Personal Brand expert Peter Montoya succinctly defines Personal Brand as a “personal identity that stimulates precise, meaningful perceptions in its audience about the values and qualities that a person stands for”
Whether you are an entrepreneur, professional, politician, leader e.t.c the growing importance of building a personal brand consistent with your ideals cannot be emphasized. Branding is a potent symbol of differentiation in a world that is selling the same type of goods and services. Our column today deals with the importance of a personal brand in the realizations of one’s cherished ideals.
How do you brand yourself in a world that is selling the same human capital resources?
The world is full of many people who have become brands in their own right. Tiger Woods has become the brand of the modern day golf and the history of contemporary golf will be incomplete without arguably its greatest brand ambassador; and the same applies to Michael Jordan of Basketball, Nelson Mandela in the politics of the struggle or the civil rights movement in America without the symbolic Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr.
Personal branding is the total summation of the perceptions that people have about you in your interaction with them and the environment. We can then presume that your interaction with people and the environment can be controlled to solicit a desired perception which eventually creates a “personal brand”
Everyone must stand, represent, idealize and envision something. In the words of one author personal branding is what people say about you in your absence. It is common for companies to brand themselves however it is not so for individuals. You will still have a personal brand irrespective of whether you intend to build a brand or not.
Mahatma Ghandi and Mother Theresa are recognized for their contribution to humanity; either pursuit of peace and charitable works respectively. Their personal brands revolves around that, to the extent that they have become global icons recognized for their beliefs and their pursuits.
Individuals also have a brand; which is the total summation of your image. Interaction with people around you invokes perceptions about you. These perceptions are reinforced over a long time as the individual interacts with society. Whatever perception that people have about you ultimately results in your “personal brand”
Your personal brand is different from your identity. Identity is more inward and it is about you engaging in actions meant to influence what people think about you. The resultant perception compacted over time then forms your brand. The brand is more about what the external stakeholders think about you.
The good thing is that everyone has the ability to build their personal brand to conform to their purpose. Because the brand is not about what you think you are but rather about what people think you are, you can never really know if your brand tallies with what you want unless you have a feedback mechanism.
An evaluation assists you to correct your interaction to effectively create your desired personal brand. If you don’t create a brand then you will automatically have one and it may be the one that you do not desire. Here are 5 ways of helping you build your personal brand
The MoneyMind 5P’s of Personal Branding
Principle Principles are set of basic truths or morals that one live by. People who have been able to create personal brands are seen to represent a set of principles that are applied consistently over their lifetime. People tend to respect and trust a person who represent something and whose moral positions on issues are almost known or predictable. Have a set of principles that guide you to arrive at positions and apply those consistently all the time. You will earn respect among the “public” for being principled.
Presentation How you present yourself to your audience through verbal and non- verbal communication will determine the perception that people have about you. Language and knowledge gives you authority and determines how people will view you in terms of your abilities. People judge you by the way you present yourself ; from the hand shake, eye contact, dress and how seriously you take your audience to name a few factors
Public relations Your ability to effectively engage people in your environment and use communication tools to manage their perception about you is very important. In the advent of social media it has increasingly become easier to interact with a wide variety of audiences. It has also become easier for voice messaging and pictorial communication which are important to more effective communication. Engage your stakeholders in topics and issues of common interest on a sustained base.
Power When you do all of the above mentioned factors you inherently amass power. And power is nothing more than the ability to use your position to influence events to those that believe admire or share the same ideals with you. The way you dispense your power will determine whether you earn or lose more. By developing your personal brand you are inadvertently positioning yourself as a centre of influence. What you want to achieve with that power can only relate to what the individual wants.
Position You must always think about the position that you want to be in terms of society. How do you want to be remembered by those that are around you? The truth is that in personally branding yourself you are intending to occupy a particular place in the realm of society. You want to attain top of the mind awareness status. You want those around to favourably remember you. Personal branding at the end of the day will open opportunities for you because it will give you a social status. All of these will assist you self-actualize.
Differentiate yourself today by following the MoneyMind 5P’s of Personal Branding
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This century is always looking at improving new super high speed technology to make life easier. On the other hand, beckoning as an emerging fierce reversal force to equally match or dominate this life enhancing super new tech, comes swift human adversaries which seem to have come to make living on earth even more difficult.
The recent discovery of a pandemic, Covid-19, which moves at a pace of unimaginable and unpredictable proportions; locking people inside homes and barring human interactions with its dreaded death threat, is currently being felt.
