The reason why your personal brand sucks

Mitch Joel recently highlighted the army of clones out there that are all trying to use the same personal brand, thus more or less killing personal branding. He’s dead on. Go search for the number of social media experts on Twitter to see just how much personal branding has turned into Attack of the Clones.

Here’s why your personal brand sucks. Here’s why you’re trying to be a clone of Chris Brogan or CC Chapman or Whitney Hoffman and failing miserably at it. It’s not because you’re stupid (well, most of you aren’t, except for the folks who repeatedly get phished on Twitter for clicking on “LOL iz this u” links – yeah, you’re stupid), it’s not because you’re boring (again, most of you aren’t, but if your Twitterstream is filled only with “New Blog Post: …” – yeah, you’re boring), it’s because you’ve failed to distill your essential quality.

Your essential quality is something that transcends any particular job, technology, platform, or idea. Your business card may say that you’re a database engineer or a sales associate or the Vice President of Strategy and Innovation, but that’s not what’s essential about you. What’s essential about you is a quality, a trait, a method of working in the world that is unique to you and very difficult to even put into words, much less copy.

Your essential quality will take you years, possibly a good chunk of your life, to even realize. Once you know it, though, once you find it and cultivate it, you rise rapidly above your peers. You rocket past them because you know this strength of yours and can focus what you do in your life to feed it and deliver results that no one else can deliver.

It’s taken me close to two decades to figure out my own. Put into words succinctly, I’m really good at playing with blocks. I used to call it derivative thinking, but that’s largely meaningless outside my skull. What I mean by playing with blocks is that I can see all these different pieces of systems and put them together in new and different ways. I’m a bridge between different worlds. This lets me do things like make odd Twitter videos combining tools and techniques together. This lets me be a competent martial arts practitioner, breaking free of only pre-arranged routines to use the tools in whatever fits the moment. This lets me talk to people of wildly different professions and trades and find ways to make whatever I have work with their businesses, and vice versa.

What you’re good at, what your essential quality is, what makes you who you are isn’t something anyone else can tell you. Others can’t see inside your head, just the results that you produce – and how you got to those results is different from your perspective than anyone else’s. Defining and refining your essential quality takes a lot of introspection and a lot of self-honesty, because as you investigate yourself more and more, you realize all the things that you’re not good at, some of which may have defined your very identity in the past.

You’ll have to let go of an awful lot that you think is you. For years, I thought I was a damn good technology professional. I’m not. I’m a certain kind of thinker whose essential quality happens to work well with technology. In the past half decade or so, I’ve thought I was a marketer, and heck, other people think so and even made me a professor of marketing. I’m not. My essential quality works well in marketing, too. In another decade, who knows what I’ll be doing, but it will have that essential quality at its core.

The one suggestion I can offer if you have the guts, the bravery, to set out on that journey is to find a creative outlet for expression of some kind. Photography, art, music, dance, playing World of Warcraft, writing, speaking, martial arts, anything that lets you express yourself will do, because it will help you to pull out of yourself the various ways you express your essential quality. The process of figuring out what I’m good at took years. Most of it came from practicing the martial arts, because the method in which I train is ideally optimized for this kind of thinking, which means I get to practice the pure form of how I think on a regular basis in a way that delivers instant, unmistakeable feedback. Your method of figuring out what you’re good at will differ, but I recommend it be something expressive so that you can see your essential quality in action.

Once you figure out your essential quality, your personal brand will take care of itself. You won’t even need to name it or publicize it on your blog or Facebook page, because you’ll be so damn good at being yourself that your name will become your brand. Folks might not even be able to put into words why it is they like you or want to work with you. They’ll just know that they do, that they want to be around you, that they want to work with you, hire you, marry you, etc.

You will transcend personal branding itself, and ultimately live the life you were meant to live: yours.

Good luck on your journey. It’s long, but the destination is worth the journey.


