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In business, true safety is hard to come by.
Regardless of how hard you work, or how we’ll you’re doing now, things change.
Your product becomes obsolete, or a new, larger competitor enters your market. You’re hit with a baseless lawsuit, but still have to shell out huge amounts of money for legal fees. You end up having a medical emergency, and have to take on serious debt just to get by.
These are all things we don’t like to think about, but become a reality for so many entrepreneurs. It’s not fair, but its a reality for far too many people.
And sadly, their companies often die in the process, and their lifestyle changes almost immediately.
My Biggest Fear
As entrepreneurs, we want to be able to rely on our businesses income – and many of us do.
This is especially true if we’ve been in business for a long time, revenue is stable and growing, and we generally trust that nothing’s going to happen to it.
I’ve been in this position. My baby product brand, as well as my print-on-demand brand both bring in insane amounts of revenue each month, and quite frankly, the profit is far more than I’d ever need to live a financially secure life.
Unfortunately, I feel as if I can hardly trust this income at all, due to the events just mentioned.
My biggest goal with work is to put myself in a position where I can have kids, and be able to spend as much time as possible with them. Therefore, some sort of stability and risk-reduction is essential. Nothing is scarier to me than finally going forth with having a child, enjoyable a wonderful life with them, and then having to be ripped away to go back to work each day because of a bogus lawsuit, or something similar.
Although extensive steps have been done to minimize something like this occurring, this reality has instilled such great fear in me, that I launched an entirely new company to prevent it – this one.
A Personal Brand – Something That Can Never Be Taken From You
Perhaps you’ve heard of the term ‘personal brand’ before.
Essentially, it’s just a brand based around you. Your reputation, and what you’re known for. What you offer in terms of value.
Personal branding has risen in popularity in recent years, but the truth is, it has always been around.
When you think of somebody with a personal brand, you may think of…
- Famous entrepreneurs in 2019 – Gary Vaynerchuk, Grant Cardone, Neil Patel, Seth Godin
- Television personalities – Oprah, Ellen, Dr. Phil
- Your favorite musician, actor, author
And so on.
But the truth is, it’s so much more than that. In fact, you’re branding yourself in people’s minds each time that you interact with them.
It’s just that this branding is done on a smaller scale, the same way a new company has to work to establish their brand in the marketplace.
Therefore, it’s very important that you’re conscious of the impressions your making, and how you want people to remember you.
People don’t have a lot of space in their heads to remember a lot about a specific person. Therefore, you really need to make it clear what you want to stand out, and the feelings you want to convey through your interactions.
As your personal brand grows, so does your power, your influence, and your safety.
Let’s look over some of the benefits of building a personal brand in more detail.
1. It Follows You Everywhere You Go
No matter what happens to you in your life, your personal brand will always be there.
Your business could die, or you could decide to take it in a completely different direction, and you will never be starting again from zero.
Regardless of what you do, having a following of people that genuinely know, like and trust you will always be a benefit to every business you start.
When I relaunched this website after taking a break for several years, I wasn’t exactly sure how well things would turn out.
The hardest part of building a business is the beginning. It’s the point where you’re putting in the most amount of work, for the least amount of reward in return.
When I came back, I felt like I skipped more than two years of work. I had a following that was happy to see me return. I had made connections with others in my niche who are already helping me out with new opportunities. While my personal brand did take a hit from disappearing for so long, most of the hard work was already done.
Of course, it helped that I came back to do largely the same thing I did before – help entrepreneurs build their businesses online. However, even if I had switched to another market entirely, any of my following that was also interested in that market no doubt would have supported me there as well.
It’s so exciting to know that every connection we build with others as entrepreneurs, we can utilize later in ways we may have never predicted.
Your name and reputation sticks with you, regardless of what happens to you in life. It’s one of the very few things that cannot be easily taken away from you.
That’s pretty powerful.
2. Nothing Is Easier Than Being Yourself
The easiest brand to build is a personal one, because you’re literally just being yourself.
You don’t have to calculate as much just how a specific message may be taken by different groups of people. You speak what’s right to you.
The people that resonate with your message and your values will be attracted to that. Those that aren’t a good fit will naturally shy away towards others.
This means you get to spend more energy actually putting out great content, and less time trying to modify your delivery to please more people.
If you think about connections in your personal life, you know that the best friendships aren’t forced. The best friendships come from mutual interests, values, principals, and experiences.
The best customers share these same things, and you attract these customers by being your authentic self.
This isn’t to say that you should just do whatever you want without keeping others in mind, but it does mean you don’t have to change your message and principals to please others.
3. Personal Branding Gives You Leverage
Having a strong personal brand instantly gives you leverage over others who do not.
This isn’t just an advantage over other people that may want to hire you, but it is social proof that…
- You’re an expert on the topics you’re known for.
- You’re a pleasant person that people enjoy interacting with.
- You’re the right person for a given job.
This reputation takes time to build up, and there are very few shortcuts to achieving it.
