Why personal branding is fools gold

We question all our beliefs, except for the ones we truly believe, and those we never think to question.

Why personal branding is fools gold
Photo by charlesdeluvio / Unsplash

Name one man who is a billionaire and was busy focused on building a personal brand in his 20s.

There are none.

I see this narrative all over social media about how building a personal brand is important. It's also now taken over people's collective consciousness. Every young hustler is on Twitter or Instagram trying to build a brand or grow followers at the very least.

The presence of dozens of Gumroad courses on "growing your twitter following" only confirms this point further. There is tons of demand in this area.

And I think everyone has simply lost their mind with it. Here's why.

Time Lost

Time isn't money. Time is opportunity cost. It's much more than money.

If you spend at-least an hour a day on Twitter, tweeting and engaging. Rationalizing that you're learning from tweets. But if you really are honest with yourself, you'll see it's all mental masturbation. You have nothing real to show for it.

For one year, if you put 1 hour per day into building a business or learning a skill, you will have something concrete to show for it. That's better than 7000 followers on twitter.

No one worth their salt does it proactively

Look at all the best entrepreneurs everyone admires.

Bezos, Lutke, Barry, Cohen, Vembu. None of them were busy building a brand when they were young. They were acquiring skills and building their businesses.

The best personal brands are by those who've built something in the real world.

There is a type of "creator" on twittter, all they do is post regurgitated content they read in a book or heard somewhere. This is the stupidest thing to do to gain followers.

What is the benefit of writing a thread 🧵 on building a monopoly when all you've ever built is a twitter following?

I'd rather watch a Peter Theil video on this topic than read a thread by someone with no body of work.

Everyone wants to build a personal brand, no one wants to build a personality.

I strongly believe in building personality first. Do things in the real world. Affect change in the universe for 7 years with insane force. Go back to social media and share your war stories, you will see instant growth and build a robust brand.

The one time it makes sense

Only time it's worth building a personal brand it is when it aligns with your business objectives.

This is precisely why many entrepreneurs do it later in their careers. They've made all the money and branding exposes them to different opportunities, or propels their next venture forward.

And right now, tweeting or gramming is nowhere near the right set of actions to take to grow my business. So taking a hiatus is the only long-term most profitable thing to do 🙂


Zig when everyone else zags. Everyone applies this logic against the mainstream, but applying it to your own in grained beliefs can be tremendously beneficial.

Subscribe to YC The Man

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
jamie@example.com
Subscribe