Houston, we have a problem. It’s called… the Personal Brand.

I read an article earlier on a site I otherwise like, about the personal branding. They start well. They admit the personal brand is something you have no matter if you know it, want it or try to build it. But then the things get confusing, and I thought I might help with some common-sense approach on this horribile dictu topic.

Yes, it’s there. It’s formed from everything you let others see, feel and believe about you, in time. It’s the persona that’s interfacing you and them. It’s what our ancestors called reputation. Supposed you’ve been honest all this time, your personal brand is correct, it represents you. So, why bother to start thinking about it, or god help, to try improving it?

Supposed you’ve been honest, there’s nothing to improve at your personal brand. Of course, if you feel like improving your person (attention! not persona, this would be plain faking), nobody will prevent you from doing that. Once your person is improved – and still honest in expressing yourself – the same will happen to your personal brand. Easy as a homemade pie based on own garden ingredients. Easy. But.

But: let’s say you’ve never been honest in what you’ve been communicating others about yourself. You, therefore, have a fake persona/personal brand, and I bet it’s a bad one. What should you do? (If you care about it, of course. If you don’t care about how the others perceive you, this article was not meant for you in the first place, and you’re here from some mistake, curiosity or bugs. Okay, let’s go back now. What was I saying?)

Yes. What should you do if your personal brand is as bad as it could because you never cared to communicate yourself to the others (at all or, even worse, not honestly enough)?

Should you take that shirt all spilled up with god knows what and clean it? I.e.: should you change your personal brand a posteriori? Nope. It doesn’t work like that. People already “know” what they “saw” with their “own” eyes and won’t be happy to admit it’s them who’ve seen you wrong. They didn’t, actually. Therefore, please don’t try to wash that shirt in ten waters, it won’t work.

It also doesn’t work to go to the store and buy a new one, a perfect one, you won’t look as new. What means going to the store and buy something that was not actually made for you? Can you guess? No? It means you start reading articles like you thought this was going to be… and try to apply what they teach you. BUT. It doesn’t work like that, my friend.

There is one simple rule.

You cannot undo what you’ve done. You cannot go there in front of a crowd that already profoundly dislikes you or, worse, despise you, and say: Hey, sorry for my ugly appearance, but you know… I was not paying attention to it / I didn’t care how it looked to you / etc. You’d just add to the offense by showing them you think they’re stupid (that’s how they’ll feel about it, and it’s beyond your power and good will to prevent that).

You also can’t pretend you’re someone entirely new, someone they are to blame for never actually seen. And that borrowed shirt (the rules from those articles written by people who never met you but believe you’re just one subject in a uniform bunch, to equally qualify for getting those rules applied), that borrowed shirt won’t suit you, it will only make you look even faker than before.

The only thing you can do, my friend, is simpler than you, them, and the so-called teachers pretend it to be. The only thing you can do is to start being honest with yourself, and about yourself towards them.

Yeah. Start that. Time flies. If you keep on being sincere in everything you are, feel, do and communicate, your persona will soon equal to your person, and you’ll definitely have a personal brand to accurately interface yourself with the world.

That, of course, if you care about it and didn’t get here from some mistake, curiosity or bugs :).

Have a nice day, all of you.

P.S. I know, I forgot about the other horribile dictu related topic. The Success. How your personal brand brings you success. Oh, my. It’s kind of obvious. If you are sincere with yourself and towards the others, the opportunities coming your way will be no more, no less, than those that suit you. The answer to this question… is the same. Just be yourself and let others know you for exactly who – and how – you are. Success… comes in so many shapes. If you are honest from the start until the end, your success will measure up.

©M.V. Fishbones