Branding Courage!

THU, December 5th on BrandTalk Radio…

“How does a Black Belt think like a brand winner and how does a Black Belt avoid becoming a brand loser?”

It takes real courage to expose your ideas, your passions- and your business to public scrutiny. That’s exactly what you’re doing as you brand and market yourself and your business.

Tune in at 5:00 and let’s see if you have the Courage to be a brand winner- or the courage to recover from a branding loss!

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“How does a Black Belt think like a brand winner and how does a Black Belt avoid becoming a brand loser?”

By Jim Bouchard

Dr. Tantillo asked me this question:

“How does a Black Belt think like a brand winner and how does a Black Belt avoid becoming a brand loser?”


There are 3 types of courage:

  • Heroic
  • Moral
  • Artistic

For branding and marketing we’re talking about artistic courage- though at times moral courage will become a factor too!

Before I get into it, I should say there really isn’t any way to avoid being a brand loser- or any other kind of loser. When you get in the ring, you may win or you may lose.

You can, however, assure losing. Just stay out of the fight! If you don’t promote your brand with courage and audacity, you’ve lost before the first round!

It takes courage- and that takes preparation and training.

While you can’t guarantee victory, you can climb in the ring knowing you’ve done everything you can to prepare and train for the fight.

In branding, this means research. It means testing. It means approaching each campaign, each attempt and each cycle of revisions with an open mind and a willingness to change and adapt.

Back to courage…

“Courage is not the absence of fear. The absence of fear is stupidity!”

Artistic courage involves exposing your ideas and often your core values and passions to the world. It takes courage to expose your ideas to the public who may either embrace or reject your work.

And face facts- if you care about your work, what you’re really exposing to public scrutiny is yourself!

It’s natural to harbor some fear- courage is doing what you need to do in spite of fear. By definition, if there’s no fear, there’s no courage.

It may sound cliche, but to be a brand winner in today’s noisy market environment, you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone. You’ve got to embrace a little fear and take a chance once in a while. You’ve got to be bold and risk some failures to find the statement that is going to differentiate you from the crowd.

Artistic courage seldom involves danger to life or limb. There are notable exceptions, but for most of us if an artistic or business venture fails, we’ll live to fight another day.

If you find yourself in the position of “brand failure,” pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again!

Or- as we say in martial arts: “Knocked down 7 times? Get up 8!”

Branding and marketing are full contact sports.

  • Have courage!
  • Be audacious!
  • Train your hardest!
  • And if you lose, be ready to fight again!

Marketing Your Mastery LIVE coming to Lewiston, Maine

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Learn how to promote and grow your business with expert position marketing on social and traditional media!

Jim shares the techniques he used to take THINK Like a BLACK BELT from a folding table to the national stage and from an idea to an Amazon bestseller.

  • Tuesday, October 1st
  • 7:30 to 11:30 AM

Early registration now available here!

Sponsored by:

Androscoggin Chamber Banner

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Why Miley Cyrus is Important to YOUR Business…BLACK BELT MINDSET for Business on BrandTalk!

THU, September 5th on BrandTalk Radio…

Why Miley Cyrus is Important to YOUR Business…BLACK BELT MINDSET for Business on BrandTalk! 5:30 PM ET!

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Jim Live Embossed 330w JPGWhy Miley Cyrus is Important to Your Business

Now that we’ve been twerked to death, let’s talk about why all the ballyhoo about Miley Cyrus and her undulating hindquarters is important to you…

…specifically why this is important to your business.

Unless you’re delusional you know that the entertainment business is, above all, a business. What Miley did was a calculated, programmed and rehearsed promotional event.

And it was successful- if her intention and that of her marketing people was to increase exposure (so to speak) and traffic on social media platforms.


Now, what are the long-term ramifications? That remains to be seen.

She’s certainly alienated a huge segment of her audience that identified with her Hannah Montana persona. This move is intentional and calculated.

Has she alienated her core audience? Maybe- but it’s equally apparent that a large percentage of her Hannah Montana core has grown up and is rebelling in the same areas Miley exploits. In other words, these kids, maybe some of your kids, are all grown up and they’re twerking too.

The bigger question is whether her moves were bold or boring…

Have we shocked ourselves out of being shocked? Instead of being knocked off their chairs, most pundits are calling Miley a Madonna/Gaga knock-off.

