14/10/2011

By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach at Blossoming Brands

In honour of one of Steve Job’s mantras, I’d like to go back to basics.

That’s been one of my mantras — focus and simplicity….
~ Steve Jobs

Focus and simplicity in the context of personal branding helps us to declutter and gain clarity in our lives, and in our current world of information overload and being “always on” that can’t be a bad thing. So, for me it looks like this.

Focus on doing work that you love and that has meaning to you.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.
~ Steve Jobs

It’s not easy finding this kind of work, and it eludes many. But as Jobs says, it’s worth the search. Uncovering what’s important to you and what drives you will bring you closer, but it’s only in the doing that you really find out. If when you’re doing it, time flies, then that’s a really great sign. Until then, keep looking.

For the lucky ones, once you’ve found work like this, it’s about keeping it simple. The words “personal branding” often fill people with dread. Either they don’t know what it means or they worry about all the things they now have to start doing all in the name of “building their brand”; dominating the social networks, working the speaking circuit, writing for any publication that wants them, publishing a book, etc., etc.

But you know what? In the beginning, you don’t have to do any of it. Seriously. There’s only one thing you need to think about doing if you want a great strong brand and it’s this;

Do what you you’re hired to do & do what you promise to do.

When you’re hired to do a job, do it and do it well. If you do a great job, you’ll be asked to do another, and another. And before you know it, your reputation will precede you. When you give your word, respect it. Your word is one of your most valuable assets, don’t waste it and let yourself down in the process.

It’s simple. Until you do this consistently, all the rest risks being smoke and mirrors. Building your brand, and your reputation, requires some solid foundations in place, and putting those in place means going back to basics and putting in some hard grafting. Now, I’m not saying that any of this is easy. Easy and simple are not natural bedfellows. But if this is your starting place, then it’s not a bad place to be.

…Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
~ Steve Jobs

Alexia Leachman is a Personal Brand Coach and Head Trash Liberator at Blossoming Brands. She helps entrepreneurs find their mojo by helping them to tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. You can find out more at www.blossomingbrands.com; www.headtrash.co.uk And you can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL and @BBrands