Is Your Personal Brand in a Category of One?

“What Does Your Brand Stand For? If you tell me about service and quality and customer focus, you haven’t answered my question, because a hundred other brands stand for that. If you are what others are, then there’s nothing here to own or protect or build upon” 


Compared to what? Compared to all those that you compete with for attention, for commerce, for donations and for employees, what do you stand for? Are you one of a kind or even one in a million?

Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton… they don’t actually stand for anything, do they? They can’t, because they stand for precisely the same thing. Puma vs. Adidas vs. Nike… They all want to stand for winning. How substantial are the differences?

Make a list of the differences and the extremes and start with that. A brand that stands for what all brands stand for stands for nothing much.”  Seth Godin

This past week I  had the opportunity to spend some time with two of my mentors and they helped me realise a number of things, some of which I want to share with you as I know they are going to help you.

There was a lot said about the importance of stories;

“Own your before story. Today is the beginning of your after story”

“We love stories it’s how we learn – morals, benefits and brands all come along for the ride”

“Human beings are connection experts. We have left the industrial economy, it is now the connection economy. It’s all about Coordination, Trust, Permission and an Exchange of Ideas, underpinned by Generosity and Art”

What they really helped me understand and remember was many of the things we know, actions we know we should take, relationships built etc. when we get busy, or frightened or complacent we stop or let them drop or do less of them. We cannot afford to let that happen.

“An aha is when you move from intellectual understanding to an emotional one”

“People who succeed don’t have excuses”


  1. How does your work matter?
  2. Competence is no longer a scarcity so you must strive to be a category of one in whatever you do.
  3. Your day is a microcosm of your life.

I have realised that for me these three have occasionally slipped and I have committed to my coaches and mentors  to get them back to a consistent level acceptable to me and them. I have to do that because part of working with me and my expectations are that you are going to commit to the same. Part of the re-commitment I have made is to be accountable on a regular basis – weekly – to my coaches and mentors. No excuses, if I don’t do it they cannot realistically help me. After all Jim Rohn once said “I cannot do your push ups for you” but I believe knowing someone is expecting you to report on how many you did each week greatly increases the chances that you will do them.

Know that it is completely up to you what you decide to do with this. I hope you decide to commit to doing something about it because I am excited, passionate and committed to helping you do work that matters as a category of one and ultimately lead you to greater success.

Question: What are you doing to be in a category of one? Leave a comment below.

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