People have yelled at me online. It sucks. It’s embarrassing. I can’t control others; just me.
Your brand is what other people say about you when you leave the room.
– Jeff Bezos Amazon.com
We are often reminded that we represent our company/family/organization. Perhaps it is more important that we represent ourselves.
We are different. We are individuals with our own identities. But people’s perception of us is who we are in that moment. It works the other way too. They are who we think they are.
Prospective employers, clients, or investors might research us. They might see what we are up to. Marking our profile ‘private’ guarantees nothing.
Look at that picture of us enjoying a libation or passed out on the floor. One might think we have a problem.
Our devil tattoo may be awesome and meaningful to us. Not everyone feels the same way. Side question: Do people in Japan get tattoos in English sayings and have to explain them to their friends? “Peace means 平和 in English”.
A Facebook account might be riddled with a Candy Crush high score or actions on their virtual farm. Maybe someone will think that is all we do (instead of work).
Our brand matters. What others see of us may not matter, or it might. We should always be conscious of our (perceived) personal brand.
We may not be hiding anything in our personal brand. We are also not advertising anything that has a chance that it is misinterpreted.
This is not a post against drinking, tattoos, or anything else that we do in our personal time.
One might argue “I don’t care what others think. I am me and I am awesome. If they don’t like the picture of me and my bong, screw them. It’s OK because I have a prescription. I don’t want to know them anyway.”
This is a narrow view of the world. When we decide to exclude someone because we don’t share the same beliefs, we shrink our network. Maybe we will never need them. What if we do?
Be genuine. Be You. But have the courage to know your brand.
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