Young Entrepreneur Council’s (YEC) members, who are hand-picked by the world’s most innovative young entrepreneurs, have provided these answers. We recently joined forces with Citi to create StartupCollective: a free virtual mentorship program that helps entrepreneurs conquer their dreams and start businesses of all sizes. With this incredible initiative readily available for anyone around the globe – it’s never been easier to launch your own business!
1. Who do I admire?
While you want to develop a personal brand that’s authentic to you, take note of the people you most admire (from any industry, period, or generation) and note the characteristics or experiences that draw you to those people. These are the building blocks of your brand–or the brand you aspire to have. – Lindsey Pollak, Millennial Workplace Expert
2. What are my goals?
Start with your goals. Ask “What are my personal goals and what steps do I need to take to achieve them?” – Amanda L. Barbara, Pubslush
3. What drives me?
Figure out what drives you and define your personal brand around it. This authenticity will make you stand out. – Josh Weiss, Bluegala
4. What makes me different?
To start defining your personal brand, first ask yourself, “What makes me different from everyone else” and “What gets me excited in the morning?” I’m a firm believer in Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle. I believe that it’s more important knowing why you do something (that is, what drives you) than what you do. Figure out what makes you different and why you’re doing what you do. Those are the best places to start. – Sean Kelly, HUMAN
5. What do others think about me?
It’s about getting clear about your essence. One of many questions you can ask yourself is, “What do others usually come to me for that I think isn’t a big deal?” Often those closest to us see things about ourselves that we can’t or simply don’t acknowledge. – Mike Ambassador Bruny, Ambassador Bruny Dot Com
6. What do I want to be?
The first part of defining your personal brand is determining who exactly it is you want to be. From there, you can figure out the steps you need to take in order to become that person. For instance, perhaps you want to be a fashion guru. Once that’s defined, you can work backward to determine what it takes to be that guru. This might be having a good fashion sense, hosting fashion events, and consulting others about this subject matter. – Andy Karuza, Brandbuddee
7. What is my oxygen?
What in your life can you simply not live without? What brought you immense joy as a little kid? These are the threads of your personal brand that you can follow to find the unique value and perspective that you bring to the world. My oxygen: reading, sharing, systematizing, business-building, great meals with friends, in-depth conversations, and long walks through New York City with my headphones on (pretending I’m in a movie). What’s yours? – Jenny Blake, Jenny Blake
8. What are my personal values?
The first question I would ask is “What are my personal values?” Am I the hardcore women-in-tech-advocate who prioritizes helping others or am I the Jill-of-all-trades who gets involved with music, business, and sports? Maybe I’m both. – Nanxi Liu, Enplug
9. What adjectives do I use to define myself?
Asking what adjectives you use to describe yourself is a great starting point for getting to the specifics of your personal brand. Start by listing out adjectives you feel represent you or ask friends and family to chime in. Once you pick a few adjectives, you can begin to construct your personal brand–transforming abstract concepts into concrete representations of who you are. – Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
This piece was first featured on the Personal Branding Blog.