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Be A Brand For Better

Posted on 21 November 2016

Tomorrow, when you start your day, take a clicker with you as you head out the door. Set a goal to keep track of all the people you come in contact with. The neighbor you smile at as you get in your car, the cashier at the coffee shop and the numerous coworkers, family and friends you talk to on a daily basis. Opportunities to #LeaveYourMark are all around you.  

The tip above was one of my favorite takeaways from a professional development course I took this week about Building Your Personal Brand. While a personal brand (sometimes described as a marketing strategy to advance your personal career) may help advance occupational goals, I couldn't help but think about how it can also help to establish a personal legacy as well. I see a personal legacy as a call to action to be better, to mark accomplishments outside of professional or salary goals. For some people their career path may directly align with their personal legacy, but for others a personal legacy is a chance to make an impression outside of the 9-5 workday. All of the people you come across as you go about your daily activities offer up ways to promote your legacy. Pick anything that means something to you, anything that makes you want to try harder, be better and start to talk to people about it. 


A personal brand or legacy is going to be most effective if people can sense your passion, if they can see that your are living in a way that reflects your outward promotion. You don't have to be the most outgoing person to promote your legacy, you just have to have a steadfast dedication that inspires others. Take Mother Theresa for example, she did not boast of her accomplishments, she just felt a calling to help others and then took steps to lead her life in a way that would facilitate that. I’m not suggesting we’re all going to be Mother Theresa, but people respond better to a feeling of authenticity and action rather than reason. Some people are great at talking their way in and out of any situation or opportunity, but for most of us authenticity really means forming a foundation of trust about your intentions, in essence, making people believe you.  


I once was riding a bus to the airport when I started making small talk with the gentleman sitting next to me. At first the conversation was pretty mundane, but eventually he began to talk to me about a cause he was passionate about. The more he talked about the mission of the program he was starting, the more I felt myself wanting to get involved. He gave me a card for his organization when we got off the bus and I couldn’t stop thinking about how I could help him as I walked through the airport. That chance encounter inspired me to sign up as a volunteer for his organization and as a results I have taken friends to fundraisers, and posted about their mission online. I was taken by his passion and as a result he was expanding his network and solidifying his personal legacy. When you find something that makes you want to do better, talk to people about it, get involved, #LeaveYourMark.

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