MCML recently sat down with Jesse Ferrell, professional speaker, author and success coach, to get his take on personal brand, achieving success, and the importance of mentors. Let’s see what he had to say!
MCML: So Jesse, tell us, what is personal brand and what does it mean to you?
Jesse: Personal brand is much like your signature. It is what everyone comes to know you for and how they think about you when you aren’t in the room. Are you someone who is kind and caring, seeking to add value in the lives of others? Do your words match your actions with solid integrity? Your personal brand is what will be left behind after you leave their presence. Ultimately, your personal brand is how you show up, how you dress, how you sound, and the quality of your character.
MCML: What are some tips you have for teens on how to cultivate their personal brand?
Jesse: We live in a world where information is traveling faster than ever before. Social media has most of us staring into our palm and spending much of our time navigating around and through social media outlets. My number one tip for teens is to be mindful of the nature of what you share on social media. Work out your problems or challenges with the people who are involved. Don’t rush to use social media to share your side of the story. Think before you post. Be aware that your personal brand will be impacted by how you appear in social media, which could be visible for many years to come. Something you post in anger or haste can come back to haunt you.
MCML: Where can teens go to get help with developing a great personal brand?
Jesse: Look for the best of what you see in your parents, favorite teachers, friends, respected community leaders, and other family members. When you see something that you like in another person, whether it is how someone does a job, or how well he or she communicates, think about how you can emulate it and make it a part of your personal brand. Model the behavior just the way you see it and once you have it working at the same level that you’ve witnessed it, then make it your own. In fact this is where role model comes from, playing a role that you model after someone who is playing that same role well! There is nothing more important than adopting role models and mentors to help guide your development. And this isn’t something that ends when you’re a teen. If you look at some of the successful adults you most admire, I’d bet they continue to have their own role models who inspire them and shape their behavior.
MCML: What impact does personal brand have on a teen’s self-esteem or confidence?
Jesse: That is a profound question! When you choose to continually work on improving you personal brand, it will pay heavy dividends toward the contribution of gaining and maintaining high self-esteem and strong confidence in self. Focusing on how the world perceives you will impact how others treat you, thus raising the opportunity of continually feeling good about yourself and others. This is a total self-esteem and confidence booster.
MCML: What should teens do if they learn they have a negative personal brand?
Jesse: If you learn that you have a negative personal brand (maybe you find out people think you’re a bully), you should make it a top priority to shift from a negative to a positive personal brand in light speed. You must take a close look at your character and life circumstances to determine where the breakdown is coming from. Following this introspective view, you can now turn the breakdown into a breakthrough. Do things that are counterintuitive to how you’ve been doing things that caused the breakdown. Maybe you thought teasing the kid next to you on the bus was all in good fun, but find out that it really upsets him and now everyone thinks you’re a bully. Immediately stop the behavior that’s causing the negative image and find a way to make it better. Maybe it’s sitting somewhere else and giving the kid some space, maybe it’s really trying to be nice to them. Every situation is different and you have to figure it out!
MCML: Jesse, thanks very much for providing such insight in this interview.
Jesse: It is truly my pleasure! The teen years are so critical to figuring out who you are. I hope my advice helps some readers get themselves together as they’re preparing for early adulthood and great futures beyond!