More than 75% of all startups fail. Entrepreneurial success is not guaranteed by just activity, great ideas, lots of money, a great team, etc. VCs invest in the entrepreneur/CEO; talent joins a startup based largely on the entrepreneur/CEO leading it; angels invest in the entrepreneur/CEO; partners look at the credibility of the entrepreneur/CEO …you get the idea. Let’s say you are a brilliant founder/CEO, have great credentials and are loved by your team. That must mean angels, VCs, future employees and partners are beating down your door, right? Are they? I used to think they should be. I looked good on paper but something was ‘missing’. As I have found with a lot of things in life; just because something is ‘obvious’ and ‘common sense’ does not mean you ‘see it’ or do it. What was missing was a widely known personal brand for me – or the entrepreneur/CEO in the above example. Without a well-known personal brand, the world will neither find you (and your brilliant idea) nor seek you out (your uniqueness and brilliance). You must build and market your personal brand – who you are, what you stand for, what you want to achieve and why you are a desirable brand to be associated with.
I am an MIT alum with a business degree, been a VC in Silicon Valley and have personally started 4 companies. Like every entrepreneur, I have always loved each of my ideas. But, the world has not always loved my idea. Often, it has been because they did not make the association with the person behind the idea or my mission. In today’s noisy world, you need to define what you stand for and market your personal brand. Otherwise, the world will neither seek you out nor your idea.
I am…..(the words you put here define you and shape your future)
I have written an article about my learnings on personal branding which you can read at http://bit.ly/pbblogpost. The sooner you act to define, package and promote your personal brand, the greater the likelihood that you and your venture could get the attention they deserve. Your brand could be based on any number of things – your brilliance, great ability to attract people, customers, partners, capital, etc.; it could be based on your credentials, location, social causes, lifestyle, rags-to-riches story, etc. I have found (after failing to see the ‘obvious’ for years) that a person who defines and promotes himself will be better positioned to achieve greater success in life than a person who does not – hands down. Most techies, salespeople and scientists who start companies fail to recognize the importance of building their personal brand. Unless you failed to study probability (and buy lottery tickets with odds of 1:186 million), you can now see what you need to do – define, build and market your personal brand – common sense and obvious.
I researched the various elements of personal branding required and assembled a group of experts and a suite of services. You can simply let this team build and market your personal brand while you focus on building the next unicorn (company valued over a billion dollars). You can see some of the services we’ve identified at http://businessthinking.com/personal-branding-services.
My personal mission is to help more businesses succeed, increasing successful business owners and employing more people – raising the standard of living for everybody. I’m sure you want to be among the ones left standing and be a thriving business. I hate to see 70% of businesses fail. Please reach out to me if you’d like to have a conversation.