I read a blog post on LinkedIn that said people should dedicate 8 minutes of every day to developing their personal brand. At first I wasn’t sure what that even meant. I would let you read the post, if I could find the link, but their definition seemed somewhat incomplete to me. So I’ve decided to share my perspective on what “personal brand” means.
What it’s not
A lot of the article I read focused on the career aspect of a personal brand: what a person is, professionally. Their goals and aspirations, along with their skills and talents. This is part of a brand, but it is not the only thing. A brand is also not just the part of a person that is “on the market” when it’s time for a new job.
What it can be
I want my brand to represent me as a person. Not only me professionally, but ethically and socially as well, because these are bigger parts of me than just my résumé. If I use my brand to remind me of who I want to be as a person, I can use it to guide all kinds of decisions. I can use it to make family choices, work choices, social choices, etc., etc. A personal brand can keep me on track and focused on a mission.
How do I get there
I think it starts with a brand statement: 4 sentences that really summarize who I want to be. It has to be concrete enough that I can rely on it when I don’t have the obvious answer to the hard problems in life. With that in mind here’s the first crack:
“I will use the skills and knowledge I’m gifted with to improve the lives of others, built on the ethics, truths, and principles I have been entrusted to uphold. I will continuously work towards a greater understanding of all things. I will accept ideas and opinions other than my own and embrace diversity to improve myself. I will always help others to achieve these same goals.”
Is it perfect? Probably not, but it can evolve over time, because my place in this world will change over time. I added the words “I will” to each statement at the last minute. Originally they all started with “to” and I thought it sounded a little Star Trek‘ish. “To boldly go where no man has gone before”. Also, I think “I will” is a more active statement. It commits me to accomplishing this.
What am I doing to “sell” my brand
My brand will be built on what others understand about me. This blog will be part of that, so will my other social media outlets. Most importantly, my brand will be built on living out my brand statement in a day to day life. Those who come to know me will understand my brand by watching how I act consistently.
How you can do the same
What’s your brand statement? Who do you want to be? Beyond a résumé, and beyond a social media profile, is your brand built on how you act on a daily basis?
Now to get this put this statement put on some sort of motivational poster. 🙂