A Healthy Brand Requires a Healthy You

Everyone knows the secret to success in building a brand, or anything else, is hard work and lots of it. Look at the rigorous training schedules Olympic athletes undergo for four years just to compete in a few events. And even for the 99.99% of us who are not Olympians, getting ahead in life means devoting your spare time to practical ends.

For the most part, this is all well and good. Your brand needs to be constantly freshened and promoted if it is to stand out among all the competing brands out there. But believe or not, there is such a thing as working too hard on building your brand.

Let me give you the example of a colleague who has been slowly but steadily building a brand as a self-employed freelance professional since getting laid off from his last full-time job about four years ago. He started slowly with a few short-term assignments here and there, but kept his head down, networked relentlessly and treated even the smallest job with the utmost seriousness and dedication. He also accepted every work offer that came his way, even one-hour projects that only paid a pittance.

Lo and behold, after a couple of tough years this work and dedication began paying off. Clients came back to him with more assignments and also recommended him to their associates and acquaintances. He continued to take on all comers. By late last year, he was working constantly and still fielding offers for more work.

Considering the state of the economy, having more work than you can fit in your schedule is not the worst problem you can have. However, as a result of stress and exhaustion, my colleague wound up developing a painful illness that sidelined him for a couple of weeks, causing immense difficulties in his personal and professional life. He had branded himself sick, so to speak. Now he is feeling much better and reorganizing his life to prevent future branding-related health mishaps.

Remember, a healthy brand starts with a healthy you! Unless you are sound in mind, body and spirit, you will be unable to produce your best effort, and your brand will suffer. Sleep is okay, and so is spending a Saturday afternoon getting some fresh air instead of catching up on paperwork. Sometimes working a little less produces a lot more!

What steps do you take to avoid “branding yourself sick?” Share your advice for a healthy, balanced approach to brand-building.