Personal branding's the big story on Blogsuccess right now, so let's talk about it. As contributor, I feel an urge to support our friend-in-blogging, Nancy Marmolejo in her time of re-branding. What better way to do that than with related content?
It's time to lift the veil a little, and share my own branding and rebranding experiences. I never really get to talk about The Merchant of New York City. Few people are ever really interested. I'm not one to brag so having a subject like personal branding seems like a good channel to open up about it.
Let's jump into it.
Years ago, I acquired resources to help me really understand this thing we call commerce. And what I discovered is a system (I use that term loosely) underlying every bit and byte of business. Understanding it puts a person in such a powerful position, you'd swear it's a conspiracy that few people know about it.
What does this have to do with personal branding?
Now, let's be careful. I can easily take you so far down the rabbit hole, I can lose you. Let's tread lightly and if you'd like to hear more, well, I guess I'll have more content ahead of me later by the tone of your comments.
Personal branding is one of those subtle subjects that seem like a simple idea. So simple, that it can be wished away as unimportant, or be made into a hot button issue in the corporate world. And then there are times when it becomes a real genuine concern for the individual.
The internet, aided by social media, actually ushered in an era where one person can easily conceive of him or herself as a business. You've heard something like that before. That's not a newsflash to you, right?
"I'm a business, you're a business, yay!"
If it ended there, we could all go home and live in perpetual prosperity. Not so simple. You see, in a mad technological rush to advance the species, we forgot to nail down who we actually are before jumping in to business.
That's, of course, no easy task. It requires a bit of personal time and effort that microchips weren't built to account for nor support. After all, who has time for that shit? We've got to mine asteroids and fly drones and get those reality TV shows on ASAP.
That's some liberal mumbo jumbo, and we've got bills to pay, right?
So here we are scrambling around in a system we hardly understand, making the best of it, but struggling along the way. That's the American dream most of us have come to settle on. Throw in a few decades, a couple wars, internet, Paypal, now we all want to be a business.
What we get is, if you, the person, want to be considered as "the business", you can count on 2 things in this lifetime ... an identity crisis and an integration crisis.
Does that sound familiar?
Does it make you grin while secretly wanting to change the subject? Is it daunting in a way you feel as a matter-of-fact but then don't want to talk about? Are you sorry you've read this far into my post?
If it does, that's what I'm talking about.
Most of us won't get to come out of this game with a domain name and a fat Paypal check every month, free and clear. A lot of people thought to themselves that it was so great, we got rid of overhead and traditional chains of business.
People with an internet business celebrated these advances, proudly proclaiming, "now I can just focus on my business". Oh really. You're just going to focus, are you? It only took a few short years from that proverbial moment for A.D.D. to make the mainstream news.
Is not "focus" in the top ten list of problems for every person working directly through a computer screen?
That's just one. There's brand jacking, cyber bullying, sexting, hacking ... we use the phrase brain drain at work now, did you know that? Problems so great we hardly need to get off our asses to have them. Isn't that great?
What happens when you encounter real power?
I think the increased awareness of personal branding was the internet's way of deconstructing the way you think of what businesses actually are. It's giving you something very serious to consider. It's as if the shock of it repels the brain, causing the entrepreneur a serious problem.
It's Loki coming through the Tesseract portal and assaulting your normal world with an alien force. And locking it up doesn't help. Why yes I did see the Avengers this past Sunday with my cool friend from a NYC comic book shop, thanks for asking.
This clip captures the gist of what I mean very well. Check it out:
Stay tuned, I'll be writing a follow up to this post. We started off pretty broadly, but it's important for me to paint you the background before I give you something good to focus on. In the next post, I'll talk about how personal branding is coded into the very LAW of the United States. And if you're still with me, maybe I'll share a story or two.