Parking Your Personal Brand in the Handicap Spot

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Sep 06

I have this saying: it’s difficult to build; easy to destroy. You can apply this to a multitude of situations: career management, reputation, or personal brands.

We’ve all read about the famous personal brands shooting down in flames (how about Paris Hilton? Britney Spears?). We read their stories, shake our head, and mutter to ourselves about how someone with so much privilege can ruin their life so easily.

Yet, with less drama, we ruin our personal brand all the time through not getting the little things right.

Eric Brown writes in Connecting Technology, Strategy and Execution about Business Development: Small Actions = Big Consequences: he needed new insurance for everything — from car to business to home — and by chance ended up pulling into the same restaurant parking lot as a big SUV with an insurance company name plastered all over the doors. Eric parked far away because the place was busy. Our prospective agent parked in the handicap space right next to the door.

You already know no one in his big SUV was handicapped, right?

When Eric talked to him about insurance, Mr. SUV thought “car insurance” and told Eric no one could survive in his business on just car insurance. When Eric asked about the handicapped spot, Mr. SUV said no one parks there anyway and brushed him off.

Now Mr. SUV hasn’t gotten any business from Eric and his story has shown up in two different blogs. Mr. SUV doesn’t even realize he has a problem.

We live our life on the front page. And little things like parking in the wrong spot can kill your carefully crafted personal brand, multitudes of potential customers at a time.

Photo by Pink Sherbet Photography

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.