5 Employer Biases Hinder 50+ Job Seekers

Why are so many 50+ professionals failing to convince employers to hire them, losing heart, and dropping out of the search process far too soon?

According to Ron Jamieson and Karen Tulk, of the Toronto recruiting firm, Hire Gray Matter, in addition to reversing their search tactics and being prepared to search for as long as 12 to 18 months, mature job seekers must also be able to successfully neutralize five critical employer age biases in order to land a suitable position.

While Jamieson and Tulk make a strong case for the importance of these biases, as the inventor of Authentic Personal Branding, I remain convinced that understanding and effectively communicating the value you bring to the table is the key to being the candidate of choice, at any age.

(If you’re not clear on the benefits you offer prospective employers, you won’t stand a chance of convincing them to choose you. Don’t delay! Grab my free 4-step Value Proposition Development Exercise and get started!)

Combining our perspectives makes it clear that the most successful job seekers are:
a) Self aware, and able to skillfully
b) Match the benefits they offer to eash specific prospective employers’ needs

c) Identify recruiters’, hiring managers’ and prospective bosses’ biases, and…
d) Deconstruct these biases as soon as they show up

So let’s take a look at the biases Hire Gray Matter cites as key deterrents to the employment of mature, experienced professionals.

5 Employer Age Biases:

  1. Lack of Drive and Energy:
    50+ applicants must battle the stereotype that pigeonholes them as old, tired, and ready for the rocking chair. Staying fit, dressing appropriately and presenting with youthful vitality all go a long way to over-
    coming this perception. Adding active personal interests and hobbies to resumes and LinkedIn profiles is also a plus. “After all,” Tulk quips, “No one thinks of a kayaking enthusiast as over sixty.”
  1. Technology:
    To avoid coming across as a dinosaur, it’s critical that older professionals stay current with the latest technologies. They must set aside their own biases against texting or Skyping, and jump in with both feet.
    Many free online tutorials offer updates on social media tools, the latest smartphone apps, technology trends, on-line networking sites, and much more.

    3. Skills:
    Whether they were “grandfathered” into their former position, or have all but the latest credentials, Tulk advises older workers to consider updating their certifications.  Recruiters looking for key certifications, such as a PMP (Project Management Professional) tend not to select an older applicant with 20 years experience and no credentials over a younger applicant with their PMP certification and 10 years experience.  However, when choosing between equally credentialed candidates with unequal experience, the applicant with more experience will have an edge.

  1. Salary:
    The belief that older, more experienced professionals cost more is accurate.  Tulk counsels senior professionals to be flexible in their salary expectations, such as opting for shorter hours (3 – 4 days a week, vs. 5) or longer vacations to make themselves more affordable. For older workers wanting to change their life/work balance, this may be appealing. However, if that is not the applicant’s goal, there are alternative approaches.
    .
    Mature professionals could offer to work on a consulting basis. Not having to provide health, pension and other employee benefits makes a worker more affordable, without reducing their professional value in the employment marketplace.
    .
    Negotiating a lower base salary paired with a higher, performance-based bonus demonstrates the candidate’s confidence in their ability to deliver value.  But… this approach should be used only by those applicant’s who are very confident, because… While it reduces the employer’s risk, it also provides a sort of hiring insurance. If the employee doesn’t hit their performance targets, not only won’t the employer have to pay their bonus, they gain cause to replace the under-performing employee.
  1. Younger Bosses:
    Older workers will end up reporting to younger bosses. It’s inevitable, given current demographics. Tulk advises older workers to show younger bosses the same respect and deference they would to a boss of their own age or older.  She also cautions older workers to resist urges to lecture the young pups on what the old dogs can teach them.

Join this discussion!

If you’ve faced these age biases or others in your job search, take a minute to add your comments.
Tell us about the situation you experienced it, and how you handled it.

Are You Promoting Your Authentic Personal Brand to “Dream” Clients or Your “Real” Target Market?

Is Your “Dream” Client a Fantasy or a Reality?

This is a question that must be answered by everyone going through MIBOSO’s Authentic Personal Brand Development process.

Is the Answer to this Question Important?

YES! Because it’s all too easy to create a fantasy “dream client” that doesn’t exist in the real world! And if you’re not promoting your authentic personal brand to your “real” target market, you have little chance of attracting the “customers” that will make your business or career a rousing success.

What’s the Difference Between a “Dream” Client
and a “Real” Target Market?

A “Dream Client” is a fantasy composite of all the traits you wish your customers would have. These traits may have NEVER shown up in the customers (bosses , colleagues or clients) you have served.  But you wish they would!  A “Dream” Client wish list typically looks like this:

My Dream Client:

  • Appreciates what I do
  • Is eager to pay me VERY well
  • Insists on paying me in advance
  • Allows me to give them whatever I think or feel is appropriate
    (In other words, they let me “run the show”)
  • Is extremely interested in how I do what I do
  • Constantly promotes me to their network
  • Refers other “Dream” Clients to me on a regular basis
  • Is very understanding and never complains when I am unavailable

How many people do YOU know that fit this criteria?  Five? Two?  None?

