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Last year, I spent in excess of about $35,000 on a huge rebrand.
The thought process was this —>
I want to build a company.
I have a team and I don’t want it to feel like it’s just about me.
Stevie Says Social no longer aligned.
And, at the time, all of those things were true.
Still are, really.
But over the subsequent months, my thoughts on how I want to position my business and personal brand shifted slightly AGAIN, and so in today’s podcast episode I want to share some of that nuance with you in case it serves you also.
As with ALL decisions in business, there is no “universal truth” when it comes to these things, only ever what serves YOU and the goals you have.
And here, right now, are my thoughts (and upcoming shifts) in terms of what serves ME and this small + mighty business in this moment.
Bringing My Personal Brand Back to Life
First (and most important) point?
My course business isn’t going anywhere.
With Launchpad closing, we will be iterating our model (more on that soon), but in terms of serving expertise-based businesses to build towards the Lifestyle Business Sweet Spot? I have NEVER been so bullish on our purpose and mission.
I WILL be shifting back into owning the thought leadership and IP behind the brand, and specifically will start with changing my Instagram handle back to my name.
Exit Businesses v Lifestyle Businesses
As expertise-based online businesses, we are ultimately cashflow businesses.
Even if we wanted to exit, it would likely be more difficult than for other businesses, given that the thought leadership of the founder is usually the “moat” that makes the business run.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t use a business name instead of a personal brand name — it’s just that for the most part (with a few exceptions at huge scale), it doesn’t matter.
The business “essence” still ultimately comes from you, and THAT’S OKAY.
In fact, we should be owning it.
Having a personal brand is a superpower, and if you set these incredible cash flow businesses up the right way — by building a profit engine and investing those profits OUTSIDE of the business in smart ways — it literally doesn’t matter whether you exit or not because you are building your personal wealth in a different way that isn’t reliant on building a big business or angling for a big exit.
Projects v Businesses
Which brings me to my second point.
The magic of building an expertise-based business – courses, coaching, anything involving packaging your IP into something leveraged you can sell without it taking all of your time – is that you can literally create a profit machine that is mostly self-sufficient.
Depending on the MODEL, the main thing it is going to require after a certain point in time is MARKETING and leads.
All of which are, in these businesses, best cultivated with a strong personal brand.
In fact, ONE personal brand can feed multiple PROJECTS.
And so, rather than thinking in terms of building ONE business, I am starting to think in terms of building my ONE personal brand to feed MORE than one project.
Who says you can’t have an IP suite focused around ONE project, and then – once it is mostly self-sustaining – build another.
As long as the overarching personal brand is aligned to both, there is NO reason you can’t.
I’m not saying that I will be building lots of different IP projects (I won’t), but that is always an option (and that feels good).
And so, that’s what I’ll be leaning into.
A Personal Brand is the Most Important Superpower You Have Online
As we begin to compete more and more for attention online, having a rock solid personal brand is one of the MOST valuable assets you can have.
It builds a moat around you that is difficult to penetrate, because people are aligned with YOU and YOUR unique take on your subject matter.
This separates and differentiates you from AI, other commodity products and people without the authority and expertise that you have cultivated.
Whilst I have absolutely experienced benefits of leading with the company name over the past few months – the biggest of which has been that my Launchpad program no longer feels like ALL ROADS LEAD TO ME which can be damn exhausting – I am willing to take the downside to experience what I think in the long run is a greater upside:
The opportunities, partnerships and moat that leading with my personal brand and growing that MORE will afford me.
So, What’s Changing?
Just my Instagram handle for now.
You can find me over at @steviedillon_ for now on Instagram – come and follow me there!
Doing this will allow me to share my thought leadership, and use it to fuel my business interests and projects more broadly.