I was doing some research on personal brand, business brands, marketing, all that jazz that we all love so much, and I found all the cool websites I featured in my past article: Top 5 FREE Resources to Improve Your Business in 2020.
It’s more than just writing catchy headlines and getting people to read your content. Your content may not be authentically you. It might be a total sham!
1 resource I left off my previous article, because he charges for his advanced courses, is the Golden Circle by Simon Sinek.
The Golden Circle
Simon Sinek has an interesting take on businesses.
His belief is that there are 3 layers that potential customers filter through when making a purchase and supporting a company.
- What – What a company does. What does it offer for the customer?
- How – How are things done? How does this set the company apart from others?
- Why – Why does a company exist?
Sinek starts out with the “what” a company does.
It’s literally the barrier for existing. What does the company do?
For H-E-B (shoutout, I worked at one in college) the “what” is a grocery store.
The “how” comes second and is really a question of how things operate there. What makes the company stand out?
H-E-B, let’s keep using them for clarity sake, has the “how” of offering name brand products everyone loves, but they create their own brand to offer the same product with a different label at a cheaper price.
Sinek says the most important part is the third circle: the “why” of a company.
It’s the overarching message behind the company. Why does the company exist? Why are they so dedicated to their “how” and “what?”
H-E-B’s “why” started out as a serving the people. The company was originally invented because the people in a small town needed groceries.
They maintained this “why” in everything they do. They do a lot of charity work. Each store has a dedicated person to keep the company engaged in the community.
The “why” is proven by how they open stores; they do market research and build the stores to cater to each area they are opening in.
Simon Sinek says that every company needs to focus on their “why” and apply the answer to every aspect of the business.
This holds true to a personal brand as well. All three of the circles are relevant to personal and business aspirations. It’s about making sure you know your personal “why” and how to communicate it.
Brand is Character
Whoa! Throwing around bold claims here, aren’t I?
And I stand by it 100%.
I think the best way to have the greatest impact in authenticity when showing your brand. If you’re not authentic you have some potentially serious long-term effects.
Growing up, I was always told, “Character is who you are when no one is watching.”
With today’s social media and cameras always on, you are pretty much always being watched. Heck, when you say something to your friend and your phone is nearby, it’s like it’s listening because you start getting ads for something you mentioned.
People get freaked out by this.
I admit there are some scary aspects, but mainly it drives convenience for the user.
That means your character is always on display. Someone is always monitoring you.
Branding is just choosing to own your character and displaying it proudly. Control the narrative and tell your own story.
My “why” is that I love helping people. The best way I know how to help is through writing. That’s the brand I offer. I use social media and other forms of communication to prove this brand.
Every company has a reason behind what they do. The brand is just how they demonstrate that on a public stage.
Because it sounds weird to call everything “character,” especially in relation to a large entity like a business, it has been termed as “brand.”
I believe that any brand that is not authentic to its character will fail.
Work For “YOU” Inc.
This is the part where personal brand and business brands cross.
To have a truly optimized and happy life, you need make sure you work for yourself first and foremost.
This guarantees that you don’t have to submit to the whims of any larger corporation. It’s the same concept as creating a website instead of relying on just social media to show who you are.
This is an example of owning your personal brand. It also goes for businesses in other ways.
A personal story will probably help set this up:
When I was in college, I was in a committed relationship with my now wife. We had been dating a long time and everyone knew marriage was inevitable.
We were discussing marriage one day and finances had come up. I had to confess that I was in about $600 in debt on my credit card.
That doesn’t seem like a lot of money to some, but to a broke college kid, it was a fortune. My then girlfriend was pissed.
She was angry I was lying and paying for stuff. She would regularly ask me if I was financially okay to do stuff and go on dates. Being the man in the relationship, I thought I was meant to pay for it now and deal with the money stuff later.
We had an argument. I called my dad for some council and gave me a speech that really revolutionized how I thought about things.
It started out with telling me to get another job or sell some stuff. I said I didn’t have extra stuff I was willing to sell, and I didn’t want to work another job because I wanted to hang out with my girlfriend more.
He said, “It’s time to grow up and be a man. As a man you have to worry about yourself right now. You have school loans you’ll have to pay after graduation. Until then you have to deal with this $600. To do that you have to work for Josh Inc. you have to do what it takes to keep yourself afloat and in good standing. You’re young and will have plenty of time to hang out with your girlfriend later.
“Don’t lie about anything anymore. You wouldn’t buy from a company that lied about their products.
“Own it. You made a mistake and need to own up to it. It builds confidence in yourself and instills confidence in others.
“If you’re serious about this girl, you have to show her you’re willing to work for Josh Inc. now because it means you will work for Josh + Spouse Inc. in the future.”
My dad is a great man. I would argue with anyone that tries to debate me on that, and I’m willing to die for the fact.
What he said to me taught one of the greatest life lessons I’ve ever heard.
AND it applies to everything.
Invest in yourself. Work for “You” Inc. Embrace your authentic character.
Then brand it.
Post it all over social medias that you are who you are and you want to offer your best self to others.