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  • http://www.lonscohen.com obilon

    Great post, Chris. I'm one of those people that can't put my finger on what it is that defines my personal “brand” or “essential quality” as you put it. To quote Popeye: I y'am what I y'am.” :) But your post put down in words and with a great example of your self what everyone should be doing, which is figuring out out most essential qualities. Best piece of advice here in your post is that it takes time. Maybe years to figure it out. But to toss out another quote: The unexamined life is not worth living.

    Thanks for a really insightful post, Chris.

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    I think you are dead on with this Chris. The concept of your “essentially quality” is used to be called USP. Except that people focused on “selling” on the social web don't ever succeed. Brand is much more than what we do for a living. It's a combination of how we work in our own heads, our values and actions, and most importantly – what everyone else attributes to you when they think of your name. Successful human brands get talked about even when their not around. The question then is what do people say? Is it positive or negative? That, we can influence… Great post!

  • http://twitter.com/maryli22 Mary Li

    LOL – You're like a Lego Master… so if you're asked what do you do or what are you good at, how do you explain it to them? Does knowing what you do well make it easier for you to explain? Could this essential quality evolve into something completely different than when when its first found? Wow, this post is getting my brains rolling! Needed that. Thanks!

  • http://www.ChristopherSPenn.com Christopher S. Penn

    Everything is always evolving. The essential quality ultimately doesn't have words for it, anyway, in the same way that you can never truly describe the taste of an apple to someone who's never had one.

  • http://chelpixie.com/ chelpixie

    The problem is that majority of people want someone to tell them what to do or what to be or they see someone else doing something and think “that's my ideal”. There's a reason self-help/motivation stuff sells so well. People are looking for answers, though in all the wrong places. The place to start is spending a lot of time looking at oneself realistically and not everyone likes what they see.

    It can be scary to let go of what we think defines a part of our identity. It's not easy but then growing never is.

  • LaurenMel

    This makes complete sense. My only question is when you're just starting out, fresh out of college and you're just as lost as the next person, where do you start? I have passions, but none of them are evolved enough yet to define me. Do I just continue to search for other creative outlets and practice the ones I think I enjoy? The fact that it takes so much time is almost frustrating, because once you finally realize who you are, you've gone through a huge chunk of your life and need to convince yourself to look at it as the needed and appropriate process in order to get where you are, rather than having regrets about how long it took for you to get there.

  • http://www.ChristopherSPenn.com Christopher S. Penn

    If you're just out of college, you've been on the planet for about two decades. What do you love to do, and what's common to them all?

  • http://www.womenwisemarketing.com Kelly Watson

    I am learning a lot from Naomi Dunford about this topic. Every time I open my Google Reader, it's her posts that I'm always bookmarking, tweeting about, or printing out so I can highlight certain passages. I've come to realize it's because she's so … herself! There's no other way to put it. I recognize her voice and attitude right away, and that's refreshing when I've got 700+ blog posts to skim and they all sound the same.

    Having examples of these people is a good way to study how they're making their brand work for them.

  • http://twitter.com/monkeycageuk Hetal Shah

    An excellent insight into an investigation of the individual personality, although I hope I don't have to wait for three decades before I realise what my essential quality is!

    Kudos Chris – very thought provoking.

  • DanielleHohmeier

    Great post!
    I think this 'personal brand' issue is one that a lot of people working in new/social/marketing media are dealing with right now. Professionally, I know what I DO (I generate content online, I manage our online presence, etc. ), but am still not sure what my position is CALLED.

    I have been looking into making some personal business cards- to highlight my work professionally and 'recreationally' with the other blogs I write for in my spare time- but haven't been able to come up with something to put on them. Social Media Expert? Blogger? New Media enthusiast? I have no clue how to 'brand' what I like to do. I'm only worried that I'll figure it out too late!

  • http://www.neuconcepts.net/ Cathy Hofknecht

    I absolutely agree! The only real way to create a brand – personal or otherwise – is through actions. Brand is all about the value you deliver not the words you come up with. The best way to develop it is to work hard at your craft and let it evolve as you discover what you are best at.

