So the sad news was released earlier last week, that 2016 has taken yet another creative visionary from us. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will know that I’m referring to the legendary Prince.
I’ve been fan of the little man since my early teens and to this day I can be constantly found singing purple rain & raspberry beret in my flat (it maybe happening as I write this too…..).
I’ve always been intrigued and attracted to those who aren’t afraid to be different, those who will push the boundaries and are true to themselves. Prince embodied all those qualities in my opinion, he didn’t bother himself with the opinion of others on the way he dressed, his stage antics, his sometimes controversial lyrics or even his fabulous hairstyles. There was even the incident with trying to break free from his record label and standing up for what he believed in by changing his name to a symbol, just to make his point.
Like Prince, we lost another true innovator in David Bowie earlier this year too. Bowie’s life is another perfect example of someone who wasn’t afraid to be unique and express himself to the world on his terms. Both of these men lit up the world in their own unique ways and their global fanbase was made up of people who more than likely envied their courage to express their true personality.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering what Prince & Bowie have to do with personal branding. The term “personal branding” is one that I hear thrown around alot in today’s world, a common development point for people is to build or expand their own personal brand.
Now being upfront I loathe the phrase “personal branding” – to me it sounds fake, robotic and completely unauthentic even though I know it’s supposed to be none of these qualities. I feel many people misunderstand the term personal brand, many think this means building a separate persona from who you really are, a persona that you will flex and adapt to please those around you. This couldn’t be farther from the goal, building multiple personas to appease those around you will only result in a form of personality confusion, unmeaningful relationships and unauthentic experiences.
Instead of creating our personal brands, we should focus on just being ourselves. Being anything other than who we really are is not only an injustice to you, but also to those you share your life with. I’m a big believer, that you will only develop in this life if you stay true to who you are and express yourself honestly, now not everyone will like this, but you can’t please everyone and you shouldn’t be looking too.
Take note of the lessons from the lives of Prince, Bowie and all the innovators who we’ve lost and those that are still with us – Don’t be afraid to express yourself, be authentic, let your personality shine through.