And so I began the first steps to discovering who I am and who I want to be.
I came across a webinar hosted by SHEeo Learning Lab titled Building your Dream Network and Becoming the Best PR in your Career facilitated by J. Kelly Hoey – author of Build Your Dream Network. The information that J. Kelly shared resonated with me.
She went on to discuss “What is your brand”, “What is your digital footprint”, “google yourself – do you like what you see?”
Then it hit me…I must build my personal brand! But before any of that, I must understand what a personal brand is.
I dived deep. I re-watched the webinar, I read articles, watched Tedx Talks and reflected for many days on my personal brand. It was a topic that made so much sense to me, yet there’s little talk surrounding discovering your personal brand.
Through research, I discovered that there are two elements to a personal brand – internal and external. Your internal is your self-identification and your external is how you project yourself in your surrounding environment, both online and offline.
This sounds very simple, yet quite often I found the two contradicting themselves. For example: I would catch myself at a networking event exuberating with confidence (externally) but within I was scared shitless. That wasn’t what bothered me. What bothered me was why I felt the way I did internally.
So the quest began!
Starting the quest on personal branding became my method of raising awareness on how I was showing up in the world. While I was working on my research, I began asking myself many questions. The one that made the most sense to me revolved around the phrase “begin with the end in mind” – stated by Stephen Covey.
What do I want to be known for?
An entrepreneur? No. A successful entrepreneur? Yes.
But that didn’t mean anything. I went deeper.
What does a successful entrepreneur have that I don’t have?
BOOM!! POW!! That went straight into the core and took a major jab to my ego.
A successful entrepreneur is disciplined. confident. strong. powerful. dedicated. determined. relentless. unique. tenacious. persistent. creative. And the list continues.
I want to be known for all of those qualities. I want to build that reputation of a successful entrepreneur as a result of my qualities and efforts. It all came down to one very important piece… ACTION!
Action equals visibility. Action equals growth. Action equals opportunity. Action equals closing the gap.
Action means acting the part, dressing the part and feeling the part. Putting myself out there to BE the part will inevitably become a habit and a way of operating in my day to day life.
And as I share a piece of my journey of building a reputable personal brand, I want to leave you with the following…
Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room. – Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon
Personal branding is about managing your name — even if you don’t own a business — in a world of misinformation, disinformation, and semi-permanent Google records. Going on a date? Chances are that your “blind” date has Googled your name. Going to a job interview? Ditto. – Tim Ferriss, Author of Four Hour Workweek
All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You. – Tom Peters in Fast Company
It’s important to build a personal brand because it’s the only thing you’re going to have.Your reputation online, and in the new business world is pretty much the game, so you’ve got to be a good person. You can’t hide anything, and more importantly, you’ve got to be out there at some level. – Gary Vaynerchuck, CEO of VaynerMedia
At the center of your being you have the answer: you know who you are and you know what you want. – Lao Tzu, 15th Century Philosopher
If I lost control of the business I’d lose myself – or at least the ability to by myself. Owning myself is a way to be myself. – Oprah Winfrey
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. – Dr. Suess
If you would like to learn more on personal branding, here are some resources to help you begin:
Thank you for reading.
Be Bold. Be Fearless. Be Kind. Be Authentic. Be Grateful. Be You.