Steve Jobs once said: “A [personal] brand is one simple thing, and that is trust.”
I was lucky enough to be in Maui recently with my CEO Group and during a brief moment away from meetings, I sat on the sand under a palm tree, starring out at the ocean under a cloudless sky. The breeze was warm and salty. Waves gently rolled onto the shore. And… surprisingly, even for me, my mind wandered off onto the complex topic of personal branding.
I started to think about the brand of a palm tree. Yes, a palm tree. I started to think about what the brand of a simple palm tree meant to virtually everyone on the planet that lives in a cold, winter environment like I do in Canada. When I, and countless others, think of a palm tree, I imagine warmth, relaxation, amazing times with friends and family and… I ‘trust’ with anticipation that will be what happens every time I see a palm tree.
People have brands too. We call them Personal Brands. And just like the brands of the world’s most valuable businesses like Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, MacDonald’s and countless others, our personal brands, like those of a palm tree, communicate a message to others about what we stand for, our strengths, what we can be counted on for, etc.
Others trust (or don’t trust) that we can be depended upon to deliver consistently. They trust our personal brand.
So… the big question is… What does your personal brand say about you? And before you say something like: “I don’t have a personal brand,” remember that you have a personal brand whether you have nurtured it or not. We all have a personal brand.
The task at hand is to build your personal brand based upon your core values, purpose in life, passions, and strengths. Building and nurturing your personal brand takes some soul searching about:
Don’t worry if the answers to the above questions don’t come to you right away. Most people never pay attention to their personal brand and how it impacts their lives. Give it some time. Go for walks by yourself. Sit under a palm tree. It will come to you. And when it does, be conscious about living your personal brand every day.
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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