Photo Credit: Herbert Kratky /

Gary PlayerGary Player, one of the top golfers of all time, was practicing in a sand trap down in Texas and a good old boy with a big hat stopped to watch. The first shot Gary hit went in the hole. Now for those of you who have never golfed, the odds of making such a shot are probably about 1 in 100. They are probably about 1 in 10 for even the best pro golfers. The Texan said, “you got 50 bucks if you knock the next one in.” Gary made the next one. Then he said, “You got $100 if you hole the next one.” In it went for three in a row! As he peeled off the bills he said, “Boy I’ve never seen anyone so lucky in my life.” And Gary shot back, “Well the harder I practice, the luckier I get.” That’s where this famous quote originated.

There is no substitute for hard work. Hard work leads to performance and performance builds your brand!

Millionaires’ Top Five Success Factors

In the book, The Millionaire Mind, the author cites the results of a survey of thousands of millionaires from all fields. The millionaires cite their top five success factors. Once again, there is no substitute for working hard and being well disciplined.

Millionaires’ Top Five Success Factors:

  1. Working harder than most people.
  2. Being well disciplined.
  3. Being honest with all people.
  4. Getting along with people.
  5. Having a supportive spouse.

Personal Branding is More Than Marketing

Many marketers focus on how to improve their product’s brand with advertising or other tactics. However, the reality is that the performance of a product or service will determine most of its brand image. No amount of advertising will change that. An unreliable car will result in a bad brand. So will the cable company or health insurance company that puts you on hold forever when you call them.

If the product or service is bad, word gets around and no amount of marketing can fix that. Philip Kotler, the famous marketing guru and Professor from Kellogg School of Management, said that for every dissatisfied customer they will tell ten others about their experience. However, if the product or service is outstanding, word gets around also. Word of mouth is all important. The same holds true for a personal brand. To build your brand you need to perform. And the root of good performance is working hard and being disciplined.

Get Things Done!

“You have to get things done! It’s not about how hard you work, but what you accomplish. You have to take a stand and take some risk. A lot of people fail because they try to please everyone and attempt to do too much. They are too consensus oriented.”
– Bruce Smith, CIO, Advocate HealthCare

This further emphasizes that your brand is about accomplishments. Yes, you must work hard, but you have to produce results.  You must take risk. You can’t please everyone. If you are doing significant things you are likely upsetting some of the people some of the time.

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