The following is the 12th in the series "Personal Branding For A Better Life," in which marketing expert Jim Joseph applies big brand marketing lessons to help you build a successful personal brand.
Personal branding isn't about becoming famous, unless that's your life goal. The whole point of being a "brand" is to get something purposeful out of your life, both personally and professionally. The goal is to find out what makes you happy and then go out and get it.
Personal branding is a long process, a game plan carried out over the course of a lifetime. It doesn't happen all at once, and you can change its course many times over.
This is why any personal brand needs help along the way. It's important to surround yourself with people who will add to your brand and enhance your brand experience as you pursue your aspirations. You'll need your own personal brand team to truly accomplish your goals.
Your family, friends and various colleagues in many ways become your brand. So it's important to create a team of people that reflect how you want to live your brand. You want people around you who will help you get what you want out of life and will help you grow and progress along the way.
This is not to sound manipulative at all; it's just that you want to be strategic in the choices you make about the people in your life.
I tell my adult kids all the time. Their future is highly influenced by the people they are meeting on a daily basis, including their friends at college, professors and first-time work associates. The same is true for each of us ... so choose your people wisely.
It's perfectly appropriate to make an honest assessment of the people around you and make decisions about how they support your brand, and how you can support theirs in return. It has to be a two-way street. You'll need a wide range of people to support all aspects of your life, from pure entertainment to emotional support to intellectual stimulation.
You may discover some people who really don't fit your personal brand, which may be difficult to face. But you will also certainly uncover areas where you need more help. This then becomes a to-do list for how to build out your brand and continue to grow. It should also force you to ask yourself what you offer others at the same time.
Perhaps you need a mentor at work, a financial advisor or new motivator for diet and exercise. Being conscious about those around you and how they can help you achieve your goals is not being selfish either -- it's simply being purposeful about what you want out of life. It's all about developing an action plan and how you want to engage with those around you. Just be sure to give something back to them in a mutually-beneficial relationship.
You're going to have to ask yourself some tough questions, and be prepared for some tough decisions as a result. It may not be easy, but it will put you on a path of success, however you've defined success for your personal brand. It will also result in a rich balance of people who are all adding value to your life ... and you to theirs. Think of it as your own very personal brand team.
So, who's on your team?
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.
Jim Joseph is the North American president of New York-based communications agency Cohn & Wolfe, part of the media company WPP Group PLC. He is the author of three books, including the latest, The Personal Experience Effect (Happy About 2013). Joseph also teaches marketing at New York University and blogs at JimJosephExp.com.