Speed blog: Who am “I”?
So, writing a blog post about writing blog posts, then suddenly ceasing to write blog posts doesn’t look too good, does it? I have a good excuse, though (well, an okay excuse.) I’ve been in the midst of wrapping up this semester for my MBA program, writing bits and pieces of drafts for future posts from time to time. So the good news is there is more coming down the pike. Also, working on my MBA has given me some time to think about some important topics, such as:
- Why am I torturing myself like this?
- Who am I?
- What kind of value do I plan to bring to the workplace?
- Am I an entrepreneur, and what qualities make an entrepreneur great?
- What does it mean to “enjoy life”?
Tonight, I’ve been particularly focused on the second question. A few hours ago I attended an Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce panel titled ‘Tapping Into the Hidden Talent of Tech Valley.’ A topic that came up again and again is the idea of personal branding. For me, a personal brand is a constantly evolving, semi-amorphous beast. On one hand, you can spend tons of time defining who the “you” of your brand is, meticulously projecting that “self” out into the universe. On the other hand, your personal brand has a life of its own, for better or for worse.
Many of the speakers from tonight’s panel probably think they know what their brand is: Self-made. Driven. Humble. Community oriented. Wise. Thoughtful. Funny. Charismatic. Tech savvy. I bet some of you might be saying “Hey! That’s my brand!” Well, yes. Everybody would like those traits to encompass their brand. All of us, in some way, embody those traits. But there is a difference between a group of traits and a personal brand.
To me, a “personal brand” transcends this facade when it steps beyond projecting those traits to acknowledging and taking charge of the value you bring to the lives of others. Knowing your own strength (through self-awareness) and positioning yourself as an embodiment of that strength is the cornerstone of any successful self-branding effort. Executing the delivery of that brand can happen in many ways: blogging, Tweeting, attending networking events, interacting with your local community, volunteering…the list goes on and on. If you lack that self-awareness aspect, it doesn’t matter how many ways you deliver your brand. Projecting a “you” that isn’t comes off as plain old phony, even to people who don’t know you well.
So what is my personal brand? Well, that’s part of the purpose of this blog – to figure out what value I bring to the table to establish my personal brand. Hopefully you all can help me figure that out as time goes on. For now, my speed blog time is up! Stay tuned for more posts in the near future.