Do you get emotionally affected when someone criticizes your professional work?
Do you get depressed when business doesn’t go your way?
I’m reading the War of Art (affil) by Steven Pressfield and he discusses a concept he calls “Me, Inc.” It may be more relevant to the self employed, but it really has me thinking…
Pressfield separates himself from his work by looking at himself as two different entities: Him as a Person and him as a Corporation.
“Making yourself a corporation (or just thinking of yourself in that way) reinforces the idea of professionalism because it separates the artist-doing-the-work from the will-and-consciousness-running-the-show. No matter how much abuse is heaped on the head of the former, the latter takes it in stride and keeps on trucking…
If we think of ourselves as a corporation, it gives us a healthy distance on ourselves. We’re less subjective. We don’t take blows as personally. We’re more cold-blooded; we can price our wares more realistically.”
Then this really resonated with me…
“Sometimes, as Joe Blow himself, I’m too mild-mannered to go out and sell. But as Joe Blow, Inc., I can pimp the hell out of myself. I’m not me anymore. I’m Me, Inc.”
Is this the same as what we call “personal branding”? Are you the same as the personal brand you’ve created? Or is your personal brand a separate entity from yourself, created to distance your emotionally driven personal self (You) from your professionally driven corporate self (You, Inc.)?
I think if you separate yourself in this way, personal branding, the way we understand it, becomes more acceptable. You’re not promoting yourself, you’re promoting “You, Inc.” Because really, that’s why we’re here right? To build our careers or corporations.
Sure the personal and professional lifestyles are become intertwined, but that doesn’t mean they’re one and the same.
What do you think?