From Jim:

What’s your immediate response when you hear the phrase —You Need to Create a Pitch? Most people cringe in one way or another because the word “pitch’ when used in a business context smacks of hard sell. Someone wants to get into your wallet. They say they care about you. They have your best interests at heart. But isn’t it true that when you feel like you’re being pitched you recoil?

Why would you want to perfect a personal pitch when the idea of pitching and being pitched comes with a feeling of sleaze — disreputable, contemptible, imposing and fake? You’re being glad-handed, worked, set up for the close.

In the story of the Wizard of Oz Dorothy comes from Kansas, the heartland, where people supposedly believe in the goodness of others. Suddenly a tornado whisks her off into a land of glories and wonders. To find the Wizard all she has to do is follow the yellow brick road.

When it comes to being pitched, too often all you are told to do is to follow the yellow brick road to find the glories and wonders of whatever the pitch person is selling. It’s very alluring and when you believe it it seems almost miraculous.

But ultimately Dorothy's dog Toto tears back a curtain and reveals the “Wizard,” an old man pulling levers and speaking into a microphone. Behind the veil he’s not a wizard but someone who is disempowered and who relies on tricks and gimmicks to appear powerful.

That’s the problem with pitching. It usually has to promise glories and wonders, easy glittering paths, but it’s really a bag of tricks and gimmicks.

But Self Branding is a different story. It can be to the point, powerful, and productive. For example…

What About the 30-Second Elevator Pitch?

What about the 30-second elevator pitch? When well done it’s designed to interest someone in who you are, what you do, and how you can benefit them. If that’s true, you and everyone should be jumping at the chance to perfect your personal pitch. Why? Because it brands you. When you create it, develop it, refine it, and are comfortable with it, it is the signature statement of who you are — just like the check-mark that brands Nike, simple and immediately identifiable.

To be sure you are vastly more complex than a pair of running shoes. But as a professional who interacts with your business circle, Self-Branding makes it so much easier and effective to connect with, impact, and be impacted by those you see every day. A clear and reputable self-brand carves out a space in your marketplace that you possess, occupy, and express.

Personal Integrity

A key component of your Personal Brand is your integrity. Does your brand truly represent who you are? Does your brand walk your talk — or to say it more precisely, does your brand talk your walk?Commitment to integrity yields honesty and a sense of transparency. Why? Because of your integrity you are honest and honesty leads to transparency.

Integrity has to do with your consistency — the consistency of your actions. They reveal your Personal Brand. Your actions arise from your values, principles, expectations, and outcomes. You are whole. You can be tested and proven. What people get from you is actually and truly who you are.

A Process of Branding

Answering the following questions will set you on your way to developing your Personal Brand:

• How do you want to be seen and known? This question has to do with what you do and who you are as you do what you do.
• If your Personal Brand were to be written on your tombstone what would you want it to say? In other words, what impact do you want to leave behind?
• How would your friends and colleagues describe you if they only had between 50 and 100 words? It’s wise to actually ask those you know and trust to do this for you.
• If you created a personal logo what would it look like?
• If you purchased a URL to set up a web presence what would it say that would be recognizable by a stranger as your Personal Brand?


Your Personal Brand is an intangible asset but can become the most valuable asset of your career. From it your future economic benefits flow. Managing your psychology as the platform from which you create, develop, and manage your Personal Brand is critical as you advance in your professional career. It reflects your awareness of who you are; it exhibits your ability to clearly communicate who you are; it suggests the product and even the benefits of what you offer, and it positions you as distinct from others in your field; it speaks of your business personality. You wouldn’t imagine going through life without a name. You shouldn’t go through your professional life without one either.

Have you thought about your Personal Brand?

If not, why not? It’s time now.

Please share with those who read this post what it is and how you arrived at the Personal Brand you’ve chosen.

Author's Bio: 

Judith Sherven, PhD and her husband Jim Sniechowski, PhD have developed a penetrating perspective on people’s resistance to success, which they call The Fear of Being Fabuloustm. Recognizing the power of unconscious programming to always outweigh conscious desires, they assert that no one is ever failing—they are always succeeding. The question is, at what? To learn about how this played out in the life of Whitney Houston, check out

Currently working as consultants on retainer to LinkedIn providing executive coaching, leadership training and consulting as well as working with private clients around the world, they continually prove that when unconscious beliefs are brought to the surface, the barriers to greater success and leadership presence begin to fade away. They call it Overcoming the Fear of Being Fabulous