I was walking down the street the other day and as I crossed a driveway a car came speeding out, the driver didn't slow down at all, missing me by a few inches. The driver of the car looked really angry about something, and he was clearly in a hurry. Down the side and rear of his car was very clear signage promoting his dental practice (or the dental practice that he worked for). Not a great advertisement for him or the business.
I did a little homework and soon found the dental practice's website, and sure enough, there was a big smiling photograph of the man who nearly ran me down, and he was clearly identified as the Dentist and owner of the business. This was the perfect example and reminder to me, that when we are in business we are always on show.
There is no way I would ever use this dentist simply because of that incident. I'm sure he's a nice man, but I have my doubts now because of the behavior that I witnessed.
Our behavior is so intrinsically tied into our personal brand that the slightest bit of bad behavior can come back to haunt you for years to come. We used to think that we could hide behind our business but that's no longer the case. Our customers have access to us, via social media as much as in real life and we are being watched to see how we act and if we live up to our "stage persona".
To me the moral here is simple - assume you are always being watched and act accordingly. Or alternatively, and far better, just do the right thing all of the time because it's the right thing to do. Now this applies to how we treat other people and even how we treat ourselves. Are we respectful, polite and considered in interactions with other people?
There are so many ways that we can damage our personal brand so easily. And if we damage our personal brand rest assured we are damaging our businesses brand. We might not like to hear that but it is the truth. And perhaps we need to think a little harder about our actions.
So every time you get in your car, buy something from a shop, comment online in social media or post an update of some kind, remember, you are being watched and assessed, whether you like it or not. And the result of that assessment will have an impact on your business in either a positive way or a negative way.