Who are you – How powerful is “your” personal brand ?
Have you ever wondered how your visiting cards with a fancy designation working in a well known brand help get senior level appointments fixed, help easily doors open, how one is pampered with perks and how one’s status is perceived in the pecking order or in various meets when an introduction is made? Even if one is down to earth and humble by nature, the card generates an aura which may be larger than life, or more than what it really deserves to be!
Quite obviously the fancy title and the status is something that got built over time, over decades of hard work, of handling various complex roles, of being a turn around artiste or a start up specialist or a subject matter expert. And hence the respect often comes because it is deserved or has been earned atleast in the eyes of the beholder.
Yet interestingly when one takes the plunge to move to a smaller organization, a startup or to follow one’s passion to be an entrepreneur, even if it’s after all these years of experience, it is interesting to see the change in response.
Even if the visiting card says Managing Director or CEO or Director of xx company and the same person attends an event or requests for a meeting, it’s quite interesting to see the change in responses – Ah! So what exactly do you do? What does your company do? How big is your team? Where is your office ? How long have you been around ?..
And suddenly you feel as if you are back to ground zero turning the clock back and starting afresh 🙂 That Is fun too, but what is most interesting is how people perceive you so very differently, even though you are the same you, with the same rich experiences and expertise acquired over the years. Where did the aura just go?
The question then is while you had those flashy titles and brand to back you up, were YOU the brand hidden behind the umbilical cord of the mother brand? How proudly one would say with chests puffed up – Oh WE do this andWE do that and we have 1000 employees and 20 offices across and our mission is this and that … makes you feel very important! Good ego massage.
And now on your own suddenly YOU the brand has to start learning to stand on your own feet like a baby and learn to walk on your own? And maybe clutch onto the past glories for that extra support and credibility?
From my own experiences all I can say that I had fun working with the big brands over decades, but am having bigger fun evolving ME as the brand and learning and growing every day with every interaction and learning to fly without wings!
Will be nice to know how many more have experienced the same. And how you have worked towards building your own brand even while taking shelter under the protective umbrella of the mother brand. And how ready are you when the day will come when you can break free and say I am ME and this is what I bring to you .
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