Creating a strong personal brand through tactics such as blogging, volunteering, and speaking is a good idea, but creating a strong personal brand by following your dreams is a much better idea. A few weeks ago I got an email from Hunter Weeks that read:
I learned about you on Workbook Project. There was a link to one of your postings. I’m intrigued by your message and enjoyed reading a few of your posts. I feel I’m living and creating a path similar to that you prescribe.
I’ve got an interesting plan I’m unveiling in regards to distributing my first film – 10 MPH. We’ve already been very successful with distribution, but want to make it much more widely available. This product/idea/phase of life/work is merely a stepping stone of what’s to come. Currently, we’re getting ready to launch our next film – 10 Yards in a big festival next year.
One of your blog posts talked about branding yourself. I’m always thinking about branding in general and really think you gave some nice, simplified ideas for doing that.
Hunter’s email was intriguing enough for me to actually check out his website. After doing so I learned that Hunter and his friend Josh Caldwell quit their cushy 9 to 5 job so that they could follow their dream, which was to get a sense of America and today’s American Dream. The way Hunter and Josh planned to accomplishing their dream was to travel across the U.S. (from Seattle to Boston), but instead of walking, driving, or flying, they decided to do this journey on a Segway.
Hunter and Josh did this journey with very little money and because of this they struggled. But this didn’t stop them from them reaching their dream, they kept at it and figured things out on a shoe string budget. They turned their weaknesses into strengths by leveraging the media, which allowed them to get press in outlets such Wired, LA Times, Washington Post, The Pheonix, CNet, Boston Globe, and the Denver Post. Instead of complaining and making excuses these two individuals accomplished their dream while becoming somewhat famous.
If you are not happy, hopefully Hunter and Josh’s story inspired you to create some change in your life and follow your dream. A good side effect of following your dream and creating an inspirational story is that you will get tons of PR.
On a final note, I would like to mention that it was a bad branding move for Segway Inc. not to give these two individuals free Segways. If it was my company and a few guys were asking for free Segways for their documentary that revolved around my product I would gladly have given them for free. They are expensive and there would have been a risk involved for Segway Inc., but they could have at least loaned them Segways or gave a discount instead of charging them the full price.
**RSS readers, if you can’t see the video within the post click here to watch it.