Tag Archive: michael d brown

stand out



  • One of the key aspects of your personal brand is figuring out how you are different from everyone else.
  • In writing my book Fresh PASSION, I sought to challenge my readers to be different in a number of ways.
  • Today I’d like to go over those ways and challenge you to do the same as my readers.
  • Think differently: When confronted with a problem, be innovative and bold. Get around tired and safe solutions and present something out of the ordinary.
  • Be different: You may find yourself surrounded by average people who do average work and make average pay. You need to separate yourself from that pack. Do more and make more by being different.
  • Do differently: Look for ways to tweak systems or processes and break the mold created by everyone who held your position before you. The old way isn’t always the best way. Do something different. Get results. Get noticed.
  • See differently: Those around you may see a new task, client, or manager as a problem. You should try seeing the opportunity. Don’t fall into line with the people around you. See things differently and you will be seen differently.
  • Brand yourself differently: When you implement this course of being, doing, and thinking differently, your brand will evolve. You’ll be seen as the innovator, the problem solver, the visionary—the person you seek to be.
  • When have you seen or done something differently than those around you? How did it help? Share your stories below.








  • Your personal brand is the solid and consistent impression that comes to mind when people think of you.
  • The first step in creating a personal brand is identifying your target audience or market.
  • Now you have to find out what this person’s or organization’s needs or wants are and then quickly determine whether you can meet them.
  • You have to figure out the pain that exists and show them how you can relieve their pain via the brand you possess.
  • Most important, you have to figure out what makes you different. You have to stand out!
  • Once you figure out how you are different, you have to clearly lay it out and communicate what makes you different and unique.
  • Finally, you have to continue to refresh your brand so it stays competitive.
  • More on freshness in an upcoming post!


A couple of weeks ago I laid out 13 tips for wrapping up 2012 and preparing for the new year at work. My expert sources suggested that you complete outstanding projects; establish new goals; reflect on accomplishments; get organized; and tie up loose ends–among other things.

Now, as you return to the office in 2013, there are a few things you can do to ensure you start the year off right.

forbes“A new year is a brand new beginning,” says Anna Sidana, VP of marketing at Simply Hired. “If we take the time to step back from our day-to-day and hit reset, it is a chance to look ahead with a new perspective and make every day count.”

She suggests you take a moment to reflect on your life–both professional and personal–and kick off the new year with renewed energy and a fresh focus. “Close out any small, nagging projects and focus on the big ones that can accelerate your career. Reach out to colleagues and strengthen those dusty relationships. A new year offers this unique opportunity to step up the game and become laser focused.”

Michael D. Brown, a career consultant, author, and motivational speaker, adds: “In this continuing economic tsunami of 2013, you must be clearly purposed and focused on success with a well-defined and proven game plan to transition yourself from a generic to a fresh and powerful personal brand,” he says. Companies and organizations can no longer afford to invest in generic employees with anemic or non-existent ROIs; and they’re not able to be competitive if they don’t have a fresh, branded and competitive workforce.

“The best success navigation plan you can have is to turn yourself into a clear, compelling, and competitive personal brand,” Brown says. “You can’t wait to do this in August; you must do this now. As such, you will be seen as someone who can add and deliver value in these turbulent times.”

Click here to read the full article.

Get a Brand or Die a Generic

What is fresh PASSION® – Get A Brand Or Die A Generic?

In an era of economic uncertainty, layoffs, and hiring freezes, creating and promoting a top-flight personal brand that stands out in the crowd is more important than ever.

In Fresh PASSION: Get a Brand Or Die A Generic, Michael D. Brown shows you how to employ the Fresh PASSION methodology to build a personal brand that will maximize your potential and help you to achieve success beyond your dreams in whatever field you choose. Whether you are an executive, an entrepreneur, a tradesperson, an educator, a student, or a member of any other vocation, Fresh PASSION is the pathway to outperform and outshine your peers and competitors and obtain the professional and personal rewards you deserve. Visit the official site of "Fresh Passion – Get A Brand Or Die A Generic" to learn more.

