9 August 2010 27 Comments

Personal Branding Lesson from ‘In Pursuit Of Happyness’

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals


brand consistencyBrand equitySomeone says the spelling above is not right but that is the title of a film I watched. So pardon the title spelling. Those who are close to me know I am not a huge fan of movie and films. When I take the chance to watch one it must be that I am fascinated by the title (which I presume can teach me something new).

I am a huge fan of anything that can spur me on to pursue excellence as well as increase my value. So when I saw the title I felt it may contain some nuggets that will help me achieve my goal. One of the hidden challenges I have and which some keen observers of our community will have noticed is that my writing style is not at the best level.

I keep struggling with this each new day and sometime I am embarrassed with my post or structure in other piece I have done. Interestingly, when others give me their materials to read all my senses are always alive. So I wonder why I could not apply that to myself. If I must be honest, sometimes this discourages me from writing a post here as I knew some international readers may judge my brand with this shortcoming.

So one of the reasons that attracted me to the film was what I can learn in my pursuit of happiness with regards to my writing style. The storyline is about a young man (Chris Gardner) who had a disordered childhood. He never had the opportunity of meeting his father until he was twenty eight. This young man decision was to be a role model for his young boy but unfortunately his marriage was threaten by poverty to the extent that his wife could no longer endure and she left. He went through hard times but he eventually made the glorious limelight he desired. So some of the personal branding lessons I learnt from the film are:

Have a goal: Whatever circumstance you find your brand today should not determine where it can possibly be. A written goal, dream of a better future will keep the energy inside the brand to glow. Without a goal and dream, there will be no life inside the brand. Each time Chris goes out, he dreamt and saw how he could become better as he saw others leading enviable life.

Trash excuse: everyone has a ton of excuses that can stop them from achieving their goals. Chris dreamt of becoming a certified stock broker/dealer despite huge financial burden. He could not pay his house rent and was sent packing. He has to sleep in ‘free Dorms’ where light will be off at a regulated time. Despite this he would light candles to read.

Take calculated risk: despite the fact that Chris did not have money, he went ahead to enrol for the job of his dream and started reading at any available opportunity.

Develop confidence in your capability and brand: never allow the situation to determine your confidence level. When Chris’s wife left because she could not go ahead with him, and his house owner ejected him, Chris’s confidence level did not drop. The height of this that really touched me was that he was ejected and detained in police custody a night before his job interview. Chris never allowed this to affect his performance at the interview panel. Imagine someone leaving police custody without shower and moved straight to interview panel?

Hold on, be consistence and damn present circumstance: Chris’s life showed a high level of consistency, persistence in his dream. He works his ‘ass off’. Nothing could discourage him from moving ahead. Though once a while he shed tears in the midnight when he thinks about his situation that seems not to have expiry date.

Enjoy the moment: You do not have to wait till major breakthrough comes before you celebrate yourself. Live each day at a time. The first day Chris made an income of two hundred and fifty dollars he took his son and they went to sleep in a hotel room instead of sleeping in a Dorm they were used to. He and his son had fun. From this story I am learning to be happy with myself, my writing style even though it is not near what I desire. I will keep improving till I get there but be happy with the moment. Do you have anything to share? Transparency, honesty and sharing keep life going. Over to you, Use the comment section.

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