  • http://www.lonscohen.com obilon

    Great post, Chris. I'm one of those people that can't put my finger on what it is that defines my personal “brand” or “essential quality” as you put it. To quote Popeye: I y'am what I y'am.” :) But your post put down in words and with a great example of your self what everyone should be doing, which is figuring out out most essential qualities. Best piece of advice here in your post is that it takes time. Maybe years to figure it out. But to toss out another quote: The unexamined life is not worth living.

    Thanks for a really insightful post, Chris.

  • http://www.anjibee.com anjibee

    it seems funny to me that people need to be told this, but i guess you and i have more in common than one might imagine, chris. awhile ago i realized that my long, seemingly meandering journey of self exploration brought me precisely to where i am now, with all my various skills adding up to the sum of what i do now as “anji bee” – or “anjibee” – the brand. looking back over my life, it seems that every experience contributed meaningfully to my career path, a path i didn't even realize i was on at the time. people have often told me that i should give talks on what i do, to give pointers to others who want to learn my secrets, but the truth is that my own evolution is so personal that it would be difficult to explain in concrete terms or how-to steps. this blog post is probably the best advice that anyone could hope for!

  • http://nateriggs.com nateriggs

    I think you are dead on with this Chris. The concept of your “essentially quality” is used to be called USP. Except that people focused on “selling” on the social web don't ever succeed. Brand is much more than what we do for a living. It's a combination of how we work in our own heads, our values and actions, and most importantly – what everyone else attributes to you when they think of your name. Successful human brands get talked about even when their not around. The question then is what do people say? Is it positive or negative? That, we can influence… Great post!

  • http://twitter.com/maryli22 Mary Li

    LOL – You're like a Lego Master… so if you're asked what do you do or what are you good at, how do you explain it to them? Does knowing what you do well make it easier for you to explain? Could this essential quality evolve into something completely different than when when its first found? Wow, this post is getting my brains rolling! Needed that. Thanks!

  • http://www.ChristopherSPenn.com Christopher S. Penn

    Everything is always evolving. The essential quality ultimately doesn't have words for it, anyway, in the same way that you can never truly describe the taste of an apple to someone who's never had one.

  • http://www.brandlessons.com @brandlessons

    Love the point that it takes a while for a person to “figure out their own”. I mainly post about branding and brand strategy, but I'm finding out that I'm really passionate about using branding to create movements of social change. That's what I do everyday and what I'm fired up about.

    I think finding your personal brand is more of matter of engaging in conversation and allowing that interaction to peel back layers of what you really represent. People identify with the core of a person, not the hype. I hire people, not advertisements.

  • http://levimuller.wordpress.com/ Levi Muller

    Thanks! This post is exactly what I needed today. Right before I read this, I posted an article on my own blog about how I'm passionate about figuring out what I'm passionate about. I've been a soldier, a tech guy, and a marketer too. Like you, I'll probably be something else in the next decade.

  • http://www.startupdaddy.com Ian Gordon

    I love it when I read something that gets me thinking about important stuff in a different way. This did that for me. Thank you!

  • http://chelpixie.com/ Chel Wolverton

    The problem is that majority of people want someone to tell them what to do or what to be or they see someone else doing something and think “that's my ideal”. There's a reason self-help/motivation stuff sells so well. People are looking for answers, though in all the wrong places. The place to start is spending a lot of time looking at oneself realistically and not everyone likes what they see.

    It can be scary to let go of what we think defines a part of our identity. It's not easy but then growing never is.

  • LaurenMel

    This makes complete sense. My only question is when you're just starting out, fresh out of college and you're just as lost as the next person, where do you start? I have passions, but none of them are evolved enough yet to define me. Do I just continue to search for other creative outlets and practice the ones I think I enjoy? The fact that it takes so much time is almost frustrating, because once you finally realize who you are, you've gone through a huge chunk of your life and need to convince yourself to look at it as the needed and appropriate process in order to get where you are, rather than having regrets about how long it took for you to get there.

  • http://www.ChristopherSPenn.com Christopher S. Penn

    If you're just out of college, you've been on the planet for about two decades. What do you love to do, and what's common to them all?

