5 Ways Your Brand Gains from Other’s Experiences


30x30x30 Blogathon Post #19:  June 19th – Maria Elena Duron

When I decided to do a 30-day Blogathon I wanted to make sure Maria Elena Duron was one of my 30 thought leaders. You will find Maria’s posts everywhere. She is an avid writer about everything and anything personal branding, and the content she produces is top-notch. In Day 19 of the Blogathon Maria gives us a 5-part ‘curriculum’ for how your brand can be even stronger by learning from the experience of others. I personally have learned so much from Maria’s experience and I hope you do to.

Enjoy Maria’s post and gain from her experience!


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



5 Ways Your Brand Gains from Other’s Experiences

You’ve heard the saying – “there’s nothing new under the sun”. Many things are very much a re-hash of something that has already been done. The method of presentation may be different, or the process by which it is to be done is perhaps not quite the same, yet the essence of what came before still exists.

For your own personal brand, you would do well in following successful people’s experiences, after all, they have already done the work, and if applied correctly, their methods can work for you too.  It’s also valuable to learn from other people’s experience in general.  You’ll gain insight on what not to do, how people think and even different perspectives.

Even what I’m writing is “nothing new”.  I’m sure someone’s imparted advice like this to you before.  What I’m challenging you to do is to kick it up a notch and be very deliberate in “creating a curriculum for yourself” to learn from other people’s experience.

1. Learn from their Mistakes

They already paid the cost of time, treasure and set back – why not learn from them instead of having to sacrifice your time and treasure?  Being able to correctly identify where they went wrong can save you a great deal of time, heartache and money.

“Identifying mistakes is a great skill.  Learning from them is an even better skill.” Tweet This!

The question to ask is:  If you knew then what you know now, what would you do differently?

2. Create your own Personal Board of Advisors

One of my favorite Oprah sayings is “do what you do best; write checks for the rest.”  I wholeheartedly believe that you need to focus on what you do so well, what is so uniquely you and what you are most interested in.  That’s why creating your own personal board of advisors can help you by providing the expertise and experience of others who are better in areas that you are not.

Asking people to serve on my personal board of advisors was, to me, the hardest “ask” I ever made.  I was amazed when they were more than willing to give of their experience and time when I kept asking myself “why would someone want to serve on my personal board of advisors?”  It turned out to be a networking and mastermind group that served the needs of each of us at the table – not just me.

Who should be on your Personal Board of Advisors?  For me, it was:

1. An association administrator – to give better perspective on what organizations were looking for in presenters and speakers.

2. A bank president – to give better perspective on what successful business owners do that sustains their business and where businesses often fail.

3. My insurance agent – she provided client perspective (as we were each others’ client), is a woman small business owner herself and is great at assessing risk

4. The partner in an accounting firm – to give better perspective on what where the real numbers that are key to measure.

5. A friend – who owned a business herself and could give tell me when I didn’t see something or missed something.

The question to ask is:  Will you help me? (the key is to ask).

3. Be Teachable

This is harder than you think.  You must be well grounded in your personal brand and know your strengths and your unique promise of value so that you can be fully open to “hear” the valuable lessons and advice that your advisors/mentors are sharing with you.

The question to ask is:  What can I learn from this experience?

4. Be Grounded

Part of making the most of other people’s experience is for you to be firmly grounded in your beliefs.

A good question to ask is:  What are my non-negotiables? The things that I value that I will not compromise on.

Knowing the answer to this, will help you learn from other people’s experience and then assimilate it to match  who you are and what you value.

5. Read every single day

You don’t have to read a book.  Read just 10 pages every single day and you will be exposed to new situations, perspectives, feedback and solutions.  Education and reading doesn’t just happen in a lecture hall or a book – you can read websites, blogs, reports and magazines or ezines.  Successful people always seem to be on the ball with everything. They know their market well, and continue to strive in it. This is because they continually study and apply their knowledge.

Imagine how much you could learn by reading biographies of successful people.  For one year, I read from biographies like Theodore Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.  Imagine what you could learn by reading Steve Jobs’ biography for example.

A good question to ask:  What one step can I take now?

Take that First Step

I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone (where learning happens) and to ask someone to be on your personal board of advisors.  Or perhaps the first step is to be grounded in your personal brand so you may need to identify what you uniquely enjoy. Or, it could be you need to solidly identify what your non-negotiables are.  Identifying my non-negotiables alone took me three years to discover.  The key is to start.  Take one step forward and upward.


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About the author

Maria Elena Duron Maria Elena Duron is CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks -a word of mouth firm – Creating Conversation, Community, Connection and Commerce Around Your Brand. She is author of the book, Mouth-to-Mouth Marketing and a columnist for several print and online publications plus is Editor-in-Chief of the Personal Branding Blog. Maria Duron is a published expert on branding and marketing in Entrepreneur Magazine. She is featured weekly as the marketing coach on CBS television. Duron founded and moderates #brandchat recognized by Mashable as one of the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for social media marketers and is also recognized as on the top 25 Brand Experts to follow on Twitter.