Don’t build a personal brand, build a reputation

I love this post on the personal brand paradox by Debbie Millman:

But rather than manufacturing a personal brand, why not build a reputation? Why not develop our character? Imagine what we could learn from each other if we felt worthy as we are instead of who we project ourselves to be. Imagine if we could design a way to share who we are without shame or hubris.

Tracy Durnell builds on this:

I’m more interested in following people as people — while I might have been drawn to certain blogs in the past because of the topic, the reason I keep reading many of them is having gotten to know the writer.

Those two posts articulate why I’ve decided to relax a little bit on the blog this year. For too long I didn’t really post here any more because it was so hard to get over my own self-imposed “this is worthy of a post” line. But these days I’m so much less interested in “building a brand” than I am in just… having fun and, well, being a person. So I am sharing things I find interesting, I am publishing unfinished thoughts alongside the deeply-researched posts. And I am slowly getting comfortable with posting more personal things as well (like yesterday’s LotR post).

I know this is the year of saying “this is the year of the personal blog” so I’m sure you’re pretty tired of hearing it from yet another person. But seriously, consider it. Consider thinking out loud and sharing those thoughts on a place that you own. Plant that digital garden—it might just give you life.