  • http://www.onewomanmarketing.com Kelly Watson

    I am learning a lot from Naomi Dunford about this topic. Every time I open my Google Reader, it's her posts that I'm always bookmarking, tweeting about, or printing out so I can highlight certain passages. I've come to realize it's because she's so … herself! There's no other way to put it. I recognize her voice and attitude right away, and that's refreshing when I've got 700+ blog posts to skim and they all sound the same.

    Having examples of these people is a good way to study how they're making their brand work for them.

  • http://twitter.com/monkeycageuk Hetal Shah

    An excellent insight into an investigation of the individual personality, although I hope I don't have to wait for three decades before I realise what my essential quality is!

    Kudos Chris – very thought provoking.

  • DanielleHohmeier

    Great post!
    I think this 'personal brand' issue is one that a lot of people working in new/social/marketing media are dealing with right now. Professionally, I know what I DO (I generate content online, I manage our online presence, etc. ), but am still not sure what my position is CALLED.

    I have been looking into making some personal business cards- to highlight my work professionally and 'recreationally' with the other blogs I write for in my spare time- but haven't been able to come up with something to put on them. Social Media Expert? Blogger? New Media enthusiast? I have no clue how to 'brand' what I like to do. I'm only worried that I'll figure it out too late!

  • http://www.neuconcepts.net/ Cathy Hofknecht

    I absolutely agree! The only real way to create a brand – personal or otherwise – is through actions. Brand is all about the value you deliver not the words you come up with. The best way to develop it is to work hard at your craft and let it evolve as you discover what you are best at.

  • http://www.anjibee.com anjibee

    it seems funny to me that people need to be told this, but i guess you and i have more in common than one might imagine, chris. awhile ago i realized that my long, seemingly meandering journey of self exploration brought me precisely to where i am now, with all my various skills adding up to the sum of what i do now as “anji bee” – or “anjibee” – the brand. looking back over my life, it seems that every experience contributed meaningfully to my career path, a path i didn't even realize i was on at the time. people have often told me that i should give talks on what i do, to give pointers to others who want to learn my secrets, but the truth is that my own evolution is so personal that it would be difficult to explain in concrete terms or how-to steps. this blog post is probably the best advice that anyone could hope for!

  • http://www.themurr.com David Murray

    Hi Chris,

    A lot of what have been writing lately, hits home big time. Finding the essential quality within ourselves is the greatest journey anyone could take. If I may offer some humble advice, don't try to find your essential quality, let it find you. Be still and don't fill every waking moment with activity. Make some time for quiet reflection. This I have found has been a great asset in discovering what I, David Murray, is all about… well kind of

    And that's another point I'd like to make. Don't worry too much on pinpointing or defining your essential quality. Like all things such attempts of labeling defeat the purpose, in my opinion. Things like quality, passion, personal brand exist outside of us. At least that is what I've learned….

  • joemueller

    For those people who might need a little assistance with discovering their essential quaity, I highly recommend “Now, Discover Your Strengths,” and the online process that accompanies it. It helped me recognize and claim my gifts, strenghts or essential qualities.

  • http://www.themurr.com/ David Murray

    Hi Chris,

    A lot of what have been writing lately, hits home big time. Finding the essential quality within ourselves is the greatest journey anyone could take. If I may offer some humble advice, don't try to find your essential quality, let it find you. Be still and don't fill every waking moment with activity. Make some time for quiet reflection. This I have found has been a great asset in discovering what I, David Murray, is all about… well kind of

    And that's another point I'd like to make. Don't worry too much on pinpointing or defining your essential quality. Like all things such attempts of labeling defeat the purpose, in my opinion. Things like quality, passion, personal brand exist outside of us. At least that is what I've learned….

  • http://twitter.com/rodroudi Rod Roudi

    nice post–reaffirms the authenticity principle, in terms of social marketing…I think Kurt Cobain sums it nicely, “wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”

  • http://twitter.com/mistressmia Mistress Mia

    Thanks for this post Chris.

    “You’ll have to let go of an awful lot that you think is you” – This is gold. Everyday we wake up meet new people, learn new things, gain new insights … we change our thinking. We need to give ourselves permission to let the old die off to make room for the new.

