There is a fabulously complex concept sewn in to the fabric of the Lost series that not only confuses me, but makes me think about myself as a brand. Flash sideways is a seemingly new concept introduced through Lost that just doesn’t completely make sense to me. Somehow it enables the ability for parallel lives to be experienced while the people who are involved have no concept of the other life. What this reminds me about with my personal brand is that I may have a parallel life that is being lived without myself having the benefit of being aware of this life.I know it may seem a bit lofty to hypothesize this theory, but in reality it makes a lot of sense.
Before anyone begins to recognize the importance of and develop their personal brand there is a time when nothing about a potential personal brand matters. Once your brand is developed, you may fail to realize that all of your online and in-person actions have already impacted your personal brand without your conscious influence.
Whether you realize it or not, almost all of our online actions are being recorded in some shape of form. At any stage in life, most people decide to start Googling themselves to see what comes up in the search. If it’s your first time really focusing on your personal brand you’ll want to do a sweep of the internet to see what information you can in find about yourself. Don’t just stop at a simple Google search. Go in depth and really dig deep to find whatever you can about you. You may find things that you need to change or get rid of.
Remember MySpace? Remember Geocities? Yeah, they still exist and so do a lot of other sites you had forgotten about. It may seem trivial to you, but think about all of the sites like MySpace that you used to be a member of. If someone were to find all of that would you want them to base your brand image off of it? I bet not. Clean it up. Think back as far as you can and make sure that there are no skeletons in your proverbial closet.
Up until the moment you decide to develop your personal brand, who have you associated yourself with? Who do you count on to be your recommendations? Who is an advocate for your brand? Everyone needs a group of people who are loyal to their personal brand. If you don’t feel like you have the support you need, you may want to think about how you can develop that area of your brand and position yourself for success not only through you own eyes, but through the eyes of your supporters.
Flash sideways is an interesting concept that I would probably understand if I watched the show regularly. What I did learn is that my personal brand doesn’t start when I decide to become conscious of it. It’s been developing for a while, and I need to reign it all in as I create my brand positioning.
David Trahan is currently working at leading social marketing agency Mr Youth in New York where he works to develop innovative marketing campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands. He has previously held positions with the Ad Council, Goldman Sachs and others, and is a graduate of the Pace University Lubin School of Business where he received many accolades through his co-op work and on-campus leadership. David is now a mentor in the Alumni Mentor Program at Pace and is a member of the AD Club of NY Young Professionals Steering Committee. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.