The Personal Brand

Today’s corporate America is filled with business-speak buzzwords. Employers are asking for “110%,” coworkers are “crushing it” daily, and everyone at an organization is working on “building an empire.” These phrases probably meant something when they were introduced some years ago, but today they have become empty expressions whose only message is “I don’t actually know what I’m doing.”

What is much more valuable than these business-speak buzzwords is the personal brand of everyone who uses them (and even those that don’t). Your personal brand is what you use to tell the world who you are and what your intentions are. If you are truly “building an empire,” the best way to communicate that message isn’t by tweeting a meme with that phrase, but by living the life of a future emperor.

A person’s personal brand consists of everything the outside world perceives, including:

  • Clothing

  • Hair style

  • Attitude

  • Words spoken

These external features are what comes to mind for most people when they think of personal branding. But a personal brand consists of so much more. Consider these:

  • Credibility speaks a lot to your brand. Credibility can be in the form of a college degree, experience, or published works on the subject, among others.

  • Authenticity tells people who the real you is. If you’re trying to be someone you’re not, everyone you meet will be able to detect it.

  • Listening to others will also help your personal brand. By listening and actively participating in conversations, you will become known as someone who cares, and people will want to do business with you.

I’ve written extensively about how business men and women would do better to think like artists and view their careers as their ultimate project. In this sense, the personal brand of each is like the frame of a picture. If defines how the world will view every act the person does.

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Ryan Lally