Now that we’ve examined the “Dream” Client, let’s take a look at your “real” target market.

A “Real” Target Market is Based on Historical Facts and Proof:

Accurate research and applied insight are required to create a “real” target market profile. The Target Market Profiling Module in MIBOSO’s Authentic Personal Branding Process includes the following questions:

  1. Who has valued the work you’ve done most highly?
  2. Why did they value it?
  3. For which bosses/clients have you been most efficient/productive?
  4. In what ways were you so efficient/productive?
  5. At what tasks do you consistently excel?
  6. In what environments/settings do you consistently excel?
  7. When told your performance is superior to others’, what specific factors make it superior?

Rely on Evidence and Facts, Not “Fuzzy” Praise

It’s crucial that when answering these questions you rely ONLY on evidence and facts, not platitudes,  unsubstantiated generalizations, or “fuzzy” praise.  For example, if you have been told, “You make everyone feel good about themselves.” What tangible result came out of, “everyone feeling good?” What proof do you have for that? If you can find some proof or evidence to back up what others have told you, you have solid data for your target market profile.  If you can’t quantify what you’ve been told, toss it out and look for more “provable” feedback.

Once you’ve figured out what makes you shine in the eyes of certain people, you need to switch your focus from yourself, to them, in order to determine:

  • Who finds you appealing and outstanding?
  • What are their needs and challenges?
  • What benefits do you offer that will fix their problems and/or fulfill their needs?

Identifying Your “Real” Target Market

Their Demographics will tell you where they congregate: (work,  live or play), how much they earn, how old or young they are, their educational background and much more…

Their Psychographics will tell you:  what they want, what they value, what challenges them, what intErests them and how much NOT having what they want is costing them. This could be an emotional cost, a lost opportunity cost, an ethical cost, or an actual hard cash expense. It could also be some mix of all or a few of each of these different costs. Most importantly, their psychographics will tell you how much your solution is worth to them!

The Final Reality Check

When you have your full target market mapped out – demographics and psychographics – do the final reality check. Test it with people who fit your target market profile.

But don’t stop there! Refine it with every client, colleague and boss you serve.

Keeping your target market profile current and “real” means that you’ll ALWAYS know “who wants what you’ve got.”  And when you know that, you’re well on the way to successfully promoting your authentic personal brand.

If You Build It, Will They Come?

If you have a “Big Idea” for a business, a product or a service, what’s the first thing you need to do?

Does your mind replay the old “Field of Dreams” mantra? “If you build it, they will come!”

In today’s economy, separating fact from fiction is the KEY to lasting success.  Don’t “build it” and expect “them” to just show up!

That only worked in the movie. And remember who showed up to play in that Field of Dreams? Dead people!  And whether we’re talking about reality or a silver screen fantasy, dead people are only good business for those dealing in wills, estate and funeral services.

If you have a “Big Idea” for a business, a product or a service, the first thing you need to do is determine if it really IS a “Big Idea.”  Because it could also be a whim, a hobby or a change of format masquerading as a “Big Idea.”

Is it REALLY a “Big Idea?”

How do you tell? If it’s more beneficial to you than it is to your customers, it’s likely not a “Big Idea” and will have to be checked out very carefully, or it could damage or destroy your current business.

FOR EXAMPLE:

Changing your in-person consulting work you to a telephone or online collaboration platform is NOT a “Big Idea.” It’s a change of format. And it may be wonderful for you. You won’t have to  race through airports and manage the logistics of delayed flights, lost luggage and stale hotel rooms. But it’s NOT necessarily a benefit to your clients. They will have to learn your new system (do more work) to get the same result or possibly, less than the same result if they enjoyed working with you face to face.

Is it YOUR “Big Idea?”

If you have decided that your concept really IS a “Big Idea,”ask yourself the following questions to find out if it’s YOUR “Big Idea.” Seriously!
It might belong to someone else!

Question #1

How does this “Big Idea” move me closer to my:

  • Personal Vision?
  • Tangible Goals?

You’ll actually have to look at the elements of your personal vision and tangible goals to answer this question.  Dig deep and ask yourself:

Will pursuing this “Big Idea” enable me to:
1. Achieve my revenue goals?
2. Use my strengths / talents?
3. Align with my values / ideals?
4. Involve me in activities I enjoy?
5. Connect me with people I like?
6. Allow me to use my most productive work-styles?
7. Fulfill my works-space and geographic preferences?
8. Support my family’s goals?

Once that’s clear – if it turns out that the “Big Idea” you’ve been contemplating DOES belong to you – tackle the next question to
assess the viability of your “Big Idea.”

