Here’s something I hear a lot: Robert, how did Oprah achieve superstar status without being a massive A-hole? Can you actually do one without becoming the other?
So, you’ve been breakin’ necks just to cash checks because you heard that being a hard-ass is the ticket to success. But what do you think that does to your personal brand? If you portray yourself to be focused solely on your bottom line, you’re marketing yourself negatively. There may be a few dickheads out there who enjoy your cold-hearted nature, but those kinds of people only care about what you can do for them – no one and nothing else. Newsflash – that includes you. Individuals who brand themselves impersonally won’t be well-received or supported by people with integrity. Personally, I prefer to think most of society has at least a little integrity and is drawn to successful people who exhibit good qualities.
Oprah is the epitome of better branding. She made her way from humble beginnings and created a personal brand synonymous with… well, Oprah! Is there anyone that can compare to that level of branding? The short answer is no! Oprah markets herself as personable and passionate, and people eat that shit up. Authenticity, my friends… it’s what’s for dinner! Oprah has learned that it takes honor and dignity to make a great brand. If you are starting to realize that ruthlessly stealing candy from babies just isn’t getting you any closer to the better brand you’re seeking, then you’ve come to the right place. Let Oprah educate you with six crucial secrets to building an incomparable brand.
How to build a better brand by being a better you.
1. Have a little compassion, why don’t ya?
Oprah’s empire thrives on the concept of living your best life, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to become more compassionate. Oprah’s Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa is just one of many charitable pursuits she follows and is a strong example of how Oprah practices what she preaches.
Analyze your intentions with your customers: Do you act out of compassion and empathy, or are you solely aggressive and desperate for their money?
Your customers can tell the difference.
2. All work and no play makes Robie a dull boy.
Oprah understands the important balance between “work” and “play.” Oprah will often reward her entire TV staff with lavish trips to Hawaii or a weekend at a Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas. Taking breaks to enjoy the little things in life doesn’t weaken Oprah’s business acumen, it refuels her for the fight! Don’t cut out your relaxation time, because it makes you a stronger, wiser, all-around better leader. Gather your crew and grab a brew! Oprah’s orders.
3. Be 100% Pure-Grade Genuine.
Whether Oprah is interviewing a family from the Midwest or the President of the United States, she doesn’t hold back. Oprah’s business approach is grounded in being the truest version of herself at all times and in all situations. That is what keeps her on top. Be uncompromising in your beliefs as an entrepreneur, as a brand, and as a person. Don’t sway for fear or intimidation. Stay focused and true to yourself.
“With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas, thought by thought, choice by choice.”Oprah
4. Get out of your “cubic-hole” and get with the times.
Oprah’s cable network runs a slate of programming that covers a variety of topics from health to heartache, each complete with commentary about topical events and issues. It’s important to be aware of what’s going on in the world outside your office so that you can incorporate it into your brand. Showing your worldliness proves you care about more than just sales and numbers.
5. Have an eye for enterprise.
Oprah saw a spark in people like Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz and knew that their talents could be useful – and marketable – to her customers. Oprah’s enterprising spirit aided these celebrities as they found their own television markets and built their own brands. Keep your eyes open for opportunities – whether it’s seeing something no one else does in a colleague or finding ways to collaborate with others on products similar to your own
“The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but on significance–and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.”Oprah
6. Drive until you hit Better Brand Ave., then merge onto Success Street.Oprah’s drive is unparalleled. Books, endorsements, TV shows, movies… the list goes on and on… she tackles anything and everything her heart desires. Stay driven despite your environment or circumstance; remain focused despite what your adversaries may tell you. Annihilate self-doubt. You can accomplish everything you set out to do, and if there isn’t a path laid out for you yet, pave it yourself.
See? You can build a better brand without losing your humanity and becoming a complete D-bag in the process! Oprah is living proof that just trusting your worth and protecting your integrity can earn major gains for your personal brand. Be authentic and don’t be afraid to take time “away” from yourself/your business to help others. You never know where you may find new, creative ideas and inspirations that will spark your passion and benefit your brand.
Be a better you and a better brand will follow.