Dan Schawbel is the author of Promote Yourself and Me 2.0 and has been named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2010. He is the personal branding spokesperson for Generation Y. That’s his brand, and what’s yours? We’re going to take a look at the importance of brand building, how you can use your downtime to fuel your work time, and even how you can fail 99 times, but as long as you succeed just once, that’s all that matters.
After a year and a half, Dan finally got his internship at Reebok. When he started interviewing at other companies, he recognized the power of brands: He would hand an interviewer and their focus would snap quickly to the section of Reebok. Reebok is a credible and well-known brand, and Dan realized that his association to this brand made him credible by extension. Personal branding was something he needed to work on, and this was the start of how he built himself a brand for personal branding.
By the time Dan started, there were already a lot of people in personal branding-he couldn’t go with being just another personal branding guy. What was possibly worse, he was younger compared to his competition, who already had experience compared to Dan. Dan decided he would make his own niche, and called himself the personal branding spokesperson for people in Generation Y.
Though he had his doubters, Dan would also back up his personal branding content with research he did on his own time. It was as if he made up the supposed gap in experience by becoming an expert on personal branding—doing research, blogging, and continuing to learn and prove that he understood personal branding.
Likewise, if you’re looking to become an expert in a particular field, Dan certainly recommends doing the research and blogging on subject, but other important alternatives are to apprentice under a current expert, or to put yourself in a position where you have to be the expert. For example, you could apply this latter mindset to blogging, where you will have to bring killer content and insight onto your field in order to improve your blog’s traffic.
What’s the Rule of One? It’s that when you play the numbers game, all you need is just one yes, even if there were 149 no’s to start! Dan himself came across this dilemma when he sought funding from 150 companies for a research project, and just as discussed in the previous sentence—149 said no, and one said yes. But that one yes was all he needed to push his project to completion!
As long as you have a strong value proposition, valuable content to offer and steel yourself to play the numbers game, seek to abide by the Rule of One—one is all it takes to succeed. If you do get too many no’s in a row, take it as a chance to improve and evolve your value proposition. Keep on evolving and playing the numbers game.
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