Tag Archives: personal branding

Precious Moments

At the end of a long day, you’re heading back to your hotel room. Alone in the elevator, you push the button for floor 26 and want nothing more than room service and maybe a shower before working a few more hours. Before the elevator door closes, a hand slices past the sensor and the doors reopen.

Richard Branson gets on and clicks floor 27.

What do you say?

(Replace Branson with Steve Jobs, Marissa Mayer, Russell Simmons or the person you would most like to meet, either professionally or personally.)

This used to be called having your elevator pitch ready. The truth is, most people don’t want to be pitched, although Sir Richard may be the exception.

Still, it’s important to be able to make the most of this precious moment.

How do you introduce yourself? What do you say after that? Is it a statement or a question? Do you praise them? Talk about yourself? Ask them an interesting question? Tell a joke?

The doors just closed. What do you say?

Add your thoughts in the comments. I’m really interested in what you all think on this one. Don’t forget to include who you would want to meet.

photo credit: Chris Heuer

Launching Untemplater

From when we are young, most of us are taught that there are a few specific templates to follow to a successful life.

Template 1

  • Get into a good college
  • Study hard
  • Get a good job at a big corporation
  • Work hard for 35 years
  • Retire and collect pension and gold watch.
  • Template 2

  • Get into a good college
  • Study hard
  • Meet and marry someone who will follow Template 1.
  • Not only don’t those templates work anymore, they aren’t very fun. How many people do you know who can’t WAIT to get to their cubicle every Monday?

    I bet you didn’t run out of fingers.

    Enter Untemplater.com.

    Launching today (they just opened the doors a couple hours ago….if you hurry, there should still be doughnuts and coffee), Untemplater is a unique site that helps you shatter the template lifestyle.

    Unlike similar sites and books (like Tim Ferris’ The Four Hour Work Week) Untemplater isn’t a retrospective of someone who escaped and is now looking back and telling you how they did it.

    They are, in their own words:

    …real people who are in the trenches, working hard to live the life that we want to live. It’s not easy, nor is it glamorous. Untemplater was founded by six twentysomethings who’ve done it: Jun Loayza, Adam Baker, Cody McKibben, Monica O’Brien, Carlos Miceli, and Andrew Norcross. You’ll see our pain, struggles, successes, and failures as we create an existence that we are proud of and enjoy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    We are MBAs; we are husbands, wives, and fathers; we are scrappy entrepreneurs, authors, and freelancers. We live all over the globe. We’re a small group of unconventional folks who hope to build a thriving community for anyone who ever sought more out of life—and we hope to help you learn how to sidestep the traditional life to find the career, relationships, and lifestyle that makes you come alive!

    Sound interesting?

    Download the free Untemplater Manifesto

    If it speaks to you, check out the site. Join Untemplater on Facebook and follow them on twitter.

    If it doesn’t……enjoy your gold watch.



    If you have kids that aren’t in high school yet, they’ll never need a resume.


    Resumes are broken and they are dying (but not quickly enough).

    By the time today’s 14-year old today starts a career, they will be judged more by their digital footprint and reputation than by a Word document outlining past job responsibilities.

    So why don’t you own the domain name for all of your children?

    For $10 / year (two Starbucks lattes) you can give your child the platform on which to build their personal brand. It could be a blog or pictures or even just a digital scrapbook or scratchpad. It will evolve. The point is not to make it perfect, it’s to realize that resumes and similar representations are going away quickly and a personal URL is flexible enough to be whatever the future requires.

    [photo credit: Vince Alongi]

    You’re already on Twitter (and Facebook)

    No I’m not, you say. I’ve never signed up.

    Let me ask you a few questions.

    1) Do you know anyone who uses Twitter? How about Facebook?

    2) Have you had any sort of communication with any of those people since March 2008?

    3) Is it inconceivable that that person Tweeted about it or posted something on their Facebook page?

    “I just had sushi at Kotobuki with my uncle John in Long Island.”

    “My friend Mike recently graduated med school and just sent me this amazing article on the future of healthcare in America.”

    “I met my friend’s boss Jeff for the first time today. That guy drinks like Mickey Mantle used to.”

    The same is true for YouTube and blogs and it will hold true when the next big thing replaces Facebook and Twitter.

    Just like companies need to understand that they no longer control their brands, you need to understand that you no longer control where you are and where you are not online.

    Like it or not, more and more, we live our lives in public. Even if you’ve never considered ‘managing your digital footprint’, some entries have already been made on your behalf.

    How does that make you feel?

    There is a permanent record

    This week, Seth Godin ran an excellent post on personal branding in the age of Google.  You can read it here.

    It is ironic that when we were in elementary and middle school we were all threatened that any transgression, from running in the hallways to food fights to selling marked up dime bags of Kool Aid on the playground was going to go in your “permanent record”.  It was a very effective threat because eleven-year-olds didn’t have a way to prove that the principal wasn’t keeping a manila folder of every mistake and misstep.  Many parents even leveraged the same threat.

    We were safe then.  There was no manila folder following us around and most of us didn’t realize it until long after we figured out that Mom was the Easter Bunny and Dad was Santa Claus.

    But today, there is a permanent record.  Pending recent changes in their terms of service, Facebook is forever.  MySpace is MyHistory. Google doesn’t forget.  Everything is archived.

    Don’t believe me?  Check out this view of the Apple website.

    How does your permanent record look?  Are you ready for “just Google me” to be your business card?