guidepost.  Values are qualities that make you feel fully alive and fulfilled.  They are not things, they are the essence behind the things.

Develop a list of attributes that you believe identify who you are and what your priorities are. For instance, ‘friends’ may be important to you, but friends is not a value.  Look at what it is about friends that you value: belonging, laughter, support?

These are possible values.  Values are personal and individual, so explain what each means to you.  For example: Spaciousness (abundant time in my day, room for balance, self care, clear thought).

** Brainstorm **

 List the top 5 values you cannot live without.








  • What are the 3 things you are most passionate about in your life (is it a hobby, a sport, your faith, your business, your family, perhaps a charitable organization)?


  • What is the ‘source’ of your passion? How did it come about?  Why did you pursue this?


  • What fundamental value in your life do your ‘passions’ tap into?


  • If you’re an independent contractor / distributor / representative: Why are you associated with your company?


  • What about your association with your company brings meaning to your life?


  • What meaning does it bring to you personally?


  • What, in your wildest dreams, would be the most wonderful result of being one of your company’s top performers? (if you already are, list those that affect you the most greatly).




The 5 characteristics of successful people are: Vision, Strategy, Belief, Persistence, and Learning.  Modeling after someone who has reached global notoriety helps cast your future vision farther than you may imagine.  By writing down what you want and carrying that written note with you, you have established your vision, have made clear that you believe in your goals, and are learning to become focused and persistent.

Look up the bio of a person you greatly admire on Wikipedia.  Someone whose accomplishments you’d model.

Now write out your bio, in similar fashion as theirs, with your name and your accomplishments in past tense, as if you’ve accomplished the milestones you’ve always dreamed up (dream big!).  Write in third person if that makes it easier.

Discover your archetype and build your story.



Organization Core Casting 

Pulling back the veil exposing the core of our Organization’s foundation allows us to analyze the reality and the meaning behind how our business is running and what we need to expand upon it’s greatness as well as improve upon it’s weakness.


Write down anything that comes to mind about where you want to see your organization go.  It is not important to try to create a complete list…just write down things you feel are, or ought to be, compelling attributes of your organization’s vision or values.

  • Describe the Character of your organization. This can either be your own business or the company you’re with.
  • Describe the Culture of your organization. This can either be your own business or the company you’re with.
  • Describe the Audience your organization wants to serve. This can either be your own business or the company you’re with.
  • What are the core historical norms of your organization (if any) of your organization that members expect to see continued? This can either be your own business or the company you’re with.
  • What are the biggest challenges your organization faces in the next three years? This can either be your own business or the company you’re with.


Organizational Vision:

 A vision is a picture of the future you seek to create, described in the present tense, as if it were happening now.  A statement of “vision” show where you want to go, and what your Organization will be like when it gets there.  The word comes from the Latin videre, “to see”.  This link to seeing is significant, the more richly detailed and visual the image is, the more compelling your Vision will be.  A vision gives shape and direction to the organization’s future.  And it helps people set goals to actually move the organization towards its vision.

Think about setting a bold vision for your upcoming year (starting now) – A vision that taps into:

  • Your Passions
  • Your Values
  • Your Organization’s Mission
  • The needs of those you serve

Vision statements are descriptive, like you are trying to explain your Organization’s year to someone who has never been exposed to it and never has been to this “place” you call your vision…try writing down a single aspect of your vision…then writer about it in “rich detail” …

Just a few sentences or a short paragraph will do, or perhaps, try it in letterform by describing it to a friend who has not seen it.

Give yourself permission to disconnect your ideas from reality when thinking about your vision…This is about dreams and possibilities – not reality.

Your task is not to describe your vision as you think might be achievable, based on your knowledge of your Organization.  Your task is to describe how and what your Organization would be like, if you had unlimited time, talent, money, and other resources, available to you…

  • What would the hallmarks or the accomplishments of the members who work with you?
  • Why would other members beg to be a part of your team?
  • What might you do in the next year that has never been attempted?
  • What would be the most compelling parts of your Year vision for you? 


Current Reality

Take a look at the current state of your Organization and your members needs.  Try to create a brutally honest assessment of your Organization’s current reality.  Answering this set of questions will give you an eagle’s eye view of how to improve.

  • What are the needs of the members in your Organization?
  • What are the 3 most common complaints you receive from your members?
  • How are their needs changing…what is happening in their environment that will change their needs and behaviors?
  • What really drives their loyalty to your Organization?
  • What do they get from your Organization that is truly not available elsewhere?
  • Call a few members, ones you feel comfortable with and will be honest with you, perhaps ones who have not been fully satisfied and ask them to reflect on their experience with your Organization: (take excellent, detailed notes)


  1. Ask what they liked best.
  2. What would they want more of, less of.
  3. Ask them to think forward and answer some of the questions above as honestly as they can.


History & Future 

Propel your Organization forward by accounting the qualities and struggles of the past and forecasting the goals for the future.

  • What does your Organization do well?
  • What does it struggle with?
  • What will change in the needs of your members over the next three years and how will it impact your Organization?
  • What are the 3 biggest frustrations of your Organization?
  • What are the 3 greatest strengths of your Organization?


By understanding common values and creating a bold vision, you have set an aggressive target for your year.

Look at your list above in “Values”

List the common phrases (not necessarily identical) or words that describe:

  • Your Values
  • Your Organizations Values
  • Your Personal Passions


This will help you focus on areas of commonality between your passion and values and your Organization’s.

Now, on a piece of paper, list the commonalities on the right hand side of the page.

Then list words to describe your Current Reality on the left hand side of the page.

Find the commonalities that bridge the gap between the two columns.


Foundational elements guide to entrepreneurial brand and mindset
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