Question #2

“Is there a need for my “Big Idea?” Does it have a viable market?”

Now, as “Big Ideas” are a dime a dozen, what you need to figure out next is whether or not your idea is viable. Does it offers a product or service that is needed by a specific market? In short, will it sell well?

There are few situations as discouraging as having taken the time, money and energy required to actually build your “field of dreams,” your “Big Idea,” only to realize that no-one has any interest in it.

“But my idea is totally unique!” You protest. “There’s no way to test such an original concept!”

The Good News & The Bad News

The good news, from a practical viewpoint, is that there are very, very, VERY few genuinely original ideas. This is also the bad news, from an ego based perspective. Sure, we’d all like to be the person who  invented the personal computer, or Post It Notes. But before we get too envious,  let’s look at what it takes to develop a totally original “Big Idea.”

Q: How Many Inventors Does it Take to Develop a Light Bulb?
A:  Seven Inventors + 110 Years.

  • 1800: Humphry Davy invented electric light
  • 1860: Sir Joseph Wilson Swan improved it
  • 1877: Charles Francis Brush advanced the concept
  • 1879: Thomas Edison’s bulb lasted for 1500 hour
  • 1881:  Lewis Latimer improved Edison’s bulb
  • 1903: Willis Whitney made another improvement
  • 1910: William Coolidge perfected it

In order to devote ourselves to developing totally original “Big Ideas,” we do best if we are unemployed and funded well enough to survive for many years without generating any revenue. Most of us don’t have that option. So the fact that virtually no “Big Ideas” are one hundred percent unique is a distinct advantage.

Your “Big Idea’s” Similarity to Proven Ideas Lets You “Look Before You Leap”

Validate your “Big Idea” by researching similar products and services.

1. What are their strengths?
2. What are their weaknesses?
3. What are their recurring challenges?
4. Who are their customers?
5. What do their customers complain about?
6. What do their customers rave about?
7. Is this market sector emerging, growing, flat or declining?
8. Is market-share available?
9. Why will their customers  choose you over them?
10. What’s your revenue potential?
11. What’s your downside risk?

When the concept for MIBOSO showed up as a “big idea”, back in 1997, I ran through these questions myself.

My assessment predicted that my “Big Idea” (running a full service brand agency) would move me closer to my personal vision and and tangible goals. And it has!

My “Big Idea:”

  • Positions me to generate more revenue than I did as an executive with a set salary
  • Allows me to do the work I enjoy most and do best, namely:
    Authentic Business Branding & Authentic Personal Branding
  • Frees me from tasks I don’t enjoy
  • Aligns with my values around authenticity, creativity, making a difference and delivering excellence
  • Fulfills my passion for guiding individuals and businesses to become “authentic” and leverage their strengths, passions, values, experience and talents in order to achieve their visions
  • Utilizes my creative, motivational, mentoring and problem solving  talents
  • Introduced me to thousands of wonderful clients, some of whom have since become good friends
  • Identified my most productive work-style: writing + talking + listening
  • Enables me to work from a home office where I am accessible to my daughter and my dog, not to mention my tea kettle! Yes, I am fueled by gallons of tea!
  • Gives me the opportunity to learn a lot about technology
  • Challenges me to expand my time and financial management skills

When I answered Question #2, I assessed other (Business) Brand Agencies on a number of levels and determined that there WAS a viable market need that MIBOSO could target and fill.

Riding Ahead of the Curve

Assessing the Authentic Personal Branding aspect of my business was more of a challenge, as in 1997, that truly was an emerging market! I learned (after the fact) that when you jump onto the leading edge – or ride slightly ahead of the curve – you need to be willing to do a LOT of teaching and explaining. And as in the world of institutional education, teaching is NOT a job that pays well.  A recent Business Week article by John Tozzi, Think Twice About Being First to Market,” explains why being ahead of the curve is not always an advantage.

This was a trend I continued when I founded Miboso Radio in 2002.  I was WAY ahead of the curve in pod-casting. Since 2005, I’ve made what I learned available to people who are considering getting into web or blog talk radio.

There is little that’s more truly satisfying than work that:

  • You love
  • You do well and easily
  • Aligns with your values
  • Satisfies your passions
  • Furthers your ideals
  • Achieves your vision
  • Connects you with people you enjoy
  • Enables you to fulfill your commitments
  • Meets your work-style, work-space and geographic requirements

So assess your “Big Idea” carefully, and if it checks out:  Work hard and prosper!

Our 4-Step Authentic Personal Brand Value Proposition Development Process

The First Step in Your Authentic Personal Brand Value Proposition Development Process:

Start really hearing (and recording) others’ positive feedback. Yes – write down each and every compliment too!

Truly hearing and owning the positive feedback and compliments you gather is the key to this part of the process. It’s also the single FASTEST way to get a clear understanding of the value that you provide to others.