  • joemueller

    For those people who might need a little assistance with discovering their essential quaity, I highly recommend “Now, Discover Your Strengths,” and the online process that accompanies it. It helped me recognize and claim my gifts, strenghts or essential qualities.

  • http://twitter.com/rodroudi Rod Roudi

    nice post–reaffirms the authenticity principle, in terms of social marketing…I think Kurt Cobain sums it nicely, “wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”

  • http://twitter.com/mistressmia Mistress Mia

    Thanks for this post Chris.

    “You’ll have to let go of an awful lot that you think is you” – This is gold. Everyday we wake up meet new people, learn new things, gain new insights … we change our thinking. We need to give ourselves permission to let the old die off to make room for the new.

  • http://sunflowerranch.blogspot.com/ Sunflower Ranch

    Really, really, REALLY good advice. God knows I can use this! And you've made think. I'm crawling along the edge of the box, trying to make a break through, though not quite out of it yet, I'm going to put your ideas into use and let the whole thing incubate. Hopefully, it won't be long and I will be out of the box with a great brand/image. Thanks for the great post!

  • http://www.ivanwalsh.com Ivan Walsh

    Chris,
    Cloning is just laziness. Instead of finding their own voice, people try to ape Brogan et al.
    And, for some, it works…
    But life is too short to live like this. Like
    Last week I wrote about The Right Way To Comment On Chris Brogan’s Blog
    http://www.ivanwalsh.com/problogging/the-right-
    One of the points was that they want you to step forward and share what you know, rather than echo or agree with everything they say.
    They’re learning too. And so are you, right?

  • http://www.honeybeeconsulting.com startabuzz

    I get very frustrated by the number of people who try to be Chris Brogan (or CC or whomever). The reason that Chris has such great success is that he's just being himself. No one else will be able to duplicate that. Call it authenticity (or whatever you want), but when you try to shoehorn yourself into the shell of someone you're not, you're just setting yourself up for failure (not to mention making it patently clear to others that you're full of crap).

    When I first started my business, I clouded my brand with offering too many services. When I distilled my skills to their purest element, I discovered that while I am a fine marketer and a fine PR rep, what I do best is write. And I started putting myself out there accordingly. Since doing that, my business has increased tremendously, not to mention the fact that I'm enjoying it a heckuva lot more.

    Don't be a dittohead. :) Thanks, Mr. Penn!

  • http://www.zackluby.com/ Zack Luby

    I like this – I would also say that this just as easily can be applied to an organization. This is really a discussion on core values – both personal and organizational. If you don't have those figured out, you don't have a rudder. Without a rudder, you can't set a course. Without setting a course you can't get to where you want to go.

    Great post, interesting stuff to ponder.

  • http://www.kherize5.com Suzanne Vara

    Chris

    Digging deeper to find who we are is one part but the letting it out by just doing is the other. Many people may know or be close to knowing but either are too fearful or start publicizing it instead of just doing and letting people figure out what has changed. For years we have know that trying to emulate someone else does not work as that is who they are and trying to be them only gets lost in the translation though we will continue to see it. Fame or ultimate success perceived as fame drives people to lose sight of who they are and really how they fail trying to be someone else.

    Your analysis of yourself is a great example for people to start digging deeper within themselves and see that they are not necessarily a marketer but have the unique skill set that may be a specialized thinker that affords them success.

    @SuzanneVara

  • http://conversational-uk.co.uk/ Rich Baker – Conversational UK

    a great, and thought provoking post. thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.honeybeeconsulting.com startabuzz

    I get very frustrated by the number of people who try to be Chris Brogan (or CC or whomever). The reason that Chris has such great success is that he's just being himself. No one else will be able to duplicate that. Call it authenticity (or whatever you want), but when you try to shoehorn yourself into the shell of someone you're not, you're just setting yourself up for failure (not to mention making it patently clear to others that you're full of crap).

