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Personal Branding: A tool for a successful entrepreneurial exit

entrepreneurs personal branding pivot Feb 10, 2023

A successful exit is the ultimate goal for many entrepreneurs – the pinnacle of financial independence and the chance to monetize their hard-won achievements. Yet, the reality for many business owners is that post-exit can be a difficult time, marked by depression and other mental health challenges.

As the team at Brand of a Leader has witnessed, many entrepreneurs find themselves grappling with feelings of loss, a lack of direction, and doubts about their relevance.

Despite the different emotions our clients come to us with, they all share one hindsight-20/20 realization: the importance of investing in personal branding well before the exit. As our clients reflect, 'Wish I had taken the time to build my personal brand years before the exit.'

A personal brand represents the equity we build in our own name through the creation of recognition and a network that transcends our professional activities and verticals we are in. This equity provides us with the ultimate level of portability, allowing us to weather pivots, business setbacks, or even successful exits. The reputation and network we cultivate as part of our personal brand building follow us through any changes we face and serve as a constant source of support and stability in an ever-changing entrepreneurial journey.

The first 2 elements - your unique positioning and brand perception - remain constant throughout your entrepreneurial journey.

Your positioning should reflect your inherent identity, rather than your vocation or the vertical your business is in, and this gives it a level of portability that withstands all pivots. Your brand perception, on the other hand, is shaped by how you want to be perceived by others: authentic qualities that you work on intentionally building a perception around. And your brand voice should directly reflect your communication style, providing a consistent and cohesive representation of who you are.

What changes throughout your journey?

Your key content pillars: the topic you are associated with may shift to reflect the current stage of your entrepreneurial and personal journey.

Many of our clients that come to us post-exit feel compelled to talk about legacy or to pay it forward sharing their key learnings and “battle” stories with the up-and-comers. When brand positioning is clear and content pillars align with it, the power of building a platform and inspiring at scale is undeniable. There is often deep appeal in that to entrepreneurs who already saw impressive financial success and are ready to make a bigger impact vis-à-vis their thought and opinion leadership. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote resonates with many of them:

"The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."

The entrepreneurial journey is in constant evolution through pivots, crashes, and exits. A personal brand transcends these changes and remains consistent throughout, reflecting the entrepreneur's unique identity, purpose, and voice.

Ready to uncover what your unique identity, purpose and voice are? We are here to help! Book a call

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