When Queen Isabella was busy sending off Christopher Columbus to discover a new route to China, her word was her bond, and her bond was sealed in wax with her initials.
The world recognized that this document as authentic by the seal she placed on it. The Queen indeed had a logo, but more importantly she had a personal brand.
When I talk with people about this concept of a personal brand and “image,” they shudder. People don’t have brands, big businesses do, right? Wrong! People run businesses and your personal brand needs to align with every business decision to make–whether its for your own business, or working for someone else.
Personal Branding is your identity and if you don’t think so, let’s take a look at Queen Isabella I.
Young and very strong willed. Passionate about her faith and her country. She was not going to let those Ottoman’s keep her from getting to China to trade for tea! She had a plan and when she laid down her mark people knew all that she stood for….but that wax seal was just part of a finely crafted plan. Before that seal even hit the paper, Isabella had to identify her own purpose before she could lead a country and gain her people’s trust. Queen Isabella needed to create her own Brand.
Think of the challenges she faced without printing, television, technology or women’s rights for that matter. No great company or brand starts without obstacles. But don’t kid yourself, just because we have Twitter and our LinkedIn accounts you all need a personal brand. It is still at the core of every business decision you will ever make…at least for the people who want to be successful.
What is at the core of YOU? What do you believe in? What is your vision? What is it that you are promising to the world?
And don’t laugh, your success in life depends on knowing those answers, living them….and then, showing them as a unified brand that is YOU!
If you do not know who you are as a business owner, a professional, then how can your business thrive? What is at the core of your journey? What sets you apart from all the others out there trying to get the world’s attention? What makes you YOU ?
These questions are important and having your own personal brand is just as important to your business as it was for the Queen. I work with people who dread sitting down and writing out their business plan and its not because they don’t want to succeed, it is just that without knowing what is at the core of the plan–YOU-it cannot be done. It all starts with YOU.
Why? Because having a personal brand is what is at the core of every business decision you make. It is the ground you walk on, guides every movement you make, filters into every presentation, every call, every order placed. Your personal brand is what tells the world your story, and we all know that people love a good story!
So where do you begin?
The foundation of a personal brand is the Visual You: Image, dress, health.
Often overlooked is the personal health and well being of the brand holder. If you feel bad, you look bad. If you look bad, people wrongly judge your business acumen. It is all important! (Think about Lindsay Lohan) Being healthy, feeling healthy, looking healthy. Every Image Consultant will tell you that if you can enter a meeting feeling and looking good, the emphasis is on your business (not on the stain on your shirt or bags under your eyes) the meeting will focus on how you can help that particular customer get what they want/need. So never underestimate a good nights sleep, or a healthy diet!
The next challenge is the Personal You: Purpose, vision, business plan.
Defining your goals and visions. Creating a plan of action that will guide every move you make, and most importantly, guide your team. Queen Isabella didn’t just wave her arms around and create one of the strongest empires in the world. No, she crafted a finely tuned image of who she was, what she stood for, and how she viewed the world—and then she spent the rest of her life living that vision and passion. Do you think it was easy for a young teenage girl to lead a country? She had to show a unified front of that vision so that everyone who “worked” for her also lived it as passionately as she did!
The final step is the easiest part because it builds itself-Business You: Logo, marketing & content decisions.
There is an old expression, If you don’t where you are going, any road will get you there. The Business YOU needs a solid plan in order to follow the right roads. Having a plan, a vision, makes all the overwhelming content, marketing and social media decisions so much easier. Your mission is your plan. Work the plan and don’t forget to teach your team the mission too!
One, two, three. These are all at core of your business, the personal brand that leads the elements of your business success.
It is your empire so to speak. Living your goals and dreams with health, purpose and unified passion!