Category —
Personal Branding

Don't Be That Guy, Follow Through

Written by Paul on April 25th, 2010

One of a my readers emailed me a few weeks ago for advice on an upcoming interview. I spent nearly an hour on the phone with him and haven’t heard from him since. He’s now officially become “that guy” in my book.

Don’t be that guy.

Remember: Substance Before Style

Written by Paul on September 22nd, 2008

It’s interesting to think about how many small businesses get suckered into “branding” themselves before actually doing anything. The sad part: I was one of them. I had incorporated my first company many years ago and was feeling great. Nevermind the fact that I didn’t have a single sales prospect yet — I had to have a business card and other sales collateral. A few days later, I was a couple of hundred dollars poorer with boxes of shiny new …

So, tell me what you do again?

Written by Paul on September 17th, 2008

I was visiting my home, just outside of DC, this weekend and met a number of great folks involved in a wide range of industries. As I sit here on the ride back to San Francisco, I’ve been thinking about one particular entrepreneur that struck me because I still don’t know what he and his small business do, even after chatting for 20 minutes. (To protect the innocent, I won’t call him out publicly but I’m working with him privately …

The importance of being accessible

Written by Paul on August 19th, 2008

A column in this month’s Inc. magazine describes what it was like to work for the world’s most successful entrepreneur, Bill Gates:

Bill came in. I thought about how strange it was that he had two legs, two arms, one head, etc. – almost exactly like a regular human being.

So, maybe Bill isn’t the right person to compare ourselves against but the point is that the people around you need to easily recognize that you are a real person, just …

Be Persistent

Written by Paul on June 18th, 2008

This is the fifth in a series of posts about rethinking your personal brand.

Pushing forward in spite of obstacles and challenges can seem difficult (if not impossible) at times. You may be feeling pressure from friends or family to give it up already and go the safe route. Ignore them – and remember that nothing that’s worth having comes easy.

Hammer with yellow background

In the …

Organize For Ideas

Written by Paul on June 10th, 2008

This is the fourth in a series of posts about rethinking your personal brand.

Just because ideas are ephemeral doesn’t mean you can’t apply the same kind of rigorous management attention to idea generation that you apply to everything else you do. Viewing yourself with new frame of reference is a great way to see if you’re presenting the right image.

Most successful entrepreneurs have adopted some form of process to capture ideas that (randomly) come to them on a daily …

Widen Your Lens, Narrow Your Focus

Written by Paul on June 3rd, 2008

This is the third in a series of posts about rethinking your personal brand.

Back in college, I started up a small consulting company to provide some outsourced Linux system administration. Oh, and photography. Oh wait, and business process consulting.

You get the idea: I tried to be everything to everyone but ended up being no one to anyone. More importantly, my clients started to see me as …

Build community, but tend to business

Written by Paul on May 27th, 2008

This is the second in a series of posts about rethinking your personal brand.

Let’s face it, everyone’s a salesman and they’re constantly trying to feed you what they think you want to hear. The problem is that too many of them fail to follow through and actually deliver on their promises.

Take a look around the web and you’ll easily find 375649874 tips on building community to

See The Big Picture

Written by Paul on May 12th, 2008

This is the first in a series of posts about rethinking your personal brand.

Times have changed: Smarts, diligence and hard work aren’t enough to ensure career success. We all know lots of hard-working, intelligent people who are stuck in dead-end jobs, unemployed or (worse) unhappy with their current position. Personal branding is about developing a strategy that positions you differently from others.

The Big Picture

Know yourself. A …

Five Tips to Rethinking Your Personal Brand

Written by Paul on May 2nd, 2008

Ten years ago, Tom Peters defined personal branding:

Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.

It’s that simple — and that hard. And that inescapable.

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