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#ReinventedBlogTakeOver: Cultivating your personal brand

The term “Cultivating” is usually associated with agriculture. Being born in a family were my mother was passionate about farming, I learnt a thing or two about cultivation. I learnt that cultivation is to prepare land for gardening in order to have a bumper harvest. The cultivation stage actually acts as laying the foundation before any other work commences; it is actually preparation. I will personify the land to the Self.

If an individual is unable to prepare him or herself, no good results will be yielded. As an HR Practitioner, one of the questions I ask in an interview is for one to sell themselves, putting their best foot forward while sharing what they believe to be their best attributes. Most people fail to package themselves sometimes because they failed at cultivating their self presentation, making it impossible to make a winning pitch.

How one presents, markets and stands for what they believe in is how I like to define personal branding. Branding has been always associated with companies but it actually begins at an individual level, where it plays a pivotal role in communicating the identity of an individual. Cultivating oneself simply means to be prepared as it relates to the field that you are most passionate about, even if it means starting small. Trust me when I say this - it is all well worth it.

Having said this , allow me to share my thoughts on ways in which to cultivate – or prepare yourself

1. Discovery. Find out who you are and work on making yourself and whatever you are passionate about better. In other terms find out your purpose.

2. Planning brings your ideas to life. Do not just run around with no direction, taking no apparent direction but going to the direction that the wind blows. Make plans about the now and the future. Even the Bible states in Habakkuk 2 vs “Write down the revelation and make it plain on the tablets”. Write down your plan and meditate over it.

3. Develop your personal style. The road to self-discovery or personal re-intervention takes a lot of refurbishment in terms of character. You also have to be committed to developing your personal style. If you have gone through a process of self-discovery and have figured out that you have a passion for farming, then your personal style has to be that associated with that of a farmer. Your actions and speech must bear strong alignment with what you are gifted at. Cultivating the personal brand takes a lot of change management and hence it takes one to decide from the core of the heart if they are really prepared for the work that lies ahead.

4. Engage with the power within. Like a battery, each person has power stored inside of them. The Power of choice, the power to influence, to power to change etc. All this has been rooted deep inside each one of us such that it only takes bravery to use such power to bring out the best of us. When working or preparing on personal branding, one should invoke the power to influence audiences in a positive way - be it at the workplace, school or community. One should also be conscious of the impact of what is termed reputational power. Reputational power aids in selling your personal brand. Reputational power effectively means you become known in a place before you even get there simply because you have packaged and sold yourself in an attractive manner.

5. Let passion motivate you. Passion is different from love. Some say passion is stronger. Passion is the powerful, compelling emotion or feeling that drives us to do what we do. When one is passionate about something they are self-driven to meet specific objectives. To cultivate your own strong brand, you need to love yourself first and have self-belief that whatever you set your mind to will be successful. In short, for your own personal brand to be a success, you need to be passionate about what you do.

Join me for yet another dose on cultivating your personal brand on the second day of this week's



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