The Brand Called YOU

Gen Howard

Gen Howard (IL ’14), senior sports sales manager, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau

by Gen Howard, Ignite Louisville Class of 2014 –

If you are a working parent like I am, you have many things to juggle at any given second of the day.  Most of the time, you are thinking about other people – your boss, your employees, your spouse, and your kids. The last person you have time to focus on is yourself. This last Ignite Louisville program day (led by Kirsten Hawley, of Brown-Forman) was both challenging and very rewarding for me, as it had us focused on understanding and defining our own personal brand.  It made me think about me, where I have come from, where I am presently, and where I want to go in the future, for an entire day.

Quoted from Tom Peters “The Brand Called You”, “We are CEO’s of our own companies: Me Inc.”  This is a pretty simple concept, but more difficult to define.  This concept goes beyond the “features” that we all have listed on our resume and Linked In profiles.  It challenged us to look deeper at ourselves and to imagine and begin developing our self as a unique brand.  What makes you stand out among your competition and what do I do that adds remarkable measurable value?  It was difficult to get to the core characteristics and qualities that I possess that are extraordinary.  However, it spawned a new thought process for me – “How can I tap into these characteristics and qualities and begin to strengthen and build my brand”?

If you had an opportunity to interview a handful of your clients, colleagues, and friends, what would they say about you and your current contributions?  Would you be satisfied with how they described you?  Most of us would probably want to enhance our image and strive to build a better and more compelling brand.

At the end of this process, we were asked to form a plan of what we wanted to do in the future to help build our brand.  When I was accepted into the Ignite 2014 Class, my personal goal was to step outside my comfort zone and take on a new challenge.  I’m excited to say that I reached this goal through my work with New Roots.  However, this particular program day has ignited in me the spark to continue my efforts in this space to take on new challenges, do projects outside my comfort zone, and continue to build and shape “Brand Gen”.  I encourage you all to take time out of your busy lives to focus in on building brand YOU!

Learn more about the Ignite Louisville program.