The entire history of humankind from textbooks to novels, from movies to documentaries, is often presented in stories. One of the reasons for this is because the journey of your life itself can be summed up as a collection of many different stories. You create these stories every day, which when put together, sum up the larger picture of you and the life you lead. These stories that you are creating are important when thinking of the creation of your brand.
You - Your story - The decisions that your make - this is your personal brand.
Your personal brand, and the perception of your brand must be protected. Your story defines you, and it is of vital importance that you hustle hard to strategically manage, protect and grow your personal brand.
GUESS WHAT? WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE.
Our time on this earth is limited. How are you going to leave this world? How are people going to remember you?
In setting about to properly manage, grow and protect your brand, I urge you to begin by thinking about the end.
What does your life look like in the end?
When the moment comes when you will breathe your last breath, and your journey on this earth will come to an end, how are you going to be remembered?
Your legacy will be shaped by whether or not you brought joy and gave value to those around you.
Will you be remembered for mostly taking from others, providing no real substance or benefit to your community and to those who had relationship with you? Or will you be remembered by how you gave generously, lead courageously, and hustled hard to keep your word?
Being brutally honest with yourself and asking yourself that question, is the important first step to assessing, and understanding the current power and perception of your personal brand today. Once you have had the honest conversation with yourself, then begin the work of laying out a clear strategy to manage, grow and protect your personal brand, as well as constantly being intentional about building the positive perception and positive influence of your brand.
Ask yourself what you want your legacy to look like. Write it down. Now write out three things you can do today that will push you closer to that legacy. Your legacy starts now, not tomorrow. Take action now.
Your personal brand begins with you.
Managing your brand essentially means to manage yourself. For example, if it is your desire to be perceived as a strong and effective leader, who is trustworthy, reliable and is at the top of those in your network’s list when it comes to them thinking of individuals who exhibit those respect deserving traits, then you must discipline yourself to effectively exhibit consistent behaviors and deliver the required results that will reinforce and always speak to your brand identity.
Here’s an example, imagine an individual being a part of a volunteer community committee. The individual willingly chose to be on the committee and spoke boldly about all the extraordinary things that they wanted to contribute to the organization. Everyone on the committee rightfully took them at their word. Now imagine that meeting after meeting that individual did nothing but complain about how busy they were with their family duties, their day job and how just overwhelmed they were by not having enough time in the day…sound familiar? More than likely, you have come across someone like this or have been this person yourself. That example is a very common example of a person who often, without realizing it, has created a brand identity that is the exact opposite of what they want their brand to be.
The decisions you make - whether or not to keep your word, show up to a job on time, generously give to others, maintain a positive attitude - these all create people’s perception of you and your brand.
Take an inventory of everything you are involved in whether for work, church, a community group, nonprofit board, professional organization, or personal relationships. Ask if your efforts as well as interactions and conversations with people positively reinforce your brand.
Write out everything that you put your energy and effort into, and then list your honest contributions to each endeavor. If there are places in your life where you are contributing in a way that is of no benefit to others or yourself, then either lay out a scheduled plan to quickly begin making yourself and your name an asset to the organization/endeavor, or remove yourself immediately.
Saying yes in a half-assed way to something is actually saying no to many things.
Do not sacrifice your personal brand and your time with halfway commitments. It is a waste of time and detrimental to you and your brand.
Managing, protecting and growing your personal brand starts and ends with you. By intentionally and consistently presenting yourself in the best way you want to be perceived, then you grow the power of your brand with every single interaction and endeavor that you have.
Do your personal brand assessment today, and begin laying out the right brand strategy for your name. Your story defines you, hustle like hell to make it a story you’re proud of and one that countless people will be proud to tell.
We all have today. Go do something meaningful and make your story count today.
- The Joyner Strategies Team