Does anyone know me? Lessons in branding yourself and achieving your life’s goals

While completing my masters, I remember meeting with a school official to conduct an informational interview. During the interview, I asked him how many opportunities should open for me by me obtaining my masters.  He pondered, then stated, “Having a masters alone doesn’t guarantee success; you have to know somebody.”  I was surprised at his statement because often times we hear that education is the door opener to success.

Later, as I reflected on what I had been told, I realized what he was saying, and it became clear as crystal to me. While it’s a must to obtain an education to remain competitive in this society, what would propel you in your career, business, and life, is having relationships with those that could foster your mission in life. But how does one get noticed by this person or group of people, how does one sustain those relationships, or what would it cost for one to get noticed?  How you get noticed is by building a mindset of who knows you and defining your personal brand.

Brand is a marketing term, and your brand tells the story about how you are as a person. For instance, your brand could be that you are a hard worker, you are innovative, that you are a visionary, or that you are dependable. If you have that type of brand, the good news about you will spread. On the flip side, if you’re not as attractive in terms of who you are, that will spread as well. So, how do you get noticed and maintain a powerful business relationship?

Be true to yourself: Conduct an inventory of who you are as a person. Determine your likes, dislikes, values, and goals you would like to accomplish. This is the most important because you do not want to come home at night and not stand to look at the person in the mirror. 

Develop a strategy: After completing your self evaluation, map out a strategy for achieving your goals. If your goal is to start a business, develop a business plan and seek help to assist you. 

Do the work: After developing a strategy, do the work. In doing the work, it takes faith, relationships, and a willingness to turn no into yes.

Be your brother’s keeper: As you grow by doing the work, spread the seed of helping others. By doing so, you will reap greater returns.

Always reinvent yourself: To sustain your life or business, you must remain innovative by staying abreast of new practices and trends in this society. You can accomplish this through continuous education, reading journals, research, and being a part of think tanks.

If you show, through your character and work, that you are about purpose and direction, people and groups will gravitate to you to render support and advice.

By Alan D. Benson

More about Alan

Alan is an author and entrepreneur. He has published three books, with his most recent being, Stand Up! A Message to the Black Man!, A Message of Hope and A Call to Action! His goal is to empower individuals and companies to unleash their untapped potential. To learn more about Alan, please visit his website To learn more about his book, click on Stand Up.

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