Personal Branding and Success Advice from Bob Marley

Competence is one of the four keys to career and life success in my Common Sense Success System.  I also discuss it in some detail in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success; Your Success GPS; and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  If you want to succeed you need to develop four basic, but important competencies: 1) creating positive personal impact; 2) becoming a consistently high performer; 3) dynamic communication skills; and 4) becoming interpersonally competent. 

There are four key competencies that will help you become a career and life success:

  • You have to be able to create positive personal impact.
  • You have to be become an outstanding performer.
  • You have to be a dynamic communicator – in conversation, writing and presentations.
  • You have to build strong, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the important people in your life.

I am always surprised when people tell me that they have difficulty coming up with topics for blog posts.  I seem to have too many things about which I want to blog.  Yesterday I even bought an eBook called the Web Content Recipe Book that shows people how to find ideas for their blogs – just to see what the fuss what was all about.  The book was great and had a few ideas that I hadn’t thought of.  However, I still hold to my belief that if you know your subject, you will find material for blog posts all over the place.

Let me give you a couple of examples.  Yesterday I did a post on relationship building based on a country song I heard on the radio while I was driving in North Carolina a couple of days ago.  The song had a line that said, “I’ll start walking your way and you start walking mine…”  When I heard that, I said – there’s some common sense ideas on how to build and maintain relationships.  I should blog about it.”   So I did.

As it turns out that same rental car had an iPod dock.  I was able to listen to my own music on the return trip.  I had my iPod on shuffle when Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” came up.  There is a great line in that song that relates to creating positive personal impact…

“In this great future, you can’t forget your past.

So true, and another opportunity for a blog post – this one on creating positive personal impact.

Developing your unique personal brand is the first step in creating positive personal impact – and in creating the successful future you want and deserve.  Your personal brand has to be authentic.  There is no better way of being authentic than remembering your past. 

I always give my coaching clients two pieces of common sense advice when it comes to personal branding…

  1. Figure out how you want people to think of you.
  2. Consistently and constantly act in a manner that will get them to think of you that way.

My common sense guy brand came about from the first piece of advice.  I want people to think of me as a down-to-earth practical person; someone who can translate theoretical, abstract comments into useful and useable information.  That’s the common sense part.  I also want people to think of me as approachable, a regular person.  That’s the guy part.

Both of these come from my past.  In my bio, I always include this line…

Dr. Bilanich is Harvard educated but has a no nonsense approach to his work to goes back to his roots in the steel country of Western Pennsylvania

I have never forgotten my roots.  I get my common sense from them.  I also get the “guy” part of my brand name from them too.  At the end of the day, my early life in Western PA showed me that I am just a guy – a regular person, just like anyone else.

So when I heard Bob Marley sing “In this great future, you can’t forget your past,”  I thought, “what a great lead for a blog.” 

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people are competent.  The ability to create positive personal impact is an important success competency.  Developing your unique personal brand is the first step in creating positive personal impact.  Your personal brand should be authentic and uniquely you.  That means you can’t forget your past, because even if you are distancing yourself from it, it had a huge impact on who you are and how you look at the world.  If you deny your past completely, you’re likely to create a personal brand that isn’t authentic.  And, all good personal brands need to be authentic and uniquely you.  So here are a couple of questions for you to think about.  How has your past shaped who you are?  What parts of your past do you want to reflect in your personal brand?  Think about it.

That’s my take on your past as prologue to your personal brand.  What’s yours?  Please take a minute to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.

Bud

PS: Caroline Wright of Erie Colorado came up with the name of the song I mentioned in yesterday’s post – “Meet in the Middle,” by Diamond Rio.  She won a deck of mem-cards that summarize the ideas in Straight Talk for Success.

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