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Sell-Out or Burn Out: Pushing Your Personal Brand To Far

Pushing Your Personal Brand To Far in Brandma's House

Personal branding can be the ultimate trick bag. It’s a shoving match of authenticity that has gotten old and tired. And yet, everyone wants to have a personal brand.

Then in walks content. Not content marketing, just content.

Authentic shoving turns into content brawling and everyone’s got an asshole. Oops, I mean opinion.

I admit, personal branding is a double-edged sword. On one side, is the sharp blade of education, expertise, and experience. On the other is the pressure to constantly be “on” catering to an online audience with content and marketing. And sometimes you swing to the point of cutting into your mental health. Now your personal brand is infected with either Sell-Out Syndrome (SOS) or Burn Out Bacteria (BOB)

The Sell-Out Syndrome

Some folx are okay with being a sell-out. They will compromise their values, their beliefs, even their family for the sake of fame and fortune. I’ll even go so far as to say it’s not always intentional. What is intentional is realizing you’ve gone too far and not coming back. So what does that look like in the context of personal branding:

  • Offering products or services you don't give two fucks about

  • Chasing trends that ain’t got shit to do with you or your expertise

  • Toning down your relevant opinions so you don’t offend folx

Come on now. Some would call these type of tactics strategic, despite this being pure sell out energy. Others will try to justify with statements like, “I’m just trying to get paid.” Then later they roll out the fake apology of “I’m not really like that.”

This type of personal branding relies on a gullible audience. There’s also a level of arrogance behind it that says, don’t judge me for making money. Some will even try to capitalize on the fact that they got caught with their sell-out syndrome panties in somebody else’s drawer.

You never truly recover from sell-out syndrome. The slightest impropriety and your past is thrown in your face like a criminal on parole. It hits that way because it’s a deliberate act of fuck around and find out.

The Burn Out Bacteria

Burn out, on the other hand, is a constant content brawl - a battle you can never win. It’s the exhaustion that sets in after month of self-promotion, chasing trends, and comparing yourself to others in the game. Just like “sell-out syndrome” it infects your personal brand, but instead of faking the funk for finances, you sacrifice your well-being for the illusion of validation. Here's how "burn out bacteria" takes hold:

  • Comparing yourself to other folx level of authenticity

  • Fear of losing followers or missed opportunities

  • Turning your life into a content candy machine

This could all be avoided by having a personal brand with boundaries. I’m not talking about scheduling post and telling your audience you’re taking a social media break. I’m talking about giving it a name, give it specifics, and giving it space to do its job which is be an asset.

Burn out bacteria thrives on the myth: “I am my brand.” But just like you wouldn't define yourself solely by your clothes, your personal brand shouldn't define your entire existence. Your brilliance as a person is too great to but confined by a brand, personal or otherwise.

Giving in to the content cravings of an audience that’s just around for the show is not what you signed up for. You can’t grow, scale, and expand if you’re up to your neck in content creation. Leave that for those who choose content creation as a profession.

The Cure for Personal Brand SOS and BOB

Remember, your personal brand is an asset, a tool to endorse your business and lead your audience. It's not your entire being and doing. Don't let the pressure to be "on" 24/7/365 turn your personal brand into what makes you sick about what you do. Building a successful personal brand takes time, patience, and most importantly, self-care.

By establishing boundaries, endorsing your business, and prioritizing your well-being, you can navigate the murky existence of personal branding without succumbing to "sell-out" or "burn-out." You can build a personal brand that's true to you, maintains your position, and shows a real reflection of how you stand on business.

And remember, a personal brand is supposed to sustain you as a leader, not deplete you as a person.


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