You Are What You
Think: Face a Weak Economy with a Strong Personal Brand
By Brenda Bence
So much has been
said, discussed, and argued about the "economic situation" in the
past few months. Is it possible that there is a stone unturned on
this topic? Well, yes there is ... because the way you communicate
your personal brand in this economy can have a big impact on how
well you weather the challenges that could come your way.
In particular, your
reactions to the economy, your thoughts about the
economy, and your actions related to the economy can impact
the ultimate outcome for your personal brand – the trademarked you.
In fact, your reactions, thoughts, and actions are three of five
total activities that communicate your personal brand each and every
day (along with your look and your sound.)
If you want to see someone's true personal brand, watch them react
to adverse events. How you react in crisis situations says a lot
about who you really are. The key to mastering your personal brand
is to remain consistent over time. Remember that you can't always
control what happens to you, but you can control how you react
to what happens to you. That's how strong personal brands are built.
So, think about the
personal brand you're presenting through your reactions to the
economy. Are you hiding in a corner with your head buried in the
sand? Are you talking 'doom and gloom' with your friends every
chance you get? Are worries about the economy keeping you awake at
Take a deep breath,
and keep a calm, clear head. You will make better decisions when you
stop yourself from shifting into a fear-driven state that may cause
knee-jerk reactions you regret later.
Thoughts are things. That may sound like a radical idea to you, but
scientists are proving more and more that thoughts exist in the
world in a very real way, and they have a strong influence on what
happens to you. So, become aware of what your thoughts are telling
you about the economic situation. Sit back and take inventory of how
you feel about the financial climate right now. What emotions come
to mind? Fear? Anxiety? Anger? You will act – and also build your
personal brand – based on those feelings. So, if you're full of
angst, consider the possible actions that will stem from that.
Here’s how psychiatrists put it: Your thoughts drive your
emotions, and – in turn - your emotions drive your behavior. And
those behaviors are responsible for creating the results – the
ultimate outcomes - of your life. It’s good old cause-and-effect in
action, with the ultimate “cause” being your thoughts. So, even if
you can’t quite get on board with believing that thoughts are
things, at a minimum, your thoughts have the power to undermine your
personal brand if you’re not careful.
So, make your thoughts productive. Take proactive steps to
manage your money well. Focus on what you
have that is positive, and focus on what you are grateful for.
Chances are you have it a lot better than many people in the world.
Don’t keep your Thoughts pinned on what isn't perfect or what could
go wrong. Think about how things can go
What you say stems from your thoughts, too, so be mindful of how you
"talk" about today's economy. Just calling the situation a "crisis"
(which is the key word you see spread all over magazines,
newspapers, and television) creates anxiety. Think about it: The
U.S. government called its economic package a "bailout." Doesn't
that sound like Congress is trying to save a sinking ship? They
couldn't have chosen a worse word. And remember that the media
thrives on creating drama in order to sell their publications or get
you to tune in to their newscasts. That doesn't mean that the drama
is always as cataclysmic as it sounds. Sit back and objectively
analyze your own situation before deciding if it truly is a
You probably know people who are talking about all of this as
though the world is coming to an end. What personal brand are those
people communicating? What good will a brand like that do to make
their economic prospects brighter? No one wants to be around someone
with a negative or a defeatist personal brand. So, don't fall victim
to branding yourself in that way. It will do nothing to help you
build a better financial future for yourself.
If someone you know tries to suck you into their big black
hole of doom, politely excuse yourself, or focus on something more
constructive. Stay positive in your conversations, and it will make
a world of difference. Be an example of how to respond, and remind
others of what is truly important. Just like in the market crashes
of 1929 and 1987, this, too, shall pass.
If you still find that the economic situation is keeping you up at
night, objectively assess your situation, and make a plan. Are you
anxious because you're too far in debt? If that's the case, take
decisive action by seeing a financial counselor. (And if your
financial advisor talks negatively about the markets, find another
one!) Sit back, and calmly consider: What feels "right" to do? Set
some goals, and take at least one action each day to move closer to
There are always ebbs and flows in our finances – whether
personal or global. The trick is to find productive ways to make
things better. If you purposefully work at remaining consistent
with your desired personal brand, you'll be one step closer to
moving out of the storm.
How will we look
back on this economic event in the future?
Reports about both the 1929 and 1987 market crashes have shown that
people who kept a calm demeanor and stayed the course ended up doing
better in the long run –from both a financial and an emotional
standpoint. And you can be sure they built strong personal brands in
the meantime, too.
Read other articles and learn more about
[This article is available at no-cost, on a non-exclusive basis.
Contact PR/PR at 407-299-6128 for details and