One Hike, One Puppy and The 3 Fundamentals of Building Your Personal Brand

Every weekend I’m in the mountains. It’s my escape. The only thing I have to worry about is how I’m going to make it to the top of the mountain without getting myself into too much trouble! One Hike, One Puppy and The 3 Fundamentals of Building Your Personal Brand image Rocky Profile 24One Hike, One Puppy and The 3 Fundamentals of Building Your Personal Brand

For the past two years I’ve been making these trips solo. Although I enjoy the time alone, oftentimes I wish I had someone with me to experience the adventures that come with hiking 13-14k ft mountains.

Meet Rocky.

Rocky is a four month old lab mix that was found in a dumpster last month.

Now being a month since I adopted him its unexplainable to me how someone treated him like a piece of trash.  Whatever the reason, whatever the case may be, I guess it doesn’t really matter.  It’s now my responsibility to give him the best life possible.

This past weekend was Rocky’s first hike.  Looking back on the experience, there were a couple things that happened that made me think of the fundamentals of personal branding that I’ve learned as I build my brand.

The 3 Fundamentals

1. Identify Your Purpose – Execute Your Plan

Take a look at the video below.

At first Rocky seemed eager to jump in the lake but was hesitant to do so.


Because like most things in life, our level of discomfort (human or dog) is an indicator that we don’t know something. Thus the reason why Rocky was hesitant.  He didn’t know what was going to happen when he got in the lake.

However once I stepped out onto the rocks, Rocky jumped in.

The reason, Rocky now had a purpose – get to Blake.

Although there was still some hesitation in the beginning, having a purpose and a plan reduced his fear and caused him to take action.  It created certainty.  With certainty came confidence and with confidence came action.

Building your brand is no different.

For those who are just starting to take a more proactive approach in creating your brand, there will be some uncertainty.  The key is to not let this uncertainty create hesitation and ultimately a lack of action.

The most effective way I have found to stop this from happening is to identify your purpose then execute your plan.

2. Model The Leader

During our 7 mile hike to Herman Lake Rocky was off-leash.

One Hike, One Puppy and The 3 Fundamentals of Building Your Personal Brand image GOPR22914One Hike, One Puppy and The 3 Fundamentals of Building Your Personal Brand

Only being 4 months old I expected that he would be darting back and forth on and off trail doing whatever he wanted. To my surprise he followed me the entire way.

Seeing this take place brought me back to something I was taught when growing up:

“The surest way to achieve success is to model the actions of those you admire.”

Most understand the importance of being true to yourself and not being something you’re not.  Yet it’s still critical that you model the actions of those you aspire to be like.  If they’ve reached a level of success in their life doing things in certain ways, why try and recreate the wheel?

Instead follow their actions and put your own spin on it.

3. Introduce Like A Puppy

What comes to mind when you see a puppy running your way looking like they couldn’t be happier see anyone else but you?

Unless you’re a grump or have a phobia of dogs, you can’t help but smile and be excited to see them as well.

As Rocky and I made our way down from the lake, he made sure that he introduced himself to everyone with as much enthusiasm as he could give.  Although this made the descent twice as long as the ascent, it brought home a valuable lesson.

“When you approach people with excitement and enthusiasm, oftentimes they respond in the same way.”

We may not be as cute as a puppy however the best way to make a first impression on others will always be through enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm captivates.  It leaves people wanting more. When you leave people wanting more, they will start talking about you in a way the strengthens and magnifies your personal brand.

Through your experience of building your personal brand, what fundamentals would you add to the list?

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