Look in the mirror. What reflection do you see? What’s the answer that you get when you ask, “Who am I?”.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a personal mirror or one with a business face – they’re one and the same at the end of the day.
How you view yourself has a lot to do with how you’re viewed by others.
Do you see yourself as the no-nonsense type that doesn’t stand for any bull? Or the caring type that listens to everyone’s questions and concerns and tries to help wherever possible?
Maybe the answer is somewhere in-between, or nowhere near either.
Your view, and that of other people, is what shapes your brand, personal and professional.
If you want to come across as narcissistic, you will. If you want to be known as the person that never listens to others and does exactly what you want, you will. If you want to be known as the hard-assed boss, you will.
But you know what people buy from? The brand. Sure, the product is important, but generally it plays second fiddle to the service. Your brand gets known for its service and is the currency on which your fortune (or lack of) will be built.
I’m a consumer. If I hear about two companies that have exactly the same product and price point, but one listens to its customers more than the other, I know where my money’s going.
If I hear that Jim has built his hugely successful business by being a dick to his staff for no reason, I’d rather shop at Joe’s less successful business. Why? Because I’ve heard he knows all his employees’ likes and dislikes and when their birthdays are. He also listens to feedback from staff and customers alike and acts on it to make his service better.
We all know who and what we want to be. Yet we don’t always make the right decisions to get there. Ours isn’t the only opinion that counts – not if we want to be truly successful. We know who we are, but others know who we could be. This is what makes a successful brand.
Your brand is your voice but don’t be afraid to let others shape it.