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3 ways to use your mentor to build your personal brand

3 ways to use your mentor to build your personal brand

It’s interesting to ponder how your life would be, had you not met the people you have along the way. Each person leaves their mark on who you are and where you end up – some more than others admittedly!

This is the third post in a series of three, dedicated to Mentoring. So far, we’ve seen ‘how to find and retain a good mentor’, and ‘how to discern what advice to take on from them’. In this post we’ll deal with how that helps shape your personal brand – believe it or not, you have one!

For me personally, had I not had good mentors in my life, it’s probable I wouldn’t work in the technology sector. Nigh, I quite possibly would still be a journalist. Life would be different, that’s for sure.

With the right encouragement and guidance along the way, I’ve evolved and continue to evolve into the ‘me I’d like to be’ – a brand that has no logo, but exists just as tangibly in my mind, and the minds (although inadvertently) of those around me. I believe one of the greatest values of mentors is to close the gap between the brand that exists within the individual’s mind, and outsider’s perceptions.

Fortunately, because I have good mentors, I don’t have too many ‘could’ve, would’ve, should’ve’ hypotheticals. Regret is at odds with fulfilment, and if fulfilment is, as I’d earlier suggested, the basis of balance and a key ingredient in success, this scenario is one to be avoided at all costs. So how do you do that?

I think there are three key ways you can use your mentors to help build a strong, positive personal brand:

  1. Ask them what they think of you. If they already know you somewhat, before you get into the nitty gritty of situational analysis, political navigation, and strategic crystal-balling, start with an independent audit of self. Get a low-down on what they think your strengths and weaknesses are. Most people aren’t as self-aware as they should be. Just be sure you are ready for it. Sometimes, this will be really affronting.
  2. Ask them to introduce you around. They aren’t just the sum of their experiences, but like you, they’re a by-product of their contacts. You’d be silly not to make the most of them, particularly if they are in different industries. They all add to your understanding.
  3. Ask them to articulate their own brand story. Listen to their journey and milestones. The best thing you can do for you is know it’s not all about you! I said hindsight is beautiful and irrelevant in my first post, but when it’s someone else telling you about it, it’s a whole other story. That’s when you have a chance to connect the vision with the challenges and apply it to your own brand identity. That’s mentoring in motion!

So there are some of my thoughts on Mentoring. I hope you find them helpful. If you’d like to follow more of my musings on Leadership, Strategic Communication or Social Media, subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.

More reading:

How to find (and keep) a good mentor
3 tips for evaluating a mentor’s advice
Brand You: How would you sum up your life in just 6 words?

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