Change the privacy settings on your personal profiles.

Make them private to only your real friends. Your business accounts are for the public, and your personal accounts are just for actual friends. Unless you are already a lifestyle blogger, you’re not trying to build a following for your personal life, you’re developing a personal brand and those two things are quite different.

Why the privacy settings?

Your personal life is just that, personal. If you are the type of person who “friends” or “follows” every person you meet, you may need to go even deeper to lock down your “personal” profiles because you haven’t been treating them as personal. If you have people on the friends-list for your personal profiles that aren’t true friends (aka you wouldn’t invite them to your house for Thanksgiving dinner) unfriend them, or ensure your privacy settings won’t let them see a “throwback” photo someone tags you in where you are visibly intoxicated or behaving in a way you wouldn’t want a client or coworker to see.   These Facebook “friends” could be a future client or coworker.  The idea here is to make your online presence authentic, and it may take a bit of catching up for your real life behaviors (past or present) to match the real life, successful professional you are embodying.

Strict privacy settings give you a little cushion while you develop the habits of a successful professional.

Being authentic means what people see in public and online matches what you do when no one is watching. While everyone deserves to let loose once in a while, on vacation or for holidays, if every weekend is a raging party like you are still in university or on spring break, you are holding yourself back from true success.

To truly internalize your success and be successful, you need to act successful.

If you need a little kick in the pants spend $3 on the e-books for What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (and at work & on the weekends) by Laura Vanderkam.

This isn’t just about looking pro online, this is about acting like one.

Her essays on the habits of the most successful people have helped me get the most of my willpower and get more done each day– for my business, my personal relationships and my health.

As a freelancer, it’s easy to sleep in and hop out of bed just before 9am and groggily wander to the office.

I then spend an hour just waking up and aimlessly checking email. After reading her books, my mornings are my most productive time of the day. I’m fresh, my willpower is strong, and I start my day at 6:15am with a soak in the hot tub outside (best $200 ever spent on Craigslist) followed by a bit of yoga (just 8 quick sun salutations). I get to my desk by 8am fully awake, and ready to work on my most important projects of the day, usually the more taxing writing & creative projects, while I am fresh. I don’t even look at my email until lunchtime to ensure I don’t get distracted from important projects. I’m not just telling you to have will power, turn your life around, and act like a professional. I’m doing it myself, and seeing the benefits pour in. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself and figure out ways to get the most out of your days. Your success might depend on it.  


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