Let me set the scene. The year is 2019. There is 7.7 billion people inhabiting the earth. Often our earthly voyage leaves us sullen in the mundane task of just rowing along, whilst never really appreciating the ripples of the water as we glide forward. Sometimes we do not stop, reflect and review. Unbeknown to us, is the fact that we are a vibrating force of influence and intent.
I was asked a few times in 2018 to talk at a few events about personal branding. Where do we start? How many of us have been at a friend’s braai and you end up meeting someone you don’t know, a stranger? The question that then arises is “so, what do you do?” But this question is often answered, as an occupation or job title. “Well I do this for that company.”
When we speak about what we do, we shy away from the real question: who are we? And there lies either a correlation or difference between what we do and who we are. So…do you know what you stand for? What are your values? What makes you stand out amongst our 7.7 billion brethren?
For all our lives, we often live like we have no influence on our environment. We live through categorisation and analysis. We put things into boxes naturally to hopefully understand it better. But the paradox is to live like our children do, with wonder, curiosity and an abundance of questions.
We are not only authors of our life stories but the main character. And like the books we read, we turn the pages in anticipation because we look forward to how the stories turn out. Do you wake up every morning eager to turn the page and experience the new, daunting and perfectly authentic beauty of our world?
Here are five steps for building your personal brand:
1. Start believing in yourself
Start creating your day. Wake up and before your mind goes to the problems of the day, ask yourself “what kind of day do I want today?” Nobody gets up in the morning aiming to have a bad day. We allow these days to happen. So let your mind focus on having a good day and everything else will fall into place.
2. Always have an opinion
Have views. Have a voice. Most importantly though, make sure that your opinion is one of validation and verification. In a world of letters and words, ensure that you speak from your research. Your words are an extension of your brand so use them responsibly.
3. Make a contribution to a discussion
Expanding on the point above, contribute to discussions. This contribution will showcase your expertise, your voice, your brand in the most direct way. It will display that not only do you have opinions and views on important things but you also have the courage to bring these into discussion.
4. Always align your values to what you do
Your values should never be negotiated with or overlooked. Strong attraction to one’s values are key to enhancing your personal brand. Never be wary of stating your values, sticking to them and standing up for them. Values keep us in the very foundation of who we are. Share it with the world.
5. Never be afraid
Fear does not belong within these walls. Being scared can be a good thing when it makes us feel alive. But never let it stop you from seizing your day. Fear can derail us if we let it.
In conclusion – remember, you are a vibrant force of influence and intent. Be the best ‘you’ that you can be because you are the only one that can be you. Let every day be defined by a future vision. Become a creator. In the words of Jon Shaban, “in a world full of rust, let us shine.” Light up your night sky with the magical sun within you. Be real, be authentic, be you!
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Are you experiencing the quiet before the Storm?
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