Fixed or Growth — Why Your Mindset Matters


shutterstock_306058520What’s your mindset?

Is it fixed?

Is it growth?

Why your Mindset Matters

Everyone has a mindset. That’s a given. However, not everyone’s mindset helps them achieve, strive and accomplish all that they are capable of on a regular basis.

I recently finished Carol S. Dweck’s book “Mindset” – which coincidentally is on Bill Gate’s list of favorite books of 2015. In her book she covers a lot of ground related to success and failure in relation to sports, business and personal relationships.

Effectively there are two mindsets to be considered. In the Fixed Mindset people take on a “woe is me” and “blame everyone and everything else … except me” mentality. In the Growth Mindset people take on a more Zen mentality where everything happens for a reason and can be a learning lesson.

As you can guess the Growth Mindset is much more conducive to success and being able to push on even when it seems all forces are against you. By adopting and embracing a Growth Mindset you can stand out in your career.

Fixed Mindset Traits:

  • Feeling labeled a failure
  • Getting discouraged when something doesn’t play out the way you expected
  • Passing on a chance to learn

Do you retreat when a challenge seems daunting?
If yes, you might have a Fixed Mindset.

Growth Mindset Traits:

  • Takes on a challenge
  • Learns from mistakes and failures
  • Continues on … perseveres

Do you take failures as an opportunity learn?
If yes, you might have a Growth Mindset.

There are a few more aspects to each mindset, but these are some of the key traits. Obviously, the idea is to embrace a Growth Mindset in order to keep moving forward.

Is is always possible to have a growth mindset? I’m not 100% sure. Being human will have down days, but people with a growth mindset will seek to turn those down days into learning experiments.

I think there will always be optimists. Call them dreamers if you like. Optimists are those people that sometimes drive us crazy because they can’t realize that what they are proposing will NEVER work. Then they go off and do the impossible.

Which reminds me of what Eleanor Roosevelt said …

The future belongs to those who believe
in the beauty of their dreams.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Seek a Growth Mindset

When you can take on a growth mindset mode of thinking you will be able to see things in a new light and be able to approach problems from a new perspective.

A few things you can do today to begin developing your Growth Mindset:

  • Look for the issues and dig into them
  • Break them down
  • Seek to understand what you can learn, take away and improve upon

This does not mean you will always be successful at every endeavor. This is not a case for advocating “participation ribbons” rather it is a chance to take control of your experiences. Take control of the way you react to conditions and actions that may have been thrust upon you.

You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.
~ Brian Tracy

Failure is an Action

When you can fully accept that Failure is an Action … NOT an Identity you will be at least one step ahead of the game.

The point of this statement is that Failures Happen.

They do not define you. They are not your identity.

An Action Does Not Equal Your Identity

A few things you can do today to begin breaking away from a Fixed Mindset:

  • Instead of seeking to blame someone or something … look for the underlying issues
  • Before giving up take a step back and try to look at the bigger picture.
  • Work Harder. Yes, this might seem counter-intuitive and may fly in your face as an insult. It’s not. That’s your Fixed Mindset thinking.

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times … And that is why I succeed.
~ Michael Jordan

Fixed or Growth?

There sort of is a wrong answer here. A fixed mindset will only serve to drag you down and to reconfirm your fixed mindset convictions that you aren’t good enough, fast enough, smart enough. Don’t let that mindset control you.

Take control of your situation. Take control of the way you react &respond to the things that impact your life and I can assure you that your results will continue to improve.

Will it happen overnight? Not likely. However, in a step by step fashion you will start to see changes in the way you perceive and react to situations. As you being to do this and find initial successes your peers will also likely begin to take notice. As this happens more and more you will Stand Out in Your Career.

Remember …

”Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done.”
~ Robert A. Heinlein

Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career


Why your preview image matters as much as the headline


When we talk about native campaign performance, headlines tend to get all the attention.

The preview image, though, plays just as important a role in the reader’s decision whether to engage with brand content.

Compelling visuals have long been at the center of creating great social media content, which is all native—it matches the look and feel of the content around it. As advertising moves into feeds, images have become just as important for boosting engagement with native advertising in traditional (non-social-media) publisher platforms as well.

As with headlines, the art of a good preview image is becoming a science. Here are seven essentials to picking a successful preview image for your native campaign:

1. Be authentic. The goal is for readers to connect with content and to think a brand just gets them. Generally, that’s more likely to happen if readers feel they look like the people they see in photos. In other words: Use real people, not models. Know your demographic, and show you understand them.

2. Don’t make stock images the default. Stock images are a valuable resource when a brand doesn’t have assets for a specific campaign, but beware the photo that is not true to modern, real life. Does someone in the photo look a little too thrilled to be in a meeting, or as though he or she is dressed for an office circa 1980? You’re trying to create a brand experience to which people will relate, not a meme.

3. Avoid product shots. You don’t see a lot of Instagram photos of jars of tomato sauce. You do see a lot of Instagram photos of beautiful bowls of pasta with rich red sauce, a grating of cheese, and a bright green basil leaf; maybe even on a table surrounded by friends or family. Highlight the experience of the product, not just the product. The goal is to inspire positive associations and emotion. Images should also be hi-resolution and in eye-catching colors, to maintain the quality that readers expect from their trusted publishers.

4. Align with the headline to extend the story. If there’s a gap between the preview image and headline—regardless of how nice the image is—it’s a missed opportunity to provide insight into the content’s substance. Readers need that connection to engage; they’re tired of clickbait. Use the preview image to add dimension.

5. Honor the editorial context. If you’re running a native campaign across several content categories, make sure it applies to those placements to avoid looking spammy. Let’s say you have an auto campaign that is distributed not only to automotive publishers, but also to family and parenting verticals—maybe it’s a piece on teaching your teenager how to be a safe driver. A preview image with a parent handing over the keys will apply to both placements, but without that family element the story would look out of place among family and parenting content. Just make sure that there isn’t too much going on in the photo, as busy images are not cross-device friendly. Convey they substance, but keep it simple.

6. Establish seasonal relevance. Seasonal components establish why a piece of editorial content is relevant now. A preview image should similarly reinforce what’s meaningful to the reader when they discover the content, including the timing. That’s why you’ll soon see fashion and style preview images transition from people wearing light jackets and sweaters to down coats and knit hats (sigh).

7. Test, test, test. Good optimization strategies involve diligent A/B testing. Branded content is no different, affording you ample opportunities to test the elements that constitute the ad. Launching your native campaign with two preview images instead of one can boost the click-through rate (CTR) by nearly 20 percent, so take every opportunity to test and optimize. You will derive more meaningful insights if the two images are disparate, rather than comparing two versions of similar subject matter. Even with best practices there are countless variables affecting performance. You have no idea (nor control, unfortunately), over what else will appear in the news cycle or on a site while a campaign is live. Give yourself options to stand out in a publisher’s feed.

When brand managers and marketers talk about social media campaigns, there’s no confusion about the importance of visuals. It’s time to expand that thinking into native campaigns.

[RELATED: Learn new, innovative ways to escalate your social media game at our Social Media Conference for PR, Marketing and Corporate Communications in Walt Disney World.]

Social media campaigns are native, after all: They match the look and feel of surrounding content. As advertising continues to move into feeds to go where the consumer’s attention is, images are crucial to driving engagement on traditional publisher platforms, as well.

Still fixated on headlines? Well, here’s one: Let’s give preview images the attention they deserve.

As the idiom goes, a picture’s worth a thousand words, but it’s the resulting campaign performance that’ll really speak volumes.

Sarah Mandato is director of content solutions at Nativo. A version of this article first appeared on iMediaConnection.