I think Maximus Decimus Meridius (Gladiator) puts it best when he says, “What we do in life, echoes an eternity.” However, if he were talking about personal and business brands, I think he would change it to:
“What we do in personal branding echoes for eternity in our business brand.”
Well, I suppose we will never know for sure if he would agree, but for the purpose of this post, we will assume he does.
Whether you are an entrepreneur and/or a small business owner, there is a high probability that you personally represent the brand. This is most likely because you are literally the face of the company to the public. If the business is new and/or small enough, it most likely rises and falls with your successes and failures. The owner can probably be found running around trying to secure new business, working with vendors, developing the product, and so much more. Essentially, his or her name starts to become synonymous with the business. Think of Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Steve Jobs. More often than not, you end up thinking Facebook, Amazon, and Apple. Although these companies are no longer small businesses, they all started that way and in their early years, these names were synonymous with their companies.
Ultimately, your name represents your personal brand and the smaller the business, the more likely your personal brand will affect your business brand. In the cases of Facebook, Amazon, and Apple this continues to be the case even as they reach significant sizes.
As a result, if your personal brand is strong, you can leverage it to create more opportunities for your business. The opposite is true of a weak personal brand. Consider Jack Dorsey (co-Founder of Twitter) and his departure from Twitter to launch his new start-up, Square. His personal brand was strong and finding the funding and support to launch the business was less difficult than it would have been otherwise. Although these are high profile examples, the concepts are exactly the same.
We are not all at the Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg level yet, however, that does not mean we cannot develop a strong brand within our own circles and even break into a few new ones along the way. Remember, Jeff and Mark had to start somewhere too.