What is the First and Most Important Tool for Personal Branding?

The importance of self perception in building a personal brand.
Self perception and personal branding

You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.

Frank McCourt

What’s personal branding? What do I do to begin my personal brand? At what point do I know I have a personal brand? These and many more are questions asked about personal branding.

I love the movie, Hannah Montana (I think season 1) because it paints a perfect picture of where personal branding begins. Thanks to Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) who displayed what happens not just to teens but to adults.

Hannah Montana (Miley Cyrus) had such a life that was centered on her celebrity personality. For a while, she enjoyed it with the glory and attention attached to it until her dad changed altered it by faulting her plan to go for a show.

Why? Grand ma was having her birthday. Yet, Hannah Montana thought Grandma’s birthday celebration was less important to her than her show. But for her dad, he wouldn’t take that. Never!

Finally, she got tricked to fly a private plane and instead of landing at her supposed airport for her show, she found herself in her country home. What?! The teen superstar was so furious.

She finally spent about two weeks there but in what I’d called self perception crisis – fighting between being Hannah Montana (her stage personality) and Miley Cyrus (the real girl). Her self perception was colored because of the attention she got from the public.

So the question for her and her dad was: Who is Hannah Montana? Who is Miley Cyrus? Can she live without the external attention of the public or does she need it to be who she is?

And this is where personal branding starts. The words of King Solomon expresses it this way:

As a man thinketh in his heart so is he…

When some folks hear personal branding they think of colors, business name, products, logo, Instagram page, Facebook page… While all of these are important, the first and most important thing is: What do you think about you? What’s your Self perception? 

Virginia Bautista, a LinkedIn trainer, speaker and consultant says it this way:

Our journey to creating a strong personal brand requires a shift in our mindset. Unless we take that shift, we can’t truly build an authentic and powerful brand.

Your self perception, not your phone, is the first and most important tool for personal branding. Laura Montgomery, a contributor on the Economist wrote a most and titled it Personal brand is more than your digital presence. So, it starts from you, your thoughts of you. Whatsoever you think of you is your true personal brand.

If you think you’re not unique, then you can’t express a unique brand. Take note: I didn’t say create a unique brand. Why? You’re a brand already. There’s a thought pattern you already have about yourself. If you like it, build it. If you don’t, change it.

On a final note, what do you believe about you? What are your thoughts about you? Do you think you can become a global figure in your field? Do you think you are too small to be the brand you see for yourself?

What you think about you will control who and what you become. Your self perception – this is the first and most important tool for personal branding.

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