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Notes on "personal branding" Notes on "personal branding"
by Joseph Gatt
2020-07-15 10:12:27
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We all have a “personal brand” or a “social brand” whether we like it or not. Public figures and private individuals have a “personal brand.”

I'll discuss two things: what you “brand” might be, and how to work on changing your “brand” (if you wish to change it that is.)

Common “personal brands.”

Six common personal brands. Some may fit into several categories.

bran01_400-The businessman/businesswoman: when most people meet you, they know they will have to sign you a check at some point. You sell one product or several products that people think are of excellent quality and know they can purchase from you.

Mistake: many people subconsciously try to brand themselves as businessmen, but the product or service they provide is of terrible quality. So these guys and girls end up being branded as “servants” when they are trying to brand themselves as businessmen. 

-The thief/the crook: people who meet you know they need to sign you a check for criminal/illegal services.

These guys and girls throw hints here and there that they provide illegal services (money laundering/drug trafficking/escort services, what not) and you go to them to get the illegal service. 

-The prostitute: these guys and girls live for the sex. Some live for the sex for nothing in exchange, while others hint that they will provide sexual services in exchange for gold, money or other valuables. 

-The servant: these guys brand themselves as people who will work for a paycheck. They have nothing to sell but their labor, and will do what they are told for a paycheck. 

-The donor/the aid worker: these guys brand themselves as “generous” and will provide all kinds of services absolutely free. They like to help people, and would usually be offended if they got anything in return. 

-The slave: these guys do what they are told for no money. Unlike the donors, they are not providing services out of altruism, but because they are often too scared to ask to be paid for the services.

How to work on your “personal brand.”

-If you want to be branded as a “businessman” or “businesswoman.” You want to provide an excellent service and to have very satisfied customers. You don't define your brand as a businessman, your customers do. Once rumor has it you sell an excellent product, soon enough, in Pavolvian fashion, people will reach to their check books the minute they see you.

-If you want to be branded as a thief/a crook: No one should want that label. But if you're the kind of guy or girl who takes checks for illegal stuff, soon enough people are going to come to you and sign you checks for illegal stuff.

If you are a businessman but occasionally provide illegal services, soon enough a lot of people are going to come looking for you for illegal services. So if you want to maintain the reputation of a businessman, avoid illegal activities at all costs.

-If you want to be branded as a “prostitute”: A lot of guys and some girls don't mind the label, although I find that sad. The way you dress and the way you behave will lead a lot of people to label you and brand you as a prostitute.

As a “prostitute” you will face a few hardships in life. First, a lot of people are going to harass you in different ways. Some “clients” will want to be “regulars” when you want them out of your life. Some “clients” will want an “exclusive deal” (a relationship) but will treat you as a sexual object in that relationship. And some “clients” will blackmail you in all sorts of ways, such as by revealing the nature of you “brand” to a wider audience.

Indeed, most people who brand themselves as “prostitutes” would rather have the brand be “implicit” than “explicit.”

-If you want to be branded as a “servant.” There's nothing wrong with selling labor in exchange for a paycheck and a nice environment to work in.

But here's where it gets complicated. Some people view “service” as a stepping stone to building their “businessman” brand. The problem with that is your employer will not view that favorably, and your employer will be suspicious of your activities, and will be worried that you are “stealing” his clients and ideas to divert them to your business.

In sum, if you want to brand yourself as a “servant”, that's great! But if you're branding yourself as a “future businessman” and that you like to say that “servants are losers. I'm a servant right now, but I'm leaving this hell and joining the business elite” you could get in trouble.

-The donor/the aid worker: I've worked with these people a lot. There are two broad categories.

Category 1: they love to help people, to sacrifice their time (and money) for a greater cause. Awesome people!

Category 2: They are helping people but really want to brand themselves as “businessmen” or “crooks” in the making. They don't really like helping people and it shows. They are bothering those people who really like to help people.

-The slave: these people often come from cultures where their parents/family/friends/government punish them when they charge money for a service. So the end up doing whatever they are told, for free, even though they wouldn't mind a paycheck if provided with one.

There are two types of slavery: lifelong slavery and “stepping stone” slavery. Some people provide free services (against their will and dignity) their entire life. Others provide “free services” (as in internships) with the hopes that the experience will help them learn and gain expertise so they can become servants or businessman.

Final note: a note on artists

I hear you asking me: what about artists, aren't they a category of their own? Short answer: no.

Some artists brand themselves as businessmen. In some circles that's frowned upon, and some “philosophers” and “moralists” like to claim that artists should not behave and think like businessmen. I personally have no problem with artists who behave like businessmen, as long as they provide a great product.

Some artists are more like “servants” and work with production companies, and take whatever money their production company gives them.

Some artists are slaves (sad). Others are “aid workers” who produce a lot of art for charity. And some artists are “prostitutes” who use art as a “front” (I'll sleep with you; don't pay me for the sex, but pay lots of money for my cheap painting/sculpture/music gig). And of course some artists are really crooks who use art as a front (some “gangsta rappers” or “pop stars” are really drug lords/escort service lords who use rap/pop music as a front).

Good luck branding yourself! And don't let other people brand you, work on your brand consciously!

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