Screw “Dents”… I’m Aiming for an Immense Gaping Hole!

It is finally here!  The 30x30x30 Personal Branding Blogathon is LIVE!!


From June 1 – June 30 you will experience an amazing collection of thought leadership from a diverse group of 30 amazing people.  My inspiration for this Blogathon comes from the author of today’s inaugural post, Todd Nielsen.  Todd launched his own leadership blogathon earlier this year and I learned so much from the various insights and ideas shared by his contributors. Naturally I wanted to replicate this idea and share with you what I know will be top-notch thought leadership. And it only made sense for Todd to take the lead with the first post!

So, kick back and enjoy the next 30 days!  Let’s get this party started!

The 30x30x30 Blogathon is happening every day in June! Click here to add to your feed, and you won’t miss a day!


Screw “Dents”… I’m Aiming for an Immense Gaping Hole!


I have many regrets about the life I’ve lived—coupled with equal failures to accompany those regrets. But the biggest failure—and the regret that leads them all—was the failure to grasp my full potential earlier in life.

I’ve always worked hard, but I haven’t always worked smart. I’ve sought success, but I didn’t always plan for that success. Since I failed to grasp all that I could become; I never defined what success looked like, nor focused my actions toward it.

A handful of years ago I experienced a “renewal.” After selling a company I had founded, I began to realize that I needed something more. I desired more: wisdom, success, and meaning—in every area of my life. I consumed knowledge, and I worked even harder. I wrote my first book, started a very successful leadership blog, and extended myself into every opportunity that interested me.

Success came slowly, but it wasn’t enough. Soon, I realized I needed to focus my energy. I could not find any guidance to help me do this in a way that was right for me, so I created The Ultimate Personal Success Plan. For two years, I have used that, updated it, and tweaked it to fit my aspirations.

What Kind of Dent am I Making?

Then recently, I saw the title of an article that had something to do with making a dent in the world. I didn’t read the article, or see who the author was. But the concept stayed with me; the thought kept piercing my mind: “What kind of dent am I making?” I was struggling with the way my life was going. The success I was having was good, but it wasn’t enough—or maybe it just wasn’t …meaningful.

As I pondered this one night, thinking about how a dent is the result of an impact (a hammer striking a wall, a heavy object dropping to the ground), and how the size of the impact determines the dimension and depth of the dent, the thought struck me:

“Screw ‘Dents’…I want to make an ‘Immense Gaping Hole.’” Tweet This!

What’s the gaping hole that I want to create in the world? I am still working on that, but I want to make a difference in people’s lives, do something useful, create something meaningful …be somebody who makes other people’s lives better, and of course improve the quality of my life and that of my family.

So I find myself again redefining my Ultimate Personal Success Plan, almost halfway through the year. In doing this, I recognized that my aspirations needed greater impact. I couldn’t settle for slow, small impacts. I realized that if I wrote the most meaningful article of all time, or was the most eloquent speaker, or had the most brilliant idea… it would lose impact, if no one knew who I was. I needed a multiplier, something to expand my impact, like higher octane fuel in a car. I needed something that would shape me, Todd Nielsen, focus me, Todd Nielsen, position me, Todd Nielsen and extend my platform, sooner, rather than waiting for critical-mass.

I didn’t accept it at first, but it turns out what I needed …was personal branding

Personal branding—first introduced in Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, encompasses aspects of presence, both online and offline. It unites one’s purpose (Mission), long-term focus (Vision), and the standards (Values) that guide behaviors in order to create a package that exemplifies, you. It incorporates position consistency, to ensure your actions have greater impact—to advance one’s career, and one’s goals.

I’m now working to focus not only on what I’m good at, but also on linking my personal brand to what I’m good at. I’m working with coaches who help keep me focused on my success.

In this world of brilliant people, those who do not embrace personal branding will find themselves falling behind those that might be less brilliant, yet better positioned through branding. It is not something to take lightly.

Simply making “a dent,”…just isn’t adequate

This Personal Branding Blogathon is not just another excuse for content. Personal branding is real, and it is powerful. By focusing our talents, understanding our potential, and multiplying it all through personal branding, we can have the tools to make a difference, to position ourselves for greater success and meaning. Now is the time to start ripping open a cavernous, gaping hole! Because simply making “a dent,”…just isn’t adequate.



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About the author

Todd Nielsen Todd Nielsen has served as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer, President, and Vice President of various companies. He is a strong leader and business advisor, and is highly respected for his leadership insights and experience. His blog “A Slice of Leadership” is rated as one of the top leadership blogs on the Internet. He also writes about cloud computing for Wired and for IT Channel Insight on IT channel topics.