This is not as easy as it sounds!

Many of us tend to experience “temporary hearing loss” when we’re praised. You know how that feels!  It’s a numbing out that blocks our hearing and prevents us from taking in what’s said. Compliments land on us – then slide off – as if we’re covered in non-stick coating.

Truly taking in praise may be a new experience! And it’s a real “feel good” thing to do once you get over the shock factor.

To Complete Step 1

  1. Practice really hearing compliments and positive feedback, and writing them down.
  2. You’ll also want to go through old performance reviews, letters of recommendation and even saved thank you notes.
  3. Identify all of the points that others have identified as praise worthy, and write them down.

This Cache of Positive Feedback Tells You:

Specifically why others value what you do

Which of your skills, talents or personal qualities
they find exceptional

Now – what you need to be careful of at this point is the desire to dismiss others’ input as less “true” than your own beliefs.  Other people are much more objective about you than you are about yourself. So their views are actually more likely to be accurate than your own.

The Second Step in Your Authentic Personal Brand Value Proposition Development Process:

In this step you’ll go beyond passively accepting input and take a more direct and active approach.

To Complete Step 2

  1. Identify 10 – 15 people whose opinions you respect and ask them: “What is the single greatest value that I provide?”
  2. Record their responses.

Yes – you DO need to write them down, or better yet, get as many people as possible to send you their feedback via e-mail.

The Third Step in Your Authentic Personal Brand Value Proposition Development Process:

In Step 3 you will compile all of the responses you have received into a single document, and categorize them. Don’t change the writers words or phrases,  even if you think the words they chose  to describe you sound odd or feel a little uncomfortable.

To Complete Step 3

  1. Look through all of the feedback you’ve received and identify common themes.
  2. Sort “like comments” into “like categories” and title them.

For Example: These comments would all be grouped together, as they address “like” sets of personal traits and attributes. A title for this category could be “Drive and Curiosity.”
– You have a unique combination of curiosity, proven success, and drive.
– You are outgoing and curious.
– You have an intense curiosity about the world, about life and about people.
– You have an inspiring thirst for knowledge.
– You strive to learn.
– You are open to learning.
– Your questions are  effective in uncovering and developing learning opportunities for others.

The Fourth Step in Your Authentic Personal Brand Value Proposition Development Process:

Step four takes you back to the direct track.  Ask the same or a different group of 10 – 15 people, whose opinions you trust, to help you validate the input that you have sorted into categories.

To Complete Step 4

Ask the people who are willing to help you validate your responses to:

  1. Review the common themes you created
  2. Comment on their accuracy, and suggest changes that will make your categories cleaner and more specific
  3. Rank your categories  in order of dominance ( From your strongest to weakest)
  4. Rank your categories in order of importance to them.
    For example, is your curiosity more valued by them than your drive to achieve  results?  If you work in a research setting, it may well be.  When conducting research, asking “why” and not accepting things at face value is important.  But if you work in a manufacturing setting – asking “why” things are done in a specific way may be seen as less valuable (or even as a weakness) by your colleagues and boss than your drive to get the work done.

At the end of this process you will know precisely what others value about you!

CAUTION:
Keep in mind that the views of those you invite to participate will be colored by the work they do and what’s important to them.  So if you want to move into real estate development and out of construction work,  get input from people who are already IN real estate development.

If you get input from people who work in construction, what you’ll define is your value proposition within the construction market. And that knowledge won’t help you advance yourself in the real estate market.

You May be Surprised by WHAT Others Value in You!

But once you have their input, and that input has been validated, you will be clear and well equipped to communicate your value to others.

What Functions Will Your Value Proposition Fulfill?

You’ll find that people appreciate getting an up front summary (or headline statement) of what YOU can do for THEM.

  • This is why your value proposition is important TO OTHERS
  • Your value proposition is important TO YOU because it gives you a solid foundation for your professional and personal path. Think of your value proposition as the headline of your success story!

Now go ahead and declare your value to the world!

For example, if you are a financial professional whom people value because of your ability to communicate complicated data in a clear and understandable way, START putting that headline out there. Tell people that’s what you can do for them, and put your energy into doing just that.  As it’s a natural skill for you, it will be easy and enjoyable. And STOP doing what you think you need to do that was NOT identified as valuable by those who took part in your value proposition development process.

Have fun developing your value proposition!

It will take you to your “Sweet Spot.”  Keep working it to stay there!

And if you run into any problems, please use the contact page to ask us for assistance.

Is Your Authentic Personal Brand’s Value Proposition Attracting the People, Opportunities and Success You Want?

Your Value Proposition is the “Sweet Spot” of Your Authentic Personal Brand   What does that mean?

 When your personal brand is fully authentic and well built – its value proposition has the ability to effectively convey  “your appeal” as well as “the key value you provide” to the people and organizations that want what you’ve got.

