Is it always golden?

photoThe other day I traveled across the country and something rather unusual took place I thought at the time.  For some odd reason, I did not speak to a single person the entire trip.  This includes from when I parked my vehicle at the airport until I arrived at my destination.  I did the normal checks through security, waited in line to board each plane and sat next to passengers on different flights but did not say one word.

I was in transit for approximately 7 hours and I did not utter a single word even to the airline attendant.  When asked if I wanted something to drink, I just shook my head no.  I had multiple opportunities to make eye contact with others and I avoided them quickly for no apparent reason other than I chose not to engage them.

The more I have thought about it, I never talk to anyone when I travel.  How odd? Since personal branding is a full-time project rather than a weekend hobby, I now wonder about the countless hours I may have wasted by not allowing people to interact with me (my brand).  Unfortunately, I will never know, which bothers me.

Are there times when it is appropriate to hang a “closed sign” on your personal brand?


Devin Hughes is a former college basketball player, sales and marketing aficionado, keynote speaker, part-time academic and frequent eclectic thinker.  He draws on a variety of ideas, disciplines and trends to inspire “Big Thoughts” and facilitate conversations.  He is an avid storyteller who has the unique ability to connect with audiences by inspiring them to be the change they wish to see in the world.  A graduate of Colgate University, he lives Carlsbad, CA with his wife and four daughters.  You may contact him via e-mail at  His website is  Follow him on Twitter.   Connect with him on Facebook.