You are not a brand.
You are not Coca-Cola.
You are not a gadget or a program or an image.
You are not a logo or a series of talking points.
You are mortal.
You are finite.
You are a person.
You are a living, breathing, autonomous individual who does not seek to maximize ROI or long-term brand value.
You are made of flesh and blood and wind and dirt and poetic words and warm embraces and stories forged before you existed.
You have choices.
You have the ability to change your mind.
You can tell the truth, see others for who they are and choose to make a difference.
Selling yourself as a brand sells you too cheap.
Stay on the margins, if that’s where your grey cells lives. Be totally okay with that.
Just be good at what you do and think less about how to sell it.
Mainly, just get on with it and stop talking about it.
I’m Roche Mamabolo: Dad, writer, brother, friend, meandering thinker, recovering blogger addict, serial introvert, obsessed with books, perpetual bender of paper clips.
I am person, finite, broken, obsessive, chaotic, at times perfectionist.
A brand cannot play hide and seek in the backyard.
A brand cannot crack a joke with friends while watching soccer TV.
A brand cannot hug a crying friend who is dying of cancer.
Those things take people. Real people. Flesh and blood people. And when we craft brands instead of thinking about identity, we miss out on the chance to be real with people.
My life is a journey, trial and error, connections, caring, a brand is the end result.
I strive to do good not because I’m building a personal brand, I do good because I’m humane.
The journey is in the creating, not in the end product.
I’m a human being who does work that matters, not a brand.
Ps: There might be a case to be made regarding personal branding, but it’s called personal branding, personal comes before branding.