It happens all the time.
People ask me how I developed this image of confidence, charisma and darn good looks.
Well, I have to thank genetics for the good looks. Genetics and the team of plastic surgeons I have on call 24/7, ready to swing into action should a wrinkle appear, or a pimple pop, or a tidal wave of flab burst out from my Spanx.
As for the confidence and charisma stuff; that I created on my own.
My secret? I never think of myself as an employee, or even as a person. I am a brand. For years, I have energetically marketed even my tiniest successes — and, to be frank, there weren’t that many of them, and they were always tiny. I never failed to tell stories about how people were naturally drawn to me, and always did what I told them to do. The fact that most of these people were bartenders did not seem important.
It took time, but eventually, people stopped thinking of my “lazy, crazy Bob” brand or my “dumb as a rock Bob” brand and started thinking of me in terms of my new brand: confident, charismatic and darn good-looking.
Fortunately for you, brand building has changed in recent years.
This is why you shouldn’t try to emulate Warren Buffet. Nor should you take a Tony Robbins course or walk on hot coals. (I definitely would do a fire walk if there was a pint of Chubby Hubby on the other side.)
Instead, build your brand by asking this simple question in any workplace situation — what would Kim Kardashian do?
Whether you like her or not, you have to admit that Kim Kardashian has built herself one heck of a brand. Her name alone sells makeup, clothing, even contour kits. (Whatever they are, I want one.)
To understand how to build yourself a Kim-worthy brand, read Jeetendr Sehdev’s essential new book, “The Kim Kardashian Principle.”
Reading books is not part of my brand, but I did skim an article about the book and its author on Forbes, “Branding Secrets You Can Learn from Kim Kardashian” by Peter Horst.
The first rule of “The Kim Kardashian Principle” is to forget about projecting any aspects of your career that suggest success or even competence. No one cares about that Harvard MBA, or the business accomplishments that line your resume. To succeed in the new age of branding, you need to stop focusing on what you do right, and start focusing on what you do wrong.
“The world has changed before our eyes,” Sehdev asserts. “Those who were demeaned for being talentless are now coming out on top.”
That’s right! You must stop hiding your flaws and start promoting them. The key to success today is “revealing your imperfections rather than pretending you’re perfect.”
Now you can see why “The Kim Kardashian Principle” is perfect for you. So much about you is imperfect. In years past, you had to hide these character flaws. Now you can flaunt them.
Of course, it’s not quite this easy. Once you have determined your imperfections, you have to expose them to the world. In fact, you have to overexpose them.
“Overexposure is essential,” Sehdev says. This is not difficult for Kim Kardashian, who has 54 million followers on Twitter. But from tiny acorns come mighty oaks, an insight I recently tweeted to my six loyal followers, and you can start by building your Twitter empire right now.
Remember — be shameless. Send Tweets describing your boo-boos and goofs to all the top managers at your company, and all your co-workers, too. “Authenticity is key,” Sehdev says. So don’t be afraid to bare your blunders. Tweet a photo of you dancing naked on the conference room table in your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Underoos. Tweet a link to a recent and poisonous annual review — that will truly show the world the full depth of your incompetence.
It will take a while to expose all your flaws and failures to the world, but once you’ve done it, you will be the Kim Kardashian of your workplace. Of course, you’ll have to keep spreading the word by exposing — overexposing — any ongoing foul-ups, but I have faith in you. I’m sure they’ll be plenty.
One last word — Kim Kardashian first came to fame through a sex tape. I don’t suggest you make a sex tape, but if you do, don’t take off your Underoos.
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He now works out of Bellingham, Washington. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at firstname.lastname@example.org.