Personal Branding is About Choosing Yourself

Personal branding is about choosing yourself. In this article, I wrote about the truth that no one is going to come and give you “the tap.”

You have to choose yourself.

No one is going to come down from the corner office or the executive suite and say,

“Now’s your time. We’re going to promote you and give you your dream job.”

Personal branding is about choosing yourself.

Personal Branding choosing yourself

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

One of my friends has decided he’s not a fan of personal branding. I think this is a mistake.

It’s not enough to sit behind your computer, at home or at the office, and keep your head down and do the work.

It’s not enough to stand at the front of the room and hope you’ll get recognized as the Teacher of the Year.

It’s not enough to do what you’re told and expect to get noticed.

There are too many people in the world. No one is going to notice you.

Too many people, too many distractions, too many things for us to focus on.

If you’re not willing to promote yourself, why should anyone else?

If you’re not going to share your talents with anyone else, why should we?

Let your light shine.

Part of letting your light shine is telling the world about the solution, talent, or skill that you have that can meet someone else’s needs.

Here is why personal branding and choosing yourself are so important:

If you don’t do it, and you’re the best at what you do, that means the #2 guy who’s not as good as you are, is going to help people instead of you.

You’re letting the second best doctor help your patients.

You’re letting the second best teacher teach your students.

You’re letting the second best attorney defend your clients.

If you play the best football, I want to watch it.

If you play the best music, I want to hear it.

If you make the best food, I want to taste it.

If you’re the best, but aren’t telling the world about your abilities, you’re letting the B team play the game in your place. (Tweet that!)

Now we just have to step up and prove it. We have to choose ourselves.

Are you with me?


Did You Know?: I wrote an ebook about building and developing a personal brand; check it out here. I also coach people on personal branding and helping them through transitions in their life and career.


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  • Ryan Bonaparte

    I’ve never thought of it in terms of “letting the second best do it” but I really like it. The biggest hurdle for me was moving away from thinking of personal branding as bragging about what I can do and more towards letting people know how I can help. We all have gifts, but they aren’t particularly useful to others if no one knows what they are.

    • Ellory Wells

      Ryan, I couldn’t agree more. I think a lot of people have a very negative impression of “self-promotion.” However, it’s necessary.

      Just as you said, we all have gifts but they’re useless if we don’t share them.

      Thank you for your comment and for stopping by!

  • Micah

    Man, I like this a lot. I have to admit the self-promotion thing has always been an idea I struggle with, but when you frame it like that. Like, I’m letting people receive lesser quality. It just puts an entire different spin on things. Promoting yourself becomes about adding value to others. It’s a challenging thought for me, but one I definitely like. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Ellory Wells

      You’re welcome Micah! I think you’re right, many of us (including myself) are skeptical of our skills, abilities and talents.

      Because of that self-doubt, maybe we feel like our message/solution/widget isn’t worth sharing.

      Promoting yourself does become about adding value! From, “I make the best cookies” to “I can fix your problem” we all have share-able talents.

      What’s your specialty Micah?

      • Micah

        I’m a writer. Which I’m told is an occupation full of people averse to promoting themselves but, ironically, are increasingly in need of doing so. I guess when you write you have this fantasy of the writing itself being all that’s needed to draw your audience and readership.

        Most of us take a special delight from living in our own heads and working there, so the idea of having to come out and deal with certain market realities like networking, connecting, promoting – well, let’s just say it’s an area I’m still trying to grow in.

        • Ellory Wells

          Micah, I agree with everything you just said! Great comment!

          What do you write about?