According to the Entrepreneur.com Small Business Encyclopedia, a mission statement is:
“ A sentence describing a company’s function, markets and competitive advantages; a short written statement of your business goals and philosophies.”
When I sat down and thought about this definition, I was initially stumped as to how to create a mission statement for my personal brand. I turned to Google and searched “motivational quotes”, hoping it’d spark some creativity. Then it hit me. These motivational quotes we love to share on social media are essentially mission statements.
This epiphany was the inspiration for the following exercise. Instead of the traditional brand mission statement, I decided to create a swipe file of inspirational quotes from some of my personal heroes.
It’s from that swipe file the following Pinterest exercise was born.
10 Quotes That Describe [ Your Name Here ]
Take a minute to think about quotes you’ve shared or liked on Social Media. Do any stick out? If so, pin them to your personal brand vision board. You can also search “ [insert name here] motivational quotes” to find your 10 mission statements.
For my ten mission statements, the authors/speakers are
Hunter S Thompson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Henry David Thoreau
For this exercise, pin 10 quotes from famous people that you feel best embody the values you want to convey with your personal brand. In the description of each quote, write how that quote speaks to your personal brand’s mission statement.
Below are my 10 quotes and descriptions for you to use as an example.
1.“ Your image isn’t your character; your character is who you are as a person”- Derek Jeter
I think the difference between image and character is something that is especially important for building a personal brand on social media. Being human and providing authentic value on Social Media is much more important to me than cultivating the perfect image.
2. “ There may be people who have more than you, but that’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you”- Derek Jeter
One of my weaknesses when building my personal brand was falling into what Paul Angone calls Obsessive Comparison Disorder. This quote from the captain keeps me focused on the one thing I can achieve excellence at: working hard. Success is a byproduct of hard work done with consistency.
3. “ You Have to be confident- If you’re not confident, then you might as well go home”-Derek Jeter
Personal branding requires confidence. Personal branding is the business of selling yourself, and you have to be able to sell yourself with conviction to achieve your goals.
4. “ I love it when people doubt me. It makes me work harder to prove them wrong”- Derek Jeter
This is my go-to quote for anyone who has doubted my choice to pursue writing as a career. Why let the nay-sayers in your life put out your fire when you can convert their criticism into fuel for the engine?
5. “ Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing” Hunter S Thompson
I love Hunter S Thompson because he had the courage to redefine journalism. His brand of journalism, called “Gonzo Journalism” put the journalist at the center of the story. HST was a personal branding maestro long before the phrase existed.
Helping millennials unlock their potential and break through their comfort-cells is what gets my blood racing.
6. “ Who is the happier man: He who has braved the storm of life and lived; or He who stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”- Hunter S Thompson
This quote not only embodies how I strive to live my life, but it also embodies the attitude I will strive to instill in my future career coaching clients.
7. “ Beware of looking for goals: Instead, look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then find a way to make a living within that life” Hunter S Thompson
I love this quote because I think it sums up the concept of personal branding perfectly. Your personal brand isn’t just an image- it’s your way of life. Decide how you want to live and build your personal brand within that life.
8. “ Shallow men believe in luck or circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson
This quote is my response to the trap of “waiting for the right moment”. The “right moment” isn’t a train that makes regularly scheduled stops into your life. You create the right moment when you decide to get to work on your goals regardless of your circumstance.
9. “ FEAR has two meanings: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise: the choice is yours.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I’m a sucker for a good acronym, and these 2 from Emerson sum up the choice you have regarding every obstacle in your life.
10. “ Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves” Henry David Thoreau
I think a big reason why the idea of building a personal brand scares so many millennials is because it involves knowing the answers to questions like:
What am I good at?
What are my values?
Where do I want to go in life?
How the hell do I get there?
When we sit down to build a personal brand, we have to know the answers to these questions. But if you’re like me, the first time you seek these answers will come with a sobering realization: you’re completely lost.
This quote reminds me that being lost in your twenties can be a good thing, because ultimately, the only way to find your true self is to lose the self-defined by others.
Do you have questions about this article or personal branding in general? Reach out to me on Twitter! (@BPucino). Keep an eye out for Part 4 in this 10 part series: Your Personal Branding Swipe File