How to Define your Personal Brand & Find the Right Partner

In a funny coincidence, I am writing this blog post in a bar that was the scene of many of my first dates, on University of Waterloo campus. I’ve been asked to guest lecture on the topic of personal branding, which ties nicely into the topic we just discussed on ChickChat last week, Dating. If only I could have understood and could have defined my brand a decade ago, I may have dodged some awkward dates and maybe some time. Thus, I thought it would be helpful for others to understand the correlation between personal branding and dating and why they are so important for our happiness.. 

Firstly, the more you know about yourself, the closer you are to defining who may fit well as a partner. If the silence in my last lecture was any indication of how hard it is to define our personal brand, then we can’t assume this is an easy task. To help with this exercise, I used Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle as a guiding principle. The golden circle is as follows, and though the definitions are geared towards organizations, the same principles apply to a personal brand. 

Starting from the outside, what you do is pretty self explanatory. What do you do? What is your job? How you spend your time? How you do it, can be harder to articulate. For example, you may be a teacher, however you ride your bike to school, eat a vegan diet and only wear recycled clothing.  Why you do what you do….this is the hard part. However, this is the part that will truly help define who and why someone will make a good partner for you, helping you weed through the thousands of profiles of available partners out there. Why is what motivates you, makes you passionate, and defines what is most important to you. 

I consider the “Why” factor, to be our core, our soul and or the fundamentals or purpose of one’s life.  Hence why defining it is hard, and to top it off, its ever-changing. 

For me, my why factor is kindness. It sounds simple and vague but it dramatically influences how I do things and what I do in all areas of my life. Moreover, in dating, it helps define what I look for in another. For example, I need someone who has a positive attitude, is kind to themselves and others, cares about the environment and the impact they have on the world. This can come across in many ways, but once I knew this, I could qualify first date behaviour and answers to my questions in one of two columns - aligns with my brand or does not. 

Dating is hard. There is no easy solution, but if you can define who you are and what you stand for, you will be much better off assessing whoever is across the table as to whether a second date is necessary. Even before that, if you are using online tools to seek a partner, you can outline your brand and who you are on your profile and search for similarities on other’s. 

As the old saying goes, “love thyself before you love another”. I think this is more important than ever, because in today’s dating scene we can filter through hundreds of candidates in minutes, having to narrow down those worthy of our time, and time is still our most important asset. 

If you are dating, know want you want, and why. Then go into each date with the mindset you are qualifying them, rather than the opposite. 

To end on a high note, I know personally how tiring and time consuming dating can me, but it’s worth it.  Years of online dating, awkward first dates and endless doubts I would ever find someone and I did. And, as for a measureable return on investment, there is no greater return than love.