Don’t let your ego corrupt your personal brand

“The artist appeals to that part
of our being… which is a gift and not
an acquisition—and, therefore, more permanently enduring.”

— Joseph Conrad

Surely they go hand in hand?

(Ego = Personal brand = Narcissism!)

I’m not sure.

The problem is always the problem.

Personal branding didn’t arrive on the scene with Tom Peters’ Fast Company article. It’s been around as long as we could share a personal message.

We might shun the notion of a brand and us, but with advent of the web there’s no way of escaping that you have a persona. (When was the last time you did a search for your name on Google?)

If you are intent on crafting a personal brand then stop playing to your ego.

It’s not about you. It’s about them. Or, more precisely, it’s about creating art and being prepared to share without an end in mind.

When we give completely – we invest our soul and love in a project – then it does much more to reinforce our brand than any amount of faux economics.

I have posited the question that if you remove the economic lever, what’s left of your personality? Or to put it another way, if you didn’t work for a company selling XYZ product or service, would you still be passionate about your offering?

I think not?

The thing is the true artist creates art because s/he has no choice. It’s not about getting. It’s about giving.

As more and more people pile into the social media space, there simply isn’t enough room for everyone to be milking the same edges of their personal brand. You have to be prepared to stand up, create from the heart and cease the endless messaging.

When I think of those people who’ve established a meaningful personal brand, they haven’t done so on the back of a sales promotion. They’ve done it by providing something valuable, standing for something and giving without any prospect of getting. You might argue that they have egos the size of a house (I wouldn’t know) but that’s not what comes to mind. In fact, the fact that they have an opinion makes me feel I can make a space in my life to listen or read their material. Compare that to the usual sales guff I see these days. And the two couldn’t be further apart.

The bottom line is that what you do online should totally reflect who you are and what you stand for. In one word: congruence.

If your ego continues to dominate then I fear it will be a slippery path to oblivion.


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