Me, Inc. photo & all text © Irene O’Garden 2013

To listen to this post, please click here:Self As Brand

How odd, this phrase we’re reading everywhere: Self as Brand. From self as Soul, self as Citizen, even self as Consumer, to self as Thing To Market? Self as purposeful manufactured Product, publicly traded?

What to sell is an ancient question, surely. The market is a very, very, very old aspect of human life. For most of history our labor or the product thereof was what we sold. Nowadays it seems we can’t sell something unless we sell ourselves first.

I’m called to think about such things for the happy reason that the e-version of my Pushcart Prize-winning essay “Glad To Be Human” launches next week.

I’ve learned that now we makers must create the piece, create the platform and create the interest. Sheesh. Even God rested on the seventh day. (But, as hockey legend Wayne Gretzky says, “Skate where the puck is going, not where it’s been.”)

My head’s been foaming questions: How can I sell my Self? You’ve already got one. What do you get when you open the package of me? And just how far do we go to reach our market?

I was asked to make a choice this week between a marketing strategy that would bring me more clicks,  but felt unlike me, and one that might prompt less interest, but felt true to myself.  Wrestling with that angel clarified things. Selling’s is not the same as selling out. So long as you are true to your “brand.”

Internet brouhaha aside, a brand is not a Self. It is a set of expectations to be honored.  The soap will lather. The seams won’t rip. The car will start.  I’ll post for you on Wednesdays and try to leave you glad you stopped by.

Self, yours and mine, is way beyond buying and selling. It’s what we freely, deeply constantly experience and what we share with one another.  Which is always something to be true to– as true as we are to the brands we love.

 

How does your personal “brand” come up in your world?

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