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Your personal brand: Fighting the inner battle

A few nights ago I had the opportunity to see Fernando Lopez, CFO of Bounty Group, an information technology and services company in the Miami metro area. Fernando is a somewhat quiet man, unprepossessing, but when he speaks, it’s with a quiet authority that rings true. In rapt attention, the group at Back on Track Network in Davie listened as Fernando took them through exercises, quizzes, ways to make yourself more productive.

A long battle
Photo by Lennart Preiss/Getty Images

He’s speaking from the heart, sharing ways to gain sales, and be more successful as a business person. He has many tips and techniques which when applied with discipline can be extremely effective in helping a business or a company. What comes across loud and clear about Fernando is the battles he fought to get to this place in his life and career. He has been through many experiences, difficulties perhaps more than the average professional and has come away with faith and conviction that you can succeed with hard work, focus, and faith. Fernando is an inspiring speaker.

It’s sometimes the story behind the battle with some people that makes them compelling. This is true for your personal brand. After all, you didn’t just wake up one day and have one. No, you built that brand experience by experience, skill by skill, and job by job. The difficulties you encounter along the way are what make you the unique individual you are. You might be battling inner demons, addictions, failures, misunderstandings, but somehow you rise above them to fight another day. Talk to someone who seems very successful and you will find that there were many times they were ready to toss it in and give up. So that inner battle you fight every day is what makes your brand that much stronger. You were forced to believe in yourself and make the effort. It is this very process that people can relate to. There is nothing wrong in showing what you’ve surmounted. When we see someone we admire, it only enhances our admiration when we learn about their long and winding path to success because it emphasizes the commonality of the human condition: we are all struggling with some obstacle that holds us back.

Someone I was coaching said to me, “I don’t what to listen to negative people telling me to do something else or not to try so hard”. There will always be naysayers, negative people to tell you to just stay home and don’t even try. Surmounting the obstacle means that you back out there to go after what you want, what you know you should have, in spite of what these people say. Disregard them and stay on your path. Another client told me of his struggles with alcohol and legal difficulties, but this has not diminished his desire to overcome these issues and progress into a completely new field. It’s profoundly hopeful to hear that kind of story, for it tells us that these things are within our grasp. They are a part of what makes us push forward into the unknown of a new career.

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