My journey to understand my personal brand has been a long and arduous one. Who am I? Why am I this person? What impact do I have on others around me? After a few years of self reflection, I’ve finally nailed it down to one simple sentence: “I want to make the world a better place by helping people fulfill their potential, even if that means being a pain in the neck.”
When looking back at my journey to define my personal brand, I can boil it down to 3 simple steps.
Why are you doing what you are doing? What get’s you up in the morning? Making money can only be a (nice) result but not a purpose. Make money for what purpose? Allowing your kids to get a better education than you did, retire early so that you can spend the rest of your life traveling the world…there’s got to be a reason, right?
How do you decide to operate in this world. Values are not about using nice buzz words that will make you look good, it’s about your behaviour. We’ve all met people who say they value integrity and hard work and take any chance they have to take the easy road to success.
3. Putting it all together
This is the difficult part. I personally really like Dan Pink’s concept of ‘What’s Your Sentence’ (see video below). One simple sentence to put your purpose and values together as a guiding principle.
I particularly like the second point he makes about assessing whether you are really fulfilling your sentence or not. We can all come up with fancy sentences that sound good but is that really who we are. If not, what is the risk we are taking as far as our engagement with others, whether friends, family or colleagues? If you’re not sure, ask the people around you for feedback. If they truly care about you, they’ll always be more honest with you than you are with yourself.
These 3 steps might look easy but this is probably the hardest, and most rewarding, thing I have ever done.