Lessons On Owning Your Growth With Shivani Berry
The only investment that keeps on giving: investing in yourself. Dig in!
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The stock market might be out of your control this week but your personal growth is not.
Everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day. The interesting part is how we choose to spend it.
What we read, who we hangout with and where we allocate our team is all up for interpretation.
For today’s idea jam, I wanted to invite my good friend, Shivani Berry, to offer some insights on how you can accelerate one thing that’s always in your locus of control: your online voice.
👋🏼 Say Hello: Shivani Berry is the founder & CEO of Ascend - A Leadership Program for Women which runs community-based cohorts to help women climb up their careers.
She has been celebrated by Forbes, Nasdaq and FirstRound for her immense contribution in building the women leaders of tomorrow.
💡 Today’s Roadmap:
One piece of advice that’ll help you ascend in your career ⛰
A feedback action plan that *actually* works
How to define your personal brand & build a community around it
The advantage of starting before you feel ready
Let’s dive in … 🌊
When I asked Shivani about one piece of advice that can flip a person’s career, her instant answer was:
“Own your own career development. You are the best advocate for you.”
“Figure out your blind spots, your strengths, map out your career journey and figure out how you are going to get there. Yes, feedback is crucial; from mentors, seniors, people you look upto or people who’re in the position you want to be in - but you are the driver. Other people can only fuel your growth. ”
It’s simple: Take the initiative and find your leverages.
Want to build a new skill? Sign up for a course.
Want to speak to an audience? Reach out to people hosting events.
Want to lead a meeting? Reach out to your manager & give them a solid “why”.
Want to collaborate with a creator? Send a DM highlighting why you’re a right fit.
Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you, go create them instead - if you never ask, you’ll never know.
Success is directly proportional to how much you invest in yourself.
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity."
— Amelia Earhart
On the note of investing in ourselves, me and Shivani dived in on the role feedback plays in our growth.
The first thing that she emphasized was,
“Don’t be afraid of receiving hard feedback.”
Shivani says that to truly wring out the impact of feedback, you need to acknowledge how crucial it is - no matter how difficult it is to digest.
She also shared 2 essential things to keep in mind to receive effective feedback:
Dig deep into the feedback by asking questions like, “Could elaborate more on what particularly could I improve upon?” or “Could you give me some examples or model behaviors that I can learn from?”
Shivani pointed out, “The quality of your questions determines the quality of the feedback you receive.”
Share the specific areas in which you’d like to grow and center your questions around them. Make it easy for people to offer feedback by providing the necessary context.
“I’m looking to improve how I structure my sentences, could you offer some insights?”
Read her First Round article to get in-depth insights on harnessing the power of feedback.
I’m amazed by the incredible community Shivani has built for women, by women - to support their development and I was keen to know how did her personal brand help her.
It’s clear, Shivani’s online voice projects the values she’s building Ascend upon.
She elaborates, “Ascend is a place where you can be vulnerable, authentic and share things you’ve never shared before. I am basically role-modeling the behavior I want others to follow.”
While discussing brand values, I asked her, “How can someone discover their unique voice and then project it in their content?”
Shivani’s suggestion wasn’t something I was expecting but it makes so much sense.
“I give this advice to everyone, just go do it. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Most people never take the first step because they’re stuck with figuring things out.
Instead, just get out there and speak your heart. Your inner voice will eventually shine through.
You don’t make the plan, the plan makes you. I started my newsletter and it was after writing a couple of issues, that I figured it was teaching me more about myself than anything ever did.
In the end, Shivani shared that “influencing” is a key skill to get ahead in your career and your online personal brand.
Her framework is simple:
Find what the pain points of your audience are
Help them solve it by sharing valuable content
People look up to you when they know you care. Show them that you care.
Ascend’s Leadership Program for Women is now open for applications! If you or a friend of yours wants to ascend in their career, signing up for the cohort is a no-brainer.
📲 ACTION BYTES
For this week’s homework:
Assess the core values of your personal brand - and align your content along them.
Ask for feedback on a skill you’ve been looking to improve on.
Let me know how it goes at: firstname.lastname@example.org
💡RIFF OF THE DAY
Your internal environment is your responsibility - and any change begins from there.
Thanks for reading. I try hard to make it worth your time. Got feedback? Let me know.
Stay outta’ trouble and catch you next week.
Wanna learn more about building your voice online? Check out my 2022 Spring Cohort Class.