The Challenges for Personal Branding in France and Belgium

Personal Branding Across Cultures Blogathon – Day 11 / Damien Colmant

I am glad for this opportunity to connect with you! The objective of this post is to address the challenges Personal Branding is facing in France and Belgium (French-speaking part).

Personal Branding in my region is taking on slowly. This is mostly due to cultural resistances. Fear of failure is probably the essential raison. Success on top of that is seen as suspicious.

Fear of Failure

Branding is by definition an entrepreneurship behavior. And it can be a very rewarding experience. But why then are young people and older ones not going through the adventure of entrepreneurship? They most often have a fear of failure: what am I going to say to my contacts if I fail? My failures will be tattooed on my forehead for everyone to see! How am I going to explain all this to a recruiter?

The French tend to see failure … as a failure. It should instead be celebrated. Entrepreneurs and job seekers who succeed have done many mistakes before arriving where they are. Success is mostly not linear. The difference is rather in the speed in which they correct their mistakes or change strategy. Successful people tend to see failure as way to learn.

Success is Suspicious

There’s a story that George W. Bush once said: The problem with the French is that they have no word for ‘entrepreneur’. The French culture has seemed very anti-entrepreneur and suspicious of anyone trying to make money and build a business.

I myself have heard so many times the following comments when discussing the success of entrepreneurs:

  • That guy makes money on the back of others
  • One more taking advantage of the mass!
  • Networking is obtaining favors from others. It’s even discriminating compared to people not having access to a network …
  • If someone is showing wealth, the way he obtained it must be suspicious …

Anyway, beyond these considerations, I am convinced Personal Branding will continue increase in popularity as a way for higher employability and entrepreneurship. And become as popular as in other parts of the world.

We all need to learn to create our own job and wealth for others instead of looking for an occupation. This is why I turned into a Potential Awakener.

Enjoy reading the other Blogathon articles!

About the author

Damien Colmant I am the founder and owner of Extend Coaching. My vision is a world where individual achievement and organizational performance coexist. Extend Coaching awakens the potential of men and women for more authenticity and well being while improving the performance of organizations. We facilitate employee engagement through the Personal Branding and Leadership. My values are: adventure (I am curious and love discover new things), pleasure (having fun is a driver), evolution (daily tiny evolutions make long and lasting differences). Based in Brussels, Belgium, Extend Coaching focuses on European French speaking markets.