Written in 2015 for LinkedIn, and while I have really changed as a person, the essence of this article still rings true. And I would benefit from taking my own advice again…
If you’re at all like myself, you have an extremely strong inclination to ‘make your own way’ in your business career. You would never entertain the idea of getting a job just to get a job. You put your personal passions in business ahead of seeking out money. You want to help businesses succeed, you want to make something of yourself, and you want it to be special. You don’t want to be a personality-less robot doing a job just to do it. You want to procure and attract business because of who you are and what you are good at.
This means you may need to focus on building a personal brand. Something you can market and something you can leverage to put yourself out there; a brand that will attract and help you procure clients, and even a job.
But there is a such thing as the ‘right’ brand (just like there is a such thing as the right clients and the right job).
Imagine you enter a relationship. You’re wear a drastic amount of makeup when you are around your partner, you agree to eat at certain restaurants with a cuisine that you don’t necessarily like, you go see bands with music you don’t listen to, all to make sure you are satisfying your new date…
Eventually, your partner is going to see you for you (if you let enough time pass) or you’ll grow more and more unhappy with the situation. What’s underneath isn’t necessarily ugly or bad, it’s simply a far cry away from who you truly are. You don’t want to procure a relationship (business client/job) based off of fabrications of your true capabilities, work habits, or personality.
This doesn’t mean if you have a trucker mouth to go ahead and swear left and right in your communication. It means try to be the best you, you can be; don’t be someone you simply are not. “Life isn’t about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” Same goes for your personal brand.
The following are some reasons why building an authentic brand true to yourself that is consistent with your strenghts, values, uniqueness, and smarts is vital:
You Will Do Better Work
Building a brand true to yourself will thus allow you to procure appropriate jobs and projects. Your “work” won’t feel like work as much as second nature. It won’t be forced, you’ll enjoy furthering your skills, and this will all positively show in what you do.
You Will Be Happy and Feel Fulfilled
You won’t need to convince yourself that what you’re doing is right and that you are happy. You will just be naturally content for staying true to yourself and knowing that who you are is reciprocated in your work. You’ll be in love with what you do!
You Will Attract the Right Clients
Once you understand yourself, how you work, and what your ‘calling’ in life is, you will be able to more clearly see and understand the needs of others. You will know if you are truly capable of meeting a client’s needs/taking on projects and doing so with dignity and self-purpose. You will be able to clearly define if a client or situation is right or wrong for you.
You Will Be Valuable
Your personal brand, when built and marketed correctly, will influence and make people feel a certain way. When what you’re truly about is in line with what a client needs and values, you will be able to cultivate a strong working connection. You’ll be that much more valuable because you’re truly right for the job and the client can feel and see it.
It is Sustainable
There is longevity in building a brand that is consistent with your values, strengths, and character. You won’t have to later worry about realizing that where you are isn’t where you want to be. Adjusting as you naturally evolve is much more positive and efficient than having to start from scratch!
You’ll Be More Successful
Value + Happiness + Great Clients + Efficient/Effective Outputs + Sustainability = Success (or whatever word you choose to define that mixture of components).
Build a brand true to yourself, rep it to the end, and you will have a much more efficient time attracting the right clients and creating a career that you love!
Keep it authentic, keep it YOU-Nique.