personal brand

Why We Struggle To Take Credit For Our Success

I want your thoughts on this...

The other day I was hanging around a bunch of students who were in a coding bootcamp. They were all building websites.

One student turned to another and asked him, “how’d your site turn out?”

He replied to her and told her everything he didn’t like about the site. Everything he didn’t do well. But miraculously, SOMEHOW the site turned out good.

Here’s where I need your help: Why do we take opportunities to compliment ourselves and turn them into self-deprecating diatribes???

Why is it so hard to give ourselves credit, to say we like what we’ve created...that we put a lot of effort into something and we’re proud of it...that we’ve worked hard to develop a skill and it’s great to see the hard work pay off?

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People do it ALL THE TIME! My brother has said before, “I’m not that smart...yet somehow I’m a doctor.”

I’ve had past coworkers say, “I’m not really creative, but I managed to put this together (shows me amazing visual presentation).”

Why do we shun taking credit and consistently opt to put ourselves down, as if things happen by some magic stroke of luck?

It’s a mindset I’ve never understood, and I’m genuinely curious about. Is it a fight against Imposter Syndrome?

COMMENT BELOW with these 2 things:

  1. Why do people struggle to compliment themselves or feel good about what they’ve done?

  2. Compliment yourself. Tell me something you’re really REALLY great at. Don’t be shy. To get the ball rolling, I’ll tell you I’m really REALLY great at making complex information digestible and approachable for people, using metaphors and everyday examples.


I’m really looking forward to your thoughts here.

Take care and be awesome today,


written by Rajiv Nathan

These 2 Mindsets Impact Your Personal Brand Like Crazy

A couple weeks ago I f’d up my knee.

While playing basketball, I made a quick stop and turn to defend a pass when my right foot slid out from underneath me and I jarred my knee out of place. I immediately hit the ground.

If you cringe just reading that, it was a hell of a lot worse actually experiencing it.

I went to the ER that night, and now Derrick Rose and I have something in common.


I’ve been on crutches for the last two weeks, and am scheduled for minor surgery soon.

This injury was super inconvenient timing because, as you may recall, I’m in yoga teacher training on weekends.

Reactions to Experiences

Life is not comprised of experiences. Life is comprised of REACTIONS to experiences.

How we choose to react to a given experience—and we have a choice, positive or negative reaction—dictates our mindset.

Types of Mindsets

Our reaction to an experience dictates our mindset, and depending on how we react, we’ll have one of two mindsets:

  1. A MEH mindset—driven by a negative reaction

  2. An AWESOME mindset—driven by a positive reaction

We explore dozens of MEH and Awesome Mindsets in our Master Class because they play a major role in molding our personal brands. Negative reactions build a Meh brand. Positive reactions build an Awesome brand.

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How I’m Reacting to My Injury

Here’s how I’m choosing to react to my knee injury and how that’s shaping my brand:

My Experience

I badly injured my knee playing basketball, it hurt like hell, I’m on crutches.

My Reaction

I’m not gonna feed you BS and act like it’s amazing to be on crutches, because it’s super f’ing annoying. And I would obviously rather be 100% healthy right now. But after the initial shock of getting injured, I CHOSE to react POSITIVELY to the experience. I could have said, “I can’t do yoga anymore, I can’t teach now, I’m screwed. I give up.”

Instead, I said, “It won’t be the same, but I can make this work. I can still lead a class from the front of the room on crutches. And now I have a chance to figure out how to do yoga while seated. Just because I’m injured doesn’t mean I can’t keep learning. I can make this work.”


My Mindset

This POSITIVE reaction dictated my entire mindset the weekend after the injury during training, and moving forward. We took 5 different classes that weekend, and the first one I lowered myself slowly onto the mat, set my crutches to the side, and spent the next hour figuring out how to do every pose either on my butt or laying down.

It opened me up to a world of possibilities and experience yoga in a whole new way.

Each class since, I study the mechanics of the people around me as they get into a pose, and I refine my seated modifications. I observe their knee movements and think about how I can speak to that when teaching a class.

I’ve embraced an AWESOME mindset, and now I feel I'll be better able to teach yoga to people with low body injuries. It’s similar to owning your Desirable Difficulty.

And you know what else happens when you carry an AWESOME mindset? Other people see you for your possibilities, instead of your limitations.

I am super grateful to my fellow teachers in training and instructors who helped me carry things, or rolled up my mat, opened doors, etc. but beyond that, because I didn’t sit around feeling sorry for myself, they didn’t treat me like an inferior. Instead, they asked me questions about my modifications, and what I was learning. The last thing I wanted was a pity party, and no such party was thrown.

Consider the alternative. If I had a negative reaction and a MEH mindset, I would have either sat in those classes and said “I can’t do this, I'm injured” , or I would have said "I'm done with training altogether, why don't I finish up when you offer training again in 6 months". The Meh mindset would enable me to sink deeper into my limitations.


