Position Your Brand So It Reflects Who You Are

There's no separating yourself from your business when you're an entrepreneur. Use that to your advantage.

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By Jim Joseph • Oct 22, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

"Don't take it personally."

How many times in business have we heard this statement?

"It's just business."

Why does that always come right before some bad news?

"It's not about you, it was a business decision."

Related: How to Promote Yourself and Become the Brand Others Talk About

Granted, business is business, I've learned that the hard way through the years. I've learned to roll with the punches, take the hard knocks and move on. I've learned not to take it all so personally.

But the truth is, when it comes to being an entrepreneur and a small-business owner, it's impossible not to take it personally.

It's very personal, actually, because it's all about you. It's your vision, your passion, your team -- it's your business, and it's impossible to separate the business stuff from the personal emotions.

Which is why it's so important to have a finely crafted positioning statement as we've been outlining in this series.

Your newly minted positioning statement should reflect who you are as a person and as an entrepreneur. You really can't separate out how you've positioned your business with how you've positioned yourself.

Your personal brand is also your business brand when you're an entrepreneur, so your brand positioning should be inclusive of both. You can't create a positioning for your brand that's inconsistent with who you are as a person. You won't be able to live up to it.

On the flip side, you should also personally reflect your positioning. Now that you have it fully articulated, your brand positioning should become words to live by. It should guide your business decisions as well as guide your personal behaviors. Your lifestyle should embody your brand positioning as much as your brand positioning embodies who you are.

Related: 5 Strategies to Instill Brand Loyalty in Today's Young Customers

Celebrities, with their brands, know this well. Their personal lives become headline fodder and photo opps, which ultimately drive public perceptions and influence career opportunities.

The smart celebrities understand that they have to balance personal choices with career decisions, with one side influencing the other.

They should both work in tandem for you too.

Then and only then will you have the power to motivate. You'll be able to motivate your teams and get them to rally around your vision. You'll be able to motivate all the professionals in your extended network, who will want to share in your success. Your friends and family will jump on the bandwagon too, becoming your biggest brand ambassadors. And you'll be able to motivate your customers by articulating for them how you will add value to their lives.

Motivation is your job as an entrepreneur, fueled by a focused and differentiated brand positioning.

It's the smartest thing you can do to guide your business and to guide your life, personally and professionally.

It's what makes being an entrepreneur so rewarding, and having a positioning statement so productive.

Related: The Mindy Kaling Guide to Entrepreneurial Domination

Jim Joseph

Marketing Master - Author - Blogger - Dad

Jim Joseph is a commentator on the marketing industry. He is Global President of the marketing communications agency BCW, author of The Experience Effect series and an adjunct instructor at New York University.

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