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Personal Branding: Be a Giver, Not a Taker

The legendary motivational speaker Zig Ziglar used to say that “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

He was right—but you wouldn’t know that by the way much of our culture operates today, especially in business. Businesses and professionals often seem to approach those around them with a “what can I get out of this” mentality.

What does this have to do with personal branding?

Personal branding is all about defining and communicating your personality, your abilities, and your strengths. Establishing yourself as talented, intelligent, experienced, and so on is very important. But I’d like to challenge you to add something else to the brand you are creating: brand yourself as a giver. As someone who looks for opportunities to help others get what they want. If Zig Ziglar was right (and I believe that he was), this will ensure your own success as well.

Practically, here are several ways to become a “giver” and build your brand at the same time.

Connect people. Sometimes, all it takes is a brief introduction to solve two problems at once – An employer or individual looking for an employee or a partner, and another individual looking for an opportunity. Look for opportunities to connect people- they’ll appreciate it!

Lend a hand to a good cause. Look for an opportunity to contribute to a local cause or charity. It doesn’t have to be financial – donate your time to a good cause, and encourage your staff to do the same. Investing back into the community is the right thing to do, and it also improves your visibility. Many of our clients have led the way on this issue—all of the authors that we help publish have agreed to donate their royalties to Entrepreneurs International, and we were proud to be a part of a “Mission for Good” trip to benefit an orphanage in Mexico along with several clients.

Speak at local schools. Speaking at a school or a college is a great way to encourage and equip students while building your own brand at the same time. It’s also very rewarding – speaking at the University of Florida (my alma mater) is one of my absolute favorite things to do.

Looking for opportunities to give, rather than to get, may seem counterintuitive—especially in business. But it’s the right thing to do, it’s good for your personal brand, and it’s good for your business!

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