“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” – Socrates
How often have we held certain feelings toward someone without really understanding why? Those feelings or perceptions are the brand reputation you associate with that person and result from all of your interactions with them over time. They can be feelings of love, trust, integrity and hard work, or of deceit, mistrust and pain. Whatever they are, we unconsciously are creating our brand every moment of the day through the little things we think, say and do.
These little daily thoughts, words and actions build our self-image, which ultimately manifests itself as outward actions. Over time, people reflect these actions back upon us, reinforcing our self-image and personal brand. Product brands are skillfully crafted to project a certain image in the marketplace, for the sole purpose of creating enduring value. Keep these same goals in mind when creating your personal brand.
A great personal brand can significantly leverage your efforts and magnify your accomplishments, as people will have a higher level of certainty in you by trusting your brand; therefore, this enables you to accomplish more in less time and with less effort. Your brand will precede you, enabling others to confidently recommend you or your services, knowing that you will not only deliver, but your strong brand will enhance them as well. Finally, a strong personal brand is a great way of reinforcing our own behaviors, as it provides a reference point against which we can benchmark our actions throughout the day.
Here’s how to build and maintain a superior personal brand:
Make a Short List of the Character Traits that You Feel Are Most Important in Your Personal Brand. Write them down and read them daily. Remind yourself why they are important and seek to live those traits in all of your interactions.
Seek the Right Environment. Keep the company of people who will reinforce your personal brand and enable you to focus on your strengths, thereby making it easier to live your brand promise.
Invest in Your Personal Brand. Make a commitment to personal development, educational advancement and top-quality infrastructure for the home and office, and then invest strategically in those areas. This will give you a lifetime return on your hard-earned personal brand.
Recall that a Reputation Takes a Lifetime to Build and Only a Moment to Lose. Try to avoid those situations that can destroy your personal brand, particularly in this age of instant and mass communication, social media and digital sharing.
Reputation is truly your own and can be the single biggest factor that contributes to success in health, wealth and family. Why? Because your reputation is what determines how others both perceive you and decide to work with you, before any actual interaction with you. It is the great invisible lever that can leave you on the ground or lift you to great heights.
Eamonn has a B. Eng. (Electrical) from Lakehead University, MBA (Finance) from University of Toronto, and has completed Executive Education at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He lives in Vancouver, Canada. Follow him on twitter @EamonnPercy.