Your real core value that can drive personal brand growth may not be far away. It is very easy to miss your real core value even with so much exposure to motivational and other branding articles. Meanwhile, carefully evaluating failures and success stories can easily show you a few simple steps to discovering your value impact.
Today, there is a lot of buzz about branding: brand strategy, brand experience, brand positioning, brand equity, and so on and so forth. Well, I just joined the queue, studying branding and how it can drive both business and personal brand growth. You may think brands and all the brand elements can only be ascribed to big companies and business organizations. Not so.
There is a very important brand called YOU. This YOU brand has a CEO that cannot be deposed. This means you remain the Chief Executive of your personal brand. To appreciate the importance of personal brand, imagine what will happen to Dangote Industries if Aliko Dangote messes up in some big way! Some organizations lose the value of their shares when their CEOs face even some unconfirmed allegations of sexual misconduct.
Author, Speaker, and the management guru referred to as Red Bull of management thinkers – Tom Peters, in a Fast Company article The Brand Called You, wrote:
“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, 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.”
Your core is therefore the beginning of your success in life. Your ship has one caption – YOU. You command and direct your affairs. Of course, just like there are other market forces against business brands, so your personal brand is affected. This is even more reason why you must discover your core purpose and wake up every day to pursue it
In 1998, a man with spectacular biceps was sitting in a restaurant having dinner with his wife. A couple full of excitement came to their tableside asking for an autograph from the muscular man.
“Hello, could you put your signature here for us?”
Reluctantly, he did so. The visiting couple, noting the lack of enthusiasm, felt so apologetic and left not quite as excited as when they saw the big man.
Evaluate the before and after personal brand experience.
The above excerpt is from a story – One Plus One Equals Billions. As pointed out in the story, “There is a before, and there is an after” How people feel before dealing with you and how they feel after the interaction goes a long way to determining your worth. It could be worth Billions
He was already in the business of entertaining people. Still, he didn’t know how to make people feel good though that is his core. When he realized that what really makes up his core is how he makes people feel excitement and euphoria, his trajectory improved drastically.
Personal branding is not about being who you are not. It is about knowing your core and learning to align your behavior and activities to support your core self.
We all do something. You may be an architect, a business owner, an accountant, an engineer, a doctor, an optometrist, etc. But is that you.? This reminds me of an interesting quote by William James,
You’re not what you think you are, but what you think, you are!
Even the Bible says
As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. -Proverbs 23:7?
You may think you are a doctor, a strategist, etc but if what you think in your heart is how to rip people off.. you are a ripper!
Discover your core from the value you give with joy
Earlier on as a much younger man, I used to always think of how to help people become their best. Especially to my younger friends, I will always give free advice on how to manage what they had, and think of tomorrow. If they had a challenge managing the privileged things that come their way, I would be inclined to help them be prudent and think of tomorrow. Then I never thought of money. Maybe that’s why I didn’t make a financial fortune guiding people.😀
I definitely was nowhere near a coach or strategy guru. I was not even actually managing myself optimally. But one of my greatest joys was when a young friend who has become a successful man called me from far away in Maryland USA just to let me know how he appreciates me. Of course, I must have hurt some people too, but overall, many people turned out great as God would have it, through my guidance.
You may also like to read How Personal Branding Can Boost Your Professional Growth.
Shape what people say about you
The core of your personal brand is the unique value you give to people. It could even be a common value you present in a unique way. The testimonials of people you have impacted will help you determine the core of who you are. In digital marketing, it is sometimes called social proof. These are what people say you are, beyond whatever you may claim to be. Their experiences from interacting with you or your brand assets shape these testimonials. In fact, the Amazon guru put it most aptly.
To discover your core, ask yourself deep questions.
You need to ask yourself, What am I really at heart? What is the core of my person? What is it that really drives you? You may be an accountant, a real estate guru, a human resource executive, an oil magnate, an experienced lawyer, a health professional, an entrepreneur, an educator, an engineer, optometrist – none is your core. Any of them could be what you do. If you are a doctor who wakes up thinking of how to defraud someone, you are a fraudster.
Today, look very inward. What motivates you? Simon Sinek is popularly known to call this your Why – your purpose. Why is it that you do what you do in the way you do it?
You may be surprised that many of the great business gurus didn’t just set out to make money. Of course, we all need money but they set out to solve problems. Some solved very big problems that made them big.
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