When I wrote Personal Branding Secrets for Beginners back in 2011, my intention was to provide a short, simple, and useful primer on personal branding for people who were new to the concept. A lot of people had a lot of questions.
Fast forward five years, and the terms personal brand and personal branding are widely used, making regular appearances in popular media and conversations around the water cooler. The concept has been around long enough now that a percentage of people have built personal brands and are now asking themselves how committed they really are to the personal brand they’re building.
If you find yourself in this place, consider the following questions :
- How committed are you to your personal brand?
- What happens when you realize you’ve had a dating mindset vs. a married mindset with your personal brand?
- Is it possible to change your personal brand or are you stuck with the same one forever?
- How much does commitment to your personal brand really matter?
- What’s the best way to break up with your personal brand?
This last question is the ringer.
What happens when things just aren’t working out between you and your personal brand? How do you let yourself down gently?
So Hard to Do
Breaking up with your personal brand is really hard because…well, it’s so personal. When you decide it’s time to move on, you have to come to terms with the truth that certain things about who you are didn’t go the way you thought they might. Disappointment, sadness about unmet expectations, and grief are bound to show up, often at inconvenient times like 3 a.m.
Don’t worry too much, though. If reinventing or perhaps tweaking your personal brand is on your immediate radar, take heart. All is not lost in the wake of a personal brand breakup! In an attention-deficit culture, people are quick to forget what happened 5 minutes ago, let alone 5 months or years ago. Unless you’ve undergone plastic surgery and no longer look anything like your former self (ala Renee Zellwegger), chances are good you will introduce elements of your revised personal brand over time, giving your existing audience a chance to get used to the new direction you’re taking your career, business or life while attracting new people into your world.
Will you lose some fans during the transition? Sure. But people come and go all the time, reinvention or not. It’s not your job (nor worth your time) to worry about who’s coming and going. Your job is to put front and center the best of you and what value you bring to the world every single day as you serve others. Staying focused on the new direction of your personal brand will keep you busy and ideally, happy for many years to come.
Have you broken up with your personal brand or reinvented yourself? Share your story in the comments below!