Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thom Singer's Top Ten Rules For Building Your Personal Brand

Thom Singer's Top Ten Rules For Building Your Personal Brand

1. Do not prejudge people

It is easy to prejudge and discredit other people. It is harder to discover greatness in each individual. Based on a person's employer, job title, area of study, college attended, skin color, religion, zip code or countless other traits, we often lump them into buckets and stereotype them.

Look at everyone you meet as a valuable part of your network. Do not limit your opinion of the capabilities of anyone. You never know who can have a large impact on your future. Others will follow your lead when you are welcoming and inclusive.

2. Know your core values

When you get stressed, busy and downright overwhelmed you need to know yourself. When you know your core values it make it choices easy when you are faced with the tough questions of life. Be true to those personal standards and you will have fewer regrets in life.

We all make mistakes, but you will make fewer of them when you are clear on this point. And when you do stumble, you will have a clear path to making things right.

3. Care about other people and their ideas

If you want other people to care about your success, you must care about their success. Do not be jealous or judgmental of the people in your life, but instead try to find ways to uplift their spirit. Everyone wants to be noticed, admired and respected. If you let others know you care, they will return the favor.

4. Say "thank you"

In our busy world, we often take the actions of other people for granted. When someone does something to assist you in your journey through life, say "thank you". This simple gesture will stand out, since few people acknowledge generosity.

5. Discover what motivates others and help them reach their goals

Ask the people in your life about their goals and dreams. Everyone has something they hope to experience in their life, and often it is different than what they do on a daily basis. Discover these secret internal sparks of inspiration and find a ways to be the catalyst that creates the reality. It often takes very little time or effort on your part to assist people in a way that can be life changing. Even something as small as moral support can make the difference in their life.

Many people feel that if they spend time helping others they will derail their own goals. It is just the opposite, as when you help others, someone will appear to help you. It may or may not be the same person, but you will be surprised how your efforts will result in your own personal opportunities.

6. Not everybody will like you. That's okay

When you go out into the business community and begin to make connections with others, you will not have a "love connection" with everyone you meet. Sometimes you will encounter people who simply do not like you. They may have a reason, or it might be their own petty jealousy and personal issues. Don't worry about it. Just go on about your life and always be polite when you encounter them.

7. Short term focus, long term vision

While it is important to win in the short term, creating a long term reputation can take years. Many people will appear in your business community and be a "one hit wonder". They either bask too long in the glory of their early success or they get tired of the effort to maintain a personal brand. Work hard to have early victories in your career, but do not let these successes cloud your long term vision of who you want to become.

8. Take action and stay in motion

If you want to attain success you must do more than engineer plans and spreadsheets. Instead you must take action. Not all actions will lead you to success, but a body in motion stays in motion. If you are stalled it will be much harder for you to engage in the necessary activities to reach your goals.

Other people are inspired by those who "do", not those who "plan". While I am not suggesting you take any action just for the sake of taking action, you need to be trying things. Be tenacious, and this will become part of your brand. A few failures will not be then end of the road, so do not fear making mistakes.

9. Avoid the naysayers

When you are chasing a dream some people will think you the fool. They will go out of their way to tell you why you are not experienced enough, smart enough, good-looking enough, talented enough, etc.... I am not sure why, but some people in your life (even those who love you) will find it necessary to rain on your parade. You need to avoid these people and / or avoid having conversations with them about your aspirations. You can never change a naysayer, so just steer clear.

10. Have a positive attitude

Life can get difficult. So what? If you want to achieve high levels of success you must have a positive attitude and share it with the world. People are drawn to optimists. We all want our leaders and others around us to have a strong and visible belief that better days are ahead. Always look for the silver lining in every situation and continue to work toward victory for yourself and others.

11. Deliver a little more than you promised

Find a way to provide others with something extra. Doing what is expected is the minimum requirement, but to be noticed you need to go the extra mile. Find that "something special" that makes you stand out from your competition and you will forever be remembered for it. Nobody will recall your standard promised work (even if you do a great job), but they will never forget the bonus you presented to them.

Have A Great Day



Anonymous said...

12. Be Interesting

If you ain't interesting, others will not be interested and no personal brand, or promotional brand, can be built.

Nice list Thom.

Andy Valadez said...

I agree don't prejudge. I have caught myself doing this so many times (I do fight it). I did this the other day, only to find out the guy was the owner of the restaurant and has a successful chain. Fortunately, I was not that obvious. Of course, I hate when people do this to me as well. I have found there are three types of people 1) the skeptics (boo to you) 2) the fence sitters (these people are at least trying to figure you out) and 3) the raving fans (I love working with these people and helping them). I can deal with #2 and #3. The skeptics I can't stand and avoid them at all costs. It is also fun proving them wrong.

On Mission and On Assignment,

Andy Valadez
StealthMarketer/The Marketing Evangelist

Anonymous said...

11. Deliver a little more...

Our folks call this the "cherry on top." What's the one little extra thing we can do that the client isn't expecting.

Or as Bob Farrell of Farrrell's Ice Cream Parlor would say, "Just give 'em the pickle!"

Aruni said...

Nice post Thom. Just tweeted about it too! I think your #6 will resonate well with women...we sometimes have a hard time with that. :-)