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Why You Need a Personal Brand Identity (PBI)

"It is good to remember that our first step in becoming a skilled practitioner may come from within."

Elio Cozzi’s great blog article of July ’21 (“Increasing Your Effectiveness as a Business Coach”) inspired me to think of not only Vision, Mission, and Values for our client organizations, but also, for that of our very own VMV as business coaches.

In many ways, regardless of whether we work for a large multinational or operate a sole practitioner enterprise, we are very much a singular economic entity, or a “Joe Inc.”. Within that concept, each one of us portraits an image to the outside world that could be defined as a “Personal Brand Identity” (or PBI for short). Arguably, this external persona does forge to some extent our successes and failures going forward in life.

Particularly in the case of a professional business coach, we sell ourselves as the sole commodity. Are we not asking any prospective client to buy (sight unseen) into a unique PBI?

So, it begs the question as to whether we have indeed yet identified our true (and not fictitious) PBI. Is it found within a set of declared Core Values, an Extended DISC profile, or elsewhere? Perhaps it is evident in everything from how we walk, talk, and chew gum. If the latter, is it at all possible to create a PBI that really doesn’t match reality? If not entirely congruent with who we really are, can we ever sustain a healthy client base?

Here are three factors used most often to eliminate personal characteristics that are not unique or grounded to reality:

  1. “I should hope so…”. These characteristics are mundane and commonly found as an entry level quality generally found in most business coaches.

  2. “Accidental occurrences”. Traits that are sporadically demonstrated or only occurring in special circumstances.

  3. “If only I could be...”. Yes, we can and will improve and change, but perhaps too aspirational of a trait should best belong in a wish list for a future declaration.

In short, PBI’s are like snowflakes. The multitudes are all unique. The good news is that searching and finding our real PBI can result in a life-changing breakthrough. It allows us to, perhaps for the first time, identify and accept our true brand identity. Maybe we have been selling chocolate ice cream when we only make vanilla… It lends to a much more powerful SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. One that can best light the way to what a “Joe Inc” can best accomplish in this diverse and exciting world of business coaching.

Simply put, business coaching involves accepting who we engage as a client, having them unlock a realistic awareness of their true make-up and establishing how to take full advantage of that in today’s rapidly changing world. Thereafter, strategic implementation becomes a matter of stepwise, incremental actions that locks in on a desired achievement. Nonetheless, it is good to remember that our first step in becoming a skilled practitioner may come from within. That of really nailing our very own Personal Brand Identity.


Verne Milot, Certified Professional Business Coach

In addition to being a Professional Engineer and Ivey MBA, Verne Milot holds a business development background that ranges from working with large multinational corporations to small-medium enterprises. On two occasions as CEO, he led order of magnitude growth of businesses with staff of 100+ and sales of $40 million.

With offices in both Pelham and downtown St. Catharines, Verne founded Growth Associates and developed the enterprise into a leading business advisory service for Niagara business owners and executives. To date, it has delivered experienced and qualified support to over 140 owner/managers and sparked breakthrough development of their businesses.

Contact Verne or connect with him on LinkedIn


Are you thinking of becoming a business coach? Do you want to be part of a larger community of highly experienced and trained professional business coaches? If you want more info on becoming a PBCA Certified Professional Business Coach, contact us here and get started!


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