Everyone looks forward to St. Patrick’s Day, even if they’re not Irish. This is because St. Patrick is a symbol of how to develop your personal or business brand. Does this sound strange? Well, he did it—way back in the 400’s A.D.
St. Patrick was kidnapped and then escaped and returned to England, his home. He was inspired to become a Christian and then began his journey. He was a simple soul and used the shamrock to explain his religious beliefs. Some people in Ireland thought the shamrock was a symbol for three pagan goddesses they believed roamed throughout Ireland.
St. Patrick did not start out wanting to become a Christian, but he did some soul-searching (pardon the pun) and then took his life in a different direction. He found something he was passionate about and then pursued it.
He had difficulties convincing people that they should become Christians, but he didn’t waiver. He trusted his instincts and pursued his passion and his beliefs.
Entrepreneurs are a lot like St. Patrick. They discover something in themselves that excites them and piques their interest. They begin to explore this area and then decide that whatever they’re doing now is not what they want to do for the rest of their working lives.
A new business is born with passion, drive, goals, and branding. Whether it’s personal branding as with movie stars or the business’s professional brand, businesses need to put a lot of thought into the symbol they want to reflect their message and product or service.
St. Patrick chose the shamrock, a three-leafed plant, for its color, green for hope, and to use its three leaves to illustrate the Christian teaching of three persons in one God. That was his personal brand. He used that symbol countless times to get his message across.
Businesses also need to focus on the message or statement they want to make. While some businesses choose a squiggly design, others create an abstract icon or text to get their message across.
Even if you don’t own a company, your personal brand follows you everywhere and determines how people deal or react with you. It is important to remember that your personal brand is the way you look: hair, skin, tattoos, makeup, clothing, shoes, etc. It is also the way you live: your body language, attitude, choice of career, living choices, hobbies, and interests.
St. Patrick never realized the effect he would have on society during his lifetime and that it would continue so strongly today. He celebrated his passion every day by going out and convincing others of his beliefs.
Entrepreneurs do the same thing today. Although St. Patrick was a world-wide success story, entrepreneurs should learn from his life that every day is an opportunity to influence others and lead them to something better – your product or service.
Celebrating come later, when you’ve achieved success and have a following. So this St. Patrick’s Day, when you’re sitting down to corned beef, cabbage, and beer, remember that St. Patrick was a great business person. He was wildly successful, because he kept on message and never let a day go by without talking about his passion and beliefs.