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The value of your brand. What is it? Can a brand have value?

The answer is your brand is both worthless, and priceless.

Does anyone actually care about your ‘brand’? I mean, other than you?

I don’t think so.

What we do care about is how being associated with your brand affects or impacts us – in other words, what we think about ourselves, or what we think others think about us.

Wake up call!

If you want to know what other people think about you, just ask yourself what do you think about others? How much, how often and to what degree?

The truth is that we don’t think about others very much at all. And when we do, we’re usually thinking about what they think of us or comparing ourselves with them. Both of these are just thinly disguised thoughts about ourselves.

So we spend 99.9% of our time, attention and energy focused on ourselves. And so does everybody else.

Now, don’t take that to mean that we don’t hold opinions (and often very strong opinions) about others and what they should or shouldn’t be, do, have, say, or think. Because we do. One of the most emotionally charged topics of conversation at the moment is ex-POTUS 45, the one and only Donald John Trump.

His brand is ‘toxic’, or so we’re told. Yet he raised over $250,000,000 in the 8 weeks AFTER the election and is estimated to have drummed up over $350 million from the beginning of November 2020 through to the end of January 2021. That’s very powerful toxicity.

In the 2020 general election he not only won more votes than any other Republican candidate ever, he won more than any candidate ever, other than Joe Biden.

Depending on your point of view, Trump is the worst thing to have happened to America and American politics in living memory, or he was the best president ever.

There’s very little middle ground with Trump – you love him or you hate him. And he embraces that. He famously told Republicans in 2016 that even if the hated him, they still had to vote for him. And they did.

What’s the difference between self-interest and enlightened self-interest?

Recognising and realising (making real) that we don’t matter to others outside their narrow self-interest should set us free.

Recognising and realising that we predominantly act out of our own narrow self interest also set us free.

We no longer have to pretend to be who and what we’re not. To care about what ‘people’ might say or think.

Paradoxically, that’s when your brand shifts from worthless and moves towards priceless.

People don’t admire and revere Trump for his qualities. They adore him because he is unashamedly out for himself. The key word is unashamedly.

I’m not suggesting you emulate Mr. Trump. I’m not saying he’s right or wrong in what he does. I’m just highlighting that while a significant majority of people the world over are aware that he uses truth and lies as weapons in his armory, nevertheless his presentation to the world is essentially honest.

30-something years ago I applied for a loan to my bank and got it. The security asked they asked for was “your good name”. I still have that letter.

Because that’s your brand, your good name. It is the most valuable asset you will ever “own.”

It opens doors, and closes deals.

If you don’t have a good name, start today to put it right. Don’t waste time or money on logos or brochures or websites. Don’t fritter away your precious hours in strategy sessions or re-branding campaigns.

Get real. Be who and what you are. Let the world accept or leave you on that basis. Become known as a person of your word. Respect yourself and you will become respected. Be honorable and you will be honoured.

Tomorrow, we talk about the letter C – C is for Cheetah.

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