You Are NOT a Brand — The Worst, Most Anti-Human Business Advice I’ve Ever Heard
Personal branding is important in the professional world, and I get that. I do. You obviously want to present yourself in a certain way, to present yourself in the best possible light, so as to attract the largest amount of attention and the highest quality of attention from the people you might wish to do business with in the future.
This is fine. This is totally reasonable, even, and if business gurus stopped there, that would also be fine. But this idea of “turning yourself into a brand” has to be the most life-denying, humanity-defiling nauseating f****** garbage I’ve ever heard, and the sickness in my stomach turns to fire in my fingertips when I try to write about it.
Turn yourself into a “brand”?! What… you mean that being a real live human being, alive on this beautiful planet, this gorgeous oasis of opportunity and wonder isn’t enough for you? You have to turn yourself into a brand?!
Now obviously, I get a little heated when I think about this, and like I said, professional image is important. Branding is important. But branding is what you do to a business, or a cow, not a person. Never a person.
I literally wretch when I hear anyone telling some 18-year old kid to turn himself into a lifeless, soulless entity, rather than trying to develop his highest potentialities as an individual.
That kid is being told to turn himself into more of an automaton than his society is already trying to mold him into, to deaden his f****** soul, to become less alive than the people around him that aren’t busy trying to turn themselves into corporations and LLCs.
The worst offender here is Gary Vaynerchuk, whom I actually like. I’ve read almost every single one of his books — and taken notes on all of them! But when he tells people that they have to become “brands” in order to gain material success in a world that doesn’t even care about them — well it just sickens me in a way that I can’t stand, and thus have to write about.
It’s just such fundamentally dead, and lifeless advice, and from someone so smart and dedicated and passionate as Gary V! And, truth be told, I’m being a little unfair to Gary V. But the point remains.
By all means, listen and follow through on most of what Gary says to do, especially when starting and running an online business, but please, please not that. For the love of everything that’s alive and decent and loving and decent and human, don’t turn yourself into a fucking brand.
All the best,
P.S. I love seeing other people succeed. So go out and get after it! Here are my best book recommendations, here are detailed breakdowns of the 850+ books that I’ve read, and here is my entire (free) online course where you can learn how to read more books yourself. Happy reading!