Personal Branding

41 Day Challenge:  Refresh Your Personal Brand

“It’s a new brand world.”

So began an article published in Fast Company magazine in August 1997 whereby the concept of personal branding was introduced by business author, management guru, and speaker Tom Peters.  Tom’s compelling premise was that all of us are CEOs of our companies:  Me Inc.  He promoted that to be in business in today’s world, our most important job is to be the head marketer for the brand called You.

Fast Company published this article during the time when resumes dominated the world of personal branding, and LinkedIn’s launch in May of 2003 was still almost 6 years away.  As every astute business professional understands, managing your personal brand is an essential responsibility in managing your career. 

As we approach the 24th anniversary of Tom Peters’ article, the Croixstone team is launching a 41 Day Challenge to encourage all of our #FreshStart readers to take the time between now and August 31 to refresh your personal brand.  Follow the below action plan to get started.

Action Plan to Refresh Your Personal Brand

  • Step 2:  Write down 3 qualities that you aspire to in order to differentiate your personal brand.
  • Step 3:  Ask 5 people you know well and another 5 people you know less well to write down 3 adjectives about you.
  • Step 4:  Analyze the similarities and differences between the lists to understand where your personal brand is strong…and where there are disconnects to focus.

Personal Brand Factoids

  • Everyone has a personal brand.  You don’t have a say in the matter.  Accept this as a fact and manage it well.
  • Your personal brand is not permanent.  You have to work hard to build a powerful personal brand, and you have to keep working to maintain its power and grow it.
  • Your personal brand is not what you say about yourself.  Your personal brand is what others say about you when you are not in the room.  It is an assessment the marketplace makes about who you are and what you bring to the table.
  • Your personal brand is not an extension of your employer’s brand.
  • Your personal brand is not your social media presence. Rather, social media amplifies your personal brand.


Dunbar’s Number and Conscious Networking

According to British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, there are well-defined limits to the number of friends and acquaintances the average person can retain.  The anthropologist has a theory known as “Dunbar’s Number” whereby she believes that we can only really maintain about 150 connections at once.

Dunbar further believes that other numbers are nested with the social brain hypothesis.  She believes our tightest social circle has only five people (loved ones), following by successive layers of 15 (good friends), 50 (friends), 150 (meaningful contacts) and 1,500 (people you can recognize).

With Dunbar’s number as a backdrop, we read with interest this morning an online Fast Company article published by Brendan Keegan, the CEO of Merchants Fleet.  Brendan suggests there is power in the concept of “conscious networking” whereby you consciously choose and go all-in with a deliberately selected circle of connections that count.  

Keegan advocates that investing in the right relationships can have amazing payoffs for both your professional and personal lives.  He suggests that the number of connections might represent a smaller circle than what you may initially believe is needed, but that the circle is going to prove incredibly solid and beneficial to your life.

Read the article here.