April 2014

Authentic Positioning Matters.Especially for Individuals.
The goal of positioning is to create an immediate and direct connection in the minds of consumers; that's what branding is all about.
The cool thing is, you get to choose how people view you. As long as your actions constantly and consistently match your positioning, as long as you are intentional in thought and action, you can determine the immediate and direct connection people make when they see, hear, or think about you.

When developing your own brand the fundamental thing that most people get wrong is they don't have a clear sense of WHY they are doing it. They know WHAT they are doing and HOW they are going to do it, but in fact you need to start with WHY. After reading "Start with Why" by Simon Sinek this point has remained pertinent in my mind. Why are you doing what you doing with your business, the how and what follow.

DaniellaShapiro.com "WHY" is :
We aim to innovate, inspire and lead. Our strength is to provide a relentless brand that offers services that are cost effective and create a personal platform that people can relate to and engage with.
We happen to offer great products and create great events.
And the DaniellaShapiro.com brand cannot be cloned.

Listen to feedback and adapt. Opportunities, people and obstacles will come in your way and you may have to detour a couple of times.The important thing is DO NOT FEEL YOU ARE GOING OFF TRACK, realize that all these occurrences are telling you there other things to do, learn and understand and are necessary before you get to the next stage of your journey. I like to call this listening to the whispers. The whispers start off as a little sigh, or "aha" moment and if you ignore the whispers the louder and louder they get.

Let me tell you how I can relate this to my journey.  When I bought over the City2City Marathon, in 2011 (myself & 2 partners) at the age of 20, which was unheard of at that time. I approached one businessman and another male who was pretty well known in the sporting industry, they both eventually became my partners. From day one they never believed in the race or that it was possible for anyone to make it happen. I was the only one who saw the opportunity and believed in myself and my vision.  I knew I could make it happen no matter what it took.  I went about doing all the slog and ground work, building the business strategy and fought all the red tape of government bodies, organizations and sporting authorities and people constantly yelling in my ear that it was an impossible want.  My perseverance and determination pushed me forward despite many meetings being cancelled, lots of no shows and lots of rebuttals. But I did not let this get me down I knew what I wanted to achieve and I was determined to metamorphosize this ultra-marathon heritage race that was now dying with only approximately 800 runners.  I saw the potential.  Eventually contracts were signed and ONLY then did everyone get excited and want to jump on the bandwagon. The egos that were involved were large, the partners I was involved with were in their late forties. Needless to say, when all my hard work had created this opportunity and allowed all the elements to fall into place and I being 22 at the time did not sit well with them. For 3 years the race ran successfully despite the constant partnership battles whereby underhandedly my partners tried to oust me. Greed and corruptness got in the way and I had to make a business decision, as hard as it was.  After 3 years of creating a successful, hugely opportunistic profitable event, whereby we reinvented this ultra-marathon by building a 10k and 21k to bring in the numbers, reworked the brand and the marketing strategy and got Bonita's to be our title sponsor. The whispers got louder and louder.
There was a voice telling me that this race will never reach its optimum success with all its negative energy with such huge egos in the way. After a lot of soul searching I had to take the lessons and seek legal advice and came to a decision that I needed to do a share buyback whilst the race was still peeking. The lessons I learnt here, despite the fact that I had moments of doubt as to whether or not it was the right decision to move on, it was these whispers that drove me to realize that this was just a launching platform where I had to learn important lessons that lead me to the next step of my journey of building my own brand. DO NOT IGNORE THE WHISPERS. If you have doubts or question your intention in your business it is time to move on to grow further and seek other opportunities.

I have learn't that if you are passionate about something and are willing to put the work in GO FOR IT. Do not let the fear of failing stop you from trying to build the business of your dreams.Keep your overheads as low as possible. Take small steps, find help and turn your dreams into a reality from hard work.

I have also found that entrepreneurship can be a lonely road. People are strange they do not always want to see you succeed. From that lesson my whole purpose is to see people succeed and reach their full potential.

My Mom and Dad my biggest mentors have always been and had entrepreneurial mindsets.  In the year 2000, I received devastating news that my Dad, my greatest mentor had been murdered in a hi-jacking.  As I am sure you can imagine this loss was a tragedy to our family and we suffered immense pain.  However after many years of coming to terms with this it made me want to fight even harder, push harder and work harder at becoming a success and being the best that I can be.

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