    When I first started my business, I clouded my brand with offering too many services. When I distilled my skills to their purest element, I discovered that while I am a fine marketer and a fine PR rep, what I do best is write. And I started putting myself out there accordingly. Since doing that, my business has increased tremendously, not to mention the fact that I'm enjoying it a heckuva lot more.

    Don't be a dittohead. :) Thanks, Mr. Penn!

  • http://www.zackluby.com/ Zack Luby

    I like this – I would also say that this just as easily can be applied to an organization. This is really a discussion on core values – both personal and organizational. If you don't have those figured out, you don't have a rudder. Without a rudder, you can't set a course. Without setting a course you can't get to where you want to go.

    Great post, interesting stuff to ponder.

  • Caterina Ventrella

    I am in the process of developing a personal brand plan. The last paragraph was inspiring. Concluded your key message effectively. Thank you. I am a PR grad student who is forced to launch her personal brand over the next few months. I would appreciate your feedback as I get started. Would you care to mentor?

  • http://conversational-uk.co.uk/ Richard Baker

    a great, and thought provoking post. thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.ChristopherSPenn.com Christopher S. Penn

    I suck at mentoring. For whatever reason, I tend to give really bad advice. On launching your own brand – start sooner rather than later.

  • Caterina Ventrella

    I am in the process of developing a personal brand plan. The last paragraph was inspiring. Concluded your key message effectively. Thank you. I am a PR grad student who is forced to launch her personal brand over the next few months. I would appreciate your feedback as I get started. Would you care to mentor?

  • http://twitter.com/NicolettteC Nicolette Chinomona

    Big fat challenge Mr. Penn, you’re basically asking us to test a prototype in shark infested waters. What I mean by that is, Chris Brogan, CC Chapman and Whitney Hoffman’s branding has been tried and tested and passed, that’s why people would prefer to clone them, than test out their own branding prototype… wouldn’t you say? It’s less scary to be a clone of Jonathan Fields or Mitch Joel than to be myself- because if people reject the imitation, they aren’t rejecting me, they are rejecting the original copy.

    I accept the challenge, after all, where’s the excitement in life, if you can’t be yourself? Great post, made me really reflect on some of the choices I’ll have to make in personal branding and I like the way it was blunt and to the point. Briefly blogged my thoughts on my super fresh blog nicolettec.posterous.com. I’ll keep reading you.

  • http://www.ChristopherSPenn.com Christopher S. Penn

    I suck at mentoring. For whatever reason, I tend to give really bad advice. On launching your own brand – start sooner rather than later.

  • http://twitter.com/NicolettteC Nicolette Chinomona

    Big fat challenge Mr. Penn, you’re basically asking us to test a prototype in shark infested waters. What I mean by that is, Chris Brogan, CC Chapman and Whitney Hoffman’s branding has been tried and tested and passed, that’s why people would prefer to clone them, than test out their own branding prototype… wouldn’t you say? It’s less scary to be a clone of Jonathan Fields or Mitch Joel than to be myself- because if people reject the imitation, they aren’t rejecting me, they are rejecting the original copy.

    I accept the challenge, after all, where’s the excitement in life, if you can’t be yourself? Great post, made me really reflect on some of the choices I’ll have to make in personal branding and I like the way it was blunt and to the point. Briefly blogged my thoughts on my super fresh blog nicolettec.posterous.com. I’ll keep reading you.

  • http://www.formulis.com/ M. Borowiecki

    Chris, I fully agree with you. Too many people go through life not realizing their full potential because they haven't figured out who they are. You can't brand/promote yourself if you haven't “distilled your essential qualities.”

    And Nicolette Chinomona makes a very good point in the comments. It is much easier to be a brand clone of another because you can't be personally hurt/rejected when you create a false image of yourself. But in marketing, advertising and branding (even history has proven) the spoils go to those who are able to step outside of the box, invest in themselves and take a gamble. Few people ever became wealthy or successful by being a lemming.

  • http://www.formulis.com/ M. Borowiecki

    Chris, I fully agree with you. Too many people go through life not realizing their full potential because they haven't figured out who they are. You can't brand/promote yourself if you haven't “distilled your essential qualities.”

