Personal Branding and Your Entire Self Worth

Posted by on Mar 2, 2014 in Diary of a Startup | 0 comments

I read something that absolutely turned my stomach. It was this quote: “…[Y]our entire personal life now factors into your employability. Your livelihood increasingly depends on being likeable and well-documented, and just like a branded product, your basic worth is assessed by the WOW-ness of its image.” It is something Tony Tulathimutte wrote recently on newyorker.com, and it was quoted on americanbar.org  in a piece called Why You Should Be Using Twitter Professionally.

The part I find most stunning is that “[y]our basic worth is assessed by the WOW-ness of its image.”

I’m saying “wow,” but…not in a good way.

I don’t use Twitter as a private practice lawyer, but I use it for LearningLawyer.com. I’m ok with that. I get enough clients through word of mouth from former clients, other attorneys, and people in the community. I’m happy to work more when I have more work, and to work less when I have less work. Actually, I don’t really work less, because when I have less of a “lawyer workload” I just spend more time working on LearningLawyer.com and doing stuff for my family. I worked in a legal clinic for so many years and those experiences probably influenced me a lot.

When I practice law, I am focused on practicing my profession well. I’m not really focused on making money. Maybe this is a luxury that I enjoy as the second income parent. I see the focus on making money as something that has degraded the legal profession.

Yes, we all live in a reality where bills cannot be paid with hugs and tears of gratitude, but there has to be a balance. I know a lot of good lawyers who practice the profession quietly and well. They are unsung. I feel like this is mostly how it is supposed to be when you practice a profession.

When I had my appendix out, my husband said that the surgeon had an awful bedside manner. You know what? I didn’t care. He did a great job. I had been sick for almost two months and no doctors could figure out what was wrong, until finally one figured it out and another one cut it out. I don’t care about their personality package. I don’t care if they’re in a magazine. I don’t think they care, either. They practiced their profession well, and that is what it’s about.

My real worth will never be determined by my image. I resolve not to determine anyone else’s worth by their image.

 

Babywearing at Disney World
Rough Nights

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