Personal Branding is a Real Life Role Playing Game

Posted January 27, 2011 by

Personal branding is WoW and Final Fantasy; you just don’t know it yet.
What is your goal when you’re playing a role playing game? Your goal is to level up your character, unlock every secret, find every hidden weapon, beat every boss, and ultimately, beat the game with a 100% completion rating. Your goal requires you to put in hours upon hours of invested time and effort into a make believe character in a fantasy land. Let’s say you do beat the game on hard or reach level 70, what then? Do you start another game only to waste another 200 hours leveling up a fantasy character? Where does this fit in with your life goals and ambitions?
Life parallels a video game in many ways. Much like a role playing, we are able to level ourselves up in real life by expanding our network, undertaking an internship, writing a new blog post, learning a new skill, or listening to an audio book. Each of these activities can provide you with a skill or asset that will help you accomplish your life and career goals.

Life is a game, and this is how you can become a strong player:
1. Slay those monsters and level up
Role Playing Game: Constantly slay demons so that you can level up your character and gain new abilities
Real Life: You need to constantly read books, blogs, and listen to podcasts so that you always learn something new. Each new skill that you learn is the equivalent to learning a new ability in a video game. For example, when I first founded Future Delivery, I didn’t know a bit of php, html, css, or SEO. I spent the time and energy to train myself in these arts and now have a skill set that allows me to build any basic site that I want. I no longer have to depend on our in-house developer to build social media rank sites or dropshipping companies because I can do it on my own.
2. Everyone has the potential to help you on your journey.
Role Playing Game: Talk to every single random character in the game because you never know when they’re holding a secret.
Real Life: You need to constantly network with everyone. It’s not enough to just network with the big players like Tim Ferris or Robert Scoble; you should be networking at local events in your community with people who haven’t created a super star presence yet. Yes, it’s important to add amazing people like Peter Shankman to your network, but these people are like the bosses in video games that can take a while to conquer. Every single person you meet on your journey in life has the potential to provide you with an asset that can help you with your journey.
Don’t discriminate – introduce yourself to everyone.
3. The best teams have complimentary skills.
Role Playing Game: Construct a team of characters who compliment each others skill. You need a magician, warrior, thief, sorcerer, and archer to be able to take on any challenge.
Real Life: Construct a team of close (business) friends whose skills compliment each other. I’m an entrepreneur, and my ideal team is a developer, designer, marketer, and the leader. We currently have all but the designer on the Future Delivery team, so it is my goal to find someone out there who is able to compliment our skills by adding a design talent. Look at your team or close group of (business) friends. Are you guys all of the same breed? If so, it’s time for you to expand your network and actively pursue adding people on your personal team whose skills compliment your own.
4. Utilize every weapon available to you.
Role Playing Game: The better, more powerful your weapon, the easier it will be to slay demons and beat the bosses
Real Life: You need to use every single weapon that is available to you. Start a blog, twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and optimize them to further your life goals. It’s not enough to just have a blog lying there with your name on it; you must cultivate and level it up by consistently writing good blog posts and participating in the blogging community. It’s not enough that you have a Twitter profile with your face on it; you must tweet cool sites, follow influential people, and participate in the conversation to build your Twitter presence. It’s important to use your weapons; it’s even more important to use them effectively.
5. It’s about the journey, not the end.
Why do we play video games? Is it to quickly beat the game in the fastest time possible to watch the ending, or is it the experience and the story that engages us? We play role playing games because we get sucked into the storyline, characters, and begin to actuality care for the protagonist. We want to see a happy ending.
Why do we live life? Is it to reach the end in one piece? Of course not. Life is the journey that we take, the experiences that we have, the people we meet along the way, and the positive things that we’re able to contribute to this world. You see, unlike a video game, life cannot be placed on pause and there are no save points that allow you to reset if you have made a mistake.
Every person on this planet is playing the same game as you – the game of life. We are the ones who realize this and are thus able to take advantage by actively leveling up so that we can become the strongest players possible. In a video game, what happens to the strongest players? People idolize them, they unlock all the secrets, and their names are forever immortalized on the high score rank. Similarly, if you have a strong personal brand, people will idolize you, you’ll be able to experience things others cannot, and your name will always be remembered.
Jun is the Founder and CMO of Future Delivery where he is building Viralogy, the Social Media rank. His personal blog, Become a Young Successful Entrepreneur, gives a real, unfiltered view of the Startup Life so that current and aspiring entrepreneurs can learn from his successes and mistakes.
Dan Schawbel.jpg Article courtesy of Dan Schawbel, the leading personal branding expert for Gen-Y. He authors the Personal Branding Blog and publishes Personal Branding Magazine and authored the upcoming book, Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success (Kaplan, Spring 2009). Dan has been called a “personal branding force of nature” by Fast Company and his work has been published in BrandWeek Magazine, Advertising Age and countless other publications.

Originally posted by Candice A

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