Common Questions & Misconceptions

The questions I get asked most often about Authentic Personal Branding make it very clear that the concept of a “personal value proposition” is woefully misunderstood.

5 Top FAQs about Authentic Personal Branding

  1. “How can my brand fast track my success?”
  2. “Is my core value the same as my value proposition?”
  3. “How can my Authentic Personal Brand attract the business opportunities I want?”
  4. “How can my Authentic Personal Brand make my expertise and experience distinct and appealing?”
  5. “How can my Authentic Personal Brand get me top dollar?”

When I translate these question into “brand-ese” they all ask:

“How can I develop the effective, compelling, authentic value proposition that will not only lead me to success, but keep me there?”

My initial response to people who ask  this question, is to ask them:

“How clear are you on the value you offer?”

Why do I ask that?

“Because in order to clearly communicate your value, you have to be both clear and specific about what others value in you.”

  • Are you a strong natural leader who attracts followers easily? Are you comfortable with the responsibility of inspiring and directing others’ actions?
  • Are you an “out of the box thinker” who always comes up with fresh ideas and innovative strategies? Do you find it impossible to do things “just because” they’ve always been done?
  • Are you the insightful manager who turns “maverick lone rangers” into top performing business teams?  Can you turn “the power of one” into stellar team play?

To help you clearly communicate your value proposition, I’m going to walk you through the exact 4-step development process I created for MIBOSO’s Authentic Personal Branding clients.

Use these four steps to zone in on the “sweet spot” of your Authentic Personal Brand and craft a powerful, memorable, attractive and authentic value proposition.

Your Value Proposition is the “Headline” that Pulls Readers
into the “Full Story” of Your Authentic Personal Brand!


But wait!  Before you begin to develop your value proposition you must put aside EVERYTHING you’ve ever been taught about NOT blowing your own horn.

Because even though an effective value proposition is NOT “about you”, it DOES require you to “advertise” the value you offer to the people and organizations who are “out shopping” for the strengths, values, talents, ideals, passions and experience that you (and only you) possess.

“Advertise” Your Value!

In order for your “ad” to deliver a positive response with the “shoppers” who are looking for what you offer,  its  unique  appeal must convince them YOU are exactly what THEY’RE seeking.

Your Value Proposition is Brief and Believable

Your value proposition is a brief, believable statement. It tells the people who want, need and value what you’ve got, exactly WHY you’re the one they should choose.  What makes your claim believable? The evidence with which your Authentic Personal Brand backs up the claims made by your value proposition.

Your Value Proposition Gets You Noticed!

Your value proposition acts like the news story headline that grabs readers’ attention by giving them a sense of the value they’ll get from the full story.

The strength, appeal and relevance of your value proposition is what makes readers either:

a) Decide to take action, and contact you

b) Think about taking action at a later date – and file your information

c) Drop your headline into the trash can and forget all about you.

Your Value Proposition is Engaging and Appealing

Your value proposition communicates in such an engaging, appealing way that those who are interested in what you’re offering  just HAVE to pursue you in order to get more of what your value proposition promised.  Now that they’ve had the taster, they’re keen to place their order.

Your Value Proposition Will Make Your Target Market Salivate!

So now that you know WHY your Authentic Personal Brand needs a value proposition, you can prepare yourself to start developing one that’s just as appealing and delectable as the little pieces of “Chocolate Heaven” in the photo above.

In my next post, I’ll walk you through the 4-step process I use to build value propositions for MIBOSO’s Authentic Personal Branding clients.

You may not want to make YOUR target market salivate, but you do want to fill them with the same sense of desire and positive anticipation that you feel when you anticipate digging into your favorite treat!

Why Personal Branding Examples and Metaphors Don’t Deliver the Goods

Of all the people who don’t know about Authentic Personal Branding, I eliminated the 50% who know NOTHING about personal branding.

Why take them out?

They’re not likely to EVER find out about it because they’re focused on external solutions.

Authentic Personal Branding is primarily an INTERNAL process that drives EXTERNAL performance and results.

As I’ve discussed in a previous post, the perspectives of people in this group are either: POSITIVE (rose colored glasses outlook) or NEGATIVE (complainer/victim outlook).

And ALL of them search outside themselves for the things, items, places, positions or people (usually those who are “in charge,” their bosses, the companies where they work or the government) that will “fix” their problems for them.

The solutions this group finds most appealing are “one size fits all”  One solution that fixes all of their problems – or if not all, then many.

But whether the solutions promise to “make them” – happier  –  more attractive   – more popular or “get them”  – a promotion  – a better job   – a new business   –  a financial windfall… There’s something missing from these sorts of fixes.

These solutions distance folks from their need to address how their internal perceptions and performance impact their external reality.  And that’s a problem, because…

While all of the goals listed above ARE totally achievable, a person’s INTERNAL perceptions and performance need to change if they want to get significantly different EXTERNAL results.

