This summer was quite big when it comes to big movies that were intended to make big money for their respective producers and filmmakers. Things didn’t work out quite the way they were intended to, and a lot of the movies have left a sort of a bittersweet taste in the reviewer’s mouths after all of the hype and over inflation of titles such as Warcraft and more recently, the Ben-Hur reboot, whose box office (un)successfulness was simply due to the fact that nobody wanted to go see it.
One of the big names of this last summer was certainly Suicide Squad, DC’s latest attempt to shake up the superhero genre that is still being massively dominated by Marvel. There will surely be debate about whether the movie was a success or not, but it’s still fun, and still a box office success (unlike Ben-Hur). In this article, we’ll dissect some of the tips and tricks you could use to give your personal brand a kick start, courtesy of the antiheroes from Suicide Squad.
The movie is based on a gang of renegades and villains that include the ever-so-popular Joker and Harley Quinn, and all sorts of other bad guys that happen to be fighting for the right thing this time around. Without spoiling too much of the movie for you, we can only say that it’s a fast movie with a lot of action and to describe it as “The Avengers meets Deadpool” would be somewhat close to what the producers were aiming at. Whether that was what the movie actually is, remains to be seen, but there are truly some great characters there, and some valuable advice to grow your own personal brand, starting from..
Don’t Go With The Flow, Do Something Different
There’s a lot of self-help advice and tips and tricks that aim at helping you to be the best that you can be, and a lot of them are actually basing their advice on one thing: be unique and go your own way. We can see that in the examples of famous successful people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, who didn’t want to conform and be a part of the pack, but rather went on and did something nobody ever thought possible.
Amanda Waller is the character that does the impossible in Suicide Squad, considering that she is actually the main mastermind behind the Squad itself. The reasoning behind the decision not to do what she did was pretty simple: don’t go and put a lot of criminal masterminds and overall not-so-pleasant people in a group that can go out and shoot people, but rather put them in jail. Well, if it was like that, there would be no movie, and we’d have no advice.
By making something most people thought as pretty insane, she turned her back to reasoning and logic and made what she thought was best, just like a lot of great innovators did in the real world. To say that Amanda is the same as Steve Jobs would be pretty inaccurate, but she surely has some aces up her sleeve. Her main motivation is to do what’s the best for her country and she does that the best she can.
What we can learn from this is that there isn’t always a “better” alternative to things, but there is YOUR alternative, and you should really go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back every time you do something great because you listened to your inner instincts. When it comes to personal branding, this translates to building a unique brand that isn’t bogged down with rules and the ways other people do it, but your own rules and your own set of beliefs. You’ll be surprised how far a little uniqueness will get you, and having a personal brand that is different from all of the other “regular” people will surely get you noticed, and after that: it’s all up to you.
Grab a piece of paper, or better yet, Evernote or Google Keep and write down some ideas on what you want to do. These can be purely ideas on topics for your blog, the way you want to organize your personal website or a business idea, but you should write them down anyway. Give yourself a day or two, and get as much of them as you can written down. Now that you did that, take a step back and think about some genuinely crazy alternatives to that. Get crazy with those ideas, and make them as unique and weird as you can, and then write that down too. You want whatever it is you do to have the stamp of your personality.
Next part is simple, get a few friends whose opinion you value, and pitch your ideas to them. Chances are, there will be a few of them that have the same sense of humor and weirdness and some of your ideas will impress them, so this step actually provides you with peer-reviewed ideas, from people that you trust not to lie to you when something’s not really good. Once you have your critics, and perhaps a few more unique ideas, you’re ready to make them happen. This way you don’t have to be all alone on your journey to success, and you can include the people you love the most to help you decide which one of your ideas is actually good. Also, by writing down ideas and alternatives, you explore new possibilities and new ways of thinking, something that’s really important in business, and in personal branding.
Being unique is great and all, but that brings us to our next point, and that is
Just Because You’re Unique Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Have To Be Qualified
Let’s put it like this. You’ve gone ahead and made a daring decision to give a bit of “nope” to the world and start your own unique, completely original brand and business venture. You’re out there, making your blog look like something nobody has ever seen before, using social media people can’t pronounce and be a pretty innovative guy overall. But what happens when all of that effort gets you attention? Do you have the skills and the knowledge to go the extra mile or are you “just” unique?
That’s the question everybody needs to ask themselves before doing anything in life, actually. From personal branding to something completely different like building boats, one rule applies: just because it’s unique doesn’t mean it’s worth anything.
Suicide squad goes a long way to show us that even though the heroes (or villains) that compose the main cast of this movie aren’t exactly great nice guys, they are extremely qualified and good at what they do. Give a thought about your hard skills before you go out and start grabbing attention. Maybe it’s better to get some more knowledge first if you don’t have enough of it, and then go ahead and take on the world.
Let’s say that you found your ideas, and pitching them to your friends proved a success. Imagine that you marketed yourself and your ideas so well that you got an opportunity to work with an extremely big name in the business you like. The first question you’d probably ask yourself then would be “what now?!”. Fear not, we got your back here as well. You see, there’re two ways you can play this one out. First is that you panic and mess everything out because you don’t think you can do it, and we’re going to cross that one off our list right away. The second thing is to actually get as smart on that topic as you possibly can, and actually, impress your future client with your business strategies.
Google everything! Spend hours exploring the opportunities on how you can do the things your client might ask you to do, and make sure to write them down too (also, Evernote and Keep are your friends here). This is very important because well, once you have your ideas you might get caught up with them and stop exploring the ways you can improve. That’s why Google is your best friend once you have to learn a lot about actually making things work.
Get a mentor! Or a few of them, actually. There’s a whole lot of people on LinkedIn that actually know a lot more than you do about a lot of things. Your job is to find those people and take their advice as help on your future business endeavors by simply asking them for help. A lot of professionals will surely help you out and you’ll have some great advice that will help you meet the demands of your clients. You can also provide your mentor with a percentage of the money that you’re getting from the project in return for their aid, so you get the extra insight and they get some extra income!
The third, (and maybe most important thing) is…
Just Have Fun And Try To Keep A Positive Attitude
Needless to say, that’s the key to enjoying life the way it’s meant to be enjoyed, but you’ll always feel just a little bit better by keeping a positive attitude. There’s a lot of examples in movies, and both Deadpool and Suicide Squad do a great job in portraying it, but the key here is that if you want your personal brand to be successful, you need to believe that it will be.
It doesn’t pay off to be gloomy, and if you think you got what it takes you sure need to work on it and who knows- maybe you’ll strike gold someday. A joke or two goes a long way (Joker pun intended), be it with your personal brand or something else, and Suicide Squad shows that you can both be a really cool guy, and a funny one, too.
It’s not easy being funny, but from my short real life experience as a stand-up comedian, I can tell you that there’s not a lot you need to know if you wish to make your posts and work a little bit wittier and funny. The first you need to do is to see how much potential your projects actually have when it comes to jokes. It’s not the same if you’re trying to be witty in a serious business advice column or a relaxed blog post. There’s a lot of things you need to consider, but once you get the hang of it, it really becomes a part of your style.
The main advice we can give you is to read a bit more comedy-focused literature and get inspired by the way they write. Cracked is an excellent example of a humor-focused site that also informs you well. Once you get a feeling about how jokes work in articles, you can simply start trying to incorporate them into your own writing. Once again, your friends are your best critics, so you should definitely try and ask them about whether they think you went too far or not.