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Personal Branding-Value Your Past in Creating Your Future

Mary Rosenbaum | June 17th, 2010

I love going into antique stores. For me it’s about learning the history of some object that caught my eye – who crafted it, who owned it, what it was originally used for, where it was found or from whom it was purchased. This information provides me with the substance that makes the object more real, more interesting, and more memorable.

Believe it or not, the same holds true for you as a professional or entrepreneur. We are always talking about the value of being authentic as part of your personal brand. When your brand is authentic it includes everything about you as well as your history. Your history is as vital to your brand as it is in making the antique more desirable.

Early in my career I worked in investment banking. As an analyst I learned how to compare and evaluate companies, synthesizing vast amounts of information including earnings, market penetration, comparability, economic conditions, consumer sentiment, and so forth.

That doesn’t sound like it would be useful for someone whose expertise is in personal branding and career management. Yet, it’s those same analytical skills that provide the underpinning for me to help clients evaluate, compare, synthesize and communicate how their talents, experience, skills, passions, vision, and values enable them to stand out from the competition. This past experience is a piece of the puzzle that makes up ALL of who I am and what I offer. My history is part of what makes me more interesting, more unique, more memorable, and of course, it helps me stand out.

When you are working on your personal brand try to answer these questions:

1. What are you are good at – what comes to you easily?
2. How did you come to own this particular skill?
3. How does it enhance what you do?
4. How can it enhance what you want to do (remember, brands are aspirational)?
5. Why are you good at it – does this fulfill a particular passion, interest, value?
6. Does this help you differentiate yourself from your competition – why?

The experiences in your life should not be compartmentalized, instead they should be mined and brought to the surface. They are your precious gems. So take a walk through your past, connect the dots to your present, and set the stage for your future.

If you have any personal branding stories to share I would love to hear them.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years, Mary Rosenbaum helps careerists and entrepreneurs position themselves so they can stand out from the competition. Get her free report Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

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