Jay Z’s lyrics on the Diamonds Remix was on point “I’m not a businessman I’m a “BUSINESS” man let me handle my business damn!” That line captures a mindset that needs to permeate in this new era. I’m not referring to the hats.

Author Catherine Kaputa brilliantly details what smart people do to brand themselves for business success. Kaputa says: “Self-branding is about making a favorable impression in the minds of other people.” It used to be about, could you do the job; now many people can do what you do. So there has to be something that differentiates you from the competition.

Branding is a strategic process with the goal of providing something more to succeed in this highly competitive, constantly changing environment. Could Self-Branding be for you? You might say I am fine on my own, so why would I need to change? Smart people realize that change is the only constant in life, so they’re constantly upgrading their skills.

“Brown-nosing” is not a strategy, sleeping your way up the corporate ladder is not an option in this highly litigious society with the potential of sexual harassment lawsuits looming over every office. Finding your “Big Idea” is the first step in the process, you are your most important asset and I can assure you that if you’re not protecting and investing in yourself you cannot expect someone else to do it for you. Defining and protecting your personal brand is your full-time job.

Identifying your USP-(Unique Selling Proposition) is critical for your success.

You want to represent something special your values and belief system distinguishes you from the crowd. It can be simple as your personal and professional style. Kaputa defines self-Brand in this way: “A person represents a skill set. A self brand represents a Big Idea, a belief system that other people find special and relevant.” Today would be the perfect day to schedule a meeting with yourself with the sole objective of cataloging your assets to determine what sets you apart from the competition.

Once you have identified your Big Idea it’s time to start putting together a strategic plan to market and reach your goals. I suggest giving more thought to the this process than you would to planning out your outfit for a night on the town, vacation, wedding or birthday celebration



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