There is only one of you in the world. How do you brand yourself, and stand out from the masses of photographers and visual artists out there?
1. You are unique
To start, you must realize, recognize, and affirm:
I am unique. I am different. And that is a good thing.
Your uniqueness is what makes your vision valuable.
So start off, by acknowledging the fact that you are unique, and that your uniqueness is meaningful.
The first mistake artists make is that they don’t believe in their own uniqueness.
2. What do you like about you?
What do you like about you? What are your ideas, attributes, skills, and character traits that you like about yourself? And how can you work to EMPHASIZE your strengths, and build up on your strengths, rather than try to “improve” your weak points?
For example, I am a horrible planner. I cannot manage. I cannot do logistics.
The apex of my life is CINDY — who pushes me creatively, and also is the compass of our life — she dictates where we are going to next, and the direction in which we steer our ship.
I like how I am a blood thirsty capitalist who likes to make money, yet seeks to empower and help humanity, and also tries to live a Zen/Stoic minimalist lifestyle — and tries to gain the maximum upside from money and wealth, with the minimum downsides.
I love myself with all of my crazy contradictions.
Also, I’m not ashamed of myself, of my craziness, or of my inconsistencies. To me, I thrive on constantly growing, evolving, and being in a state of flux.
The question you must ask yourself is:
“Do I like who I am? And do I have the courage to share that uncensored, unfiltered, side of myself with others and the rest of the world?”
3. Be both consistent and inconsistent
I like consistency yet I love being inconsistent.
I love stability, yet I love change and growth.
I love the past, but I love newness.
I think the secret of branding yourself, knowing what your style and voice is —is this:
Know when to be consistent, and know when to be inconsistent.
For example, realize that you’re a changing, evolving, growing, decaying, dying, in-flux organism. If you were 100% consistent and unchanging (at least in a molecular level) you would die.
Now, there is this famous Bob Dylan quote, “If you’re not busy growing, you’re busy dying.” I agree. Yet, nobody has ever said the opposite:
“If you’re not busy dying, you’re not busy being born.”
This is my idea:
You must allow yourself to die, decay, or deconstruct — in order to build empty space, for you to grow, change, and evolve.
For example, I don’t like to think too much of the past. I don’t like to think of the past things I built. Why? Because it discourages me from making NEW things. And as a living organism, I thirst for, and thrive from NEW LIFE, NEW IDEAS, NEW EXPERIENCES, AND NEE NUTRITION.
4. Why I contradict myself
As a learning, changing, and creating being — of course I’m going to change my opinion or viewpoint.
Imagine if you lived to be 1,000 years old. Would you want to be the same person for a thousand years? Hell no. That would be boring as fuck.
I like it when I contradict myself. Why? It shows I’m growing.
When I change my opinion, I’m telling myself:
I no longer believe in my old opinion. My old opinion was incorrect. Here is my new, revised, and distilled (or different) opinion.
5. See yourself as an individual
Lastly, don’t see yourself as a company or “brand”— see yourself as an individual human being — ripe with potential for INDIVIDUAL GREATNESS and GRANDEUR!
You are you. A human being. Don’t try to build your “personal brand” from the perspective of a third-person viewpoint. Rather, PROMOTE YOURSELF.
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