Developing Your Public Identity

After my travels through Thailand, Cambodia, and Japan, I came home to work. 

Work meaning a passionate pursuit to master one’s craft, art, or trade.


Work doesn't mean easy and it certainly doesn’t mean find a way to get rich quick. However, when people do get rich they tend to get rich quick, but it takes a long time to “start” getting rich. 


Work to me though really means to develop a public identity, a communication and establishment of value that you and I project to the world, our community, friends and family.

This public identity involves power, the velocity of which we can make something happen, influence, the ability to spark change and help others grow in new ways, and leadership, the competence to swiftly navigate through people, circumstances, and contingencies while satisfying the commitments of everyone involved. 


Our public identity quite often determines the opportunities that gravitate our way. 

  • The African American who projects charm, leadership, and change becomes the President. 
  • The woman who projects vulnerability now has more book deals, speaking engagements across the globe, and millions of fans that embrace her message. 


As our public identity grows, our power, influence and leadership grows with it. With our public identity we can make anything happen. Without a strong public identity, we'll be certain to have more resistance reaching our goals. 


So how do we develop our public identity? 




1) We want to Pre-Frame.

What are the 3 things you want to be known for? You want to frame the way people think about you by creating your own reputation.

I want to be known for being a successful branding consultant, public speaker, and really smart. 

Marie wants people to know her for being friends Oprah and Richard Branson, being part business strategist, part marketing maven and part spiritual ass-kicker with a side of hip-hop swagger.


2) We want to Indoctrinate Ourselves & Build Validation 

How will people find out about us? How will we grow our network?

Execute on our promises well and on time. Then leverage media and press. 

Remember though, we're projecting what we want to be known for. So if we're projecting success, we better look stunning in our photos, tell a resonating story in our videos, and offer something valuable. 

This takes patience. You and I wouldn't normally go on a date and get married on the same night. Same for building credibility. We want to build a path for people to learn about us and learn from us.

3) We need a Project
Why should people care about you and your public identity? 

A public identity has no impact without a project people can anchor you to. 

  • A mom without a new book in process is just a mom. She's probably a great mom, but there's no opportunity for book deals. 
  • An engineer without a new tech start up is just engineer. He's probably very good at his job, but there's no opportunity for investment funding or entrepreneur like endeavors. 

Opportunities come our way when we have something to offer, something people can be a part of, something irresistible for a few. 

The idea is to develop our public identity and projects to cater to the type of opportunities we want to come our way. 


Everyone has dreams. Quite often it's something bigger than we can do alone. Developing our public identity will give us the resources and connect us to the right people to make our dreams a reality. 

Who you are and your identity doesn’t happen in your head. It happens within the conversations of your network.
Jame Wong branding consultant

This was written by James Wong.