    And Nicolette Chinomona makes a very good point in the comments. It is much easier to be a brand clone of another because you can't be personally hurt/rejected when you create a false image of yourself. But in marketing, advertising and branding (even history has proven) the spoils go to those who are able to step outside of the box, invest in themselves and take a gamble. Few people ever became wealthy or successful by being a lemming.

  • http://sebastianconcept.com sebastian concept >>>

    Agree. When I made northern shaolin, our sifu told us once that a man has 3 powers; 1 the physical force (the martial art), 2 the presence and 3 the name. The third is the hardest to get and the hardest to get hurt. At the time I didn't realize that he was talking about branding.
    Being good at the secondary things you need in order to be good in your essential thing is an idea that I support. Sadly most people get sort of “sold” in the way right?

  • http://sebastianconcept.com sebastian concept >>>

    Agree. When I made northern shaolin, our sifu told us once that a man has 3 powers; 1 the physical force (the martial art), 2 the presence and 3 the name. The third is the hardest to get and the hardest to get hurt. At the time I didn't realize that he was talking about branding.
    Being good at the secondary things you need in order to be good in your essential thing is an idea that I support. Sadly most people get sort of “sold” in the way right?

  • http://www.youbrandinc.com scottscanlon

    Awesome to find others out there that are focused on what matters. Not focusing on a magical personal brand to me is the key. Focus on being great, good, excel at what you do.

    Being authentic and having substance is the first step in creating a personal br@nd. I still think though we are talking about personal imaging over personal branding.

    I have thought about this alot as well:
    http://www.youbrandinc.com/personal-branding-is

  • http://www.youbrandinc.com scottscanlon

    Awesome to find others out there that are focused on what matters. Not focusing on a magical personal brand to me is the key. Focus on being great, good, excel at what you do.

    Being authentic and having substance is the first step in creating a personal br@nd. I still think though we are talking about personal imaging over personal branding.

    I have thought about this alot as well:
    http://www.youbrandinc.com/personal-branding-is

  • andytraub

    Well said Chris. You have a new subscriber now.

  • andytraub

    Well said Chris. You have a new subscriber now.

  • Pingback: An intervention, for my Corporate Marketing friends at Jeremy Meyers dot com()

  • Caterina

    Thanks for the honesty!

  • Caterina

    Thanks for the honesty!

  • amyhoy

    Systems thinking! But playing with blocks sounds more fun.

    I feel you. I also thought I was a technology girl, or a design girl, or a business girl, when it turns out I'm an analytical system-thinking girl and very good at intuiting the rules that make things work.

    The day I realized that was I was good at was not the field I was in, but the way I take things apart, was a very good day.

  • amyhoy

    Systems thinking! But playing with blocks sounds more fun.

    I feel you. I also thought I was a technology girl, or a design girl, or a business girl, when it turns out I'm an analytical system-thinking girl and very good at intuiting the rules that make things work.

    The day I realized that was I was good at was not the field I was in, but the way I take things apart, was a very good day.

  • amyhoy

    Systems thinking! But playing with blocks sounds more fun.

    I feel you. I also thought I was a technology girl, or a design girl, or a business girl, when it turns out I'm an analytical system-thinking girl and very good at intuiting the rules that make things work.

    The day I realized that was I was good at was not the field I was in, but the way I take things apart, was a very good day.

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  • http://twitter.com/melthel MThelemaque

    I am happy to have read this. I’m someone who is in the thick of figuring out what to do and where to do it, and I really believe that’s because I’m still on that path to finding out what’s special about me and how it can he useful. It’s kind of hard to accept that it may take a long time to do. I come from a background where one studies it, learns it, and that’s it.

    Not the case. That’s not how my life has been.

    So here’s to discovery.

  • http://twitter.com/AuthorGuy Marc Vun Kannon

    I have no idea who those people you mentioned are. Your essential quality is very similar to my own, and I too am in the information technology business. My greatest asset, strength, skill, is the ability to take things apart and see how they go together, usually with a eye towards seeing where they go wrong.