Personal Branding & Entrepreneurship is a mouthful for a blog category, but as I intend to talk about both topics and they happen to have a lot of overlap, the only sensible thing is to shove them in one package, wrap reasonably neatly, and offer to be read for your enjoyment. Yes, enjoyment! To my surprise I find entrepreneurship quite compelling and business concepts in general rather fascinating, but turns out learning how to run an entrepreneurial endeavour, regardless of size, could put food on my table as well, so here we are.
I sincerely hope I will manage to spread the joy of learning new things, which have the potential to change your life, too. In terms of personal branding, perhaps you’re completely satisfied where you are in life, but never thought in detail how to present yourself, or how others perceive you for that matter. Being a personal brand isn’t just about the branding itself, but also about reputation management. On the other hand, if you find yourself detesting going into work, there are options to explore and you’ve come to the right place in that case.
In my immediate family, I’m the only one not to choose some kind of business degree to study after compulsory school or upper secondary school, and for most of my life I’ve thought of it as something necessary to keep the world running. It’s only recently, during my long stretch of unemployment that I’ve turned to business for real and given it an honest chance.
Perhaps I had some kind of idea that it would be difficult to understand or hard to turn into something practical, but apart from various theories and guys who created those theories my brain is buzzing from new ideas. There are so many to choose from that today I need to be strict about picking only a few things to pursue simultaneously.
How to ‘do’ business
The thing that stands out the most to me is how I’ve seen business as its own subject, and of course it is, but if you think about successful entrepreneurs often they know something else, too. Or they have learned business through trial and error, when trying to start a business from a product or service they felt would be well received.
Frankly, I don’t care about theories of business. If you want to learn microeconomy, macroeconomy or something else more analytical, by all means, but what my mission is on this website is to make every single blog post, newsletter, course, or coaching session actionable, actionable, actionable.
If you share my boat, you are either without a job or you want a new one where you’re calling the shots. To pull it off, (unfortunately) you need some (or many but I don’t want to scare you off because it isn’t scary) business skills.
Business as a non-business person
The reason why entrepreneurs in different fields fail over and over is because they don’t set themselves up for success. They don’t learn, they aren’t even interested in knowing what they need to learn, and so how on earth could their projects become a success? Maybe they will make money for a while, but if they don’t understand their different numbers–user statistics, tax percentages, revenue, etc.–it’s doomed to fail.
So why not learn instead of wing it? I don’t hold a business degree nor will I ever, but I have business courses under my belt. And I read. If you have a library at your disposal, you can learn and do so for free most likely. The problem today, however, is that the internet makes things move very fast and what they teach in business school isn’t necessarily directly very applicable to an entrepreneur’s needs, who is a specialist in another field.
Personal branding as an entrepreneur
So, branding. Sounds fancy and elusive, but isn’t at all. Your business will have its brand, but you will have your own, personal brand. When reading various sources, I find that a personal brand is made quite complicated to grasp, but it doesn’t have to be.
The way I like to explain it is that our brand is what people say when we’re not present. It’s the image they have of us as fellow human beings. The question is whether we choose to cultivate it or not. Reputation management is part of it, and in some unfortunate cases crucial, when the internet mob mobilises to rip apart someone, who in their opinion took a wrong move.
It wasn’t too long ago that I read a list of buzz words to steer clear of and empowerment was on it. I politely disagree. To empower means “to give another person the authority or power to do something” and how is this a bad thing, a fad?
If I can help you in any way to gain clarity of your heart’s desires, then draft an action plan in true project management style, and finally conquer your corner of the world, I’d happily allow myself to be called a fad.
Giving others information so they can apply their own wisdom to build something better, something happy in their own life isn’t silly, so let’s learn business basics properly. Throw in some branding and other business lingo, too, and with luck we can create the next unicorn. I’m not kidding, aim high because nobody will do it for you.