I’ve eliminated this group as they’re focused on externals.
And I’m not going to try to sell gasoline to people who don’t own cars.

I’m focusing my attention on the 49.5% of people who have an awareness of Authentic Personal Branding and an interest in developing their own personal brand, because…

Despite their interest in personal branding, their desire to brand themselves effectively remains unsatisfied.

Why?

Many personal branding experts, rather than having serious content, serve up nothing but metaphors and loose examples.

Examples are fine for demonstrations during the branding process. They are also helpful when illustrating how some aspect of branding:
– has a specific positive effect or
– achieves an intended outcome.

But when an individual who wants their own personal brand is supposed to “get it” by listening to numerous branding metaphors and examples, all they “get” is frustrated.

All They “Get” is Frustrated!

Hearing an inspiring success story that you’d like to emulate gives you MOTIVATION. But it doesn’t give you the KNOWLEDGE, PROCESS or MECHANICS you need to ACHIEVE your desired result.

Many of those who claim to be “Personal Branding Experts” are nowhere near being included in either the half of 1% who have an accurate understanding of personal branding OR the .001% of that half of 1% who have an Authentic Personal Brand. Consequently, they are unable to deliver the tangible process that enables others to develop and document authentic personal or business brands.

So Beware!  Here’s a kind warning.

There’s often truth in the famous quote, “Those who can — do. Those who can’t — teach. originally coined by Henry Louis Mencken, “an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, and acerbic critic of American life and culture.”

Mencken believed that every community produces only a few people who are “distinguished by their will and personal achievement.” In other words, there are only a few legitimate experts in any group or professional body.  And these individuals have not only earned their reputations, but have done so by generating a body of accomplishments that offer valid proof of their expertise.

A real expert in the process of branding would not have to express a single example or metaphor.

They would not have to “teach.”  They would simply “do.”

And they could take an individual (even one from the group who knows absolutely nothing about personal branding) through a defined process that would enable them to develop and document their personal brand. What’s more, they could equip this same individual with the knowledge necessary to both support their own brand and communicate the Authentic Personal Branding rational to others.

At Miboso, we “do” branding, and our clients’ results speak for us.
We build Authentic Brands for people and businesses, and we have been doing this since 1998.

Relevant links:
Read more H L Mencken quotes

What 99.5% of People Don’t Know About Authentic Personal Branding

Of all the people I meet, a full 50% know nothing about Authentic Personal Branding.

They’ve never even heard of it!

And they haven’t noticed anyone who has a personal brand. Not even the famous people with HUGE personal brands.

Over time I’ve noticed that people in this group:
a) Have two radically different outlooks
b) End up battling similar types of problems

Two radically different outlooks
Some of them live in a dream world, where they stay for their entire lives. Their “rose-colored glasses” view of the world enables them see what they choose to see and filters out everything else.

And those who don’t choose to live in a dream world get stuck in a harsher reality. They live in a world of complaints.  And they never escape.

What  “similar problems” can’t these folks get past? They include being:

  • Content to accept whatever life dishes up for them
  • Conditioned to complain about whatever life has dished up for them recently
  • Underachievers, because to achieve more than would require “a lot” of effort  – Or so they think
  • Stuck in jobs they dislike or hate and complain about regularly
  • Deeply in debt, because they feel “entitled to” far more than they  earn
  • Victimized by life

And like the passengers on a speeding, out of control bus, they know they’re going to crash. But they’re not sure exactly when that will happen, how many other vehicles they’ll take out when they do, or, if they are one of the few to survive, whether they’ll be so badly injured, they’ll wish they had died.

I’m sure you know some of these people.

49.5% of the people I meet have an awareness of Authentic Personal Branding.

They might have heard “something” about the concept.

Or they’re impressed by some of those famous people’s personal brands.

They might have noticed that some “non-famous” people have personal brands.

And some have even contemplated getting a personal brand for themselves.

Most of these folks have figured out that personal branding is related to corporate or product branding. But they aren’t really clear about what makes up a personal brand.

The most common misconceptions are that a personal brand is:

  1. A logo
  2. A selection of favorite colors
  3. A slogan or tagline
  4. An elevator speech
  5. A website or social networking profile
  6. Any combination of the above

Most are also unable to express:

  • How personal and corporate or product brands are different
  • Who needs an Authentic Personal Brand
  • What benefits an Authentic Personal Brand delivers
  • What problems a Authentic Personal Brand solves

Despite knowing something about personal branding, this 49.5% group ends up facing the same problems as the 50% who know nothing about personal branding.  They can’t fully escape these problems either, but their heightened awareness enables them to duck and dodge somewhat.

They have a strong sense that there IS a way to escape.
They know they should be searching for ways out.
But the overwhelming majority do not, and so they stay stuck too.

