12/20/2012 06:03 pm ET Updated Feb 19, 2013

My Personal Brand

I thought I'd take this opportunity to share with you the trials and tribulations of developing my own personal brand. The year 2007 was when my life changed. I had been coaching and running workshops and seminars, mostly in the financial sector, for a large number of years, both in the U.S. and the UK. My corporate clients included many prominent banks, financial institutions, and corporate entities. Then, in 2007 the financial crisis began to rear its head. Yes, a tad earlier than the mainstream publicised, however, some businesses and financial institutions had the wind put up them far earlier than most. Given that almost all of my clients occupied the world of finance, my work load was about to reduce greatly.

Up until about 2007, my corporate clients had been extremely communicative with me, I had considered this to be quite "normal". Wake up Malcolm, the new normal is very different. When I got the message that my business was going through new and different challenges, I decided that I should have had a plan B to fall back on. Then after about six very long months, I decided to reinvent my personal brand. I also realised that I couldn't possibly have predicted such a catastrophic fall from grace of an industry. In short, I was motivated to do some extensive research, and it became clear that personal branding was gradually moving toward the front burner. In fact, my wife remarked that personal branding is what I had been doing for a large part of my business life.

My wife was right; however, I'd never thought of myself as a personal branding expert. And so I changed my job title from personal development coach to personal branding. In effect, I did not change any of my content, not a bit. What did change was my business. I began to receive enquiries for personal branding coaching, workshops and seminars. In fact, I am still receiving invitations from new businesses. The other discovery I continue to make is that businesses have a budget for personal branding, yet a diminishing budget for personal development. So just a seemingly simple change of my brand has made all the difference. My question is, what changes can you make to your business that will encourage an upturn?

Here are some thoughts/questions you might want to consider:

  • Are you being flexible enough with you?
  • Are you being too complacent?
  • What small changes are you willing to make, changes that might enable you make improvements?

Don't beat yourself up, think of yourself as you would your best friend.

Treat every mistake/failure as a learning lesson.

Give you yourself pats on the back, when achieve anything, no matter how small.

Take good care of yourself, particularly when you feel the chips are down.

Know with the 3 P's -- persistence, perseverance and perspiration -- you can have more of what you want.

Are you fully appraised of the world outside of your own?