there and done that. Probably you will also identify with this. There was that time when we crammed interview room antics from several books. We learned things like sitting positions in an interview, shaking hands firmly, and looking straight in the eye of the interviewer. We learned how to project our personal brands that were fake.
Over and over again, we repeated this looking for success. You see, what we were doing was to put on an imaginary personal brand in the hope that we will impress the interviewing panel with that brand we read about the previous night.
Of course, we never knew that what we were doing was to trying to reengineer a personal brand. Invariably, we lost interview after interview after interview. Looking back, I am totally embarrassed by the shows I use to put on while looking for a job. Those were desperate days.
What I lacked friends, was a personal brand. You see, a personal brand is not something that you put on overnight. A personal brand is who you are, not whom you are trying to be in order to fit a particular profile, and after you have what you want you to resort back to your normal self.
If we are going to succeed in this world and in this day and age, we shall have to be as authentic, distinctive, compelling, and as excellent as possible. Those are the things that instruct or form a great personal brand.
I am afraid that there are scores of people the world over that have no idea what a personal brand is and why it is important to them. And yet, these people are still trying to make it in life, trying to get engaged. Without a personal brand, they will find life more difficult to come by especially not that the world is filled with noise, everyone wanting a piece of it.
The following are some of the detriments of not having a personal brand.
As already indicated, there are four powerful things about a powerful personal brand. First, it is distinctive, second, it is authentic, third, it is compelling and forth, it is filled with excellence. Pray, tell me, how will you have any of these if you do not have a personal brand?
Without a personal brand, you find yourself trying to be a jack of all trades and at the same time, a master of one. People cannot know you for one thing. Your time is split between doing millions of unrelated things. You spread yourself too thin and it becomes pretty frustrating.
In the end, no one knows who you are.
The world today is going to transact with you on the basis of your personal brand. If you do not have a personal brand you join the crowd all over the world of many people who are seeking to eke out a living using the same standard and the same qualification.
Today, it is not your qualifications that matter. It is what value you are bringing to the table, regardless of the qualifications. “I can” has become much more powerful than IQ. People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.
And here is the thing. You cannot care if you have not narrowed down to a personal brand. Your personal brand is the one that makes you get recognized because you are standing out. Without a personal brand, you are indeed just another statistic in the noise of trying to eke out a living.
Schizophrenia is something that we see on a daily basis in the job market. People are overly inauthentic on a daily basis because they do not know who they are. Perhaps the worst part of it all is that people want to transact business from the angle of what they can get instead of what they can give.
You know why? It is because they do not have a personal brand. Therefore, they are looking for “where the money is”. They see someone seemingly thriving at something and they jump on the bandwagon, saying “Me too! I can do it!”
IN the end, they lack authenticity. They have no care and no value that they are offering because their biggest thing out of it is what they will gain, not what they will give. The Me-Too mentality is one of the most detrimental mentalities in forming a personal brand.
If you do not have a personal brand, you are blunt. Your focus is diverted and it is also interrupted every now and then. A great personal brand is sharpened and focused so much so that you are known for a particular value-add.
So if you do not have a personal brand, you are not standing out because you are not focused. In the end, you lose out much more in life by being blunt and not being focussed.
If you do not have a personal brand, you become a “Yes Man” of sorts. In other words, you position yourself as if you can do anything and everything. You peddle yourself around as if you can do just about anything.
In the end, no one takes you seriously. At the end of the day, you are multi-tasking over and over again, not having an opportunity to really zero in on one thing that you can become an expert at. You end up being either average or mediocre in life.
There is a quote I love that goes something like this:
“No horse gets anywhere until he is harnessed. No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.” ~ Harry Emerson Forsdick
We all do have great potential to do massive things. The one sure way of making that potential come to the fore is to harness, confine, and tunnel ourselves in the form of a personal brand. Without a personal brand, it is possible that your potential will go to waste.