  • Early in my life, I learned the importance of creating a personal brand in order to get ahead in life (share the story about working for Norma or the fast food restaurant).
  • My latest book, Fresh PASSION – http://www.MyFreshBrand.com, will teach you how to create a personal brand that will put you in the best possible position to reach your professional and personal goals.
  • If you don’t create a personal brand, you run the risk of dying a generic.
  • What do I mean by generic?
  • We are all familiar with the generic brands or “no-name” products found on the lower supermarket shelves:
    • They have dull packaging and weak consumer recognition, and they lack promotion.
    • They sit on the shelves for a long period of time and are purchased only by consumers looking for a bargain—people expect to and do pay less for generic.
  • People can be generic, too:
    • Generic people are people who haven’t made any effort to stand out in a crowd.
    • They are average achievers or working stiffs.
  • If you are looking to excel in today’s hypercompetitive market you must become a distinct and competitive brand, or you will become an extinct generic.

The Dangers of Brand Overpromotion

The term “brand overpromotion” may sound like an oxymoron, especially coming from a guy like me. After all, I’m the one telling everybody to “sell their value” and “stay invigorated” in their pursuit of brand market share and recognition. But don’t promote yourself into an image that is impossible to live up to.

While I wouldn’t advise basing your brand image around your weaker points, the fact remains that we are all human, which by definition means we are all imperfect. Therefore, it is OK to base your brand on being perfect or virtually perfect in certain key areas (if you can back it up with your performance), but don’t try to spread that perfection to every other aspect of your life.

I’m as sick of hearing about Tiger Woods and his marital problems as anyone else, but his misfortunes of the last several months illustrate the branding pitfall I’d like you to avoid. Tiger is about as perfect a golfer as you will ever see. Golf experts will tell you the key to his game is he is simply good at every aspect of it. Even most of the greats had at least one flaw in their game; Tiger really does not.

Tiger intelligently parlayed this phenomenal golf ability into both a lucrative career as a professional athlete and an even more lucrative career as a professional spokesperson and product promoter. People mesmerized by his seemingly inhuman skill on the golf course were eager to swing his clubs, wear his spikes, and maybe even drive his car or wear his aftershave.

All well and good. But where Tiger erred was when he started to expand his brand image from being a guy who was perfect at golf to being a guy who was perfect at everything. The perfect humanitarian, the perfect role model, the perfect husband and father.

I won’t bore you by rehashing what you already know. Tiger’s personal imperfections have been exposed for all to see. Because they clash so violently with the brand image of complete human perfection he cultivated, they are far more damaging to his brand than if he had narrowed its scope to perfection on the golf course, where he could legitimately back it up.

I am not condemning Tiger for whatever personal mistakes he may have made and I truly wish him and his family healing and rejuvenation. But I am pointing out that there is a reason he is continually lambasted for his less-than-perfect personal life while fellow pro golfer John Daly, who has created a brand image of a lovable buffoon which seems to serve him well, gets a free pass for his numerous divorces and highly public problems with excessive eating, drinking, gambling and smoking. I’m hardly suggesting you take the John Daly route with your brand image either, just that you find a happy medium.

Have you ever overpromoted your brand? How did you rectify the situation?


When even the gaming industry feels a pinch, you know a recession is serious. And that’s what appears to be happening now, as recent news reports indicate casinos around the country have been experiencing significant revenue declines since the economy broke down last fall. Mohegan Sun, a major casino in Connecticut, is even considering cutting back the schedules of full-time employees to four days a week! Consumers who often turn to gambling as an escape mechanism during recessions are too busy saving their money for necessary purchases that offer real value to risk any money on games of chance.

What does this have to do with your career, assuming you don’t work in the casino industry? Everything! In this historically difficult environment, employers are just as cautious as consumers when it comes to parting with their hard-earned dollars. Businesses that may be willing to take a chance hiring a flashy employee with a less-than-stellar resume during good times are now only interested in the most qualified and capable candidates.

What type of professional candidate are you? Do you possess the most current and desirable skills in your field? Do you have impeccable educational professionals? Do you have a well-established network of distinguished professionals and academics ready to vouch for the value you can provide? Does your personal brand already speak for you even before you sit down for an interview?

If you can truly answer “Yes” to all these questions, congratulations! You have already been following the 6.5 steps of Fresh PASSION and are well-equipped to ride out the current recession. But if the answer to any of these questions is “No,” it’s time to put a little Fresh PASSION into your career! My 6.5-step process will enable you to turn yourself into a highly competitive and desirable brand that will stand out in even the worst of economic times. There’s nothing wrong with offering some sizzle, but make sure that sizzle is rising from a thick, juicy steak and not a thin, greasy hamburger!


I am constantly exhorting friends, family, colleagues, clients, etc. to build a successful public brand. But whoever came up with the phrase “There’s no bad publicity” didn’t know the right way to go about building a brand! Sadly, we need look no further than the headlines swirling around a suddenly famous public official to see how damaging building a negative brand can be.

