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How To Start Developing Your Personal Brand


(Adapted from My Success Journal: For Young People)

“Hey! Why is my medicine so expensive this time? It’s usually a lot cheaper than this. What’s up with that?”

“Mr. Duncan, you normally get generics, but your doctor instructed us to give you the name brand medicine this time.”

“Does it do anything different? I mean, it costs twice as much. Is it twice as good?”

“Not really, it’s just the fact that it’s name brand. The brand is what you’re paying for.” 

—A conversation between Al Duncan and the pharmacist


If I asked you to think of your favorite place to shop, different images and words would immediately begin popping into your head. I could also ask you to think about any company or successful person you know and once again images and words would immediately come to mind.

Those words and images aren’t popping into your head by accident. Successful people, companies, and organizations spend a great deal of time, energy, and resources (that includes money) to make sure that people are thinking certain things about them.

They want people to think these things so that they will associate or do business with them. This is known as branding.

Duncan Nugget® #71:
Your personal brand is a representation of you in the minds of other people. It is the perception that people have about your character as well as the value and quality of what you do.

If you’ve never thought about or worked on your personal brand, now is a good time to get started. It’s a crazy, competitive world,  and if you want to excel at the game of success, you had better have a strong personal brand.

Your personal brand could be the difference between you getting the internship, scholarship, job, or promotion instead of someone else getting it.

Your personal brand will be the difference between a venture capitalist investing in your business or someone else’s. Your brand could even be the difference between you getting a date or not! (Who wants to go out with someone whose brand = complete loser?!)

The bottom line is:

Your personal brand has a huge impact on whether or not someone will associate or do business with you.

So, let’s work on your personal brand right now. It starts with authenticity and self-awareness. It starts on the inside. (Watch Duncan Nugget® #131: Personal Branding Starts on the Inside.)

Below you will find 6 questions. Your answers will help you build your self-awareness and bring out the authentic you. Your answers will help lay the foundation for your brand.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you are writing your answers:

It’s a personal choice. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions.

Keep it professional. Quit clowning and stick to answers that will help you achieve your goals. Having fun and being cool is a good thing as long as it doesn’t interfere with your success. Believe me, being paid and successful is cool. Very cool.

It’s not permanent. Your brand doesn’t have to be written in stone. You may want to change things down the road and that’s okay. If there’s a problem with your personal brand then work on it, but eventually you are going to have to settle on a core brand that you can build on. Consistency is one of the keys to a successful personal brand.

Keep it real.
Seriously. Just be yourself. It’s okay to put down things you are striving for, but don’t be a faker. Authenticity is at the core of any successful personal brand.

Have fun. Relax. I know a lot is riding on your brand, but that doesn’t mean that this has to be a pain in the butt. Well…at least not all the time.


  1. What is one thing you are passionate about?
  2. What do you like most about yourself?
  3. If you could have any type of career you want, what would it be?
  4. What is the one thing you would do if you were 100% guaranteed to succeed?
  5. In terms of your career and being successful, what is your greatest fear? What are you going to do to keep that from stopping you?
  6. In 2 or 3 positive, professional words, how would you describe yourself?

IF you make time to answer these questions in writing and use the rest of the material in the Personal Branding Collection you will be well on your way to developing a powerful personal brand.


A List Of Soft Skills

Click here for a list of soft skills definitions, and behavioral indicators.

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