A mask is a mask. Nothing more. Nothing else.
If you give the mask a fancy name, things won’t change much. Let’s say you call your mask your personal brand – things won’t change much. It will still be a mask.
Much of the personal branding advice today is about changing your mask. Upgrade your mask and suddenly things will change. Hardly the case. All a new mask will do is to give you the license to fool someone during the first impression.
[ Please read my column at TomPeters.com – What a “Personal Brand” is NOT. ]
Think about it – if you are trying to make a great first impression with a smart person because you have a mask upgrade. The chances of you winning are slim. Sooner than later, the smart person will see through the mask and the mask will hurt more than help. So that’s a lost cause right there.
Ok let’s take another case – you are now trying to make a great first impression with a “not so smart” person because you have a mask upgrade. You might win this battle (!!) and fool that person. Did you really win? What is the point? So that’s another lost cause.
A mask rarely helps and most definitely hurts you in the long run.
More importantly, wearing it will take your soul away. Imagine trying to be someone else ALL the time.
Why do people take the trouble then?
Simply because – real personal branding is hard work. You have to change your core and reduce the delta between who you are and who you are portraying to be. A mask provides that shortcut – at least that’s what you might think.
Drop the mask and celebrate your life!