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Haters Will Hate... But Ballers Will Ball: Building Your Personal Brand

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Players are going to play, ballers are going to ball, and of course haters are going to hate the ballers and the players so much. Which will you be?

My friend Matty Mo once told me about personal branding on a strange evening one night in Big Sur, CA. I asked why he always put "//" before his Instagram posts. He explained that it was used to brand himself -- to make him and his posts more memorable and ultimately differentiated from flood of social media from others-- and it works!

I get lost on social media for hours on end sometimes. I'll start by exploring a successful company's social media marketing then find myself two hours later on an ex girlfriends best friends younger sister's Facebook page because she looks really hot for a high schooler. Yes, I know, pathetic yet honest. It's like Second Life, but more socially acceptable. With all the negative psychological and behavioral issues that are already emerging as a result of social media, it's pretty fucking amazing what one individual can learn, who we can connect with through these dopamine pumping sites. Graph search blows my mind everyday. Play with it.

Personal Branding
Most people don't give too much thought to what or how they're sharing on social media. Sure, there's all the un/semi-conscious reasons for sharing (attention, dopamine from likes, comments and shares, self-importance, connection, etc), but few people understand that they are also their own brand that can be built and manipulated. You can create a persona that is hyper inflated and real enough to thrust you into the spotlight of your mentors, friends and even prominent entrepreneurs, celebrities and super models. Sound nice?

:: // ** ^^ $$ %% @@
Admittedly I stole the concept of personal branding from Matty -- I use "::" to make my posts memorable and distinctively 'me.' My brother and friends gives me shit virtually everyday for my simple use of a couple colons. But, as we all know, "haters gonna hate."

Use Free Microphones
But what I've done, and continue to do, is pretty cool. Through this personal branding -- this seemingly innocuous double colon -- I've thrust myself into the awareness of others on social media. An instant connection is created between that sweet double colon and my words of wisdom I pass along each day. Writing and photographing sharable content is important too. But mostly we're all just faking it -- even the celebrities. I wish I were a wise sage, multi-millionaire, philosopher or really any of my teachers... but I'm not. I take their wisdom, our collective human experience and throw it back at my community in hopes that something will resonate, and ultimately make life better.

And for some people it does seem to be helping. I get daily calls, Facebook messages and emails of gratitude for helping people to change something in their life. Others, generally old friends, give me shit for over sharing, too much honesty and emotion, or otherwise putting myself "out there" too much. But I'm building my brand and getting your attention. I don't really care what my unfollowers think. Again, haters will hate. Forget them.

Do I still have your attention?

Good, now listen up because this shit is important:

You create your digital self

BAM! Wisdom unpacked right there. It's easy to take pictures next to fast cars, expensive houses and famous celebrities or entrepreneurs. It's harder to make those pictures 'real' ones. But you know what? Fake it till you make it has never been more true here. Show the life that you want, and that life will follow. Communicate with your mentors and show them what you know. Give them something that is valuable and watch them open their arms to you.

This isn't rocket science (more computer/ behavioural science!). It's using the tools available through social media and the magical Internet to create the life you want.

All you have to do is grab that shit! Now get going and get big!

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