Start right now.
As of this moment you need to think of yourself differently!
Starting today you are a brand.
There is no escaping this fact.

Almost all work today is organized into tasks called projects.

I think we should all forget about the word “resume”. It should be called a marketing brochure or a personal branding profile.

Instead of a list of titles and job descriptions, your “marketing brochure” (resume) should bring to life the skills you’ve mastered, the projects you’ve delivered and define essentially what makes you remarkable. 

If you’re treating your resume as if it’s a marketing brochure, you’ve learned the first concept of being a free agent, the way most people will be working in the years to come and the way most people in other countries make a living.images

The second concept is one that most of today’s professional athletes have already learned – you’ve got to check with the market on a regular basis to get feedback on your brand’s value. You’re either moving ahead or sliding backward.

You don’t have to be looking for a job to go on a job interview. Don’t wait until you need to find a job to evaluate where you stand with your personal brand.  Ask for and insist on honest feedback about your performance and regularly assess your market value. You need to know what you are worth on the open market based on direct feedback, not your gut feelings.

Forget about what jobs are available and think more in terms of who needs what you have to offer and begin to sell yourself as something of value to a business or person that needs your help.

It’s over. There are no more corporate ladders. That’s not the way careers work anymore.imgres-2 

A career is now a checkerboard that involves moves that go sideways, forward and sometimes go backward when it makes sense.

A career is a portfolio of projects that should teach you new skills, offer you new expertise, develop new capabilities and constantly reinvent you as a brand that’s relevant.

If you’ve been doing the same job for 5-10 years, it’s probably time for a change. Never forget that it’s your ability to periodically reinvent yourself that will determine your future survival. 

Today, major companies are outsourcing many of the tasks imgres-2associated with building their products. They farm out “projects” to anywhere in the world where they can be completed at the lowest possible cost and the best value.

Consider the Apple iPad. No Apple employee has ever assembled an iPad or built the circuit board. If Apple employees built the iPad instead of just designing it, an iPad is estimated to cost around $4,000.

A great example of personal branding in the music world is Lady Gaga. 

We haven’t seen a personal brand expand this fast in years. She sold over 300 million albums in her 1st year as a recognized singer and amassed a net worth of $40 million dollars in 24 months. She was only 24 years old at the time. 

Perhaps even more amazing is Jessica Simpson. Her fashion and accessories brand includes shoes, jeans, swimwear, watches and fragrances.  She sold $1 billion dollar’s worth of products in 12 months.

Ask yourself these questions:

1.What turns you on?

2. Are you learning something new?

3. What is your personal definition of success? 

Instead focusing on retirement as a “deferred-life” plan, consider designing a lifestyle that is focused on cash flow from many sources that allow you to live a great life right now.

However you answer these questions, search relentlessly for jobs or projects that lead you to what you want in your life.

Don’t settle for anything less.