Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Identifying with your Brand

Most people get their identities from other people’s brands. You get a job with a company, which comes with a title, and suddenly you are somebody. 

You have position and prestige by association. But how substantial can that be? The giver of that status can take it away, plus they can demand all sorts of compromise in exchange for it. You are strutting around on shaky ground.

You may convince others of your standing but you know the bottom line. You are nothing without that brand and you are nothing with it too. Your delusion will not stand you in good stead.

Some people get their identities from their own brands. You start your own business and instantly call yourself the CEO, even though you are the one and only member, who does every task, including wondering where the money is going to come from.

You have prestige by positioning, which is potentially empowering, but people can easily see through it, too. You have given yourself status, which may not be worth much in the end.

You can make the most of it over time, building something substantial, but that might make you full of yourself. Is there anything more off-putting than someone stuffed with being self-made?

A sincere personal brand can be a healthy, living thing, one of the greatest creative experiences available to us. Part of its wellness, though, is that we do not over-associate with it. It is a wholesome expression of who we are and how we are of service, but it is not us.

It is our legacy but not our identity. We work with it but we are not it. In fact, by not being synonymous with us, it teaches us who we really are. We grow into the truth behind the brand and the business.

Identifying with someone else’s brand is sad and pathetic. Identifying with your own brand can be even more dangerous. It’s essential to remain nobody behind whatever role you play and fulfil.

Being yourself for a living means thriving freely beyond the trappings of identity.

No comments: