The topic of Personal Branding has been a trend since 2016, almost everyone has some form of social media brand built around their lives. In 2018, children, babies and dogs have their own social media pages.
What’s so crucial about having a personal brand?
If you want to almost seamlessly shift from career to career to either learn more or climb a certain social and corporate ladder, you need a spine to work your way up on. What better way to craft your own backbone than to build a personal brand?
A personal brand does not need to pertain to your current career or subject of study. It could be a hobby that anchors you down every weekend or something you exuberate passion from whilst doing it.
What I have learnt while hunkering down to build my own personal brand.
Clearly, my personal brand is in living a minimalist lifestyle. However, I have geared my passions towards branding, marketing and business strategies at a start up level. I am not rocket scientist, but the start up playground seems to provide me with imaginary rockets to play with.
Takeaway #1: I am now allowed to be lazier.
How being lazy in building my personal brand made me a better person.
My definition of being lazy means to filter away work that did not align with my personal brand. Saying “no” was something I started doing without guilt because I can and always will now back it up with good reasons instead of fluffing around and muttering, “uhhh …I don’t know?”. It usually leaves less to no room for pushy unsolicited invites. Destroying myself as someone who could not make firm stances was awesome.
Takeaway #2: I have a solid plan to effectively turn down invitations without feeling bad or losing friends.
I have more time for myself and that is great for my career and relationships.
Before building a personal brand, I was no different as I am now. I was still pretty minimalist in nature and interested in marketing and branding. In fact, I concentrated in marketing whilst studying for my Business Administration degree. I had no idea what I was doing then and for the next 4 years. Pretty much why most of us end up feeling “lost”.
Nowadays, I know what I truly want to work on, what sparks joy in my heart and building a portfolio that I can say I am going to be proud of in 10 years.
Relationship wise, I am happier with my relationships as I know where to draw my boundaries, apologize and make better effort in being a good daughter, partner and friend.
Destroy yourself again and again, but you will always come back to your true nature. Notice that value and spin it into something that you can be proud of.
Takeaway #3: We use our early 20s to gain social recognition, instead of self recognition.
Doing more in real life with support and network.
“Destroy yourself to find yourself” were themes of multiple songs I tend to gravitate towards to as an angsty teenager. I never fully comprehended the weight of those lyrics until I finally had to destroy myself to know what I truly wanted.
I destroyed myself by ruining relationships, by being in bad relationships, by stepping on others, by being stepped on. This was all in the name of not knowing myself and we all go through this.
“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” ― Marie Kondo
Building a personal brand with a lifestyle close to your heart will always be the truest form of your personality. With a pillar of support, you now can have the courage to go out and mingle with the appropriate social groups, gain a respectable network and build yourself (and others) who have the same shared vision due to shared interests. The best part? With being recognised, comes opportunities. You now have the upper hand at certain negotiations because your specific skills and traits are recognised and you are walking social proof. Gone are the days of cold CVs and interviews. You are what you preach.
Take away #4: Align your personal brand with your values and destroy the parts that no longer serve you.
The Bliss of Comparison
They say that social media is a medium for the current epidemic of crippling depression amongst youths and the young working class. This applies mainly to people who do not have their personal brand to fall back upon. Comparison arises from layers and layers of “what am I doing now?” and “what did I buy today?” or “what did he/she give me today?”.
Going deeper, why isn’t anyone asking “Why am I doing this?”, ‘What am I trying to prove?”, “Are my relationships built on showy social media photos?”
When you start building your personal brand, you compare because:
- You need to build up your network.
- You want to know what others in the scene are doing.
- How can you be more resourceful and creative?
- What are your audiences responding to?
- Why are certain trends changing and should you follow them?
Take away #5: Comparison is brilliant when you know why you compare and how that can improve your work in progress.
If you are suffering from multiple existential crises and feel rather lost, you need to do this exercise.
Prepare a mind map of traits and values you identify with. Extend those into goals. Learn to live a more productive life.
If you have not started building your personal brand, take the time at least to mull over these points. Experiment with building a personal brand by first knowing what interests do you have and the few images that you identify with for years. The earlier you start, the easier will it be for your personal brand to attract better quality network that you resonate with.