Personal Branding with a Spin

It’s Just Like Riding a Bike

“Don’t worry, it’s just like riding a bike.” How often have you heard this cliché? Chances are that around the age of 5, you learned how to ride a bike. After numerous times of falling over, banging your shins against the pedals, and losing control, something magical happens. You are riding! The feeling is euphoric and indescribable. In some way, you manage to combine a series of complicated skills—balancing, pedaling, steering, shifting, braking—in an uncomplicated way. You do not fall over, your shins are free of bruises, and you maintain control. From that point onward, riding a bike became second nature. You no longer need to think about it. It just happens.

In fact, riding a bike is so commonplace that we use the cliché above for learning and retaining new skills. For example, even though you are a successful presenter, your presentation tomorrow to your senior management team is keeping you awake. You are worried you will forget something, but “it’s just like riding a bike,” we say, “you never forget.” The next day your presentation is a huge success. You feel great. People comment that you are a natural presenter and want to know how you do it. You cannot describe how, like riding a bike, it just comes naturally.

Learning to ride a bike is a foundational experience. Without this foundation we cannot use a bike for commuting, competing, transporting, or shopping. Yet, describing this experience is often forgotten. If you are lucky, your parents captured it on video. Perhaps the best example though of the euphoria associated with the learning to ride a bike is by 6-year old Owen Kosevich. His YouTube video captured this experience and has gone viral with well over 2 million views in two months.

Owen’s parents were quoted as saying that he went through an “emotionally trying time” in learning to ride his bike. When the miracle of riding on two-wheels happened, his pride erupted.

Personal Branding with a Spin

So, I welcome you to my site “geared” toward personal branding with a “spin.” My approach to personal branding taps into my own passion for cycling and racing. Like Owen, I often feel “happy of myself” while on a bike.

Being your brand is just like riding a bike: Once you believe in your brand, you are inspired to take action and train to become your brand. Like riding a bike, becoming your brand includes combining a series of steps in an uncomplicated way. Your hard work and training then enables you to naturally be on-brand all of time and, like riding a bike, you never forget. So, to borrow from Owen’s inspirational message,”Everybody, I know you can believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, you can become and be your brand!”

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About the author

Peter Sterlacci Peter Sterlacci is known as “Japan’s personal branding pioneer.” In a country where fitting-in is the norm, Peter’s mission is to pioneer a ‘cultural shift’ by helping Japanese to stand out in a global environment. An avid cyclist, he combines cycling imagery with personal branding strategy to empower his clients to shift gears and sprint to career success. Follow Peter on Google+