From Turtleization Evangelist to Brand Strategist
Why I chose to focus on personal branding
“Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see further.”
- Thomas Carlyle
One thing I have always known is that I love making plans come together and making strong people stronger. This gradually led me to what I have come to see as the overhyped path of entrepreneurship and the world of branding and marketing. It taught me a thing or two about people and business. And brought me back to where I am today, almost a full circle from where I started.
I am still practicing my storytelling skills, so bear with me for a bit, before I tell you why I chose to focus on personal branding.
The story starts in 2017 when I left the university.
Once upon a time...
I set out on a quest to start a company. I was going through all the painful startup phases at my own, speedy, rabbit style, giving it my very all and beyond. But my venture was slowly sucking the life out of me. Then I met Ángel, who suggested that adding some turtle virtues to my business development style would get me further. I listened to his advice and it did. Soon after, we fell in love and ventured on a new quest: to help small companies develop a fast, yet steady, business strategy by making the most of both rabbit and turtle virtues. Tortuga Solutions was born.
The story doesn’t end there...
Tortuga Solutions was not for everybody. No company is. You can never be everything to everyone. Good business strategy starts with making hard choices. What do you want to be known for and how do you go about influencing people’s perception of you? This is at the core of company branding. I embraced the challenge and soon began to see the brand as the heartbeat for successful business development.
The story still doesn’t end there...
I realized that people don’t hire companies, they hire people. Companies responded to and hired Maja or Ángel, not Tortuga Solutions. It became clear to me that a strong personal reputation is a foundation for both your career and your company’s success. What do you want to be known for and how do you go about influencing people’s perception of you? This is also at the core of personal branding.
Syncing your personal and company brands together is the secret to a strong and steady business development heartbeat. Adopting a brand-driven strategy is key to running fast and steady.
This answers the question of why personal branding, right? The funny thing is that I gave it a name in 2018, but I had been practicing it since 2006.
For 10 years at the university, my job was to increase the quality and visibility of the university’s scientific profile. I understood early on, that we were only as good as the people working for us. So I chose to focus my efforts on attracting and nurturing talented academics, doing whatever we could to help them excel. It turns out I needed to experience working in and with different types of companies, from startups and NGOs to commercial agencies, to understand that this is true for all types of companies. A company's reputation is the reflection of the people working for that company.
If you have a great idea, you need a team of people to make it happen. A company brand will help you sell that idea, but your people will take it further. Good leaders know this and they lead by example. And I respect and admire intelligent people with a vision. After so many years, I am comfortable to say that if you recognize yourself as an intelligent rabbit-style entrepreneur, I can help you articulate your story so many more people recognize your unique talent and join you to turn your vision into a reality.