Entrepreneurial Personal Brands
By Jon Michail
The best entrepreneurs seem to be able to magic themselves into brands that resonate all over the world. Think of such diverse characters as Mark Zuckerberg, Donald Trump, Richard Branson, Jamie Oliver and Oprah Winfrey, who seldom put a commercial foot wrong. How did they get to the top of their respective ladders? And how do we know so much about them?
Chalk it up to our wired, connected high tech environment. The minute they generate a headline we know about it. We love them, we dislike them, we envy them but they’re always there – the high flyers, the wealth creators, the headliners – the commercial successes many of us aspire to be. So what’s stopping you from doing the same?
Those entrepreneurs didn’t just spring to life fully formed.. They are the products of their unrelenting desire to do something new and to do it well. Richard Branson struggled at school and dropped out at 16, but this decision eventually gave rise to the creation of Virgin Records. He worked at it. Over the years he has expanded his businesses to include a train company, a luxury game preserve, a mobile phone company and a space-tourism company, Virgin Galactic.
“Branson taught himself by taking risks and constantly striving to be the best in each business”
Branson taught himself by taking risks and constantly striving to be the best in each business. As with all the great entrepreneurs, we’ve been party to their development, we’ve learned a lot about their goals and objectives, and we’ve been allowed to learn a little of their hopes and dreams.
Could we say the same for the headline-grabbing celebrities who seem to be everywhere on our screens, titillating the masses with their complicated love lives and endless consumerism? Probably not. They’re driven, but not to improve the world or make life better for anyone else. They have successful brands, we know who they are and what they look like, but what do they do that betters the lives of others? Maybe the entertainment factor is enough.
“The best entrepreneurs have made their commitment to society a personal pledge”
The best entrepreneurs have made their commitment to society a personal pledge, like Jamie Oliver’s drive to improve school dinners, or Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. Big butts, conspicuous consumption and drying-out clinics don’t resonate in quite the same way.
Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa
So how do you build your own personal and business branding in a way that emulates the best of the high fliers?
“Have the courage to be authentic and make a stand”
Start by making yourself a real part of your community. Have the courage to be authentic and make a stand. You might already have a family reputation that you can build on, or maybe you’re the new person in town and you have to start from scratch. Both starting points are fine – as long as you work hard (and smart) to improve your personal profile and become involved in those things that are important to your community.
Those famous entrepreneurs didn’t spring from the nest ready to fly. They failed many times in their rise to fame and fortune. They still do. And you will too.
If you have your community’s backing, you have a massive head start. Your efforts to build a great personal profile and brand can build on that bedrock of goodwill.
Your appreciative customers, colleagues and neighbours will prove to be an asset that lasts the distance with you. They’ll help you to build your business and your entrepreneurial future. Add your courageous will to succeed and your determination to the mix and your brand will soar to the heights with the others who’ve made it.. and if you feel overwhelmed there is always help at hand.
I’d love to know what you are doing.
Take control of your destiny and create the best YOU!
Jon Michail and his team at Image Group International partners with their clients to achieve breakthrough results with new, disruptive ways to grow and monetise their personal and business brands. A veteran coach with a Who’s Who clientele, Jon is the CEO and Founder of Image Group International, an Australian-based corporate and personal brand image advisory and coaching organisation that conducts transformational seminars and workshops in over four continents and is recognised as Australasia’s No. 1 Image Coach.