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  • Personal Branding is a Real Life Role Playing Game

    Personal branding is WoW and Final Fantasy; you just don’t know it yet.

    What is your goal when you’re playing a role playing game?  Your goal is to level up your character, unlock every secret, find every hidden weapon, beat every boss, and ultimately, beat the game with a 100% completion rating.  Your goal requires you to put in hours upon hours of invested time and effort into a make believe character in a fantasy land.  Let’s say you do beat the game on hard or reach level 70, what then?  Do you start another game only to waste another 200 hours leveling up a fantasy character?  Where does this fit in with your life goals and ambitions?

    Life parallels a video game in many ways. Much like a role playing, we are able to level ourselves up in real life by expanding our network, undertaking an internship, writing a new blog post, learning a new skill, or listening to an audio book. Each of these activities can provide you with a skill or asset that will help you accomplish your life and career goals.

    Life is a game, and this is how you can become a strong player:

    1. Slay those monsters and level up

    Role Playing Game: Constantly slay demons so that you can level up your character and gain new abilities

    Real Life: You need to constantly read books, blogs, and listen to podcasts so that you always learn something new.  Each new skill that you learn is the equivalent to learning a new ability in a video game. For example, when I first founded Future Delivery, I didn’t know a bit of php, html, css, or SEO.  I spent the time and energy to train myself in these arts and now have a skill set that allows me to build any basic site that I want.  I no longer have to depend on our in-house developer to build social media rank sites or dropshipping companies because I can do it on my own.


    2. Everyone has the potential to help you on your journey

    Role Playing Game: Talk to every single random character in the game because you never know when they’re holding a secret.

    Real Life: You need to constantly network with everyone.  It’s not enough to just network with the big players like Tim Ferris or Robert Scoble; you should be networking at local events in your community with people who haven’t created a super star presence yet.  Yes, it’s important to add amazing people like Peter Shankman to your network, but these people are like the bosses in video games that can take a while to conquer.  Every single person you meet on your journey in life has the potential to provide you with an asset that can help you with your journey.

    Don’t discriminate – introduce yourself to everyone.

    3. The best teams have complimentary skills

    Role Playing Game: Construct a team of characters who compliment each others skill. You need a magician, warrior, thief, sorcerer, and archer to be able to take on any challenge.

    2355915657_e5dfc12c6bReal Life: Construct a team of close (business) friends whose skills compliment each other. I’m an entrepreneur, and my ideal team is a developer, designer, marketer, and the leader.  We currently have all but the designer on the Future Delivery team, so it is my goal to find someone out there who is able to compliment our skills by adding a design talent.  Look at your team or close group of (business) friends.  Are you guys all of the same breed?  If so, it’s time for you to expand your network and actively pursue adding people on your personal team whose skills compliment your own.

    4. Utilize every weapon available to you

    Role Playing Game: The better, more powerful your weapon, the easier it will be to slay demons and beat the bosses

    Real Life: You need to use every single weapon that is available to you.  Start a blog, twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and optimize them to further your life goals. It’s not enough to just have a blog lying there with your name on it; you must cultivate and level it up by consistently writing good blog posts and participating in the blogging community.  It’s not enough that you have a Twitter profile with your face on it; you must tweet cool sites, follow influential people, and participate in the conversation to build your Twitter presence.  It’s important to use your weapons;  it’s even more important to use them effectively.

    5. It’s about the journey, not the end

    Why do we play video games?  Is it to quickly beat the game in the fastest time possible to watch the ending, or is it the experience and the story that engages us?  We play role playing games because we get sucked into the storyline, characters, and begin to actuality care for the protagonist.  We want to see a happy ending.

    Why do we live life?  Is it to reach the end in one piece?  Of course not.  Life is the journey that we take, the experiences that we have, the people we meet along the way, and the positive things that we’re able to contribute to this world.  You see, unlike a video game, life cannot be placed on pause and there are no save points that allow you to reset if you have made a mistake.

    Every person on this planet is playing the same game as you – the game of life. We are the ones who realize this and are thus able to take advantage by actively leveling up so that we can become the strongest players possible.  In a video game, what happens to the strongest players?  People idolize them, they unlock all the secrets, and their names are forever immortalized on the high score rank.  Similarly, if you have a strong personal brand, people will idolize you, you’ll be able to experience things others cannot, and your name will always be remembered.


