Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What Does A Barbie™ Have To Do With Your Personal Brand?

Tu Marca Personal.
For many years, Barbie™ has been synonymous of perfect beauty, of a 90-60-90 perfect proportions model, which has been idolized and mimicked by many, some with spectacular results and others, not so much. As it happens with everything.

Many people have invested a lot of money searching for that "perfect beauty", many competitions are held throughout the world to reward and recognize such perfection, and, to be honest, we also know many people have a hard time and suffer badly during the search. 

Unfortunately, it’s a reality that we can see happening in professional environments too as many individuals strive more for the "how-do-I-look" instead of really "being-perfectly-beautiful", copying their preferred celebrity’s dress code, haircut, gestures, and even phrases. A parade of peacocks.

And the search for that perfection is not in itself a bad thing, because it's a standing invitation towards achieving something that, in theory, is an improved version of ourselves, but beware: it should be of ourselves, not someone else. However, as with all things in life, nothing which is taken to the extremes can be good. And here, taking this quest to its extreme and end up copying others or pretending to be what you’re not, is no exception.

The question which opens this post is self-explanatory and has (or should have), only one answer: No! Your personal brand has absolutely nothing to do with a Barbie, or at least should not.

A personal brand should not be a prison to lock yourself inside.

Quite the opposite! It should be a free and consistent expression of the real you, both professionally and personally, without impositions of others, without "grafts", no makeup, because, after all, all faked things will be noted at some point. Remember that "although the monkey dresses in silk, ..."

Some time ago I was following a discussion about how a professional should behave socially to avoid damaging its personal brand, and it really caught my attention. It was something like recommendations to follow during social events so that we didn’t commit excesses that could put us in jeopardy or harm our reputation.

And I thought to myself: "If you go to a social event and you can’t resist the urge to excessively drink alcohol until you lose your mind, or consume drugs irregularly, talking loudly or rudely, or things like that, it appears to me it’s not your reputation or brand which has the problem. It's your own problem and that’s crystal clear." At least, that was my thought.

A real professional. A professional for real.

After all, you can’t hide the sun with one finger. If you are a professional, people will notice, if you know how to behave, same thing. And I think that would be enough to give us all the freedom and confidence of the world to openly express ourselves:
  • If you are a real professional, properly prepared and trained, and not one that pretends to be, then your preparation, mastery of your work area, your knowledge and how you employ it, the words you use and what you are able to contribute, will all be authentic, will have a solid foundation (your own preparation) and you’ve nothing to worry about and nothing to pretend. Just to make sure to be always willing to learn a little more (or a lot) each day. Isn’t it funny the face made by a person who is trying to answer a question when not having an idea?
  • If you are a professional for real: Your attitude will also be professional at all times, because being professional is part of you, your nature, and you won’t have to copy anyone. You dress properly, you will handle yourself properly in front of others and many other things true professionals do.
Don’t allow yourself to be eager to imitate others, or wanting to pretend to be someone you're not, otherwise your personal brand will become a cage and steal your freedom, hiding your true and real value.

Above all, remember you are unique and have something unique to contribute with. Let it flow freely. This way you’ll find the true passion and motivation for bringing out the best of yourself.

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