If you have ever received directions from someone other than Google Maps, you know the frustration of getting lost just when you are about to reach your destination. The other day, while on a road trip to my friend’s village, we found ourselves unsure of our route and decided to call for clarification. The person on the other end of the line asked us to confirm if we had passed a certain number of bumps on the way.
Naturally, the number of bumps is never a feature you pay attention to when driving, so we had to retrace our drive back to figure if we had indeed crossed passed the bumps. As it would turn out, we had indeed gone past a set of bumps, but not the ones that our ‘human GPS’ had intended for us.
As we retraced our steps in search of the so-called bumps that could help us pinpoint our location, the other vehicle had driven past the second marker we needed to look out for – a famous landmark hotel which as it would turn out had closed many years ago according to the locals.
Eventually, we did receive GPS coordinates that led us to where we needed to be and the biggest realization was that all we needed to do was simply drive a few meters ahead from our initial location to reach our destination.
Instead, both vehicles had wasted a significant amount of time looking for erroneous markers simply because they did not have a clear guide, nor did they have visibility on the end destination.
The personal branding process can sometimes feel overwhelming, much like our navigation experience.
Embarking on a personal branding journey can often feel like navigating unfamiliar roads without a reliable GPS system. As you define what your Personal Brand is going to look like, it is important for you to ask yourself the following questions to ensure you maintain a clear direction to your goals.
- Do you know where you are headed?
Before embarking on your personal branding journey, take time to clarify your destination. Just like a normal GPS system will help you determine the route with least traffic, while taking away the hustle of having to stop and ask for directions, clarity in your destination helps determine what you want to achieve and the impact you wish to make.
Do this by defining your goals, values, and the message you want to convey through your personal brand. Having a clear vision will guide your actions and allow you to stay focused on your desired outcome.
- Whose voices are you listening to?
There is tribe here in Kenya that is notorious for under-estimating distances. Ask anyone from that tribe how far you need to drive to get to your destination and the answer will always be ‘Don’t worry, destination xxx place is just around the corner’. Even when the distance to be covered is over 2 hours away, the locals will always define the place as ‘just around the corner’.
When it comes to personal branding, it’s crucial to be selective about the advice you receive. Not every voice will understand your unique journey or align with your goals and aspirations.
Seek guidance from mentors, industry experts, and trusted individuals who possess knowledge and experience in personal branding. Their insights can provide you with a solid foundation and help you make informed decisions.
- What are the markers in your journey?
In any journey, markers play an important role in guiding your progress.
Similarly, in personal branding, it’s important to identify key milestones along the way. These can be achievements, skill development, or personal growth opportunities that contribute to your overall brand.
Milestones provide a sense of direction, motivate you to keep moving forward, and allow you to assess your progress.
- Are there any enablers that you can take advantage of?
Technology can be a powerful tool in your personal branding journey. Just as a GPS system helps you navigate the roads, leverage technology to gain insights and locate resources that can support your brand development.
Utilize social media platforms, professional networking websites, and personal branding tools to enhance your visibility accelerate your growth. Had we embraced technology in our journey from the word go, we probably spent less time on the road.
Misdirection can lead to wasted time and effort, much like our experience of getting lost due to inaccurate information. While in your Personal Branding journey, it’s important to discern reliable sources and ensure that the guidance you receive aligns with your goals. Beware of outdated advice or following trends blindly without considering their relevance to your personal brand.
Stay true to your unique journey and make decisions that are in line with your vision and #Standout4Growth