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Be Your Own Brand by David McNally and Karl D. Speak

Title: Be Your Own Brand

Author: David McNally and Karl D. Speak

No. of Pages: 139

First Released: 2002

Synopsis: “Brand building is typically identified with businesses, but personal and professional relationships can benefit significantly from using these proven techniques. A strong personal brand will help you succeed because it means you are communicating the sense of purpose, vision, and values that reflects and embodies the real you – not a superficial veneer. By creating a strong personal brand you get to be more of who you are, not less. This book provides:
· Practical tools to build powerful, profitable, and enriching relationships in all aspects of your life.
· An in-depth understanding of the principles of successful brand building – in any context.
· Advanced personal brand management techniques to help build, refine and improve your personal brand.
· Strategies for aligning your personal values with your employer’s – making brand building a successful endeavor for you and the organization.”

Comments and Critiques: This may seem like an unusual book to review, but again, this was an exercise for work and the leadership development program of which I am a participant. In one of our sessions, we had touched on what is a personal brand and even started the exercise to create one. Unfortunately, I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand how someone could create their own brand when a brand is how others perceive you. I left the session that day more confused and uncertain than I was when I started the day. I was confused about how I was going to go about writing my personal brand and uncertain that I had anything special to offer people as part of my brand.

Thankfully, I took the time to read this book, and I got it. The exercises spread throughout the book, as well as the case studies presented for each exercise, helped me understand just what I was trying to accomplish. As for my own personal traits, through previous personal development exercises, I was able to finally see where my strengths lie and what make me special and unique. In fact, I finished the book with a fairly decent completed personal brand. It still needs some fine-tuning, but overall, when I started with nothing, I’m pretty satisfied with the results.

Overall, developing a personal brand is an intensely personal exercise. Even though the book was instrumental in helping me write one, I’m not certain I would have been half as successful at it had I not been spending the previous twelve months doing other personal development exercises. To me, this book was the culmination of all those exercises, where I was finally able to combine everything I learned into one document or one exercise. In the end, the personal brand helped me focus on the message I want to present to the world about who I am and how I can help them. It’s a level of self-awareness I’ve never had before. To say that this self-awareness is empowering is definitely an understatement.

If you are into personal development and self-help books, I would definitely recommend taking a look at Be Your Own Brand. It’s geared towards employees and the workplace, but as the authors mention, the relationships affected by your personal brand are not just in the workplace but are spread throughout every aspect of your life. Knowledge is power, and knowing as much as you can about who you are, what excites you, what is of vital importance to you, and so forth can only help you improve those relationships.

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