We have reached the point where we’ve just about seen it all.

So what’s that got to do with your business?

It’s very tempting to jump on these cultural trends. Companies try to exploit these fads in an attempt to be hip, hot, cool, flash…whatever the current version. just used an image of a young kid in a “gangsta” style pose wearing a black hoodie and dark glasses for their “From Hood to Toe” back to school campaign.

Really? In the wake of Travon Martin?

Mountain Dew tried to place their stake in hip hop culture. From

“In two recent scandals involving its hip-hop spokespeople, Mountain Dew pulled a violent, misogynistic commercial directed and starred in by artist Tyler, the Creator, and then broke ties with rapper Lil Wayne. The latter had managed to offend both women and the Civil Rights community with a new remix of a song that included a reference to beating up a woman ‘like Emmett Till,’ the 14-year-old African-American boy who was murdered by white men in Mississippi in 1955.”

There is always an inherent risk in mixing entertainment and business outside of the entertainment business.

Quoted in, Con Williamson of Saatchi & Saatchi adds…

“The mistake people make is when they think no one else but their targeted group will see it…It doesn’t work that way. You can create the most obscure ad and put it online somewhere and then wake up the next morning and Good Morning America is talking about it.”

And therein lies the rub…or the grind, so to speak.

We’re talking about the Black Belt Mindset principle of Respect…

Respect your audience, your core values and your target market. If you want to create a lasting, substantive impression in the market, you must be authentic.

Shock is seldom authentic. People are only shocked when you deviate from your authenticity.

You want to be courageous in differentiating yourself in the market.  You don’t have to be offensive to be bold.

Be absolutely true to your core. Respect your brand and respect your market…

…that’s a bold statement.

Jim Bouchard
Speaker and Author of THINK Like a BLACK BELT

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Brunswick, Maine Golf & Learn Rescheduled

Plush tri-fold THINK Like a BLACK BELT golf towel with grommet & carabiner! Just part of the bonuses you get when you sign up NOW!

Plush tri-fold THINK Like a BLACK BELT golf towel with grommet & carabiner! Just part of the swag you get when you sign up NOW!

Our Golf & Learn event originally scheduled for September 6th has been moved to September 20th…

Due to an earlier rain-out, the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick had to reschedule their annual Big Swing golf tournament and fundraiser to…September 6th!

Well- Big Brothers/Big Sisters is one of our favorite community groups. We wanted nothing to detract from their terrific event…and Jim wants to play in their tournament!

So- we’ve moved Golf & Learn to Friday, September 20th.

Make sure you sign up early…spaces are already filling for the new date. VERY Early Registration saves $100…CLICK HERE!


PLUS…Anyone who participates in The Big Swing as a player, donor or sponsor will receive a special VIP Discount for Golf & Learn on the 20th! Once you sign up, just drop an email to and we’ll send you the private VIP link.

Sign up for The Big Swing here!


For group and corporate rates for Golf & Learn, call 800-786-8502 or email!

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New Endorsement for Marketing Your Mastery- PLUS: The Online Edition is Up and Running!

Jim & Joe“There are lots of people who claim to be able to help you grow your business.  But when Jim Bouchard teaches ‘Marketing Your Mastery,’ it’s not theory.  Jim’s been there and definitely done that with his own business.  He speaks with the expertise that only comes with experience.” ~Joe Calloway – author Be The Best At What Matters Most

Marketing Your Master is now available as an on-demand course at Udemy!

Learn how to promote and grow your business through expert position marketing. Jim launched his speaking business from a folding table and now travels the U.S. teaching people how to THINK Like a BLACK BELT. In this course, he teaches you how to apply the same tactics to ANY business, from a pizza shop to a realtor to a global retailer…ANY size, from solopreneur to mult-national!

Click here to save $19 before May 31st!

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Call Amanda at 800-786-8502 for details!

Perfect for:

  • Chambers of Commerce (non-dues revenue generator!)
  • Business Associations
  • Networking Groups

Or book Jim exclusively for YOUR business!

  • Half and full day training available
  • Combine with other THINK Like a BLACK BELT sessions
  • Great addition to training conferences and retreats
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