This past weekend, I grabbed my son’s Godfather, Mark Kaminsky, and we took a road trip from West Palm Beach to Gainesville to visit with my son and catch the Gators play Vanderbilt. For those that don’t know, Mark and I spent 8 years building a big business together, have enjoyed tremendous sales success, and continue to enjoy the way we challenge each other.

He has taken this trip with me before and the 4-hour journey gives us a great opportunity to get caught up on all of our goings on and share our thoughts on current events.

About halfway into the trip, he blurts out, “So, Hugh Hefner died! Icon or Exploiter?”

Of course, I had an opinion (what a surprise) and could not wait to jump into this dialogue.

I have recently been asked to speak and write about personal branding, as it’s one of the significant topics in sales development today, and my mind took me immediately to the brand that Hugh Hefner developed.

Is there a more progressive symbol of sexual liberation?

Despite a lifetime of criticism that he exploited women, he built a company into one of the most recognizable American global brands in history, and, to this day, the magazine is published in more than 20 countries around the world and products featuring the company’s trademarks drive more than $1 billion in sales annually.

The story of how he started the company back in 1953 is so inspiring. It is said that he put up his furniture as collateral for a loan in order to publish the very first issue and, boom, the magazine was a hit.

What adjectives come to mind when you hear that story?

Determination, commitment, visionary, etc.

These words are the building blocks of how to build a personal brand.

What words describe your story?

So, despite which side of the fence you land on the ethical conversation,

he most definitely defined a lifestyle and created one of the most memorable personal brands ever.

Who else do you know that can wear a bathrobe to work?

In fact, he became synonymous with that bathrobe, so much so, that he didn’t even need to be wearing it, for you to recognize it was his.

So, here is the takeaway: whatever it is you truly have a passion for, whatever is genuinely you, that is the cornerstone of your personal brand.

Wikipedia describes Personal Branding as – the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organization.

For me, the bald head, the great blazers, and shoes with no socks all create an impression and, good or bad, when it aligns with others just like me, that’s where the magic happens.

“And that’s what Nudelberg says”








About: Steve Nudelberg is an author, entrepreneur, serial salesman, keynote speaker, sales trainer, social selling expert, and principal thinker. Creator of On the Ball – a company that invests time and talent in emerging businesses and corporate teams to help them grow. Steve is often hailed as an energetic powerhouse who infuses adrenaline into a room! His core philosophy is to ignite individuals and teams by enhancing their awareness about small, yet, powerful changes they can make to instantly sharpen individual performance.

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