Brand YOU, inc. How do you get there?

the-brand-you-50.jpgVery often, we are told, “I’m not sure how to innitiate the process of Personal Branding, much less, what it really means.” We go on to explain that Personal Branding is really just another way of saying that YOU, whoever you are, approach your work life with the same intensity as you would if you were self-employed.

Allow us to explain:

Take the entrepreneur. Starting from the ground up can be daunting and, at the same time, exhilarating. Most likely, he – We know there are female entrepreneurs, but for the sake of time and readability, let’s just refer to our entrepreneur as a he – has the capital and resources to establish a good marketing campaign. But there are entrepreneurs we know personally who have started a brick-and-mortar “shop,” where customers can come and make actual purchases; they can walk out the door with something in their hand.

Before the shop was ever established, merchandise bought, and employees hired, there was a buzz about this entrepreneur. Everything was rather hush-hush, or on the down-low, so to speak. We knew something was going to happen; we just didn’t know what or when.

Brand YOU50, by Tom Peters says that we, the white-collar workers of America, need to approach the issue of “job security” the same way the colonists did centuries ago: To survive in a sink-or-swim world where there were no “safety-nets” such as unemployment insurance, the colonists needed three things, which were 1. a craft; 2. distinction; and 3. networking skills.


The first one is easy: the colonist needed something he could do which was of value to someone else. This could have been making horseshoes, milling corn, providing eggs to the market, whatever! What he had to do was to find something which he could do more easily than someone else – thereby creating a “net profit” and establishing value for his “customers.” You remember what the world’s oldest profession is, right?


Our colonist also needed to have distinction. He had to set himself apart from all the other yahoos who were trying to make ends meet in the New World. Without mincing words, it means the colonists couldn’t sell “crap.” In such a tight-knit community, word would have gotten around that the horseshoes fell apart if he made them of inferior materials. The same idea applies today; with the plethora of internet connections available, and the ability to post videos about  literally anything, word’s going to get around about what you do or sell. The Global Connectivity is a blessing, but it can also be a curse.

Networking Skills:

The colonial entrepreneur needed good networking skills: When he met someone for the first time, that was a potential client/customer. At the pub or tavern, the colonist always had the opportunity to sell his product or services. We can bet that the self-sufficient colonist was pretty good at meeting people and maintaining those relationships which he deemed to be of value to him.

Failure in any one of these three aspects meant that the colonist – and anyone who depended on him – would certainly die. The colonies were composed largely of entrepreneurs, and the same could be said of the world today. Those entrepreneurs realized that if they were going to make it, they had to be the masters of their own destiny –

Back to the Future Present:

With literally thousands of social networking sites online, networking is no longer limited to a few venues. Link to Nashville, Link to New York and Link to Your World are only three options which enable the member to begin to brand him/herself. What do you want BRAND YOU to be known for? Having a goal and striving to achieve that goal on a continual basis is what Personal Branding really is. It doesn’t matter if you are an entrepreneur or work for a company; Branding yourself will begin to unleash your potential – and people will begin to notice!

 How ’bout it?

Explore posts in the same categories: networking, relationship economy, social networking, social web, The Communications Factors, Web2.0

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3 Comments on “Brand YOU, inc. How do you get there?”

  1. Jay Deragon Says:

    Excellent analogy Mark and spot on. It isn’t complicated rather simply but we try and make it simple and thus create “crap”.

  2. Usman Sheikh Says:

    Nice post Mark. Being an entrepreneur myself, one of the most common mistakes that I see more amateur entrepreneurs make is that of identity when branding themselves. Branding yourself is key to success there is no doubt. However you must be putting out a consistent message in line with who you are and what you are doing. Sending mixed signals when marketing or branding yourself is a recipe for disaster.

    Take a look at my blog at for your daily entrepreneurial fix. Comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  3. […] Here is a book by Tom Peters that handled the topic of Personal branding in a very insightful manner.I was truly glued to it till the end: Brand you 50. […]

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