I always thought that having a personal brand was bullshit. Well, I was wrong.
Having a strong personal brand is essential for any start-up founder. At any given moment a founder is selling, whether it’s to raise funds, to hire a key employee, or to convince customers to make a purchase. In all these instances, having a strong personal brand goes a long way. But creating and maintaining one can be puzzling and exhausting.
Just like a business brand, a personal brand requires you to be focused on an area of expertise, to be consistent, and to build trust through time. However, unlike a business brand, a personal brand is an actual person, so being genuine becomes the most important aspect of building trust.
To be genuine, you really need to understand yourself deeply. Most people would say they know themselves, but under close scrutiny, we find that answers to some basic questions don’t come easy. I personally struggled to state concisely what my purpose is, or what my mission is.
Below is the result of my search for self-understanding, written in a clear and concise way, so that as I move forward I can use it as a guide for all my decision-making and stay true to who I am. If you are going through the process of building a brand, I hope this is helpful to you. Take your time and answer the questions, knowing this is a process and whatever your answers are, they may change in the future. We all evolve and so does our brand. The important thing is to get started.
Let's start with a definition of what a “Personal Brand” is.
I define a personal brand as an expectation in people’s minds about you. Through everything you do, you are forming that idea in everyone’s head so it is important to be clear about who you are, what you do, and why.
My purpose: To help people
My Belief: I believe that helping people is the ultimate self-fulfillment
My Passion: Motorcycles, bikes, small vehicles
My Core Skills: I design products. I make stuff. I fix things
My Mission: To bring value to people around me
My Vision of the Future: I see a world where everyone rides a micro vehicle (bikes, scooters, motorcycles, etc.) at least once a day
My Personal Brand Value Proposition: I help people enjoy riding, safely & often
My Personal Brand Values
My values are the things I care about. They are the key ideas people should associate with me instantly. When people think of me, I want them to associate me with Helpfulness & Design.
Helpfulness / Useful / Generous / Empathetic
Being helpful creates value in meaningful ways because it is driven first by the desire to help people.
A helpful experience makes people feel significant and they associate that feeling with me as a brand.
Helpfulness touches the human heart and earns people’s trust, loyalty, respect, and awareness.
Design / Creative / Stylish / Functional
Design is a powerful tool to create value and help people.
I listen, observe, and design practical solutions to help people.
Beautiful products and designs naturally attract customers. And if they work well, customers will keep them forever.
My working values are the set of principles that guide my work and my relationships.
Being humble is the best predisposition to learn and to teach. It allows for taking and receiving feedback in an open manner, always thinking positively, and always thinking in the best interest of the group. A healthy dose of humility always lets you put the overall good of the team first.
Straightforwardness in words and messages. Clear, honest communication is crucial for personal and corporate growth. Using frank, respectful language speeds up and focuses any communication. Directness is a virtue.
Optimists believe that people and events are inherently good and things will work out in the end. A positive attitude will always get positive results. Problems are opportunities.
An eagerness or strong desire to achieve and improve on past accomplishments. Ambition is about self-growth, self-development, self-expression, and self-improvement. Ambition provides the motivation, energy, and willingness to pursue goals. Without it, nothing will be accomplished.
Be accountable for a job well done. I am the most qualified person to oversee my own performance. Success is tied to a sense of responsibility for things within my control.
Brand Personality Traits
These are specific characteristics that define what I do and say. With consistency, this is how others would describe me. I also define traits that I do not possess, to create a contrast of how I do not want to be remembered.
- Helpful but not needy
- Stylish but not wasteful
- Smart but not complicated
- Simple but not bland
- Practical but not harsh
- Witty but not snazzy
- Funny but not foolish
- Sarcastic but not bitter
- Informal but not unprofessional
- Self-confident but not cocky
- Humble but not meek
- Honest but not rude
- Empathetic but not narrow
- Positive but not naïve