Authenticity, Personal Branding and Success

Positive personal impact is one of the keys to personal and professional success I discuss in Straight Talk for Success and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  If you want to create positive personal impact you need to do three things.  First, develop, nurture and constantly promote your unique personal brand.  Second, be impeccable in your presentation of self – in person and on line.  Third, know and follow the basic rules of etiquette.

Mike Robbins has a new book out, Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken.  Great title — and really true.  As you might expect, it’s all about authenticity.  Personal brands are all about authenticity.  So the advice in Mike’s book is great if you’re trying to create positive personal impact – and you should be if you want to succeed.

I like Mike’s common sense approach to authenticity.  He suggests that there are five principles for becoming authentic…

1. Know Yourself
2. Transform Your Fear
3. Express Yourself
4. Be Bold
5. Celebrate Who You Are

Here are some of Mike’s ideas on each of these principles.

You can get to know yourself by…

  • Simply paying attention – to what you do and say and how you react to different stimuli.
  • Learning about yourself and personality – use a commercially available personality assessment tool like the DISC, MBTI, Strengths Finder.  I am an MBTI expert.  I can help you better understand yourself by using this tool.  Send me an email if you’re interested.
  • Appreciating your strengths – when I was young, words and writing came easily, math and science was difficult.  It took me a while to realize that I would do better in life if I entered a profession where I could use my natural talent with words.

Mike says you also need to…

• Have compassion for your weaknesses
• Accept yourself
• Get feedback

When it comes to fear, Mike says you need to:

• Know it
• Appreciate it
• Admit it
• Own it
• Feel it
• Express it
• Let go of it
• Take action

Great common sense advice.  I have often said that fear is the enemy of self confidence.  After reading Mike’s book, I realize it is also the enemy of authenticity and your personal brand.

Mike devotes a lot of the chapter on expressing yourself to dealing with conflict.  Conflict scares a lot of people.  It can be damaging to relationships.  I have one bit of advice on resolving conflict that I offer over and over. 

When you are in conflict with another person, work hard to find some point of agreement, however small.  Use this point of agreement to help the two of you build a creatively solution to your disagreement.

This is a great way to express yourself positively in a conflict situation.

Mike uses the definitions for the word “bold.”

“Not hesitating or fearful in the face of actual or possible danger or rebuff; courageous and daring.”

He suggests five keys to being bold in life…

1. Be true to yourself.
2. Live with passion.
3. Step out.
4. Lean on others.
5. Get up when you fall down.

When it comes to celebrating who you are, Mike offers the following advice…

• Make peace with yourself, you’re OK just as you are.
• Forgive yourself – and others.
• Appreciate yourself.
• Honor yourself.
• Own your personal greatness.
• Love yourself

I’ve just covered an entire book in about 570 words.  I haven’t done justice to Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken.  I hope, however, that I have piqued your curiosity.  If you’re interested in developing a unique personal brand, you need to read this book.  Trust me, it’s that powerful and well written.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people stand out by creating positive personal impact.  You can begin to create positive personal impact by developing, nurturing and constantly living your unique personal brand.  While your personal brand should be uniquely you, it should be based on authenticity and integrity.  Mike Robbins’ great book, Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken is a treasure trove of advice on authenticity.  You can’t go wrong with Mike’s common sense advice.  Pick it up, read it and more important, use the valuable advice inside.

That’s my take on authenticity and personal branding.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading. 


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