I started my week on a rather unexpected note. In my inbox was an email from my Sacco, sent to all guarantors indicating that a borrower we had guaranteed a loan had defaulted on their obligations and the Sacco had no choice but to clear the loan (including the accumulated arrears plus interest) using our savings. Just like that, the little savings in that account had been wiped clean! To say I was upset is an understatement.
I was however more outraged by the fact that the defaulting party was an individual who had recently taken to social media and was actively giving financial advice. The irony of it all!
Prior to this final email from the Sacco office, we (the guarantors) had seen what appeared to be the ‘willingness’ to work on the facility by the borrower through a restructuring request that was put forth to all concerned parties. However, I am guessing due to a general lack of care and follow through by the defaulting party, the Sacco’s administrative office had no choice but to take the action it did. Too bad for casualties like me and my fellow guarantors.
Now, back to the financial advisor cum defaulter. What happens when you start building your brand under such pretexts? When years later, the name built as ‘trusted’ financial consultant must deal with a possible unfortunate event from one of the aggrieved parties who rises from the woodwork in remembrance of the money owed to them? All the time spent trying to nurture the said personal brand will have been for nothing!
Building your Personal Brand is NOT just about being superfluous with your words, it is about having your actions match your words too. What the world sees must also reflect what is unseen, because believe it or not, nothing really remains hidden forever…and most of all Karma is always at work!
How then do you future-proof your Personal Brand?
To safeguard your Personal Brand, you must identify the set of values that define who you are and live by them wholly. People should be able to identify you by the values you live by. Most times, we let the values our parents raised us by, define us; but to be more intentional about growing our Personal Brands, having a clearly defined set of values is what will set us apart.
Your values are the principles that determine what you stand for whether the world is watching or not. Having clarity on your values helps determine what gets the most priority in your life should conflicting opportunities come your way.
Further, defining your values helps lay a strong foundation for your personal brand; giving you the confidence to push through life without fear or concern. How liberating and comfortable is it when you know you can stand by the actions you are taking in your life now and in the future? It just makes the quality of life lived far much richer!
Closely related to defining ones set of values, is the need to follow through on your commitments or promises. A good number of us are very good at offering lip service. If your words cannot be followed with action, all trust is lost. And no one likes to do business with individuals who cannot be trusted.
When trust exists, there is absolute reliance on an individual’s capability to deliver.
Remember, Trust is the currency of Personal Branding; therefore, to successfully build your Personal Brand, you need to build trust with your audience, and this cannot happen if you do not have a good set of values that you are defined by and the commitment to follow through on your actions.
Do you know what values you stand for?
Value your values and commit to your commitments to #standout4growth