Your Personal Brand Extends to the Environment You Create
The following is the third article in the series, "Living Your Personal Brand," in which marketing master Jim Joseph discusses practical ways to build your brand daily and use it to advance your personal and professional lives.
There is no more personal a reflection of who you are than the home you create for yourself or with your significant other, family and friends. Your decorations, furniture choices, color schemes, flooring and lighting all make a statement about how you want to live your life and what your personal brand is all about.
Even how you arrange your furniture: clusters for small gatherings, chairs aligned in front of a television set, intimate areas for quiet evenings together, etc. In my home, I have a little of everything so that we can all feel comfortable no matter what we are doing.
You should arrange your home in careful pursuit of your personal brand, right down to color choices.
In some parts of the world, depending on your lifestyle, a car can also be a statement of your personal brand. Not only the brand, model, color and style, but also key aspects such as fuel efficiency. Choose wisely to be consistent with how you want to portray your personal brand. I've always been the SUV type. I just like the sporty, rugged feel that allows me to pack in a lot of activities. That's my brand.
When it comes to the office, it's really important to portray the right image for your personal brand because it's a direct reflection of your work, whether it's an open space, cubicle or private office. The way you keep your workspace says volumes about you, how you get your work done and ultimately shapes how people work with you.
If you want a lot of interaction, make it easy for people to come see and spend time with you. Displaying pictures of activities, friends and family says you are well rounded and live a balanced life. Piles of paperwork, depending on how they are arranged, can have different reflections on your brand, from showing that you're super important, disorganized, afraid of technology or selectively multitasking. Construct your workspace to send the right message about your personal brand.
I like my office to be a personal mecca of creativity where people come to discuss projects, brainstorm, manage issues and do great work for our clients. I like it to feel inviting and personal, almost like people are stepping into my private space -- actually, they are stepping into my personal brand.
Let's talk a bit about the role of clutter. For me, clutter should be purposeful. I only keep a few files I am currently using out on my desk -- everything else is put in drawers. My "clutter" comes from pictures of my family, an eclectic collection of creative accessories and business memorabilia through the years, clustered in a way that gives an impression of a career filled with successful milestones balanced with my family. It's my take on my personal brand.
As a result, people seem to love coming to my office. We create great work there. I do the same in my home, and my car is always meticulously clean so that everyone feels welcome and comfortable. That's my goal.
While you may have never thought about your home, office or car in this manner, you really should step back and think through your personal brand and the environment you create for it. Make it purposeful and consistent, and you too will accomplish your goals.
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