Deepening relationships, building communities and extending your reach can all sound like hard work (even when you love it!), but for some people it appears to be effortlessly energising.
When I think about natural charisma and building a personal brand, business coach and author Pete Cohen is one of the first people who comes to mind. Pete is known as The Inspirator, because he breathes life into everything he connects with.
He’s written 19 books, was the long-term resident life coach for GMTV, and is now a legend on Clubhouse.
Pete’s whole life is centred on coaching people to live with enthusiasm and passion. I recently invited him onto the Interviews With Experts podcast. The first thing I wanted to know was where he gets his energy from!
Love for life
Pete: “I get energy from being around people who want to do stuff in the world! I’ve always had that excitement about me whether it’s about my birthday or Christmas or excitement
because I am playing football the next day. I’ve never lost that excitement. Even though what I’ve done so far is significant, I feel like I’ve really only just got started!!
I love coaching people. I love building a community. I’ve built some great communities. When I go into a room, or when I put out a podcast, we know that we’ve got some real superfans who really appreciate what we do.”
Pete’s energy is boundless. He has the ability to build relationships with people very quickly and constantly offers his support and help. Every successful brand needs to offer value and add to people’s lives, and Pete is prolific at it!
I was curious to know how this trait became an inbuilt part of his character.
Pete: “My Dad was probably one of my biggest influences. He was a Rotarian for more than 50 years and their whole ethos is ‘Service Above Self’. I practice that too. Dad used to say to me ‘it’s not what you know it’s who you know’, so there is always a part of my brain asking, How can I serve? Who do I know? Who can I help? And how can I help?
My mum always told me that there was an answer to everything so, as you can imagine when you’ve been brought up in that way, I automatically want to help anyone I meet to find a solution to whatever problem or challenge they have!”
It’s obvious that Pete’s parents positively influenced his career decisions in the same way as my grandmother’s love of books fuelled my passion and inspired me to create Write Business Results.
Facts tell, stories sell (and transform)
What’s interesting is that neither of our family members told us to “go out and help people”. We learnt through their actions and the stories that they told us as we grew up. Storytelling is one of Pete’s favourite tools when it comes to transformation.
Pete: “When you’re helping someone and you tell them a story you transport them away from where they are so they can look at life differently. People don’t change when you tell them what to do. Change happens when their perspective changes and that’s why many self-help books are not that great! They make you think but they don’t make you feel or take you away from where you are in that moment. Facts tell, stories sell.
A book needs to feel like the author is talking directly to you so that you don’t want to put it down!”
The audience of any personal brand is seeking a light bulb moment, even just one piece of information that will nudge them further along, but when that’s bland or purely factual it falls flat. When we paint a vivid and beautiful picture that someone wants to step into and explore we ignite their intellectual curiosity.
I’ve been in awe of Pete’s ability to create this quality of personal brand and build a community that is connected, willingly engaged and there to cheer him on. He has so much love to share but it’s common for entrepreneurs to fall down the gap between having that knowledge and being able to share it en masse. I wanted to know Pete’s secret.
Pete: “I think you need to work with someone like yourself who will look at what you’re doing and help you ask the right questions. Most people need support to achieve success. I have a team. You need to know your intention and the impact that you want to create. You need to share content with intention.
I don’t think you ever need to sell yourself. What you do and how you are should speak louder than what you say about yourself. When you build a brand and a community by adding value people become your superfans. They automatically engage because they see you and the help you are giving them, and so they talk about you, your services and their transformation!”
The art of engagement
Pete’s point about engagement is incredibly important. When I first joined Clubhouse at the start of the year it was tempting to sacrifice sleep rather than leave conversations! 1,700 people joined one of the first rooms I moderated. I was keen to know Pete’s experience with Clubhouse because it’s such a valuable platform to increase engagement.
Pete: “Clubhouse was exactly what I was looking for. I’m a big fan of audio. I love to listen and I love to speak. Facebook lives have always been challenging for me; it feels like there’s something missing and it’s because we can’t engage in the same way. When I share on Clubhouse I can help people anywhere in the world.
When someone mentions a problem that they have and other people share their experiences it feels like the whole world is coming together. They’re not giving advice but they’re telling powerful stories about how they overcame similar issues. The sky is not the limit when we work in this way. I don’t think there is a limit to how many lives we can impact.
Part of the key to transformation is to have a big smile on your face about all of it because we’re all a bit messed up! We’ve all gone through trauma. But that doesn’t mean that our past has to be our future. Our future is there for the taking.”
As you might imagine Pete has to be very selective when it comes to his coaching clients. He’d be inundated otherwise! Pete offers a free 30 day online course, and is happy to speak to participants who complete it.
Pete is currently working on two new books, expect to see those in the very near future.
Has Pete’s wisdom inspired you to think more creatively about your personal brand? Would you love our support to bring books, blogs and podcasts into the world? If so, why not get in touch and schedule a discovery call? This time next year you could be telling a very different personal brand and business story!