Member of Parliament for Kanye North, Thapelo Letsholo has cautioned Government against excessive borrowing and poorly managed debt levels.
He was speaking in Parliament on Tuesday delivering Parliament’s Finance Committee report after assessing a motion that sought to raise Government Bond program ceiling to P30 billion, a big jump from the initial P15 Billion.
Government Investment Account (GIA) which forms part of the Pula fund has been significantly drawn down to finance Botswana’s budget deficits since 2008/09 Global financial crises.
The 2009 global economic recession triggered the collapse of financial markets in the United States, sending waves of shock across world economies, eroding business sentiment, and causing financiers of trade to excise heightened caution and hold onto their cash.
The ripple effects of this economic catastrophe were mostly felt by low to middle income resource based economies, amplifying their vulnerability to external shocks. The diamond industry which forms the gist of Botswana’s economic make up collapsed to zero trade levels across the entire value chain.
The Upstream, where Botswana gathers much of its diamond revenue was adversely impacted by muted demand in the Midstream. The situation was exacerbated by zero appetite of polished goods by jewelry manufacturers and retail outlets due to lowered tail end consumer demand.
This resulted in sharp decline of Government revenue, ballooned budget deficits and suspension of some developmental projects. To finance the deficit and some prioritized national development projects, government had to dip into cash balances, foreign reserves and borrow both externally and locally.
Much of drawing was from Government Investment Account as opposed to drawing from foreign reserve component of the Pula Fund; the latter was spared as a fiscal buffer for the worst rainy days.
Consequently this resulted in significant decline in funds held in the Government Investment Account (GIA). The account serves as Government’s main savings depository and fund for national policy objectives.
However as the world emerged from the 2009 recession government revenue graph picked up to pre recession levels before going down again around 2016/17 owing to challenges in the diamond industry.
Due to a number of budget surpluses from 2012/13 financial year the Government Investment Account started expanding back to P30 billion levels before a series of budget deficits in the National Development Plan 11 pushed it back to decline a decline wave.
When the National Development Plan 11 commenced three (3) financial years ago, government announced that the first half of the NDP would run at budget deficits.
This as explained by Minister of Finance in 2017 would be occasioned by decline in diamond revenue mainly due to government forfeiting some of its dividend from Debswana to fund mine expansion projects.
Cumulatively since 2017/18 to 2019/20 financial year the budget deficit totaled to over P16 billion, of which was financed by both external and domestic borrowing and drawing down from government cash balances. Drawing down from government cash balances meant significant withdrawals from the Government Investment Account.
The Government Investment Account (GIA) was established in accordance with Section 35 of the Bank of Botswana Act Cap. 55:01. The Account represents Government’s share of the Botswana‘s foreign exchange reserves, its investment and management strategies are aligned to the Bank of Botswana’s foreign exchange reserves management and investment guidelines.
Government Investment Account, comprises of Pula denominated deposits at the Bank of Botswana and held in the Pula Fund, which is the long-term investment tranche of the foreign exchange reserves.
In June 2017 while answering a question from Bogolo Kenewendo, the then Minister of Finance & Economic Development Kenneth Mathambo told parliament that as of June 30, 2017, the total assets in the Pula Fund was P56.818 billion, of which the balance in the GIA was P30.832 billion.
Kenewendo was still a back bench specially elected Member of Parliament before ascending to cabinet post in 2018. Last week Minister of Finance & Economic Development, Dr Thapelo Matsheka, when presenting a motion to raise government local borrowing ceiling from P15 billion to P30 Billion told parliament that as of December 2019 Government Investment Account amounted to P18.3 billion.
Dr Matsheka further told parliament that prior to financial crisis of 2008/9 the account amounted to P30.5 billion (41 % of GDP) in December of 2008 while as at December 2019 it stood at P18.3 billion (only 9 % of GDP) mirroring a total decline by P11 billion in the entire 11 years.
Back in 2017 Parliament was also told that the Government Investment Account may be drawn-down or added to, in line with actuations in the Government’s expenditure and revenue outturns. “This is intended to provide the Government with appropriate funds to execute its functions and responsibilities effectively and efficiently” said Mathambo, then Minister of Finance.
Acknowledging the need to draw down from GIA no more, current Minister of Finance Dr Matsheka said “It is under this background that it would be advisable to avoid excessive draw down from this account to preserve it as a financial buffer”
He further cautioned “The danger with substantially reduced financial buffers is that when an economic shock occurs or a disaster descends upon us and adversely affects our economy it becomes very difficult for the country to manage such a shock”