Live Your Brand

What makes someone relatable? Honesty and realness are the top two factors in relatability. The moment we stop being honest and real is the moment we stop being ourselves. I operate as if I’m representing a brand and my brand is me. Personal Branding has taught me a lot about image perception, reputation, and displaying the true Cole Smith. Having a personal brand comes with a lot of pressures. Do you conform to them or do you use the pressure of having a personal brand to remain true to yourself? For me, I use my personal brand as a method of accountability. I’ve learned to subconsciously go over the consequences of my potential actions. This allows me to decide which decision is the best for long term success of me and my brand.

Honesty

If you make decisions on what will cause you least amount of trouble in the short-term, you will always be left with long term problems. Being honest is the top characteristic people look for in others. In personal branding, you have to be honest with yourself and everyone else. Being transparent with your audience is the best practice. You have to be consistently honest about everything. In the long term, it’s always easier to be honest. Lies and deceit only breed problems in the future. A simple lie may be a short-term solution, but that short term solution is a long-term problem.

Recently, Khloe Kardashian got a lot of backlash for advertising an alleged laxative product that was marketed as a “meal replacer” that had the purpose of losing weight. Most people know that this is an extremely dangerous and unhealthy method for weight loss. The way it was advertised was extremely dishonest. This definitely had a negative impact on her reputation. It’s all too common to see people sell out on their reputation. To me, no amount of money is worth sacrificing my morals and reputation.

Realness

Realness is simply portraying the real you. Your entire credibility goes out the window when you don’t practice what you preach. Why would you tell someone else to do it if you don’t do it yourself? Although, “Be You.”, is an incredibly easy thing to say, it can be very difficult to do. There are a lot of pressures that want you to bend and conform to them. No matter what you are told, there is no better version of you than the real you.We focus so much on conforming to society that we often lose sight of who we really are. It’s important that we stay true to ourselves and what we represent. 

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