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A Personal Branding Kick-in-the-Butt!

One of the most powerful presentations I’ve seen from the videos coming out of the Web 2.0 Expo has to be by Gary Vaynerchuk from Wine Library TV. Gary talks about the importance of stepping up to the plate and doing what you were meant to do (i.e. what you are passionate about) as opposed to your mundane 9-5 (if you are unhappy in your current job).

He’s right. In today’s digital landscape, even if you’re only remotely entrepreneurial, you have virtually limitless business opportunities when you let your passion drive you. There is currently a gold rush to tackle every niche imaginable. The main reason for the rush of course, is that niches have finally become profitable (a la The Long Tail) and technological barriers are no longer an excuse. Each and every one of us has a free platform called THE WEB where even the most remote, obscure communities are accessible and have a critical mass that can turn your idea/product/service into a profitable venture or at least cost-recovery so that your time is covered and you get to do something you LOVE.

This is where the personal brand comes in. What do you represent? What is your legacy? Your digital footprint? Gary mentions an important line in his presentation that I often think of myself: “Your great, great, great, great, great grand kids are going to have a rich media record (photos, videos, blogs, jobs, networks) of ALMOST EVERYTHING you did in your life.” What he’s saying is that our digital footprints are PERMANENT.

Most of us have no idea who our ancestors were past one or two centuries, let alone how they lived, where they worked, what they accomplished and who they were friends with. Our descendants will know quite a bit about us, increasing of course with each subsequent generation. Hence why at the very least, we owe it to ourselves to actually be remembered (from a work perspective) as doing something we genuinly had a passion for. Especially since “working” often comprises so much of our lives.

See if you enjoy Gary’s take on this issue as much as I did…

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  1. I must have watched this video 4 or 5 times now, and I still can’t look away. Another key point in there that gets overlooked: hustle. It takes hard work to succeed and the web doesn’t change that.

  2. Wes

    Can you imagine, 1000 years from now, digital archaeologists digging up ancient, buried web treasures from long-abandoned servers and databases? Thats an interesting thought. The “future of archeology”.

  3. Like Dave Fleet, this is one i’ll keep watching over and over for inspiration. I like the fact he talks about how to transition to what you love by doing it after hours. This is particularly relevant for those with kids – epecially single parents. I’d also add the idea of transitioning by looking for ways to bring your passion in to your current job – until you’re ready to make the leap.
    Thanks for this Mike!

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