‘Personal Branding’ or ‘You Don’t Have To Be A Hooker To Be On Sale”



Branding.  Whether you are talking about branding an international corporation, a small business or an individual, the reasoning is the same.  It is about developing a coherent plan as to how you will present yourself, your product or your company  to the world with the goal of fostering positive associations and good vibrations (which ultimately lead to dollars).  In essence, it is about putting your best face forward… or at least your most marketable one.

Personal Branding is the art of selling yourself to the world.  Not in the biblical sense of course (unless that’s what you’re into, I’m not here to judge) but in the entrepreneurial sense.  It is about how you carry yourself, the image you present; both physically in our day-to-day lives and in the part of our lives played out on the internet.  (And for those of us pursuing a life in multimedia, that is a sizable chunk.)  What would you think if you were conducting an interview and the interviewee came in all disheveled and fifteen minutes late?  Whether there were valid reasons behind their condition or not would be almost irrelevant, the damage would be done and it would be unlikely they would get the job.

The same can be said about our web presence and how we manage it.  The majority of us have a presence on several social media platforms such as linkedIn, facebook or twitter.  Many of us even have personal websites and other webspaces.  Each of these is a little piece of you and people (ie. potential customers and employers) will judge you on what they see there.  So if your website looks disheveled or if you are constantly posting snarky facebook status statements, it will be noticed.  Conversely, if you pay conscious attention to developing a positive, healthy web presence with consistent branding that points to the best parts of you, this too will be noticed (and to more positive effect).

Personal branding guru William Arruda discusses his view  of branding in the video below.  He breaks it down into being about two things; who you are and what makes you of value.  This is basic marketing really.  If you are going to sell a product, figure out what is special about it and market that aspect.  We are all unique, but that can go unnoticed with 6 billion other unique people around.  Personal branding allows is to shine a light on our uniqueness and get it noticed.



A teacher  asked our class to consider whether we are  in favour of or opposed to personal branding.  That is like asking me whether I am for or against mountains.  It is irrelevant, because no matter my stance the mountains will still be there tomorrow.  Personal branding will be there too.  We WILL be googled.  We can’t stop it nor should we want to.  It is up to us then to play the game and use it to our advantage rather than let it work to our detriment.     It is a tool that we can use and it is a weapon that can be used against us.  Personally, I’d rather it were the former than the later.




Changing Words into Action, or, Oh God, This is Gonna Hurt

This is another article written for an Algonquin Fitness Zone newsletter.  It was written about the common New Year’s resolution to get in shape, but it’s really about making change and committing to it.  That’s a message which bears repeating.  Especially as this is the time that this year’s batch of Resolutions start to disappear from the gym and crawl back under their rocks.  (Don’t do it!!) Enjoy!

Ahhhh… January! It is the time of cold, snow and resolutions! As a new year begins many people look to make positive lifestyle changes. For many of those people, that decision leads them to a gym. Some of them are arriving there for the first time, some of them for the first time in years, but they all have one thing in common… they want to make a change in their lives. The nature of that change may vary from individual to individual (some may feel they are too big, while others may feel they are too small), but the details are unimportant. The common denominator is that their status quo is no longer acceptable to them.

I can relate to this as I made my first real foray into the gym as a New Year’s Resolution. I can even specifically remember the moment all those years ago that I stood in front of my mirror in residence and told myself that I could do better. Looking back I recognize that as a major turning point in my life, it was the day that my words began to change into actions. I would love to be able to tell you that after that moment every-thing was easy, that all the pieces fell into place and my workouts practically did themselves. Unfortunately, that would be a lie. I had only taken the first step of an endless journey, and the road ahead of me was paved with a lot of learning and more than a few awkward moments (ie. being stuck on a decline bench unable to lift the bar off my chest and having to roll it painfully up my torso just so I could sit up, but that’s not important right now). The truth is that it only takes a second to make a resolution, but living up to it takes effort every day. Recognizing the need for change is a critical first step, but it must be followed up by a commitment to making that change happen. Without commitment our words are just words, and just in case anybody has been mislead, words don’t do a lot of push-ups.

For every new Fitness-Zoner who has made it far enough to be standing here reading this newsletter, I applaud you and welcome you to the Fitness Zone! For those of you who haven’t, what are you waiting for?  It is a great gym with friendly staff who would love to give you a spot, answer questions or just talk shop. It is also important for you to know that this is YOUR gym! You have just as much right to be in here as the gorilla in the corner military pressing a squat rack and the yoga queen juggling kettle bells while running on the treadmill. Success around here isn’t measured by the shape that you are in but by the effort that you give. Now I challenge you to do the work. I challenge you to put in the effort and put in the time required to start your journey towards your personal goals. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your dream physique, but today is the day that you start.

P.S. If you have started and are thinking about quitting… you’re not allowed.