Beyond the Build

Team Building

When Branding Gets Personal.

When I first started in this business, the idea of personal branding was in its infancy. Create a niche and a reputation for your company? Of course. But we didn’t necessarily expand the thought process to ourselves, or at least put words to the concept.

The Internet has really leveled the playing field, making it so much easier to curate a version of ourselves that the world sees. This is important because these days, if one is not careful, remote work can turn you into a number, and outsourcing is common. So how do you stand out? Tom Peters has always had some solid ideas, and I recently read an article with several of his tips for distinguishing yourself. Here are my takes on the three I found most relevant:

Read. And not just the standard industry publications. Seek out material that will broaden your perspective. You might become a better problem-solver, gain world view that will make you more compassionate, or you may find something good to share with a friend. All of these boil down to being a lifelong learner, which is vital for adaptation and success.

Network. This doesn’t mean calling the same people a few times a year. Serve on boards that both help others and broaden your contacts. Expand your view of networking, and just be out there. Enjoy the process as well. Life is short.

Help others in your world. In a time when we’re having to communicate on the Internet instead of in person, it can be easy to forget we are dealing with real people. Be considerate. Try to help people solve problems. Make connections when you can. It all comes back around. Worthy connections always remember when you help them “get the ox out of the ditch.”

At the end of the day, your reputation is all you have to stand on. It makes sense to build it thoughtfully.


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.