After suffering from identity theft on Wednesday, I was forced to either put all my energy into regaining all my loses or quit. One attribute of my brand and a saying that I like to follow is “what doesn’t break me, makes me stronger.” Without a Google account (gmail), a PayPal account and taking a major hit to my bank account, I was left without contact of my network. I used this incident to fuel both my work at EMC and all my Personal Branding work. I, as well as all of you, should be more aware of identity theft because it could happen to you at a moments notice.

Instead of blowing up about this issue, I concentrated on the work at hand. I ended up on the cover of The Daily News Tribute, a local Waltham and Newton newspaper (both in Massachusetts). What’s funny is that I’m originally from Newton, went to college in Waltham at Bentley and currently live in Waltham, so it was quite the coincidence. This certainly gave my brand a boost and I pushed forward, as I recovered my network through my picture memory and help from Adam Salamon, who is the Sponsorship Manager for Personal Branding Magazine. I’ve also started work on pulling Issue 2 together of the magazine, for release on November 1st. Expect a lot more content, a few special interviews and a completely new format.

Here are some tips for protecting and recovering your Personal Brand identity:

Protect – Before the incident occurs

  • Database all your contacts as you make them, for networking purposes and to be able to reconnect if you suffer a loss. You can use Microsoft Excel, Access or other programs to accomplish this.
  • Use multiple passwords for all your online assets, including your email account, electronic bank account and website hosting service.

Recover – After the incident occurs

  • Reach out to key members of your network that may have contact information of others in your network.
  • Call and email the companies that handle your assets. Make sure to let them investigate the issue.
  • Try and get your mind off of everything and focus on regenerating your Personal Brand.