Unless you live in Illinois, you probably never heard of Governor Rod Blagojevich until allegations that he attempted to sell the vacant Senate seat of President-Elect Obama became public last month. Now his interestingly-coiffed visage is all over the nightly news and everyone in America knows his name. He has a level of national visibility and name recognition most politicians would kill for. And it’s destroying his career.

I will not judge Gov. Blagojevich’s guilt or innocence in this matter; that is for a court to decide. But I will judge rather harshly his arrogant and defiant response to these very serious charges. Instead of humbly stating his innocence and perhaps taking a leave of absence so the controversy surrounding him does not bring Illinois state affairs to a standstill (which has apparently happened), he has taken a hostile approach.

The governor is making it clear his opponents are in for a brutal, ugly, drawn-out brawl. This attitude may have served him well growing up on the tough streets of Chicago, but there is no place for it in the halls of government or the court of public opinion. However this scandal gets resolved, you can be sure that the name “Blagojevich” will be synonymous with “corruption” long after it’s over. What kind of results will building a brand like that create?

Get a Brand or Die a Generic ®


No more company 401(k) match?

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, more companies are suspending their 401(k) match. A challenging economy is often cited as the reason for this decision.

The alarm bells went off last week when GM stopped their 401(k) match in order to conserve cash and survive this downturn/recession. I don’t think it will be long before more companies take GM’s lead and eliminate their match as well.

Prior to GM Goodyear, Frontier Airlines, Cushman & Wakefield, Entercom and Dollar Thrifty made the decision to cut their match.

Do you think this will hurt morale and decrease productivity?


I had the privilege of hearing Steve Pavlina speak two years ago at a NSA conference and have been following his work every since and invested in one of his services. Steve possesses a rare authentic voice on personal development. His new book Personal Development for smart people hit the shelves this week (you have to get a copy).

What you will find in Steve’s book is a simplistic and powerful road map to maximizing your personal growth. He lays out seven straightforward principles: Truth, love, power, Oneness, Authority, Courage, and Intelligence.

The two principals that really hit home with me were truth and love. So often we go through life in denial and lying to ourselves about what we really want to extract from life and the success we want to experience. Instead we opt to force ourselves into a box of someone else’s perception and plans. The second principal of love also struck an accord with me. So much of our success is limited or never happens because we try to travel this journey alone and down a selfish path. The amazing impossible can be achieved when you align yourself with a truly supportive network of people that you are willing to receive from and give even more. I personally call this group my Branding Board of Advisors. This board of friends and supporters help and challenge me to create my best personal brand, which allows me to maximize my success.

Personal development for smart people (Steve Pavlina) helped me to further validate a core belief of mine- In order to achieve maximum personal or professional success you must be willing to truly work hard, have a laser focus on your self discipline and the courage to be different, think different, see different, and take risk.

Be skeptical of any book, person or guru who tells you that you can achieve substantial personal growth and success without some combination of the above. Instead, I would recommend you get a copy of Steve’s book Personal development for smart people.

Another reason why I have really enjoyed this book is because it aligns with many of the principles I talk about in my signature work: Fresh Passion (Get a Brand or Die a Generic ®). Which basically challenges us to really figure out the competitive personal brand that we want to be and work hard to make it a stand out brand that will yield the personal and professional success that we desire.


A Bronx, NY bride was left at the altar, but it wasn’t the groom who stood her up – it was the court clerk, who refused to marry the couple because she claimed to be tired and hungry.
“[The clerk’s] upset with the staffing. She refuses to do any more [ceremonies],” the bride said, choking back tears.

Her groom, Harold Poueriet, 22, all decked out in a white Armani shirt with gray pinstripes, said, “[The clerk] says she’s tired and she’s hungry.”

But Ortiz’s wedding day was saved when a lawyer, court officers and a judge stepped in for the weak and weary clerk and performed the ceremony Friday.

Appalled at seeing the crying, four-months-pregnant bride, lawyer Maxine Susseles, Maj. Raymond Diaz, Sgt. Tamara Glover and others came to the rescue. The newlyweds said they had a big reception planned for Saturday in The Bronx and are now on their honeymoon in Atlantic City.

Edwina Townes, in charge of the bureau in the absence of head clerk Carmen Baez, had no comment.

Should the employee be reprimanded?

Yes or No