How YOU Can carry an Awesome mindset

Remember, life is not made up of experiences. It’s made up of REACTIONS to experiences. You can have negative reactions which generate Meh mindsets, or you can have positive reactions which generate Awesome mindsets. Your brand will grow in the direction of your mindset.

If your job sucks, and you continue to react negatively, creating a MEH mindset, you’d say, “This is the way things are and I have to deal with it.”

But if you choose to react positively, you’ll embrace an Awesome mindset and say, “Why don't I take a personality test to help me find what environments and situations would make me happier? What if I meet with new people to learn how I can help them?”

If you want to start a blog, your instinct might be to react negatively before getting started, and your MEH mindset would have you say, “What’s the point? Other people are already writing about this anyway.”

But with a positive reaction, your AWESOME mindset would have you say, “People haven’t heard MY point of view yet, and that’s what make the difference.”


Where in your career are you carrying a MEH mindset?

Leave a comment below, because I KNEED to know (see what I did there?) ;)

Take care and be awesome today,

written by Rajiv Nathan


How You Get Introduced to the "Hot Friend"

Recently I was at a friend's wedding.

It’s reception time and here’s the basic scenario: Music’s loud, drinks are flowing, people are dancing.

I am one of roughly 15+ single guys at this wedding. One guy got absolutely shitfaced before the reception and is dancing with his shirt off making an ass of himself. A bunch of others have posted up at at the bar, downing drinks, and some others suck at dancing and look like Elaine from Seinfeld on the dance floor.

Meanwhile, I’m doing my thing on the dance floor, having a good time when all of a sudden this attractive girl from the bride’s side (I’m friends with the groom) comes up to me and asks


“Where’s your girlfriend?!”
(In case you can’t tell, this is her screening me to see if I'm single. Also, everything in this conversation is bold and has exclamation points because we’re on a dance floor and the music is loud.)


“I don’t have one!”


“Oh okay! Can you tell me about yourself?!”


“Yeah! You’re basically looking at a human Curious George, and right now my yellow hat is busting out some sweet dance floor yoga moves!”


“Come with me--you have to meet my friend!”


...And she goes and introduces me to her hot friend.


Now how is it that amongst 15+ single guys, she singled out ME to meet her hot friend?

I’d say I’m a good looking dude, but I’m no George Clooney.

I’m a decent dancer, but I’m no Channing Tatum.

Was it the fact that I had on a neon green shirt with a bowtie (and my hair was straight outta control by that point)?

Obviously that makes me stand out, but I actually asked the original girl later in the night at the afterparty, “If I wasn’t wearing the bowtie, would you have introduced me to your friend?”

And she said, “Actually the bowtie had nothing to do with it. You looked like you knew how to enjoy yourself and you came off as interesting.”

Seems so simple. Yet I was the ONLY one in the group who got introduced to the hot friend. 

What’s the “hot friend” in your life? Is there a job you’re trying to land? A person you’re trying to meet? An industry you want to break into? A side hustle you want to launch? 

On Wednesday, August 5, Idea Lemon is teaching a workshop in conjunction with General Assembly in Chicago to help you get your "hot friend".

Click to sign up now

In our workshop, we’ll break down legends like The Rock, Jay-Z, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler, then you’ll learn how to build an authentic and “hot friend”-worthy personal brand so you can become legendary yourself, and get the things you want.

You’ll learn exactly how we’ve aced interviews, connected with industry influencers and leaders, and been viewed as the most interesting people in the room. You’ll walk away with an elevator pitch that gets people to say, “I HAVE to learn more about you!”, “You’d be great for this opportunity”, and “I NEED to introduce you to _____”

If you want to:

  • Reinvent yourself
  • Own your personal brand
  • Become a natural at being comfortable in front of people
  • Create opportunities for yourself instead of hoping something good comes your way
  • Get the job you want
  • Start your own business or side hustle

Then you need to be there on August 5th.
lick to sign up now 

We taught this to a private group recently, and here’s what one person sent me afterwards:

I met up with him a few days later and he told me used what we taught in the workshop in a job interview that same week and was OFFERED THE JOB!

He got his hot friend. They really want him, and now he’s in a position to decide if HE wants THEM.

You could be the person too drunk to function taking their shirt off (ever been to a job interview and completely fumble when your resume is off the table, or been to a networking event and felt like you had nothing interesting to say).

You could be the one hiding in the corner posting up at the bar (ever felt too shy to talk about what you’re really good at?)

You could be a horrible dancer like Elaine (you keep doing the same thing even though it’s not working), or you could be the one who is comfortable in any situation, and knows how to come off as interesting.


Join us on Wednesday, August 5th at General Assembly

What up! My name is Rajiv Nathan and I'm the Cofounder of Idea Lemon. That banana peel you slipped on to land here came from me. That's because I fancy myself a human Curious George, and the yellow hat I chase is life's authentic moments. I share my chase one story at a time through this blog, our email newsletter, and as a rapper.

Oh and I'm a WWE fan 4 lyf!