Successful personal brands spend much time exploring their psyches and behaviors to arrive at a position that will be enduring, profitable, and satisfying. After all, your brand must be authentic, easy to communicate, and welcome in the tribes you select to lead or at least be among. A personal brand must embrace who you are now, the origins of your life you want to bring forward in your career, and give you stretch goals so you have a destination to keep you moving forward.
Your qualities and values matter
It is not so easy to identify qualities that will last a lifetime. But it’s worth the time to agonize over; because it’s your qualities and values that matter wherever you go. We career coaches now talk about your having 5 to 15 careers, which is sometimes comforting – let’s say you hate your current job – or daunting – perhaps you fear your knowledge, approach or skill set will become outdated.
I counsel my coaching clients to think of themselves as fractions, not integers. You are not just a consultant or employee. You may be both, or even more fractions of your whole working day or life. You may be writer, blogger, web series star, media pundit, seminar leader, industry opinion maker, and oh the list goes on. Just like you would diversify an investment portfolio, you must diversify the ways you make your fortune.
Your brain may now be screaming: I can’t do all that at once. I’m not a dollar that can be broken into several coins; I’m a person with only so much time. Stop hurling birds using a catapult at a nest of explosives, or whatever games you play on your so-called smart phone. Convince your brain you want to get ahead, not kill time or birds.
On the journey of your life, the one thing for sure you will take with you is: you. You will lose jobs, outlive pets, and undoubtedly some of your loved ones, survive friends becoming enemies, and you may even go to war against the one you love now. In life and work, loss is going to come your way, on the way to your making gains. It’s who you are that matters through it all, because that’s the basis of who you can become. And that outcome should be good for you, in every way.
Consider what qualities will sustain you. What are you going to look back and say, it’s because I was (fill in the blank) that I was able to (fill in the blank). Actually, I was able to do (fill in 15 blanks).
Sure with personal brands, you need to get attention, ignite emotional connections and remain indelible in the minds of your tribe in order to leverage your brand for life. The brand you sell to others shouldn’t be one you have to sell to yourself. It should be yourself. Then, just add a hefty dose of resourcefulness and resilience, a nose for opportunity and a desire to work hard, and smart.
Getting what you want isn’t just reserved for Christmas. Although, I do hope Santa, or the bearer of gifts in your culture, was good to you this year.
Nance Rosen is the author of Speak Up! & Succeed. She speaks to business audiences around the world and is a resource for press, including print, broadcast and online journalists and bloggers covering social media and careers. Read more at NanceRosenBlog. Twitter name: nancerosen