Developing an unforgettable personal brand is all about intentionally conveying well thought-out messages to your audience or sphere of influence. Your personal brand should invite others to experience your value proposition, which is what it is that you have to offer. The lyrics from the song Every Breath You Take by the music group, The Police, best describes my point:
“Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take
I’ll be watching you.”
Everything you say and do leaves a brand impression upon the people you encounter, whether an attorney arguing your case in the courtroom or on the basketball court contesting a call. The opinion that others have of you creates an image in their mind that may not be easily erased. If your goal is to develop an unforgettable personal brand, consider my three professional cues.
Your identity is your one-of-a-kind makeup that separates you from everyone else. That alone makes you invaluable. Trying to be like someone else conceals your worth. It reduces you to a low-cost clone, which is in great supply but low demand. Nobody wants a copycat. As a professional, you must see yourself as a high-value business. Think like Jay-Z, “I’m not a businessman, I am a business, man.” But don’t just be any business. Rather, as Seth Godin states in his book Purple Cow, be “remarkable” to propel yourself beyond the competition. This is the only way that you will defy the copycat syndrome that dilutes many individuals’ personal brand.
If thoughts are silent words, then what we speak are audible thoughts. Experts say that 80% of the average person’s thoughts are negative. If this is true, then we need to make a deliberate effort to be positive because words create worlds and impact your personal brand. I like to think of my words as the building blocks of my social world. Every time I communicate with my associates, I seriously think about the mental environment that my language is constructing. My ultimate goal is to own a positive word in the minds of those who interact with me because that is part of my personal brand. I want that word to be the cue that sums up my best attributes, which means that my world is going to be pleasant. People want to feel good when they are around you. This is why it is very important to have strong emotional intelligence as a professional. You have to be self-aware of your communication. Your style of dialogue will forge a positive or negative mental picture. The visual that your words create is your brand image that is stamped on their minds. If your words are positive, people will always want to visit your planet. When you talk to others, ask yourself what do you want your world, i.e., your personal brand, to look and feel like.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
Reading expands the universe of your thoughts, which can help shape your personal brand. The capacity of your mind is only limited by what you consume. The one thing that has helped me to excel the fastest in my career is the practice of consuming great content. And my reading list purposely includes narratives that challenge my personal philosophy. This requires me to hone the art of holding two opposing thoughts so that I can recognize both sides of an argument. This mental exercise has helped me to become a better problem solver because I have learned to see the other person’s point of view. Before I was promoted to the next level in my career, I gave my mind a promotion by reading something new every day. And I consistently sought opportunities to put into practice my new learning. When faced with difficult decisions and hard problems, I was able to overcome because, through reading, I had inundated my mind with how to tackle various challenges. Reading trains the brain. When confronted by problems, you will rise or fall to the level of your training. Disciplining myself to read led to better career opportunities. Neglecting to expand your mental universe, by reading, very well could adversely affect your rise to the next level in your career and stunt your personal brand. There is no doubt, reading is fundamental and can help shape your remarkable personal brand.