It was a New Year. The last of the ice was melting away, revealing the old soggy earth beneath its fading grip. Slowly, the world began to wake. Men and women shuffled about their business, some nursing head pains, all burdened with added girth, from the weeks of festivities previous. The Linden trees stood silently as the structures they guarded began to ebb and flow with the people they housed. On that particular morning, I found myself in a dungeon in Spellmann. I had yet to break my fast. Yet in a dark room, some lady spoke a singular phrase that made my stomach churn. Bird language at this hour?
The word tweet still doesn’t sit well with me, unless you are talking about birds. The idea that my twitter account is necessary for my personal brand is understandable, but a bit painful as well. Tweet Tweet. Oh boy.
That being said, this is probably the best J-Term class I have taken. Just ignore all the talk about soggy earth and dark dungeons. While some of it may seem like “busy work,” it is actually just consistent practice and becoming familiar with new things. Any class with an allusion to Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches has my vote (#PBandJterm all the way).
WordPress and Consistency
One of the more important things I did in class this week, in my mind, is start to use this good ol’ blog on a consistent basis. I have used WordPress in the past at a slightly different URL, but after a week of this class, I feel much more motivated to continue on my own, to keep carving my personal brand into something that represents who I am.
In addition to WordPress, PBandJterm also forced me to do something about my LinkedIn account (it’s still a work in progress, so no link for ya). Now I have synopsis, and some updated information on there, in addition to joining different groups and making some more LinkedIn connections.
Despite my earlier griping, the uses of twitter slowly began to dawn on me. By following certain individuals, figuring how who follows them, deciding who may be interested in my twitter feed, following those people, and finally talking about what they may be interested in that I know about; that’s one way to gain more exposure for my brand. Twitter seems great for shout-outs, and definitely a more appropriate place for hashtags then it’s cousin, Facebook.
There were many subjects discussed/taught this past week in class. Some of the most significant bits I already knew, though knowing is not the same as doing.
Everything we do online is going to continue forever, unless we have some apocalypse from Cormac McCarthy’s dreams. With this in mind, doing things with intention is essential to anyone who wants to have an effective personal brand. Professor Falk talked about this on several occasions. Are we forming our online personal brand just through daily living, or are we consciously building it, molding it, guiding it to become something more? It could be assumed that many want to guide their branding ship, but are adrift at sea. And no one wants to be that guy.
My own ship was mostly fit to sail, but lacked an itinerary. This class is helping me patch up the hull and prepare for another voyage. I’ll try to stop with the marine analogies before we all get cabin fever. This class has forced me to face some hard questions. What do I want people to see? Am I about telling stories? Then I should tell my stories. Am I building my brand with intention, or am I far to careless? I had mixed feelings about the answers. During the week, I found a blog from the Harvard Business Review called “The Future of You,” by Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
It contained some valuable insights. It said the future involved the three things: Self-Branding, Entrepreneurship, and Hyperconnectivity.
Our class is all about self-branding and hyperconnectivity, but I believe the entrepreneurial mindset (and will) is just as important. The Doctor put it well when he said: “Entrepreneurship is about adding value to society by disrupting it and improving the order of things: it is turning the present into the past by creating a better future.
As for next week, I will continue to add a unique perspective to class discussion. I consume a wide variety of content on a regular basis- philosophy, health, politics, techie stuff, and more. I will endeavor to tell more stories, and to make more connections with my classmates.
No one knows what will happen in the future, but having a developed personal online brand, an eternal legacy, is definitely not a negative option. After this week, I can emerge from Spellmann’s dungeon with a bit of swagger in my step, because the seeds I am now sowing will bring in quite a significant harvest in my future. Even the word “tweet” stopped bothering me. I cannot think of a better twitter hashtag for that besides #Hallelujah.