Of all the people I meet only HALF of 1% have an accurate understanding of Authentic Personal Branding.

These folks believe they are fully in charge of their lives.  They make plans and they achieve goals. But they lack the “master plan” that identifies which goals they should “go for” and which they should bypass.

This group knows how to escape some of the issues and challenges that arise in their lives. But as this has been learned by trail and error over the years, their awareness is somewhat random. So when they’re confronted with a brand new problem, they rarely have  reliable tactics or solutions to fall back on.

Of all the people I meet, only .001% of that half of 1% have an
Authentic Personal Brand.

These are the individuals who have taken action to:

  • DOCUMENT and EXPRESS their personal brands
  • EVOLVE and LIVE their personal brands
  • Make their personal brands the significant agents that drive  success in their lives.

This tiny percentage of people (.001% of .05%) who understand and act on their personal brands have a perception that their lives are on track and a reality that they’re clear and moving forward.

These folks feel that life is good, orderly and clean.

And they’re equipped to handle any issues or challenges that arise in their lives. As opposed to the other groups who try to escape or avoid them.

What else is different about this .001% of .05% group?

They’re accomplishing goals that are important to them.  And, far from requiring a great deal of “effort” or “hard work”, they find it easy and enjoyable to do so, because the development of their Authentic Personal Brand has aligned their talents, strengths, values,  passions, ideals and experience.

So what appears to others as “hard work,” for them is “pure delight.”

Each accomplishment takes them to their NEXT level of success and fulfillment. Their brand map gives them the “master plan” that directs their actions through successive achievements to their ultimate “end game.”

And this group experiences an interesting side-effect that defies rational explanation.

Because they are willing to do whatever it takes to get clear on their goals, their natural assets and the real value they give to their families, clients, employers and communities, it’s absolutely amazing how “the universe” conspires to support them.

Wishing and hoping alone won’t get you there.

Authentic Personal Branding is Your Shortcut to Success!

Productivity experts estimate there is 10 times the volume of information available to us today as there was prior to 1999.  And that figure is growing exponentially every year.

The US Department of Labor estimates that today’s students will have ten to fourteen jobs by the time they are 38. According to former US Secretary of Education, Richard Riley, the top ten jobs that will be in demand in 2019 didn’t exist in 2004.

With so many options available, and more being created every day, how can we begin to figure out how to direct our professional energies, let alone fulfill our life’s purpose?

Authentic Personal Branding offers you a shortcut to success!

Authentic Personal Branding is a process that exposes your natural “hard wiring”  and leverages it so you can “be the change you wish to see in the world” with the greatest ease, passion and joy.

That’s right! Achieving personal fulfillment and professional success  does not necessarily require years of deprivation or grueling toil.  The following example shows how one individual  “naturally” connected the dots between his talents,  strengths, passions, values, and ideals. Then he added relevant education and experience which took him on a direct route to success and fulfillment.


And if you’re thinking that stories like this are rare – you’re right!

That’s why there is  another option.

Authentic Personal Branding “shortcuts” the lifelong process described below.

By exposing your “hard wiring”, the Authentic Personal Branding process enables you to connect your dots and draw the brand map that takes you to your fulfilling and successful future.

Benji* always has had a passion for clear vision.

He grew up in an Indian-American family that owned a chain of optical stores. It was a family that discussed new developments in corrective eye wear at the dinner table on a regular basis.

Having been born nearsighted, Benji knew from personal experience just how different the world looked when he had his glasses on, versus off.  He dreaded his summer swimming lessons and high school wrestling classes as he had to take off his glasses and “go blind.”

Benji’s grandmother came to live with Benji’s family when she was diagnosed with glaucoma.  After witnessing her long and losing battle to keep her vision,  Benji decided to become an eye doctor.

His natural strengths in mathematics and sciences ensured that Benji did well in his schooling. While completing his graduate studies, his passion for innovation led him to participate in several advanced studies that tested innovative applications of laser surgery for cataract removal and retinal repair.

Benji met a woman in graduate school who  specialized in geriatric ocular diseases. The two married shortly after graduation and went on to work  in their respective fields. After forging connections with several other highly qualified  opthalmologists, Benji and his wife founded a clinic that offered an array of innovative opthalmological services.

Once the clinic was established, Benji accepted an invitation to be an adjunct professor in the graduate program in which he had once studied. As his teaching skills grew, he was more and more frequently invited to be a guest lecturer at educational institutions around the world. Through this academic connection, he once again became involved in experimental research and contributed to several important breakthroughs.

Over time, Benji personally funded several ocular disease studies in villages in India like the one where his Grandmother grew up. His findings led him to develop some simple and inexpensive glaucoma treatments which were received in rural India with tremendous positive response.

When you read this story, it’s east to connect the dots and see how Benji’s natural strengths, talents, passions, values, ideals and experience combined to direct his education and vocation
and ultimately enabled him to achieve his goals while fulfilling his passion.

