The primary thing to remember about building a personal brand is that it’s just that: PERSONAL. Before you can build a personal brand, you have to be honest with who you are. That means looking at the good AND the bad, the sexy AND the ugly, the aromatic AND the stinky. Only once you are honest with yourself, can you begin to develop a legitimate personal brand.
To build my personal brand, I had to first figure out who I wanted to be, and how to become that person. I had to acknowledge who I was. I knew my strengths; focused, committed, resourceful and I give 100% to what I do. I keep God first and foremost, and I ask advice from others (experts and laypeople) even if I don’t always take it. But I’m also selfish, scattered, insecure, have trust issues and completely lack structure.
These are not good traits to have. But they are part of who I honestly am. By acknowledging these things, I was able to work through them, resolve them, or partner with people who had strengths that complimented my weaknesses. Some I’m still working one. I’m still all of these things; the good AND the bad ones. They are part of my brand. But subsequently, they have also been instrumental in my success. Here are some examples.
I’m insecure. My lack of formal fashion training and retail experience make me sometime feel I’m not equal to my peers and colleagues. For that reason, I work harder than everyone else. I go to the places they won’t. And I try things that they don’t. I try more. I fail more. But I also succeed more. That has afforded me a significant amount of success and respect, as both a business person and designer. It’s also caused me to have more faith in God, because there’s no natural reason I should have the success I’ve enjoyed without him.
I’m selfish. I want what I want, when I want it, and I usually get it. Granted, I don’t really want much, but what I do want; I want. And on my terms. But because I know that, I put forth a concerted effort to attempt to try to do things others want to do. Even if I don’t really want to do it. It’s important to let the people close to me (personally and professionally) know that they matter, and that it isn’t always all about me. And because of that, I’ve done some really cool things I never would have done, and I find I enjoy things I never would have thought I would. I’m becoming a better person and friend. I have also built closer relationships than I usually have. I’m still not where the average person may be. But I’m not where I was. And that’s a start. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?
I’m not comfortable with people getting close to me personally; especially romantically. I have trust issues, and I’m easily crowded; a fatal combination. I’m still working on this one. But I’m honest and upfront about it. So anyone that knows me, knows that tying me down MAY be an exercise in futility. It’s not impossible. It just may take much more work than she’s willing to put in romantically. Especially, if she’s used to men that run behind her like a puppy, or open their wallets like a sugar daddy. I’m not that guy. As for non- romantic personal relationships, those are a little easier, but I still don’t let them too close, too soon. But I’m trying to get better at it.
Anyway, these were just a few examples of how doing an honest self analysis, and acknowledging my flaws, assisted me in building my personal brand. I could go on all day, but this is a blog, not a manifesto. It has helped me build my personal brand. But it also helped make me a better friend, a better mentor, and a better person. I hope you were able to gain something from it, and that it will help you build a strong personal brand yourself. Until next time…..
God Bless and Dress Well,
William Wilson, CEO William Wilson Clothing