“How do I approach building a personal brand when I have so many diverse interests?”

A few months ago I came across the work of an intelligent, generous human being in Silicon Valley named Rajesh Setty. He is doing some interesting work at a new site, TH!NKSULTING. I appreciated his recent answer to a question that was posed to him, “I am planning to write a book. Can we brainstorm ideas?” – but think that this post may be of interest to many more GoovLoopers. Reaction, anyone?

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Profile Photo Kitty Wooley

Greg, then you may also be interested in what Thirsty-Fish is doing. I met Michael Margolis last Wednesday evening, when he was presenting on this subject to the Capitol Creativity Network here in DC. Looks like he also does public workshops in NYC periodically.

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Profile Photo John Sporing

I think that in today’s world, we are “distracted” by so many different avenues of interest. But I think that the diverse interests we all have is what makes us interesting. I try to bring my various networks together so that they can learn from each other. My personal brand is a compilation of my diverse interests.

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Profile Photo Steve Ressler

Cool post and question. I always feel a little quesy when talking about personal brand. But I know my passion (and I guess my brand) is around public service. I want to work with people and create the next generation of government. Work together to improve government and connect people as together we are smarter than one. May work around the issue from a bunch of different angles – but you won’t see my working in Hollywood or Oil or any other issue. Public sector is it for me.

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Profile Photo Lee Ellis

Sound advice. The gist of it, paraphrasing Rajesh Setty’s July 11, 2009 post – Build a personal brand around valuable accomplishments in one domain. Now to get right onto that….

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Profile Photo Joe Flood

I’m not entirely sure I agree with the idea that you should build your personal brand around “valuable accomplishments in one domain.” On my web site, I’ve blogged about being a government web site manager, photography and my adventures in screenwriting. They all make me who I am and, in a sense, they complement one another. Maybe my focus is too diffuse but they’re all things I’m interested in and like to write about. I think they also demonstrate being able to be creative in different, but related and interconnected mediums, so maybe that’s my personal brand.

There’s also the question of passion. Maybe you’re an accomplished accountant but are passionate about something else. You’re likely to bring more energy and commitment to your true interest rather than what you might be merely good at.

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Profile Photo Kitty Wooley

Joe, I totally buy what you say about the link between passion and energy & commitment! As far as focus goes, I’ll bet Mr. Setty would say, “Whatever works for you.” I can imagine that, if I were to try to earn a living as a consultant, the fact that my energetic resources are finite would cause me to focus more of my energy on fewer things. You have two interesting avocations! Just finished an article about screenwriting in Sunday’s Washington Post.

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Profile Photo Joan R. Resnick

Wow, diverse opinions on this one. I do think there is a place for personal branding in the discussion because whether we pursue it our not intentionally, we are always building our brand in the sense that branding asks, “How am I coming across to other people?” and “Where does my sense of myself (values, goals, key attributes) align or diverge with how other people sense the same in me?”. I have been following and using William Arruda’s work (http://www.reachcc.com/) and have found him to be very conscientious in what he calls “finding each person’s unique promise of potential”. I’ve used his 360 tool and prefer it over performance-based tools because it’s about congruence, attributes, and reflection.

I do think it’s valuable to consider our personal brand from others’ view point and from the stance of congruence. Branding may be a hip way of saying “reputation” but I think it can be viewed as an insight into authenticity, integrity, congruence, and as a success factor relative to how we live our lives and how we work in alignment with our values.

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