Megan MacNeill – The Power of Personal Branding.

I’m Megan MacNeill. Personal brand strategist, gin snob, and beach lover. I always thought I was your stock standard marketer until I was listening to a podcast a few years ago and the guy started talking about personal branding. A light bulb went off in my head and I realised that I had been building personal brands for CEOS, Chairs & Presidents that I had been working for years. Everything made way more sense to me suddenly and I re-branded Relevant from a general outsourced marketing company to 100% personal branding services and haven’t looked back since. I am so passionate about helping people use their influence (once we have grown it) to have an impact on the thing that matter to them.
Megan is sharing what the word “empower” means to her with The Corporate Escapists.

As a successful entrepreneur please share your viewpoint if you believe that entrepreneurs are born or made?

I feel like they are born. I spent a long time looking at what my ideal client was. I could describe them well until it came to – were they employed or self-employed and that is where I discovered there are a set of people out there who have entrepreneurial traits but like being part of a bigger organisation and what it has to offer. They are called intrapreneurs and just like entrepreneurs they have that burning flame inside that I think you are born with. Of course, the environments and people you are exposed to will determine how bright that fire burns.

Nelson Mandela once quoted – ‘I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’  What has been one fear you have overcome?

Public speaking. I dropped scores in school and university through my lack of confidence when it came to speaking in public. Didn’t matter who I was speaking in front of I would freeze. I knew my topic and it would frustrate me standing there knowing I had done the work but just could not get it out. I mean, I couldn’t even read a chapter from a book in English in front of my class without burning up.

I had spent 10+ years working for organisations and helping others get on stage, in front of the camera, and writing scripts. But I would avoid it myself at all costs. It was like a switch once I decided to focus 100% on personal branding as my area of expertise because I had to walk the talk. I could no longer be the person in the background. I had to speak up and deliver my message because no one else was going to. My mum came to a session I delivered once and she could not believe I got up and spoke so calmly and confidently. She had been there so many times when I would lose sleep over the thought of speaking in front of anyone. It was a lovely feeling to see my mum so proud of me for overcoming my biggest fear.

Tell us what the word “empower” means to you?

Empower for me means holding your own power and not giving it over to anyone else. That is why I am so passionate about personal branding. When you put your name to something you are truly passionate about and move forward with it in alignment with your mission, values and beliefs then no one can take that from you. You lose so much of your power when you try to conform to what others want from you or by being so concerned with what others think over what you know to be true.

What has been one of the biggest business ideas you have had and how did you have the courage to implement it?

The Impact & Influence Mastermind. It was born from the work I had done with my 1:1 personal branding clients. They were all executive level. Confident people. Educated people. Knowledgeable people. Respected people. Passionate people. Ambitious people.

What they lacked was knowing how to be themselves first and the company second. They didn’t know how to build their legacy or in some cases even identify it. They also lacked a safe space to bounce ideas without losing their competitive advantage or showing their cards to their peers within the same industry.

It took courage to implement this mastermind program because, in reality, I was attracting people who I believed were far more successful than I was. The truth was I had something they needed that no one else was offering them.

Running your own business can be scary.  Success requires moments of courage to push through to the next level, please tell us one of the moments you have had to push through to take your business to the next level?

The hardest part is putting yourself out there. I am a big believer in done is better than perfect and I try to practice that but it is hard. The first video is hard. The first podcast is hard. The first Mastermind was hard.

My thing is to push through until they are no longer hard, they are second nature. Until the next hard thing comes along. And it always does

Tell us what attributes you feel make a good leader in business today?

Empathy and real communicaiton over automation. Understanding that you are leading people not sheep. People are not disposable. You get out what you put in. For example I really hate the recruitment process. Someone can spend a long time applying for a position and then hear absolutely nothing back. I think some people forget that they are dealing with real people and the impact their response (even to tell them they haven’t got the project/job etc..) could have. There is a place for automation but it isn’t for building real relationships.

What is your favourite quote about empowerment?

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

– Eleanor Roosevelt

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?

Focus on you. There are millions of people selling the same service or product that you plan to sell. But no one is out there selling it like you! No one has the exact same knowledge, experience and passion as you so don’t try and be like someone else. Admire them, learn from them but do it your own unique way.

What would be one (1) question you would you ask the person who most inspires you?  Also, share with us about this person and why they inspire you?

I am inspired by a lot of women. In particular those working mothers who broke some of the barriers for us. I know were aren’t where we need to be yet but there are a lot of women with grown up children now that have very successful businesses and careers that have paved the way for us. I have lots of questions for them but really I just want to thank them.

You can connect with Megan right here on Linkedin and Instagram.

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