At the same time, personal brands are not commodities, and cannot be easily replaced.
There is only one of you, and when somebody decides to replace you – either in their business or in their life, they forever lose whatever your personal brand has brought them.
I never believe in screwing people over, but sometimes you’ve got to know when to flaunt your hand.
4. Personal Branding Builds True Influence
Influence is a form of power, and influence requires attention.
When you make a conscious effort to begin building your personal brand, attracting this form of influence becomes so much easier – and so much more effective.
A few years ago, I tuned into a live stream of Grant Cardone’s first 10x Growth Conference, in which many very successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders spoke and shared their advice.
One of the most moving moments of the event though didn’t come from a speaker – it came from a surprise.
During lunch on one of the days, a young girl managed to find and speak with Grant. She was wheel-chair bound, and had started a Kickstarter to have her house modified so she could get around more easily.
This story touched Grant, and before the next speaker came on, he spoke to the audience about the girl and her Kickstarter project. The girl also came on stage to speak about it as well.
Grant asked the audience to make donations, and said that he would match them.
I opened the Kickstarter page when this happened, and it hit me.
Hundreds, thousands of dollars coming in at blazing speeds. Every time I refreshed the page, there were new donations – some over several thousands of dollars. If I remember correctly, they ended up raising between $50,000 and $100,000 in less than 20 minutes.
It was absolutely unbelievable.
It happened for 3 reasons:
- Grant tailored his personal brand to attract wealthy business people.
- Grant built enough trust and provided enough value to encourage these people to come to his event.
- Grant sold the idea of the fundraiser to the audience.
This influence can be exhibited in so many unforeseen ways.
Wanting influence and power is not a bad thing. It simply lets you become more of who you already are. If you’re a generous person, you can become even more generous.
Grant changed that girl’s life just by asking his audience to help. Wouldn’t you like to be able to do something similar one day?
I don’t believe that everyone needs to have a personal brand, but I think that everyone needs to be aware of the benefits it can bring you.
A strong personal brand truly is one of the biggest safety nets, and the benefits it brings you over the course of a lifetime are more than either of us could possibly understand right now.
In the end, it call comes down to more, of all the things you care about.
More money. More time. More security. More options. More opportunities. More freedom.
So here I am, formally putting my stake in the ground, right here, right now. I’m committing to building my personal brand this year, are you with me?
Together, let’s spend the next 5 years building an asset that lasts us the rest of our lives – and keeps growing over time.
So, let’s start now. Share one thing that you want to be known for, and what you’re doing to achieve that.
I look forward to hearing from you!
– James McAllister
Review the main points of this article in the SlideShare below. Feel free to embed this on your site, use it in your organization, and share it with others! All I ask is that you give credit! (Download links are available from SlideShare’s website, which you can access by clicking the LinkedIn icon)
Well, you had your break from blogging because you built a very successful product based empire (congratulations on your well-deserved success).
I took my break from blogging because I decided to “slow down” a bit and leave the stress and grime of London (UK) to move to the beautiful city of Norwich. It was a hard fifteen months to make the move and get settled in, but I’m loving it now.
Yet, despite all my new friends and new activities here – there was a blog-sized hole in my life haha.
Luckily I’d kept my blog going with guest authors and I had branded it with my own name rather than a business I was promoting. That was lucky too – because the business I was promoting just before I left London turned out to be a damp squib in the UK, although it’s going well in the USA. So it’s rather back to the drawing board for me. One of those “curve balls” that can happen to many businesses, as you so eloquently describe.
Another was when my pension company collapsed, taking with it my savings 🙁 Oops. Didn’t see that coming. AND it was supposed to be the darling of the safe options in the UK.
Returning to blogging to add a bit of income to replace the lost pension, it was much easier to continue my blog again with existing posts that just need tweaking towards my new direction. As you say – the hard work of the start-up had already been done.
You ask what I want to be known for, and what I’m doing to achieve it…. The answer to both is “Blogging After Dark”!
I have made many mistakes in my online adventure so I want to help others avoid my mistakes. I’d love for everyone to build a part-time online business that will generate or supplement a retirement income, whatever your age.
Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark
Joy Healey recently posted…PLR For Your Blog: Pros And Cons
Apologies I missed this comment, I’m not sure how as I thought I had responded to it.
It sounds like are situations were quite similar actually – going away for a while due to a major event, feeling a void, and coming back.
I love that you’re building it around your own personal lessons and experiences, it’s madness to me that you lost your pension just like that, I fear for others who don’t know how to bounce back from something like that.
We are all happy to have you still with us and as one of my greatest blogging friends, I would have been quite upset if you gave up online work for good!
Amazing article. Love it. Keep writing James. You explained the article very well. I was looking to rebrand my blog.
Mohammed Emad Iqbal Ali(Quote)
Hey Mohammed! I’m happy to hear that. If there’s ever anything that I can help you with going forward, just let me know.
James McAllister recently posted…Branding Isn’t Everything – Balancing Branding Vs. Direct Response Advertising