The Authentic Personal Branding “Shortcut”

Authentic Personal Branding enables you to shortcut the lifelong process detailed above.  By exposing your “hard wiring”, it enables you to connect your dots and create the brand map that will direct you to a fulfilling future and successful future.

Contact us to find out what our Authentic Personal Branding program can do for you.

*Name and identifying details have been changed for privacy protection.

What Does Your Authentic Personal Brand “Stand For?”

2300 years ago, Aristotle wrote,
“Persuasion is built on three pillars:”

1. The credibility of the speaker
2. The logic of the message
3. The emotional impact of the words

These pillars are more important now than ever. Because in order to lead effectively, today’s leaders have to understand and use the sources of their credibility.

  • What are their strengths?
  • What is their reputation?
  • Are they trusted?
  • Do they create common ground with their audiences?

Today’s ambitious professional must evaluate their personal brand.

  • Is it authentic?
  • Is it personal?
  • Does it stand for something?

Jack Welch, the legendary chairman of GE , became one for the first global personal brands. His emphasis on Six Sigma made him stand, uncompromisingly, for quality. His business decisions created enormous wealth for shareholders.

Welch’s personal brand “stood for” uncompromising value and investment decisions. It gave instant credibility to his messages, his business strategy and his actions.

Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey have created personal brands that support all of their investments and infuse them with excitement and marketing sizzle.

  • The mere mention of Branson evokes adventure and fun.
  • Oprah is synonymous with personal growth and consciousness.

Miboso’s Authentic Personal Branding process plays an important role in corporate leaders’ communications effectiveness.

Corporations are seeking to develop leadership that is credible in times of rapid and complex change. Credibility for a modern leader at a global company emerges not just from the knowledge of the business. The corporate communicator today must demonstrate business knowledge PLUS a sensitivity to diversity, to environmental concerns, to local and global economics,  as well as to political and cross-cultural challenges.

The Authentic Personal Brand built on these competencies is valued because today’s work depends on clear, focused and sensitive communications.

Lee Iacocca, former head of Chrysler had to make many difficult decisions affecting thousands of workers. The company understood the need for these sacrifices because they believed Iacocca could save Chrysler.

An Authentic Personal Brand creates concentric circles of value and trust around the person it represents.

It is larger than a specific message or action – it inspires people to look at the bigger picture, the opportunities and shared values of a company, regardless of its present situation.

  • What does your Authentic Personal Brand “stand for?”
  • What does your corporation’s Authentic Brand “stand for?”
  • Do both brands support the same “bigger picture” goals and values?

Contact us to discuss how greater alignment of your personal and corporate brands can positively impact your market leadership and your ability to attract brand enthusiasts.

Authentic Personal Brand Values Exercise

Your Authentic Personal Brand is Your Unique Road Map

Authentic Personal Branding is a process that requires you to understand and focus your natural strengths, talents, passions, ideals, values and experience so that your daily actions, connections and accomplishments move you ever closer to achieving your ultimate personal vision.

Our unique brand maps give us the directive guidance we that enables us to navigate through the kinds of lives we want and keep our achievements on track with our desired “end games.” How do our brand maps do that?  Primarily by matching what we know about ourselves with “like” people, places and products.

For example, most of us come in contact with over 30 brands before we start work in the morning. When you add up the brands of your bedding, alarm clock, bedroom television, radio, the morning shows you watch or listen to (and all of THEIR advertisers’ brands) along with your  toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, shaving cream, soap, towels, tea, coffee, milk, cereal, bread, toaster, kettle, stove and fridge brands…you have quite a collection!

Why do YOU choose the brands that are part of your world?

Identifying your brand values is an important part of the Authentic Personal Branding experience. Here’s an interesting Personal Brand Values Exercise that you can use. Analyze just a few of the everyday brands you choose, such as your car, your coffee, or even your condiments to uncover some of your personal brand values.

Personal Brand Values Exercise

1. Identify three brands that you like. Write them down

2. Why do you like them?
Write down your specific reasons for liking each one.

3. Now look for common themes across all three brands. You may have chosen all three because they represent “quality” or “reliability.” The traits that come up repeatedly are likely a match to your own personal brand values.

Take some time to discuss the brand values you uncovered with your colleagues, friends, even your spouse. Also, check out the brand of the company you work for, the brands of the stores you like to shop at and the brands of the causes you support. There will be far more common values between you and the people and product brands you really love, and less between you and the brands that you don’t like as much

4. Now that you know some of your personal brand values, use them as the basis of messages that you could use to advance your career or to grow your business. Write down your brand messages.

5. Review your brand messages. Are they powerful and convincing?

Show them to your boss or best clients and ask them for honest feedback.
Or contact us for a professional opinion. We’ll gladly provide feedback.