    Jun is the Founder and CMO of Future Delivery where he is building Viralogy, the Social Media rank.  His personal blog, Become a Young Successful Entrepreneur, gives a real, unfiltered view of the Startup Life so that current and aspiring entrepreneurs can learn from his successes and mistakes.


    Jun Loayza is the President of Reputation Hacks. In his entrepreneurial experience, Jun has raised over $1 million in Angel funding, sold 2 internet companies and lead social media technology campaigns for Sephora, Whole Foods Market, Levi's, LG, and Activision. Jun currently lives in San Francisco, CA with his girlfriend.

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    Posted in Brand Yourself As, entrepreneurship, Personal Branding, Reputation Management
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    12 comments on “Personal Branding is a Real Life Role Playing Game
    1. avatar
      Mark Hendy says:

      This is actually a great analogy, and quite possibly the best explanation I have seen of why personal branding is so important, and also impossible to avoid

    2. avatar
      Jun Loayza says:

      Hey Mark, Thanks so much for your compliment. The inspiration to my post was Yu-kai Chou, who was a hardcore gamer back in high school. One day when he finished Diablo 2, he felt empty inside because the only thing to do was to start another RPG from scratch. What had the ridiculous number of hours in Diablo 2 amounted to?

      The answer was NOTHING.

      He then decided to find a game that he could play forever, and that would benefit him in real life. Ironically, the game was The Game of Life. Ever since, he has been teaching people like me his awesome philosophy.

      Hope you become Level 99 Mark soon!

      – Jun

    3. avatar
      Maria Duron says:

      I really liked your explanation and the analogy you used. This was well written, Jun. And, it shows the importance of unearthing and developing your brand. And, yes, I agree – it IS the journey that’s the prize!

    4. avatar

      In the book Widsom of the Crowds, James Surowiecki hammers how a diverse set of intellectual talents can produce greater results for groups than any one smart person. It seems that his book can be applied to showing you how to craft a diverse network into a well-oiled machine, or with your analogy, how you can whip yourself into shape using a battery of thinking caps.

    5. avatar
      yinka olaito says:

      This is apt, concise, nail it at the right spot. Thanks for this explanation. It is an eye opener. We must all believe, there are no rehearsals in this game of life, everything is transmitted life.

    6. avatar
      Steve says:

      really? really really? this is so fantastically wrong on every level (oops, no pun intended).

      video games attempt to replicate life, not vice versa dear. if your only experiences are based on video games I wouldn’t give you a penny or trust anything you had to say. i think you might find out the hard way that you can’t reload life from the last save point…

    7. avatar

      I like this analogy and I am maybe on of few people who knows and loves both roleplaying games (ff is my drug of choice) and personal branding principles. And for Steve’s comment, if videogames were designed to replicate life…How appealing would they be then? I think they are designed to approach experiencing -and fantasizing about – the things that makes your heart beat faster and to do and accomplish things that are (almost) beyond your imagination and one can only dream of… Who dares and does all these things in real life? Maybe some, but still only a few. Also play is very important to learn in life, it is in animals crucial to survival even. It is a bit underestimated i think. It is just great to get even a few people to see how much more fun and fulfilling life can be. Know thyself – Brand thyself, and create means to attract the right opportunities.

    8. avatar
      Will K says:

      Nice comparison of WoW and succeeding in real life.
      I was having a similar thought recently, but you beat me to writing about it! 🙂

      Great job, Jun, looking forward to see more of your posts.

    9. avatar
      Role Playing says:

      There’s more to role playing than sitting in front of a computer. It was originally designed as a means to get inside another’s head. Role playing in this sense has some pretty significant uses – from exploring how others may react to a situation, to how you might – confronting and adjusting yourself accordingly.

    10. avatar

      I like this analogy simply because it is a known, existing truth. Companies use role play (e.g. role reversal, pretending to be a competitor) when designing their overarching strategy for marketing products to adults and other demographics.

    11. avatar
      Trygon says:

      This one hits near and dear to me, due to my hobbies,. but it’s DAMN good info.

    12. avatar

      It has always amazed me how much time people spend playing games such as WoW, in which they engage in activities that, if done in a less role play oriented world, would actually be profitable. The idea of someone paying a monthly fee to play a video game where they are a professional miner, or store owner, is almost laughable, and yet it ties in very neatly to what you are saying here.

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