A question I often get is: “Is building a brand worth my time?” My answer is: “Yes… or No…it’s up to you.”
Whether you want one or not, we ALL have a personal brand. It occurs naturally. Despite your best efforts to avoid building a personal brand, you have one anyway. Your personal brand is a collection of your strengths, weaknesses, education, vocation, hobbies, habits, friends, family, etc. In short, as Jeff Bezos once said: “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”
So, when someone asks if they should be “building a personal brand,” I tell them: if you don’t care about your brand, your opportunities, your career or your ability to always earn more money and do cooler shit than the previous year… then the answer is “no.” If you do… well then the answer is “yes.”
If you invest time into building your personal brand, you’ll find that you have the opportunity to create something I call ‘Lifetime Employability’ where you will be in demand for your leadership and skills… always.
Building a brand by design does take time though. Your education is only part of the recipe. To become truly expert at something – a skill that commands higher salary or fees and the respect of others – it takes over 10,000 hours of dedication – that is about 1,250 eight-hour days or 5.6 years of dedication to a single skillset. And, there is no destination for your journey to excellence. I have been a student of leadership and strategy for close to 30 years and I feel I still have lots to learn – it is getting easier though.
Building a personal brand by your own design is not for the faint of heart either. There will be a long line of people that will be only all too willing to tell that you can’t, won’t or shouldn’t. The line-up will feature friends, family, co-workers, bosses and basically anyone else that doesn’t want to see you get ahead of them and leave them behind.
Years ago, I decided to leave the comfort and safety of my known life in Vancouver and move my family across the planet to Romania to take a job that was full of the unknown. Everyone told me I was crazy. It was the best decision I ever made for my brand, my career, and my family!
Back to the opening question… Is building a brand worth your time? The answer is still yes or no. It is totally up to you.
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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