Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
May 21, 200811:56 PM

Personal Branding, The Entrepreneur And The Next Great Frontier

I was blown away by the May 19th, 2008 op ed piece in The Wall Street Journal on page A15 titled, The Next American Frontier, written by Michael S. Malone (author of the upcoming book, The Protean Corporation).

"New papers are dying, networks are dying, and if teenage boys playing GTA 4 and World of Warcraft have any say about it, so is television. More than 200 million people now belong to just two social networks: MySpace and Facebook. And there are more than 80 million videos of YouTube, all put there by the same individual initiative... The most compelling statistic of all? Half of all new college graduates now believe that self-employment is more secure than a full-time job. Today, 80% of the colleges and universities in the U.S. now offer courses on entrepreneurship; 60% of Gen Y business owners consider themselves to be serial entrepreneurs, according to Inc. Magazine. Tellingly, 18 to 24 year olds are starting companies as a faster rate than 35 to 44 year olds. And 70% of today's high schoolers intend to start their own company, according to Gallup poll."

And... I've been telling people that I am unemployable for years ;)

Technology is doing a whole lot more than giving us a bunch of new channels to Market to people within. It's doing a lot more than simply enabling us to connect like never before. What we have is a fundamental shift in how society operates - and it's shifting beneath our feet. Thankfully, there are writers like Malone to help us acknowledge these changes and the ramifications it's having on all of us.

Here's what he's really saying:

"Without noticing it, we have once again discovered, and then raced off to settle, a new frontier. Not land, not innovation, but ourselves and a growing control over our own lives and careers... And why not? Each step in the development of American society has been towards an ever-greater level of independence, freedom and personal liberty."

There is a direct and obvious link between this type of Entrepreneur and the power in understanding your Personal Brand and how it connects in these Digital channels. I believe the rise in Entrepreneurship is tightly linked to people (like you and me) who have begun to use these online channels to connect, share and grow. We're also seeing the pace of these Entrepreneurs increase because the ability to understand your Personal Brand and use these online channels towards building a global audience is creating new business models and marketing campaigns that are targeted, relevant and deliver tremendous ROI.

Rise Personal Brands. Rise.

(hat tip to Jim for the link).

By Mitch Joel

Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Adam Dufresne
    Mitch Joel

    Funny thing is as more time goes on the more and more I can tell I am unemployable :P

  • Posted by CT Moore
    Mitch Joel

    Capitalist Utopia: everyone works for themselves...

  • Posted by elo
    Mitch Joel

    Thanks for pointing out this WSJ article.

    I also wonder if the very concept and discussion of "personal branding" is linked to an apparent rise in entrepreneurism.

    Dr. Tantillo ('the marketing doctor') recently posted the text of Steve Jobs' famous speech to Stanford's graduating class of '05, in which Jobs advocated following your own path--not necessarily as an entrepreneur, but also not necessarily as a company employee. This week, Tantillo posted tips on ways of college grads to successfully 'brand' themselves (direct link:

    This is important for job seekers to keep in mind--but perhaps even moreso for entrepreneurs or would-be entrepreneurs, whose personal brand will potentially exist in very tight quarters with the brand of whatever product they're marketing.

  • Posted by Elizabeth
    Mitch Joel

    I would love to know what personal branding means to you - how you define it?

    I'm becoming certified in the Personal Branding DNA (TM) Program that I offer to my coaching clients. It is really about getting grounded in who you are and what you naturally bring to the world.

    I specialize in the process of getting people truly aligned with their values and driving purpose so they can make their unique impact in the world.

    Is this what you mean by personal branding?

    Elizabeth Kruempelmann
    Author and Life Coach

  • Posted by oi

    in response to adam dufresne - goddamn right you're unemployable

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